The Cutting Edge

The official blog of Knife Depot

Author: Eli Law (page 1 of 2)

Victorinox Retires Wenger Brand Swiss Army Knives

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After about 120 years manufacturing the Swiss Army knife, Wenger SA is retiring from the knife business.

Victorinox, the former rival and current owner of the Wenger brand, announced that it is only going to be selling Swiss Army knives under the Victorinox name from now on.

Wenger, which has now expanded into other areas, including watches and travel gear, will continue to sell these other products however.

The company dates back to 1893 when the cutlery house of Paul Boechat & Cie was given a contract to produce knives for the Swiss Army. The company was later bought and renamed Wenger not many years after. Wenger was successful for a century, serving as a fruitful rival to Victorinox. After 9/11, the company took a big hit when the Swiss Army knives were taken out of airports due to concerns over having sharp objects aboard planes.

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Five Pics of Hot Chicks With Knives

This is a guest post from knife enthusiast and famous woodsman Eli Law.

Sometimes when I’m walking down the street, people say things to me like, “Wow, you’re a really attractive guy, you should be dating a super model. Usually, I just brush it off. But sometimes comments like that make me think about what my perfect woman would look like. I tell you, it’s kind of strange, but these days every vision of the ultimate female I have involves her posing seductively with a razor-sharp knife. Go figure, right?  What about you?  Do you feel the same?

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The Top 4 Gut-Spilling, Fear-Inducing, Knife-Wielding Horror Movie Killers of All Time

This post is affiliated with our Halloween pumpkin carving contest, in which we’re giving away a slew of awesome knives to the top three entries.  We haven’t had many participants yet, which means your odds of winning are increased.  Learn how you can win a badass new knife this Halloween.

The slasher movie is the bread-and-butter of the horror genre:  give a guy a mask, a giant, glistening blade and a few busty cheerleaders to carve up and you’re almost guaranteed to sell a couple million tickets.  At the Cutting Edge, we’re, of course, not encouraging you to use your knives for anything violent, but at the same time, we’d be remiss if we didn’t spend a second during the Halloween season to recognize some of the most brutal slashers in film history.  Here’s our top 4.

Jason

When it comes to knife-wielding villans of the silver screen, few can match the body count of Jason Voorhees from The Friday the 13th Series.  Over twelve movies–one of which occurs 400 years in the future– Jason has slaughtered an incalculable number of victims.  Many have come to a grisly end on the blade of Jason’s machete, a blade which has helped the franchise slash its way to movie sales of over $450 million.

Norman Bates

Based off of the serial killer Ed Gains, who allegedly once constructed a belt made from human nipples, Norman Bates is the terrifying protagonist of the 1960 Alfred Hitchcock movie Psycho.  Bates manages a lonely motel, where he lives with his mother’s corpse and is smitten by a young female guest, who he then decipatates with a butcher knife.  After murdering a private detective who investigates her death, he is eventually caught and sentenced to an insane asylum.

Chucky

Dolls aren’t scary, unless of course they try to kill you.  In the Child’s Play series, which includes six movies since 1998, a serial killer named Chucky uses a voodoo spell to transfer his soul into a toy store doll before dying.  During the next six films, he slashes, strangles and mangles those who get in his way of attempting to becoming human again.

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Enter the Knife Depot Pumpkin Carving Contest, Win A Horrifyingly Badass Blade!

Halloween is upon us, which means it’s time to shake the dust off that Richard Nixon mask, Clockwork Orange codpiece, busty police officer costume or whatever spooky regalia you prefer.  Why be your puny self, when you can morph into Superman, Jesus Christ, Joe Biden or perhaps even America’s most revered superhero, Duffman?

Seriously, Halloween is the perfect holiday to champion your uniqueness and let loose, which is why Knife Depot has decided to celebrate the year’s most ghoulish evening by giving away a couple of our most haunted blades.  Starting today and ending on Halloween we’ll be holding our annual Knife Depot pumpkin carving contest.  The most badass jack-o-‘lantern will win a 7.5-inch Fire Skull Stainless Steel Karambit with sheath.  Second place will take home a 7-inch skull wing pocket knife and third place will score a skull and bones knife with knuckle guard.

To enter, all you have to do is visit the contest page on Facebook and upload a photo of your pumpkin by October 31.  Please make sure to include a piece of paper with “Knife Depot” written on it next to your pumpkin, so we  can verify that it was carved recently.  Good luck and stay sharp during the Halloween season!

