Raker Knives "Old Bone" Review

Joined
Jan 22, 1999
Messages
2,414
"Old Bone" just arrived in this afternoon's mail and it is every bit as nice as I had hoped. Fit, finish, style & overall execution are impeccable. Before I get too caught up in its aesthetics & specs, let me first tell you it is sharp. Not just sharp but, to borrow a phrase from Yvsa, it's "full body shiver" sharp.

View


This one-of-a-kind Damascus neck knife has over 60 layers of 52100 & 1084, forged to shape by Ray Kirk (his own Damascus), with a full tapered tang. The blade is 3" with a distal taper & 1 1/2" swedge. This little beauty weighs in at only 2.1 oz. w/OAL of 5 5/16". The bone used for the scales was found by one of Ray's students and is secured to the tang with 1/8" hinge pin screws. (The light brown stain that you see on the scales occurred in nature & was not applied by Ray.) Despite its diminutive size, this is not a knife that I will be afraid to use. The steel is approximately .140" thick at the front of the scales & the knife has a very solid overall feel.

The sheath is Kydex & comes with elk hide lace & solid brass beads that allow the user to adjust where the knife will hang on the chest. The lace is very soft & comfortable to wear & the ability to adjust its length is a nice feature. (I prefer wearing neck knives rather high on my chest & short cords or chains can be a tight squeeze over my head.)

The thickest part of the knife occurs at the back of the bone handle where it swells out to 9/16". Although I generally prefer neck knives to be no more than about 3/8" thick, the short OAL length allows the butt to ride between my pecs where it does not print under a knit sports shirt.

Although he doesn't have very many knives displayed, more information about Ray & his knives is available at http://www.tah-usa.net/raker/ . I had heard great things about Ray's work & I'm glad I took the plunge & ordered one. I know it won't be my last.


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Cheers,

--+Brian+--

aka Dagda the Insatiable, Member of the Terrible Ironic HORDE
"I may be goin' to hell in a bucket, Babe, but at least I'm enjoyin' the ride."

[This message has been edited by bcaffrey (edited 01-06-2000).]
 
Brian,

Use it well my friend. I had no doubt that you would join me in my appreciation of Ray and his knives.

Ray is one of my favorite makers. A true gentleman and an excellent craftsman.

I'll have a couple more Rakers of my own to report on soon!

Blues

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Live Free or Die

Some Knife Pix

[This message has been edited by Blues (edited 01-07-2000).]
 
Very nice piece!! Looks like a very handy little cutter. If you get a chance, post a pic of the sheath and it's thong arrangement, I'm curious to see it.
TIA
Brian

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Buck Collectors Club Member
Knifeknut(just ask my wife)
Cetan Blood Brother
Military & Moran Admiration Society
 
Thanks, guys. If I get all the holiday decorations put away this weekend, I'll make some time to take a pic of the sheath/thong set up. I tried leather lace myself in the past but what I used was fairly stiff & not very comfortable around the neck. I'm thinking about asking Ray to make up additional thongs for some of my other neck knives.

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Cheers,

--+Brian+--

aka Dagda the Insatiable, Member of the Terrible Ironic HORDE
"I may be goin' to hell in a bucket, Babe, but at least I'm enjoyin' the ride."
 
Brian, here's the pic you requested of "Old Bone" with it's neck sheath & elk hide thong.
View

As I mentioned above, the elk hide lace is very soft. The solid brass beads are a fairly tight fit on the lace and allow the user to adjust where the knife will hang by simply sliding them up or down the lace.

Back to the sharpness of this little blade, many people test their blades by slicing thin strips from a sheet of bond paper. "Old Bone" handles that w/o any trouble & goes beyond to pass my ultimate sharpness test w/ease. It is capable of splitting the thickness of the bond paper, shaving away ribbons of paper w/o actually cutting though the sheet.

Does it sound like I'm happy with it? I am.

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Cheers,

--+Brian+--

aka Dagda the Insatiable, Member of the Terrible Ironic HORDE
"I may be goin' to hell in a bucket, Babe, but at least I'm enjoyin' the ride."
 
Very nice.
smile.gif
I like the idea of a truly small, Damascus neck knife. I just may have to order a Raker...
 
Originally posted by Knave:
Very nice.
smile.gif
I like the idea of a truly small, Damascus neck knife. I just may have to order a Raker...

I'm sure you won't be disappointed if you do. I'm already thinking about a DAT chisel ground tanto myself.
wink.gif


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Cheers,

--+Brian+--

aka Dagda the Insatiable, Member of the Terrible Ironic HORDE
"I may be goin' to hell in a bucket, Babe, but at least I'm enjoyin' the ride."
 
I have been a big fan of Ray Kirk's since I met him at the Blade Show in Atlanta last June.

I had been walking around trying to see if anything jumped out at me.

I saw a damascus tanto with a bone handle lying on a table and asked the gentleman nearby who made it. He pointed out Ray Kirk in the distance and went to get him.

Ray and I got to talking as I examined the knife. The knife was a bargain at his asking price and I purchased it without hesitation. The cable damascus was attractive and unusual and the edge was razor sharp.

Since then, I've had two more knives from Ray. A Lil Blue in both ATS-34 and 52100. The 52100 version was given to Nemo during a visit from Paris recently. He should be doing his own review on it shortly.

I have another Lil Blue and a Lil Rank on order with Ray which will bring me up to four knives with Ray. (There will be more.)

His knives are as sharp as any I've ever examined and Ray puts a lot of his heart and soul into each of his knives.

I know it doesn't matter to everyone, but to me it does that Ray is also one of the nicest gentlemen you're likely to meet in any capacity. It is a joy for me to introduce other collectors/users to Ray and his work.

So there it is. Superior work at an excellent value from a truly decent guy. What more could you ask?

Oh yeah, and he'll work with you to make what you want. (Recently Ray added a handle to one knife, and shaved down the handle of another to meet my personal needs. The cost for this was a pittance.)

Unfortunately, the pictures on Ray's site and those on my own (listed below) are not of premium quality. Ray is going to be addressing that soon. I will tell you that the reality far exceeds those paltry images.

Guess I'll come up for air now.
wink.gif

Try a Raker and see what Brian and some other fortunate souls have learned recently.

Blues

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Live Free or Die

Some Knife Pix
 
Do you guys happen to know Mr. Kirk's average production time? I like that DAT tanto myself. Thanks.
CTS
 
Knave,

I know Ray has some projects on his table, but I think his wait times are still pretty reasonable.

Your best bet would be to email him at:
raker@tah-usa.net

or to call him at the telephone number provided on his website:
http://www.tah-usa.net/raker/index.html

Either way, you're sure to get a prompt reply.

I'll also forward the thread to Ray so he may be able to answer here for others who may be interested.

Blues


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Live Free or Die

Some Knife Pix
 
Knave, On the waiting time for a DAT Tantao neck knife, it would be about 2 months and it could be a little sooner. I don't make up a lot of damascus at a time and that blade is cable and saw blade.

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Ray Kirk
www.tah-usa.net/raker
 
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