Randall Knives

May 4, 1999
A few years ago, Randall Made knives were talked about a lot in the forums, but that doesn't seem to be the case anymore. Is this just because everything to be said about them has been said, or have they fallen out of favor for some reason?

My first Randall knife is scheduled to be shipped in January, 2000 and I'd be curious to hear people's thoughts on the current production at Randall.

For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Romans 6:23

Hi, Ryan. I do not have any current ones, but I have a 6" Sportsman's Bowie from 1961 and a 7" No. 1 from 1978. I haven't used the No. 1 much, but I have beat the absolute He** out of the Bowie. I've hunted, camped, hiked, chopped wood, split wood, everything that one can find in the Virginia area, with it except fighting. I even used it as a meat cleaver when I first got married. It is on its third sheath, but still going strong. I love it. There was much discussion of Randalls in a thread some months back by Chicahiro Ishida. They are forged and strong as can be, but Les Robertson, over in Custom Knives Forum, has had some negative experiences. I would not suggest posting, as this brings out a troll who wants only to fight with Les about Randalls, but you might email him.

Walk in the Light of God,

I have a model 3, model 2 and model 26. All are extra sweet. I have only used the Model 3 but I like Randalls and try to get one each year. I like the forged 01, don't go for the 440b ones.These are more using knives than anything, but one man's treasure is another man's tool. To me, good tools are treasure!!
I'm not a collector/accumulator, and got my only Randall (#16) this year. For the money I find it to be of good value. Try looking for a fixed blade with such a good handle (no cheap rubber) and you'll realize it is actually quite cheap, relatively speaking.

However I'm not one of those who can afford to spend $500+ for a diging tool, so if I go camping with the #16, I'll bring my Gerber Sport Axe with me. Leave the dirty work to the axe. Plus I never figue out how to clean the sap off the blade after chopping a lot of pines without wasting precious water.

Most people say the #16 and #14 (without the CDT) are too heavy, but I find mine to be quite "lively". It has the standard finger grip, which taken me a few days to get used to (unless your hand size is a perfect fit). But once you get over the handle shape, it is actually quite functional, for both left and right hand. Which knife did you order and what options did you add?
I ordered the Model 14 with the heavy tang, border patrol style handle and single nickel silver guard. I plan on using it for a heavy duty camp knife. Actually, since December I've also ordered Busse and Madpoet knives that will be arriving before the Randall and will be used in the same role, so I don't know how much use the Randall will see. I didn't really set out to have a knife collection, honest!

Hmmm... Those sound like the famous last words of a knifeaholic.

For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Romans 6:23

I'm getting ready to submit an order for a #16. Can't decide if I want nickle or brass for the guard. For me it's more an appearance/maintenance issue. Any suggestions? Experiences?
Randalls are fine knives and their prices are not bad considering they are still pretty much "customs". They are still discussed here occasionally and are popular with the members. I just think they've been around so long that to a lot of folks they're kind of "yesterday's news", (which of course they're not).

I took delivery of a special "Rancher's Model" I had them make up for me with the "sheepsfoot" blade, (I love this blade style), a few months ago. I was quite impressed with the workmanship except for one thing. They delivered it to me totally unsharpened! The only other time I have ever seen this, production or custom, has been on several Mad Dog knives, (right Bob?). I E-mailed them several times about it but never received an answer. I'm sure I could have returned it but I hate that send/receive routine, especially after waiting thirteen months for it. I am fairly proficient at sharpening so I just put my own 25/20 degree edge on it. Even so, it's still unacceptable in this day and age.

The only complaint I've heard about Randall's, (other than my unsharpened example), is that the soldered guards will sometimes separate from the tang. I have an old Model 5 and it happened to it. Again, I could have sent it back, (they will repair it under warranty IF they deem it didn't happen through neglect), but I just epoxied it back on.

Brass or stainless, you can't go wrong with either one on the guard. They both will serve you fine. As you alluded to, the stainless will be somewhat less "maintenance intensive". Brass is beautiful and durable and so is stainless. It's all a matter of personal preference.

[This message has been edited by Gene (edited 10 July 1999).]

I thought that Randall didn't do "custom" knives that aren't based on one of their models. Is this no longer the case, or is the sheepsfoot knife you got based on one of their new patterns? If it is a knife of your design, how much say did you have in its design? I'd be very interested if Randall has changed their policy of sticking just to their own models.



