Never meet your grail knives?

Discussion in 'General Knife Discussion' started by b00n, Aug 15, 2018.

  1. Legendary_Jarl


    Feb 8, 2010
    I have come to the conclusion that the true grail would be to learn how to make my own grail knife. It is not worth in my experience to pursue other avenues.

    For now, I have settled for a dagger that might not be special to many, but to me it is a gorgeous design. It is special enough at 1500 pieces and it is replaceable should I lose it. I bought 3, lol.
    GundaManiac, b00n and Charlie Mike like this.
  2. TechandTactical


    Apr 2, 2018
    I have quite a few "Grail Knives". The least expensive and most attainable was a Microtech (I am aware that most of you guys don't consider a Microtech to be a "Grail Knife"). I told myself I would never spend $300+ on a knife but I finally broke down and got one. I do love it but I feel like nothing will ever live up to the hype we create in our heads.

    I don't want a safe queen. I want to carry my knives and cut stuff. Really nice knives ($500+) are just too much for me.

    That being said, if you have the means and you are a collector... Go for it!
    b00n likes this.
  3. archieblue

    archieblue Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 19, 2001
    I think of a grail knife as one that is basically unobtainable such as a Scott Cook Loscha.
    RBid, BTGuy, ArchVV and 1 other person like this.
  4. Babboonbobo


    May 20, 2017
    Just worked a deal a Shiro (should have it within a month) and am looking at possibly picking up a Pena soon.
    Two knives I’ve wanted for a very long time.
    archieblue likes this.
  5. evilgreg

    evilgreg Why so serious? Gold Member

    Dec 25, 2012
    I remain grail-less and jealous of anyone who feels that passionate about a knife. I sort of want lots of knives, but not in a super energetic way. As an example I'd bet I'll end up with an Olamic Rainmaker at some point, but I know I probably won't carry it much because the big folders I carry regularly now are eminently lovable and lighter to boot (e.g. ZT 0454, CKF Milk, customized Benchmade 710, etc.).

    I like my current options in all the types I use often, and I don't pine for anything really. I still go through the motions and buy the odd knife here and there, but when I get a new knife in the mail now I find I'm more annoyed with myself for having bought another one than I am excited by it.
    RBid, b00n, ArchVV and 1 other person like this.
  6. Quiet

    Quiet "That guy" Platinum Member

    Oct 11, 2013
    I'll go back and read the comments in a sec, but wanted to say that if you want a custom "Grail", be sure that EVERYthing about the knife is the draw behind wanting it. Oh, you want a tight tolerance drop-shut flipper? Yeah, the market is crowded with completely production models that do exactly that. Want nice carbon fiber? Ditto. Super steel? Been done, call ZT or We, or Spyderco, or, or, or. For me, a "Grail" is something that comes from a maker who's not a D-bag, showcases superior design talent, has great materials*, and features perfection of execution, which while not first on my list of concerns, is still a factor. And speaking of DDR, being upfront about where your knives/materials come from is also key for me.

    Lastly, a production knife is definitely not a grail for me.

    * worth the significant price that most makers charge
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  7. Quiet

    Quiet "That guy" Platinum Member

    Oct 11, 2013
    I think you'll be pleasantly surprised in how an Olamic Rainmaker disappears in a pants pocket. It's a very long, but thin knife, and it's crazy when you flip it open and like, seventeen feet of blade pops out.
    F22shift, b00n and evilgreg like this.
  8. tony281sc2


    Feb 13, 2017
    Compared to most folks on this site, my “grail” knives would probly just be considered regular knives lol I would never spend over $400 on a knife tho me, it has to be comfortable to hold, very sharp/pointy and either flashy or tactical (or a combo of both). That being said my grail knife is my ZT 0452g10, so much so that I just bought another one to actually carry around. I’m not rich so I keep most of my knives BNIB in a safe and take em out just to flip em once in a while but I only use probly 10 out of my 50 or so ZT’s.
  9. The Aflac Duck

    The Aflac Duck Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 27, 2014
    Hey @b00n. To be completely honest and offer my own opinion,

    I don't think that Shirogorov has the best flipping action, nor do I believe that you should spend that much cash just for flipping action alone. People may disagree with me, and that's fine. I have simply offered an opinion.

    My opinion is that Andre Thorburn makes some knives with much better flipping action, but that is if flipping action is your only quality for a grail. Olamic also makes some knives with really great flipping action too, especially if you're looking for a front flipper (Busker model).

    Reate has it dialed in too. They absolutely can make a great knife!

