The Long and Glorious Lineage of the Steel Heart

Feb 6, 2000
One of the reasons (a small reason, but a contributing factor still) I chose the Steel Heart 2E as my first Busse was because of its long and illustrious lineage. It's been around a long time, and has changed many times over the years. I'm sure it will change again sometime in the future, and again and again maybe. I have gathered quite a few pictures of the SH, and have gathered together some of them to illustrate the evolution of the Steel Heart. I'm sure I'm missing some stages in the evolution; please correct me, and if you have pics of missed stages please post them. Also, Jerry, it would be great if you could add some details on the SH story (some dates would be nice).

Here are the pics:

The earliest SH I know of, the original Steel Heart:

Still A2 and with a bird's beak pommel, but with a 7.5" blade and three handle pins, the Steel Heart 2:

An interesting SH2...the newer rounder pommel, but smooth micarta still. I'm pretty sure its INFI.

This is the most recent Steel Heart 2. INFI, round pommel, grooved micarta.

The first Steel Heart 2 E; it has the smooth black finish. Also, but this is just something that's been bothering me, it seems to have the handle dropped more than later SH-E's. Maybe it's just my eyes; what do you guys think?

The current SH, the Steel Heart 2 E with the crinkle finish.

Although not standard, this is (of course) not a Steel Heart 2 E variant, so I believe it should be in the lineage. The Zero Tolerance Steel Heart. A first for a SH (as far as I know), a 3/16" blade, aswell as a false edge.


The Steel Heart has been made in A2 and Infi, Has it always been 5/16" thick, or does that vary with steel type or the evolution of the model?

Originally posted by not2sharp

The Steel Heart has been made in A2 and Infi, Has it always been 5/16" thick, or does that vary with steel type or the evolution of the model?


That's a tough question, and I don't think there is a truly definitive answer. I think the general concensus is that almost all 5/16" thick Busses are A2, but not all. The only example of a 5/16" thick INFI Busse that I know of is Andrew Pinchen's 5/16" thick INFI Badger Attack. Also, I think that 5/16" thick (A2 or INFI) Steel Hearts are rarer than 5/16" thick Badger Attacks.

The transition from A2 to INFI happened about the time that the transition from bird-beak pommels to the rounder pommels was taking place. Again, the general concensus is that almost all bird-beak Busses are A2, but not all.

Almost all the Steel Hearts and Badger Attacks ever made are 1/4" thick. Only a few were made 5/16" thick (I don't remember why...anyone know?), and that was quite some time ago (I think between the time of the later A2 Busses and the first INFI Busses). Also, I think only Steel Hearts and Badger Attacks were ever made 5/16" thick, but I may be wrong.

So, a 5/16" thick INFI Steel Heart 2 with a bird-beak pommel has got to be one of the rarest and most collectable Busses ever :eek: . Those rare Busses are what dreams are made of :) .
I may be wrong about this, if so hopefully someone will correct me. But I believe the 5/16" A2 knives were made for a special Military contract. There was an overrun on these and the extras were sold to the public. If somebody remembers differently please speak up.
Originally posted by Eric Isaacson
BTW, how many of those are yours? :)

The only Steel Heart I have is the Steel Heart 2 E (crinkle finish), but I'm sure there will be more in my future.
Here's some more pix :)



The third one from the top, originally it looked like this:

And after visiting the shop for refurbishing got that new look ;)

Andrew, I know of ONE 5/16" INFI Busse, other than the Badger you are talking about. I have it. It is a BUSSE Desert Warfare Mean Street in full glorious 5/16" INFI with the tan micarta handles. It is one bad looking little dude!
:D :D :D
I believe the original Steel Heart was first made in ATS-34 SS.
well, I think you are all right ! The 5/16" A2 SHII, circa early '90's, is a rare breed indeed. I believe the new Zero Tolerance line will become equally rare in time. Handle one of these babies and you realize why Busses never break. This knife feels, looks and is indestructable. I was lucky to come by one in perfect condition and with a satin finish no less! It also came with its Eagle Sheath (also in perfect shape). Here is a pic of it -


I put the 5/16" SHII alongside a "skinny" regular SHII. Although my photo is not nearly as nice as those provided by Gator in this thread, I think you can see the differences (the 5/16" one is on the bottom).

Man, something else I have to save for. I have a 5/16 DWMS, and you're right, it is sweet. Have to work on one of each in 5/16.
Though the N.O. is the one I carry/use most, the SH is my favorite.
Stomper: I think you're right. I remember reading that somewhere I think. Thanks for the input.

Ronybear: awesome! A 5/16" DWMS brings a whole new meaning to the term "sharpened prybar"!

Contender: OK, that is AWESOME!!!!! That's the first 5/16" Steel Heart I've seen, and it is baaaaad :D !

Thanks for the input guys...the saga of the Steel Heart is even longer and more interesting than I first thought.