UNCOVER THE TOP 3 KNIFE-MAKERS
Knife making is an intricate process requiring keen knowledge of the purpose of knives as well as material and design. We shall look at three of the knife makers who revolutionized the knife making industry.
Gil Hibben Custom-made Knives
Gil Hibben works at LaGrange, Kentucky. He grew up during the Great Depression and was one of the pioneers of the knife making industry. Hibben makes custom knives that are used for various purposes; from hunting to chopping. His were the first knives to have mirrored polished blades. Gil-Hibben knives are designed by Gil himself, but now his sons help him in the knife making process.
His custom-made knives include Tantos, Daggers, Tomahawks, Hunting Utility Knives, Kenpo’s, Fighting and Survival Knives. He uses different materials to make his knives, some of which include ivory, ram horns and exotic natural wood. One remarkable thing about Gil is that he does not use guides or jigs in the knife making process. Instead, his knives are handmade and blades are razor sharp. Every knife has a unique design which showcases his creative bent of mind.
Gil also makes knives based on the customers’ demands [or rather, his knives are custom-made]. His knives have often featured in famous Hollywood movies like Rambo III & IV, The Expendables, Official Armourer-of-the-Klingon Empire. Also, of notable mention is the fact that his knives are primarily for outdoorsman. “Big John” is one of the knives made by Gil. It has an 11 5/8 inch blade and a ¼ inch thickness, with a D2 carbon steel and a macassar handle. The knife is 17 1/4 inches long. Big John was one of the first types of original prototype Hibben rendition.
These are also one of the first combat knives used by the U. S Marine Corps. Camillus Cutlery Co. was the first to manufacture these kinds of knives. However, in the years that followed, KA-BAR knives became a trademark knife of the Union Cutlery-Company.
It was later renamed as KA-BAR Cutlery Inc. This knife making company has an interesting history of an Alaskan who was attacked by a bear while he was hunting. According to the story, the bear threw off his rifle and the hunter protected himself by shoving a knife made by the Union Cutlery Company. The bear was one of the strongest and largest of brown bear species. As such, the knife was named after Kodiak bear. And as the bear was pronounced “bar”, that particular knife was considered the strongest of all the knives made by the company. It was decided that the knife be called KA-BAR. There are different customized Ka Bar knives like Ka Bar-9170 U. S Navy OEF, the KABAR Jarosz-Rambler Skeleton-knife, to name but a few.
The Ka Bar knives are used as utility knives and they come in handy as can openers and for digging trenches. Also, a Ka Bar knife is not too expensive. It has a blade of length 4 to 9 inches and its thickness is.165 inches. The knife also comes with a sharp edge and the hilt has a leather handle with a solid pommel. The metal used is either stainless steel or carbon steel. The tip of the blade is slightly bent, and there are five deep grooves in the handle. The Ka Bar name is trademarked on knives used for hunting. The company marked its 120th anniversary this year in April and their knives are available online at Walmart and Amazon.
These knives were manufactured in USA by William Russel-Case. Later, the company was taken over by his sons. Case Knives were made during the First World-War though later, the knives would also be used as a cutlery item. Case knives are easy to carry and are remarkably foldable. This custom knife maker uses heat treatment methods to design the knives, and the handles are made of various materials like precious stones, ancient mammoth ivory, and exotic hardwood. The blade is made of high- carbon high-alloy stainless-steel.
Case Knives are often referred to as pocket knife, and those used for cutlery purposes are mostly made of Chrome vanadium. The knife is also a common cutlery item at the dinner table and comes as a less useful tool for doing light activities. Case Knives have different patterns such as Congress, Bowie, Flipper, Cheetah, Jack knife etc. These knives differ in shapes, carbon content, steel type and thickness. Some case knives are sensitive to corrosion and breakage, even though the knives are generally laminated, hard and rust free. These knives are available online in Shepherd-Hills Lebanon.
Knife makers have evidently brought about a radical change in the volatile industry of tools and equipment. It is interesting to note that the craft of knife making has achieved a different dimension, thanks to the use of different materials with attractive designs. Recently innovative attempts are being made to manufacture knives that do not require sharpening.