    Opinions on flipping action also differ from person to person, so take what you read on here with a grain of salt, and that includes what I've said here too.
    Chariotz4, danbot, SpySmasher and 2 others like this.
  10. evilgreg

    evilgreg Why so serious? Gold Member

    Dec 25, 2012
    It's only a matter of time, sooner or later I'll get around to bugging Eugene about any lightening options possible on a custom Rainmaker. I'm more sensitive to weight than size. The >4" bladed knives I carry most both weigh closer to four ounces than five, I think. I'm carrying one of my "heavy" Swish knives today, but the lighter acid rain version gets carried much more frequently.
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  11. Quiet

    Quiet "That guy" Platinum Member

    Oct 11, 2013
    Ah, I can't argue that, that's true. My Rainmaker is Desert Ironwood with Mokume bolsters and clip and it tips the scales at 6.4 oz. Not an issue for me, but I can see how not everyone would want a knife that heavy!
    evilgreg likes this.
  12. ArchVV

    ArchVV Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 8, 2015
    Man, this is eerily close to my current sentiments on the hobby :(

    And, coincidentally, the Rainmaker was probably my last true "grail knife".


    Truth. Rides nicely in the pocket and trumpets blare when it opens. It's glorious.
    Chariotz4, evilgreg and Quiet like this.
  13. eisman

    eisman Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 9, 2009
    I perceive a "Grail" to be something you will never be able to touch, the end all of your collection. For me that's a Ron Lake folder and a specific Loveless. I've seen them, but odds are I'll never own them. Still....
    SpySmasher and b00n like this.
  14. blades&wrenches

    blades&wrenches Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 11, 2014
    I've really only had one "grail" knife, and it was a Hinderer XM18 3.5 Non Flipper slicer. At the time, Hinderers were fetching ridiculous secondary market prices due to high demand and low supply, so for me it was unobtainable. Fast forward several years and RHK not only increased production, but also started making non flipper slicers again. I found a gently used full working finish model for a decent price, added some custom hardware to my liking, and have been happy with it ever since. It may not get carried as often as some others, but I love it and won't sell it.
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2018
  15. miso2

    miso2 Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 19, 2014
    I have a grail (modern) knife in mind, but I know that any imperfection or disappointment kills the grail status immediately.
    My traditional grail is GEC #73 liner lock with a M4 or M390 blade at $100.
    I am sure that I would be fully satisfied with it and that it will never happen.
  16. b00n


    Dec 15, 2016
    That's a very good point and I wholeheartedly agree that a custom grail is a lot more special when it's made by hand/one off-ish from a reputable maker who's not just a good knifemaker but a decent person as well who cares as much about the customer as he does about the finished product. There are definitely a few people out there who can manage the balance, but just as many are skewed in one or the other direction. Money aside, I think (as somebody else had mentioned) a one off grail would probably get little to no pocket time since it'd be hard or impossible to replace so something at least a little more production-y feels more sensible, although then again grails aren't generally sensible.

    Appreciate that BB, it might be part "nostalgia" because it was hailed as the be all end all of action, but within the last year with a lot of production models catching up or even getting on par with them to more or less extend the shine might have worn off a bit. A custom rainmaker is certainly on the bucket list so to speak, both because I like their product but also because Eugene is the type of person who goes above and beyond to make customers happy as far I can tell.
    The Thorburns are quite nice (and the Thorburn/Van Heerden Collabs) but just as the Shiro's I'd probably want to fondle one before taking the plunge, maybe I can get to a knife show next year, we have a few here (Holland, Paris, Solingen) could be a good idea even if I don't buy anything but just to check out a few knives in person.
  17. jceckrosh

    jceckrosh Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 2, 2016
    So the term comes from the medieval "Holy Grail" stories/myths/etc. So, in keeping with that theme, to me a "grail" should be hard to find (either in general or before someone else does), sought after by others as well, and should require more than just money to obtain as it will likely require time spent searching. If all it took was money to get it, it would just be expensive. And to me, it's not just a list of attributes I like best in knives all rolled into one knife. It's a knife I want for some intangible reasons as well. And as said, most of us will find another to search for if we are successful on the first. I really don't use the word, and I wouldn't apply it to a knife I just had to save up for, or that had all the bells and whistles. I do have an elusive knife I am on the hunt for, and after that, who knows...
    b00n likes this.
  18. 91bravo

    91bravo Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 29, 2008
    Sometimes I won't know if a knife is a grail or not, until I get it in my hands. I've definitely had high hopes for some knives and ended up being duds.
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  19. SpySmasher

    SpySmasher Lead Guitar

    Sep 1, 2016
    At least your last one was a nice-looking one. :)
    ArchVV and b00n like this.
  20. Heartland_edc


    May 4, 2015
    I totally get what you mean. I have had many "grail" knives. Some were incredible, and some were huge let downs. On one hand, if the knife is a let down, its a bummer, but you can sell/trade it and move on without having to wonder anymore. On the other, if it truly IS perfect, its also kind of sad, because you're left with the thought of "where do I go from here?" I like to think of my knife hobby as a never ending search of "perfect" for different circumstances. I LOVE Hinderer knives. So much in fact that I've owned 10+ of them. I keep buying different ones because they scratch that "itch" for me. But I know perfectly well that an XM 18 isnt the perfect knife for all situations. I enjoy the thought of discovering new things to scratch that itch. I kind of fantasize about finding that truly "perfect" all around knife, but I honestly hope I never find it.
    b00n likes this.

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