I’ve always loved knives. I carry one or two every day, and I’m sure you do as well. As far as I’m concerned they are one of the greatest tools mankind has ever created. Finding a quality knife is fairly easy these days, a simple hop on the web and a little research will find you a few outstanding and budget friendly blades, one of my most favorites is the CRKT M21-14G.
Buying an off the shelf knife is great and all, but that’s boring. I’ve been wanting something more, something special. Enter John Buck and Hammered Knifeworks. Hammered Knifeworks is a small one man operation located in . I contacted John and arranged to get my hands on a couple examples of his work. John is an artist and knifesmith, his blades are great to look at and feel great in the hand. Beyond being pretty, they also work. John makes blades that are made to be used and used hard. These are true “working man’s” blades. It’s difficult to really pin down a type of blade he makes or specializes in because of his versatility in styles and materials. One of my favorite examples of his work is a tanto blade made from a horseshoe. This blade has a heft to it that is almost hard to explain, it’s heavy for it’s size and the curve of the handle fits very well in the hand. Being a mild steel, the blade does tend to dull faster than a harder steel blade but that also means it will take an edge faster as well. He does harden all of his blades which makes this less of an issue though. I discussed with John a few different options to finish the handle off and he suggested a wrap, which can be easily done. John is able to make leather sheaths for his blades as well, we also discussed using in the future as well.
Materials available for blades is about unlimited, he prefers to use carbon steel andin the 1095 and A10 varieties respectively however, if you have a specific request for a blade he is very willing to accommodate. John is able to 3D model custom blades and cut them out to customer specifications. He also does extremely well at re-purposing material into blades. As shown above a blade made from horseshoe is a beautiful thing, another example is a very utilitarian blade made from a railroad spike. The railroad spike blade features a standard that offers a great cutting surface and plenty of power into the material to be cut. Much like the horseshoe, the spike is made from a milder steel but goes through a lengthy hardening process to ensure it keeps a razor edge. He can even work with materials that you provide, as long as it is a steel that lends itself to hardening and forging. I have a bayonet for a that I will never use in it’s current form that will soon be getting the Hammered Knifeworks treatment to be turned into a modern and usable blade. John is also working on creating his own billets of damascus steel. There is also some discussion about hand forged camp axes and tomahawks in the future.
John hand forges, hardens and polishes every blade he makes. It takes him a fair amount of time to produce a blade, but his attention to detail is worth every man hour he puts into it. The end result you get is a fine hand crafted blade that won’t cost you a fortune and will serve you well for years to come. Currently he doesn’t have a store front website up and running. He does however, take orders through his Facebook page and is very prompt in contacting his customers back. So head on over to his page and shoot him a message and he will make you the blade you’ve always wanted. As for now stay safe, train and have a good un’