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old knives

Jan 3, 2006
What are some good old style pocket knives? Does anyone have an opinel, or a higonokami? How reliable are they?
Opinel knives are fantastic. Smoky Mountain Knife Works ( www.eknifeworks.com ) has the best selection and prices that I've seen, including a 10-knife set for $60. Ragweed Forge and other reliable online knife shops carry them as well.

For traditional American-style pocketknives, browse Cumberland Knife Works. They carry knives from Canal Street Cutlery, Queen, Case, etc.

Into eBay? It's possible to find American-made OldTimer pocketknives from Schrade.

Bruckmann was a German company that made pocketknives before WWII. The quality is incredible, and thanks to a large warehouse find a few years ago they are common on eBay and not expensive.

Just some ideas for you to start with. As mentioned, AG Russell carries a large selection of traditional pocketknives as well.

I always have an opinel to cut food in my schoolbag.

For that price, they are hard to beat. Vivi (fellow BF member) showed their strenght by batoning with them.

Get one, and if you don't love them, it's only 15$ (±)
I have an higonokami and it is very reliable. It has really nothing that can go wrong. This style is about as basic as a folder can get. No lock, so you have to be careful.
I have an Opinel. All my opinels are carbon steel and hold a good edge real well. The Brevette lock is very positive and the ability to lock it closed is a nice feature to have. Unlike most traditional knives, I can operate a stock Opinel #6 1 handed, with my eyes closed. Doesn't sound important, but a few months back, I sprained my wrist pretty bad. When I injured myself, I had only my SAK and Stockman. It was nearly impossible to open either- having a one hand opener at the time would have been a saving grace. Would have made opening the pain med. packet easier too.
What about the "ring opener" at A. G. Russell, it is a really interesting old style pocket knife that just keeps catching my eye. I know little of the history of these knives but... ya' might like it...
I forgot to mention the Opinel's 1 downside. In the Summer, when it got's hot and muggy, the wood tends to swell and the blade gets more difficult open/ close and the Brevette lock is harder to operate.
If you want an old style pocket knife with some intresting history, get a Douk-Douk or two. They come in a couple of sizes, and the small one is flat enough to go in a wallet. The medium rides well in a side pocket, and the blades are thin and can get very scary sharp. I think it was Lee Valley tools that had a speacial recently two for 30 something dollars, a medium and small.

The Opinel is an exelent knife, but as mentioned they are a problem if they get wet.

The sodbuster is a personal favorite of mine, and cuts as well as some of the afor mentioned. Wide flat ground blade gives very good geometry for cutting. You can find a wide variety of makes, from U.S. and German makers. Case, eye-brand, Kissing Krane brown mules, Queen country cousin in D2 and maybe still 1095 though I would'nt put money on it. There's alot of working types that rely on a sodbuster.
yes, or anyway, western knife company, boulder colo
I have a few and am trying to determine what period they were made
in particular their bowie, some have the name on the guard, others on the blade
"The Knife Makers Who Went West" is a history of the company, written by Harvey Platts, a descendant of the Platts family, founders of the company. It's a great book, and should answer most of your questions. I got mine from Knife World!
Not meant to hijack...

Western began a dating system in 1977, with the letter A (78=B...79=C...etc.). If your knives have letters, they should fit this system.
If not, waynorth is, as usual, on the $$$. Oh, the $$$ is for real, as the nice book is usually pretty expensive. :eek: