Who are the hottest custom makers today?

Discussion in 'General Knife Discussion' started by Ron Sabbagh, Oct 27, 2019.

  1. Sharp & Fiery

    Sharp & Fiery Always Embellish Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    May 14, 2012
    The problem these days is the “hottest maker” is not necessarily the best maker. :/
    Just the best salesperson.
    Alot of the “hottest makers” these days i wouldnt buy a nail from.
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2019
  2. Peter Hartwig

    Peter Hartwig Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 29, 2008
    Pena and Gareth Bull are a couple
    BBW likes this.
  3. Bigfattyt

    Bigfattyt Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 23, 2007
    Jared Oeser
  4. SVTFreak

    SVTFreak Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 8, 2011
    There is no easy answer to this question. You have gotten, and will get, people’s opinion as to who the “hottest” maker is, but they are exactly that. Opinions.
  5. Ron Sabbagh

    Ron Sabbagh Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Sep 15, 1999
    I agree.

    but I'm not looking for opinions on who is the BEST maker. I'm trying to find out who's knives sell out fastest at shows/in highest demand. There should be some non-opinionated data on this.....
  6. SVTFreak

    SVTFreak Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 8, 2011
    Thats a little easier to quantify. But still not reliable. Many makers don’t even go to shows. When it comes to traditionals, I can tell you who didn’t have knives for sale on their tables at 2pm Friday when I walked into blade. Bose, Ploppert, Swenson and Ruple. Some has knives to look at but where sold. Some had packed up and gone home. Bose had knives for lottery. You can’t buy his even if you get to the table first.
  7. hugofeynman

    hugofeynman Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 18, 2011
    I’ll second Rad Knives. His auctions go above 10kUSD and his books are always closed. But he’s not only one of the “hottest” makers, he makes incredible stuff, all made by him (he even forges steel, titanium alloy frames and all the hardware he uses).
    Veesix likes this.
  8. Ron Sabbagh

    Ron Sabbagh Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Sep 15, 1999
    yeah Tony Bose was crazy even 20 years ago. Reese is now near impossible as well. Agree with Ploppert. He doesn't make a high volume and his work is outstanding. Luke Swenson is a relative newcomer. Glad to hear he's in demand.

    I remember paying extra money to get into the N.Y. custom knife show years ago just to get a Bose knife. For $25 you can get in an hour earlier than general admission. So I get there..first in line...and as soon as the doors open...run to his table. Nothing. Not even a toothpick. I shook my head...he said "dealers get first crack at 'em."
  9. NorthernSouthpaw

    NorthernSouthpaw Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 27, 2014
    Just running off some names here. I know there are plenty more. Some are fairly new, some are very well established. All are what I'd consider "Hot Makers". Almost all these guys sell via lottery and open bid at shows. Anything FCFS goes shortly after the doors open. Also their knives can go for silly stupid prices on the secondary market. Most are modern folder makers.

    Pete Carey, Todd Rexford, Brad Southard, Frank Fischer, Jared Oeser, Rob Carter, Tom Mayo, Enrique Pena, Lee Williams, Charles Marlowe, Jason Stout, Michael Raymond, Scott Cook, Kevin Foster, Gus Cecchini, Jared Price, Jon Graham, Ian Picarski, Michael Burch, Tom Krein, Lee Lerman, Peter Rassenti, David Mosier, Ray Laconico, Walter Randolph, Jeremy Marsh.
    JDRanger, BBW and Ron Sabbagh like this.
  10. SVTFreak

    SVTFreak Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 8, 2011
    I’ve met tony twice. Once at blade and once at a crawfish boil in south Louisiana. He was visiting a very good friend of his who I work with. The man is as humble and nice as can be. Showed another old man, even older than him, great respect and admiration for his home made sawblade knives. The man give his patterns out and gives free advise to new makers. The same goes for Luke Swenson. Bubba crouch, Tom Ploppert (met him at the same boil) same way. Meeting those guys and seeing them interact with my buddy (a new maker) makes me not mind spending money with them. The only reason I don’t have a bose is I cannot get one straight from him. I don’t like paying purveyors markups. I’ll try again to win the lottery at blade next year though. Unless I get lucky and get an overflow from my work friend. That’s unlikely though.

    Some of those makers sell out the Thursday night before at private meetings with very select people. Bose and Ploppert for sure.
  11. Mitchell Knives

    Mitchell Knives Knifemaker Moderator

    May 21, 2000
    Well, he would have to actually make a knife first...
    WValtakis likes this.
  12. Ron Sabbagh

    Ron Sabbagh Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Sep 15, 1999
    No doubt. And I didn't mean to insinuate Tony was not a gracious man. In fact, the opposite. He was upset that he had nothing to sell to the customers like us.

    but no doubt that there are those that have special access ....dealer or private collector....

    I don't blame him. He can't make enough for all of us
  13. Sharp & Fiery

    Sharp & Fiery Always Embellish Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    May 14, 2012
    M. Raymond, Richard Rogers, Trevor Burger, Grimsmos, Peter Rassenti and of course, the Holts.
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2019
    sechip and JDRanger like this.
  14. WillB


    Feb 3, 2007
    I had this made via Andy Golts of Apeiron Bladeworks. He has some unique designs and a style for sure. A few of his designs have been picked up by Euro knife company, I forget which.

    Veesix likes this.
  15. marchone

    marchone Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 13, 2013
    Lots of Russian makers too. Shirogorov, Cheburkov and CultroTech, among others, make one-offs that regularly sell to collectors in the thousands.
  16. foxdoublegunner


    Aug 20, 2010
    Bull Ruple’s work is fantastic. He only had one knife left for sale at the SoCal knife show last week and the only reason that it was still for sale was the price. He still had quite a bit of traffic at his table. Mitch Jenkins also makes a fine knife. I bought one of the last ones that he had for sale at the show two years ago. It was a Loveless style gut hook with beautiful stag grips and superb blade. Both are very pleasant people.
  17. sechip


    Feb 27, 2013
    I second Richard Rogers, very difficult to obtain one. (at a reasonable price)
  18. BenchCo Spydermade

    BenchCo Spydermade

    Feb 10, 2014
    I havent found any custom makers who I find even moderately attractive, let alone hot.

Share This Page