Which Randall?

Apr 8, 1999
I want a Randall Bowie..could do worse, could do better, perhaps..just want one. Which one? I'm looking at a Randall 12 but what do people think. Other opinions? The Randall is decided, just the model, pros and cons. Thanks.
Doesn't it all depend on what you wish to do with it? Aren't there something like 7 cataloged Randall mdl 12 shapes ranging from 6" to at least 13" and perhaps as many uncataloged ones? Doesn't it kinda depend on what you want the knife for?

Me? I say collect at least one of each shape in every possible handle variation. OR.... just buy the one that best suits your own perception of your needs, and to heck with what strangers think.

Think about what you really want the knife to do. This should help pick out the blade length and profile. What handle do you find to be the best fit. There really are so many variations that picking the right one is not as easy as might first think.

If you want something for unders a banker's light, I would suggest on of their really big bowies but, for a general using knife the #1 is the one I think most people think of and remember. For something more practical for normal everyday uses a 5 inch length may be just the ticket to fill your weekend camping trip with memories for years to come.

I agree with Sid, the #1 is known all over and historical. But that big Smithsonian Bowie sure looks good.
I like the #14. Big, but not too big. Enought weight in the blade for chopping if needed and a good shape for skinning, with plenty of belly. a great all-around tool. Hard to beat, in my book. Although, that Smithsonian.......

Please excuse the crayon. They won't let us have anything sharp in here.

I have a 38 year old 6" Hunter's Bowie and a 20 year old No. 1 at 7". If you want a fighter or a knife for use when going in harm's way, get the No. 1. It has the history that shows it to be effective in all such situations. If you want a camp knife, get the 6" Hunter's Bowie. It is every bit as strong, but it does not have a top quillon. This would protect your hand in a knife fight, but is a bother when trying to do controlled cutting in a camp environment. The lack of one on the Hunter's Bowie allows you to choke up on the blade for control or to push down on the back for strength.

Now, for nostalgia's sake, I love the Smithsonian Bowie, as noted elsewhewre, and intend to buy one some day.

Walk in the Light,
Fuller, the other thing that is nice about the #1 is the price. For a hand made forged knife, that has got to be one of the best deals going.
I agree with all who say what is the intended use? I've got several Randalls including the 14, 15, and 16. If Slick was sending me to Albania, I'd have the 14 on my pistol belt and the 15 attached to web harness suspenders. But if you are looking for a good all around field knife get the 16 with the single guard. If its going to be a wallhanger then by all means go with the Smithsonian with your own personal options. You'll have 18 months to two years to save up the money before delivery.


who dares, wins