For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Romans 6:23

Ryan, it is good that you did not order the leather hilt. They don't hold up as well as the micarta or other materials, especially in the wet.

The reason that I have used my 6" Bowie so hard is that I bought it when I was 18 years old for all of $25 (my parents were horrified) and I had it as my only fixed blade for so long. It is still my choice for that.

Walk in the Light of God,

Randalls are fine knives...and for the money you cant go wrong...that being said.. i think you can get a lot more for the same amount of $$$ from a lot of the custom makers today.....I am NOT bad rapping randalls....just think that they havent done much changing in the last 40 years....and as good as they are....theres a lot out there that is better for the same price.


Didn't mean to mislead you. Yes, it was based on a "new" model that came with a sheepsfoot blade. I just gussied it up with some extras.

I tend to agree with you. Randalls are still fine knives but with all the new "wonder steels" and great makers out there they ARE lagging somewhat. It's hard to shake 55 years of satisfied customers who carried their blades into three wars though.

Yup. The pATAK2 I received was so dull I could run it across my open palm without fear of cutting myself.

Randall knives are icons although I've heard rumbling in some quarters that the current stuff doesn't quite measure up to those made in years gone past. I have no first hand experience so I can't really comment other that to pass on what I'd heard. It could simply be rumblings from some ultra-hard to please types... dunno.

I got a #1 with a micarta handle coming at the end of July. Ordered it last year and can't believe its time is finaly up (yeah you should have asked me last Fall). I'll let you know how sharp it is when I get it.
i've got a #1 with 8 inch blade. it is 40+years old .my dad bought it from a vietnam vet 30 years ago and then it was not new.
it is a wonderful knife and a classic,thugh i do not use it much because of it's value.
so i ordedred the same knife from randall so i can play with it. to me it does not matter that there are custome knives today that will out proform a randall. it is a classic and an icon and still works well.it is the equal of a HARLEY DAVIDSON so what if there are better machins out there who wants to change it.
Scorpio, I agree there is much nostalgia in owning a Randall, even though it costs a little more than some, Randall has a proven track record and has earned a place in knife history, and sometimes it feels good to own a piece of history. Some people pay more for knives that do not have the track record of the Randall. I agree the past may be different from what they are doing now, however it all depends who you talk to. There are good and bad experiences for everyone from all types of manufactures and custom makers. Just because a person who knows alot about a topic doesn't like them doesn't mean that all of the other people who also know alot and like them are wrong. Listen to the majority and then make an informed decision, even then if you like something and no one else does you are going to get it anyway. Life is good. I just ordered a Randall Model #3 with a Duraluminum crows beak butt cap, nickle silver hilt with thumb notches, 6" blade and a ironwood handle. I can't wait until next August.

The nickle silver fittings available on Randalls are NOT stainless steel. Another name for nickle silver is white brass which makes sense because that is what it is. It is simply brass with a higher nickle content than yellow brass and should be maintained the same way.


who dares, wins

For a quicker turnaround on special ordered Randalls, try Nordic Knives in California (805-688-3612). They have a standing order of 50 special orders per month with a 90-day turnaround.

I ordered a matching pair ... a #14 and a #15 carbon steel, single brass guard, single finger groove black micarta handle. Got'em both in about 90 days and at a price $10 cheaper than quoted by the Randall shop.

I'm gonna order a 6-inch carbon #1 with the same guard and handle arrangement. The carbon blades look cool when you treat'em with cold blue and car wax.

Nope, I'm not a Nordic employee nor do I hold stock in the company .. just a satisfied customer.
Just beware that Randal knives are
extreamly hard to sharpen. I hope you
have a good system.
FullerH, I assume you meant me in your earlier post. Your willingness to call someone a troll without knowing them speaks volumes about you. I don't really care to be called a "troll" and if you go back and look at those posts you will see what was really going on. Les admitted he was playing fast and loose with the facts to make his point; however, his point was valid. I have respect for Les and agree with him often. As a scientist, I deal in facts. Perhaps you are a politician and deal best with opinions. I wonder why you don't call Cliff Stamp and Snickersnee trolls? They carry on spirited discussions too! Perhaps you should use the search feature and call up and read all my posts on this forum before you decide if I am a troll. I will put up my knife experience against yours any day.

Bruce Woodbury