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New Knife

Jan 23, 1999
I picked up a Black Jack Trail Guide yesterday. Its in excellent condition and has never been in the sheath. I plan to use it for hunting though and not keep as a collectors piece. I paid $115.00, is that a decent price for the knife
I've paid more for some and less for others. In my quest for a good fixed blade at a good price, I have purchased several BlackJacks - my best deal was on a pair 1-7's, one leather, one Micarta, both $50 each. I should note, that I spent a lot of money traveling to get those two $50 knives so, that doesn't really accurately describe their "cost" :)
You got a very good knife. In fact the BJ TrailGuide is one of my all time favorite knives. It is easily one of the most competent hunting knives ever built. You don't mention which handle config yours is. That would affect the pricing more than anything else. To give you an idea of current pricing, I recently gave Cutlery Shoppe's retail store $100US + sh/ins. for a NIB Trail Guide with white micarta handle that came with both factory leather and (presumably) aftermarket Kydex sheathes. I would have rather had a black linen micarta one, but I was happy to find it at all. They've currently got some very, very limited editon scrimshawed editions of the same faux ivory for $279US.

The bottomline is that since BJ went belly up, finding them at all is getting tough, and finding exactly the one you may want is even tougher. Back when BJ was in buisness, and TG's could be had at many gunshows in different handle configurations, for ~$60-$70, hardly anybody appreciated them. Now that BJ is gone, folks are realizing what a bargain a convex ground A2 hunting knife in a very useful shape really is, at anything under about $130. Let's face it, there's plenty of "custom" makers turning out knives that are no where near the equal of the BJ TG that are routinely getting $150-$200 (or higher)

If you want a similar shape knife from Randall, without the choice of the most excellent A2 steel, prepare to wait over a year and pay considerably over twice what you paid. You did OK. I think you're gonna enjoy using that knife.

Sorry, I forgot to say that the handle was made of wood. On the box it is called a chestnut trail guide.I also have one other questions about the A-2 steel. Does it stain or pit easily and how is it to resharpen? Also, what is the best protectant for this kind of steel? Thanks for the quick reply on my last question!!


I picked one of these with a black linen micarta handle up for $55 back when Blackjack was still in business. It’s a great knife and has been down quite a few trails with me. The blade will stain easily. The first thing I did when I got mine was rub it down with lemon juice to get a nice oxide coating. Now the blade is the same color as an old carbon steel kitchen knife. I suspect that the first time you get blood on it the blade will stain. One of the modern miracle protectants might prevent the staining, but it really does not hurt anything, and gives the knife more character.

I oil mine down prior to storage, and store it in a nylon sheath rather than the leather one it came with. I use the leather one for carry. It has not rusted or pitted despite some heavy use.

The blade is easy to sharpen. I use crock sticks and don’t worry too much about maintaining the convex edge. It’s not as sharp as when it came from the factory, but it’s still plenty sharp. The interior of the leather sheath is sliced up a bit because the initial factory edge was so sharp it would slice parts off the sheath when I sheathed it.
A-2 is a great steel. Many good custom makers use it along with "high" end production companies. Personally, I really like A-2.

To keep your knife from staining, I would recommend using Sentry Solutions Tuff Cloth or Marine Cloth. They both work very well.

A-2 should be pretty easy to work with, taking a good edge and holding longer then you are probably used to with other regular production knives.