• The Wait Is Over. From this thread, orders for the 2023 BladeForums Traditional Knife are open & here's your handy order button.
    OPEN TO ALL MEMBERS WITH GOLD OR HIGHER PAID SUBSCRIPTIONS OR have 25+ posts in the Traditional Forum Preorder price is $160 shipped CONUS, price increase on 9/25 11:59PM when ordering opens to anyone on the forums
    User Name

Phil Hartsfield knives

Sep 29, 1999
Could anyone out there help me out with some info on Phil Hartsfield knives? Personal experiences, like / dislike, reasons why, etc.

I've not heard much about the knives other than that they are supposed to be good, hold an excellent edge, but are very expensive with a long wait for delivery (several years).

Any comments?


Do a search. There was a thread comparing Hartsfield and R. Martin knives a while back.


AKTI #A000356

I have only had one Hartsfield Kwaiken, but I have some opinions. The reason I got rid of mine was because I did not buy it directly from him and he would not warrant it. As a matter of fact, he would not do anything with it! I tried to send it to him to sharpen and he would take no amount of money to do that. He said after it leaves the original owner "I don't touch it".

The guy I bought it from was the original owner and he said the edge was sharp, but it was no where near the edge on my Martin. I did not use it long, but his knives are supposed to be excellent in regards to edge holding and toughness. He uses zero ground,differentially tempered A2, which at the moment is may favorite configuration (at least until I get some 3V).

The wait is 2 years and he does deliver in 24 months, by all accounts. Unlike some makers where when you order it's two years and ends up being 4+ (see below).

I still think about ordering one from him for some strange reason. He was the originator in the US of the Japanese style tactical pieces that are popular now (my favorite knives), so that counts for something.

I do think that there are better makers out there, but there should be some reason hwe has this cult like following - and it's not his fine asthetics
Seriously though, he makes his knives to be users, but I feel the are going the way of the Loveless in that collectors are mosly buying them now. You can get at least as good a knife from Martin, I feel. There are other great makers, too: JSP(4 year wait), Hayes(check him out and see my past review www.hayesknives.com ), Don Fogg, etc.

Hope all this helps a little.

Dave Ellis, ABS, Mastersmith here. I own, buy and sell Phill Hartsfield knives. Wicked edges that cut and cut. spartan finish. They sell quite well. I have a few in stock for immediate delivery feel free to contact me.
Dave Ellis, ABS, M.S. http://www.mastersmith.com
I have 2 of Phill's blades and one on order. Some may feel his policies are not very good or not as good as others. I feel he backs his blades better than any one, as he will repair or replace a broken or damaged blade no matter the reason for the original owner. He even replaces intentionally damaged blades. If you have any questions about what he does or why, call him and ask him as he is an extremely nice man and easy to talk to.
His blades may not be for everyone but his average customer owns 5 of his blades. His wait is 2 years and he has never been late. His knives are diffently hard use knives. If you ever get a chance go to his shop and just sit there and listen to his customers tell others what they use his knives for and you can decide for yourself.

Thanks for the replies.

Sing: I remember the earlier threads comparing Hartsfield and Martin, That is what sparked my interest.

Ellis: Thanks for the link. I looked at the (nice) picture of the Hartsfield "dirk". Nice but the prices are out of my league (didn't bother to look at the $2,000 model).

Thanks again for the info, I think I need to check out R.J. Martin now (maybe closer to my price range).