Viral videos are often lame, but every now and again a video permeates the knife community by perfectly capturing what we have known all along and what the world at large often forgets: knives are awesome.
Here’s the back story before we get into what I love about the video.
According to an interview with The Washington Post, 22-year-old Chelsey Ryan was hosting a party Labor Day weekend when she Snapchatted a video of her 5-year-old cousin who was being particularly rambunctious that day.
If you think knife throwing is just for odd-looking folks who perform stunts at the freak show, where have you been the last few decades? Just last week, even The New York Times wrote a fascinating story about the sport of knife throwing.
In honor of the growing sport, our latest Badass Knife of the Week is a set of throwers for beginners and experts alike.
The United Cutlery Lightning Bolt Triple Throwing Set is billed as the first-ever self-defense throwing knife set that you can carry discreetly. While self-defense isn’t the most practical purpose for this set, the knives make a darn good set of throwers for those looking to break into the hobby.
Here’s a look at the silver versions:
Each of the three 5.5-inch throwers is made from a single piece of AUS-6 stainless steel with black coating, which bolsters the durability of the knife and dampens the reflective property of the steel.
It’s another one of those what-is-this-world-coming-to stories.
An eighth grader at a middle school in Pennsylvania was suspended for three days and may face a 10-day suspension after accidentally bringing a pocket knife to school. The story wouldn’t be so shocking thanks to school policies these days, but the boy had actually done the right thing and immediately turned his knife into the principal when he realized it was in his pocket.
Doing the right thing did not matter. He was immediately suspended.
“The safety and well-being of our students and staff is paramount,” Superintendent Keith Hartbauer said to Pittsburg’s Action News 4. “We will follow our district’s policy, procedures, and solicitor’s recommendation regarding this discipline incident.”
It must be long enough to be a sword, sharp enough to use as a razor, wide enough to use as a paddle, and heavy enough to use as a hatchet.
That quote from a historian perfectly sums up the versatility and diversity of design represented in the legendary Bowie knife.
There is no single item with a stronger connection to the American experiment than the Bowie knife. So where exactly did the Bowie knife come from and just what is a Bowie knife? We’re here to answer your questions.
What is a Bowie Knife?
Before we delve deeper into the history of the knife, here’s what the experts say is the consensus Bowie knife design.
I fooled you. There isn’t one. Different historians and knife enthusiasts will tell you different things. Some say any large knife with a blade exceeding five inches is a Bowie knife. Other says a Bowie knife must have a double-edged point.
In general, most would say a Bowie knife is a large fixed blade (although you will find the occasional folding Bowie like the Spyderco Slysz Bowie) with a clip point blade. A hand guard is often a staple of the Bowie but not necessary.
This Winchester Bowie is something that’s reminiscent of a knife people think you would see in the old American frontier.
I wouldn’t say it’s the quintessential Bowie knife because there are better quality versions out there, but this is what many see when they think Bowie knife.
The Man Behind the Knife
It’s impossible to trace the lineage of the famed Bowie knife without an earnest look at the knife’s namesake: James Bowie. Back in 2010, one of the contributors to this blog wrote a nice profile about Bowie, but it’s important to provide some context.
When someone sees the iconic red scales and that familiar emblem with a cross coming out of your pocket, they know exactly the type of person you are: a go-getter who’s self-sufficient and resourceful.
The Swiss Army Knife is one of the most iconic tools of all time, but those of us who already carry far too many things in the pocket may be opposed to stuffing a multitool in there as well.
Although it may not sound interesting, the Freedom of Commerce Act was brought to light with the help of the American Knife & Tool Institute and CJ Buck of Buck Knives and would repeal the Federal Switchblade Act of 1958 and remove prohibitions on free trade, interstate commerce, and consumer choice.
The bill, introduced by Sen. Mike Crap (R-ID), would allow people to buy automatic knives across state lines as long as it is legal in their jurisdiction.
“In states allowing the possession of switchblades, it is imperative that law-abiding citizens and sportsmen have the ability to buy and sell the tools vital to their trade,” said Crapo in a statement. “This measure would remove one of the many federal regulatory burdens that have hindered manufacturing growth, interstate commerce and consumer practices for far too long.”
So much content exists out there that it’s easy to miss something that’s really cool and informative. Even a guy like me who’s paid to notice everything that goes on in the knife world can miss a thing or two. But some things are still cool even after they’re a little old.
Brandmade.TV is a YouTube channel that makes pretty interesting and in-depth videos on how famous products are made — like a Pelican Case, Samuel Adams Beer, and Pyrex Measuring Cup. Although the channel hasn’t put out videos for a year, three of the videos in the archives focused on iconic knives. Let’s take a look.