1st prize

2nd Prize

3rd Prize

 

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How to make a spear from a survival knife and channel your inner Fred Flintstone

We’ve all been there before: lost in the deep recesses of the woods, with nothing more than a trusty survival knife and an insatiable desire to build a badass spear.  Whether you’re looking to pick up a new survival skill or simply channel your inner Fred Flintstone and impress some friends, spears are not only handy, they’re also downright cool.

Here’s the blow-by-blow on how you can build a spear from a survival knife.  Check out our tips and let us know what you think.

Find a good stick

First, you’ll need to look for a sapling or a stick that’s approximately five feet long.  It’s crucial that your stick is strong, so spend a few moments slashing and waving it around to ensure it’s comfortable and durable.  If you think you found a winner, then chose the flatter side of the stick for the back and the other for the point.

Cut and Shave

Now that you’ve got your wood, hold it downwards at a 45° angle and place your knife approximately 4 inches from the back of the stick. Proceed to shave the stick down at a 45° angle and rotate the stick in your hand so that all edges are sharp and even.  Continue this process until the stick forms a sharp point.

Harden in Fire

Now, you want to place your spear point over the hot coals of fire, rotating it for a few minutes.  This will dry out the wood, making your spear sharper.

Create the Shelf

Find another sapling between 3 and 5 feet.  You will need to cut off the ends to ensure that the stick is flat.  Press your knife on the stick with the whole blade point over the edge and make a mark on on the stick where the blade handle ends with your knife.

Add the Knife

Split the stick in half lengthwise down to the point you made at the end of the knife handle.  From here, use a knife to cut off half of the stick to create the shelf.  Now, lay the knife in the shelf, with the handle on top and the blade sticking out the end of the stick.  Lastly, lash the knife with rope, cord, twine or any other material available and unleash your most primal scream.

Check out the video below for a cool visual tutorial?  Got a better version?  Let us know in the comment section below.

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The Sypderco portable hand, the knife that gave Sypderco their start

Today, Spyderco knives are known across the world for their unique shapes and stellar performance, but have you ever wondered about the early days of this famous knife company?

Spyderco was founded by  Sal Glesser  in 1976, but Glesser’s first product wasn’t actually a knife, but a spider-shaped device  called “The Portable Hand,”  which was the inspiration for the company’s name.

Of course, despite being freakishly cool to look at,  it wasn’t exactly a bestselling product, so Glesser moved on to producing knife sharpeners and eventually folding knives.

In 1981,  he constructed his first folding knife, the CO1 worker, which was the first knife to feature a round hole in the blade that helped it achieve lightning-quick opening.

According to Spyderco, it  was also the first’s knife to feature a pocket clip on the handle.

In those days, Glesser and his wife Gail would travel from knife show to knife show in a converted old bread delivery truck.  Thirty years later, they’re the founders of one of the world’s most premiere knife companies.

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76-year-old sword swallower seeks Guinness record

When most people envision their golden years, Caribbean cruises, leisurely walks on the beach and golf come to mind. Not so for 76-year-old James “Lucky” Ball, a  former insurance salesman, who spends his spare time swallowing swords.

Ball,  who lives in Oakley,  Kansas, has been a prolific sword swallower for 64 years and still perfects the craft in his basement.

Ball  learned how to swallow swords from his parents, both of whom were entertainers in the circus.

 “I asked my mother when are you going to teach me to swallow swords?  And she said right now,'” he said.

Ball’s father  was also a talented sword swallower, who was featured in Robert Ripley’s Believe it or Not.

Ball  no longer works for  the carnival and said that his only performances now are in front of small groups of people.  However, that doesn’t mean he’s lost his sword swallowing ambition: the 76-year-old hopes to make it into the Guinness Book of World Records for being the oldest sword swallower .

“Ok folks, at 76-years-old I can still do the act out of 7 billion people in the entire world. I am the only one who has been doing this for 64 years and I thank you very much,”  he said.

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Knives Save Lives: Man fights off vicious staghound dog with pocket knife

A 69-year-old man was taking a peaceful jaunt down the street with his Jack Russel Terrier in New South Wales, Australia, when a wild, enraged staghound attacked him and his dog.

Undaunted, he used his pocket knife to fend off the beast, slaying it in the process, another prime example in our series of how knives can save lives. 

