What's the Best Bowie for the Buck?

Oct 27, 1998
Looking for a "real bowie" looks wise, wood or bone handle. I plan on using it alot, so I don't want to invest too much.
Also, what would be a good $100-$200 survival or jungle knife? Thanks for any comments.


I would suggest the Cold Steel Trailmaster - you can choose between 4 types of steel and two types of handle material and if you are going to really abuse the knife buy a "factory second" from Cold Steel Special Projects for around $130.00.
I second Deon's. Trailmaster is the one to go for. But for another $100 more, I'll suggest the Busse Battle Mistress.

I would go with a "Mineral Mountain" bowie from Ted Frizzell (sp???)

Handmade, several sizes and variations, not much more money than a Trailmaster.

He occasionally has a few on hand. These are some seriously over built working bowies.

I agree with the other posts, the Trailmaster is also a good "hard user".
For the most bang for your buck under $50 check out the Ontario Spec line. Bowies,Bolo's,Machetes,Fighters etc all blackened 1095 steel. My Carlson Bowie is a real workhorse and I paid $36 about 3 years ago and its still performing.Made in USA also

The Sp-Plus line form Ontario is probably the low-end, but a good value.

The Tralimaster is probaly middle end, but the hype may turn you off, or you may dislike the style.

The Mineral Mountain Hatchet Works Bowie, would be a no-nonsense tool, very tough, you can get any number of styles, or a custom variation for a resonable price. And Ted is a great guy to talk too. As well, they have a winter sale coming up.

Marion David Poff fka Eye, one can msg me at mdpoff@hotmail.com

Patiently waiting for the Spyderco SpydeRench, Lum Chinese Chopper Folder, Rolling Lock, Benchmade M2 Axis, M2 Axis AFCK, M2 Pinnacle and the REKAT Escalator and Pat Crawford Design.

"The victorious Warrior wins first and then goes to war, while the defeated Warrior goes to war and then seeks to win" Sun-Tzu

If you want traditional styling, low cost m, decent performance, try the Western Cutlery WW 49, big, aboutr 10' blade , 440 stainless, rosewood handle, really well mafde leather sheath. Very Traditional styling. Well under $100, probally closer to $50.

Best Regards,

Will Fennell/EDI Knives

Yeah...I second the W49 suggestion. Mine is an old carbon steel model.Works well.
You will find it difficult to find working bowie any better without paying a whole lot more.

One day I will modify the double guard, though. There is just too much of it for my taste. Mine needs a new sheath, too....Kydex might be nice.

Brian W E
ICQ #21525343

I'll throw this out in case anyone's interested, it's a bit off topic. If you want a *fighter*, a hand-balanced masterpiece at a good price for such, Ernie Mayer at Black Cloud is the guy to see. Good full-tilt fighters from him start at $200. He does more fighters than he does workhorses, not that I'd call his stuff weak.

Jim March
I have just started using the Spec Ops Jungle Machete from United Cutlery and I am impressed with it so far.It has a tough 3/16" ATS34 stainless blade with a strong point and I think it might make a good "camp" or "survival" knife.I like the Ontario Marine Raider Bowie but it has a weak point I think.It is a good chopper though.
I would go with a Jim Hrisoulas bowie at Salamander Armoury, I just order one from him he e-mail me and said it was done but have not got it yet. It will have a 12" blade that is 1.5 wide with stag handles. cost $220+$5sh
total is$225 for a hand forged knife. Don't think you can go wrong with it at that price. When I get mine I will post pictures of it and tell everybody how I like it.
I just recieved the new Cutlery Shoppe catalog. The 10" Marbles Trailmaker would meet your requirements.