Buck 110 Folding Hunter
The 110 is one of the most iconic knives of all time and became so prevalent that any knife in that style is known as a Buck knife. The video features an interview with CJ Buck, who’s the chairman and CEO of the company, on the process the knives go through to get to their final state.
Wenger Swiss Army Knife
Remember Wenger? In case you don’t, Wenger was known as the maker of the “Genuine Swiss Army Knife” (vs. Victorinox’s “Original Swiss Army Knife” tagline) before it was bought out by its main competitor Victorinox in 2005. Then, in 2013, Victorinox announced that there would no longer be two separate brands and merged the two together under Victorinox. Although some Wenger designs still exists, they’re under a different name.
If you’ve ever bought something from an online store, you may have noticed the term MAP in fine print somewhere. Standing for Minimum Advertised Pricing, MAP plays a pretty big role in how much you pay for things — whether it’s knives, water canteens, or televisions.
Because we are a knife store, we thought we’d look at the pros and cons of MAP policies and how they affect you.
What is Minimum Advertised Pricing (MAP)?
We’ll start with the basic definition: MAP is a policy that sets the lowest possible price you can advertise something. For online stores, this means that the prices displayed must be at or above the amount established by the manufacturer.
To be clear, MAP only deals with the minimum advertised price, not necessarily how much the item can actually be sold for. So even at online stores, you can buy items conforming to MAP at cheaper prices. More on that later though.
Another thing to clarify is that not all manufacturers have MAP policies. Only a few actually have the policies and I think even fewer really enforce the policies. We’ll go into detail later but knife brands like Schrade, Case, and KA-BAR don’t have MAP policies while others like Benchmade, Spyderco, and Hogue do.
What is Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP)?
You’ve likely seen MSRP next to prices as well. This is the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price or what price the manufacturer thinks the item should be sold at. This is just a general guideline and you’ll often see the street price significantly lower on these items (especially if they don’t have a MAP policy).
Why Does MAP Exist?
There are often raging debates about the benefits and drawbacks of MAP policies on BladeForums.
For the consumer, MAP can feel like a greedy money grab from manufacturers who are trying to keep prices high. I understand where that’s coming from too. MAP can prevent consumers from getting deals on their products and it prevents stores with the means to sell at lower margins.
When you need a lightweight but powerful fixed blade that’ll fade into the background until you need it most, reach for the Cold Steel Kobun.
“Kobun” is Japanese for “soldier,” and that’s no coincidence. This knife performs dutifully and fearlessly in all types of situations — whether you’re carrying it as a backup self-defense boot knife or using it as an EDC fixed blade.
This easily concealable Tanto style knife boasts a 5.5-inch blade made from AUS8A stainless steel, which is tough and corrosion resistant. The blade profile features a reinforced point that can pierce some of the most fibrous materials. A slight recurve along the cutting edge provides a deeper belly.
When things get rough or situations are unknown, there’s nothing more comfortable than knowing you’ve got a back-up plan tucked away in your steel-toe boots.
Boot knives can be used for everything, from survival situations to last resort self-defense. Since they’re often concealed and frequently feature dual-edged blades, you should check with your local laws to see whether there are any restrictions.
But if you’re looking to pick up a new boot knife, these seven are among the best on the market.
Forged from one solid piece of steel, the Sting is a knife from the great A.G. Russell that features a simple but effective design as reliable as when it was first introduced in the 1970s. The overall length is just under 7 inches with a roughly 3.2-inch dual-edge blade. The blade and handle are made of 1050 carbon steel coated with a black powder finish.
A good sheath is essential in a boot knife, and the Sting delivers on that end. It comes with a custom nylon-stitched sheath with a glass reinforced nylon insert. Russell updated the design not long ago with the Sting 3B, but the original remains one of the best.
Smith & Wesson SWHRT9B H.R.T. Boot Knife
There are three boot knives on this list with nearly identical designs as the Smith & Wesson SWHRT9B H.R.T. Boot Knife, but we’ve received nothing but praises about the knife. This is one of the best-selling knives at Knife Depot. As I’ve written before, the knife is the perfect choice for a last-ditch weapon when things get rough.
A 4.74-inch double-edged blade is made from 7Cr17 high carbon stainless steel and coated with black Teflon. Its shapely handle is wrapped in black rubber while the grooved rings provide extra grip when holding the knife.
The leather sheath holds the knife in place with snap fastener.
Cold Steel Kobun
The Cold Steel Kobun is less of a dedicated boot knife than the others but it is more than capable of hanging around on your boot in wait of some action. At 4.4 ounces, the Kobun weighs less than the S&W boot knife with a longer blade. The 5.5-inch blade is made from Japanese AUS 8A stainless steel and features the American-style tanto blade that offers a durable design. It’s definitely on the larger end of a boot knife.