Staghounds are often used, and, in many cases abused, during the process of hunting wild boars.  These dogs are can weigh up to 130 pounds and are often poorly trained by cruel owners who keep them in small confines.

According to this article from ABC News, these giant staghounds have been wreaking havoc on the Australian town of Wagga Wagga lately. Last month five people were injured when two staghound dogs attacked them and officials say that the unregistered, wild dogs present a continuing problem.

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The Dos and Don’ts of Carrying Knives While Traveling

Leaving your favorite blade at home when going on vacation can be a bummer, especially if it’s something you need for your job.  Since 9/11, intensified security screens have made it increasingly difficult for knife owners to transport knives. A recent article in the New York Times highlighted  the innumerable difficulties these crackdowns have caused on hair stylists, chefs, engineers, knife collectors and others who use knives as a function of their job.

So, what do you do if you must bring your knife on a trip?

The best course of action is to put your knives in your checked luggage, although many knife owners are hesitant to part, even momentarily, from expensive shears or blades.  However, some knife owners are able to buck security and make it through.

According to the article, chef Rey Benavidez is usually able to travel from San Francisco to New York with his chef knives in his carry-on luggage. He packs his knives in a special chef’s kit and even wears his chef jacket.  However, Benavidez said he’s still forced to check his knives, worth approximately $500, at times.

For these occasions, he has GPS tracking tracking chips in his knives and photographs his suitcase contents before flights.

Custom knifemakers who travel frequently to knife shows can have knives worth tens of thousands of dollars that need to be transported.  In this situation, the best course of action is to have these knives shipped via UPS and insured for the full amount.

Ken Onion, a knife maker from Honolulu, said he had 14 custom knives worth about $40,000 stolen from luggage in 2006 on a trip to a show in California. He recommended that travelers buy insurance and that they photograph or videotape luggage contents and the handover to airline employees.

For valuable items, he said, “place them in a Pelican case, with a GPS tracker at the bottom of it,” adding that once his luggage has been checked in, he can follow it via the GPS locator to ensure it is on the same flight.

How about you?  Have you flown with knives since 9/11?  Do you have any advice for those with knives pursuing air travel?  Let us know in the comment section below.

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Australia to prohibit pocket knives, turn farmers into criminals

Considering taking a trip down under this year?  If so, leave your pocket knives at home.

Australia is moving ahead with some of the most repressive anti-knife legislation in the world, prohibiting pocket knives and “flick knives,” and mandating that anyone caught with a pocket knife in public explain to police why they need it or face arrest.

According to a recent article in the Warwick Daily News, this sweeping legislation could turn approximately 50,000 formerly law-abiding citizens into criminals over night.

National Public Relations Manager for Katter’s Australian Party Scott Barrett said enforcing the law was a “restriction of freedom, adding,

“It’s purely a political game they’re playing to give us further restrictions. It’s not criminals that will be targeted by this; it’s farmers and fishermen who might have a knife in their tackle box, or tradies who have one on their tool belt.”

Knife laws in Australia and Europe are generally more restrictive than the United States.  However, recently the city of Boston has considered further regulating pocket knives and New York City has recently been sued by the knife advocacy group Knife Rights for their campaign against knife owners.

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Check out the commemorative “Justice is Done” Osama bin Laden knife

A picture of an Osama bin Laden Folding Knife with "Justice is Down" engraved on the blade

Osama bin Laden is dead.  His body has been dumped into the Arabian Sea, and a treasure trove of information about his murderous intentions, in addition to his massive pornography stash, are being meticulously examined by the CIA.

It has been almost ten years since Sept 11 and for many Americans the death of bin Laden has provided closure to the attacks and a dose of confidence that the American military is closer than ever to wiping out terrorists.

If you’re looking for a memento of this historic occasion, look no further than this badass Boker folding knife.

Made of stainless steel, with a 2 3/4″ blade coated in titanium, this American-made knife multi-purposes for hunting or survival needs. However, its most distinctive feature is the engraving on its blade, which pays tribute to those who lost their lives on September 11, 2001, with the simple, yet powerful inscription, “Justice is Done.”

Frame it, mount it on your mantle, use it to cut back some bush or gut a hog.  Give it to your dad, your mom, your sister, your grandpa or your son.  Regardless of what you intend to do with it, it’s a pretty cool knife and a good way to celebrate the death of a really bad dude who did a lot of really bad stuff to the U.S.

Wanna buy the knife? Check it out here.

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Would America Be Safer If Everyone Was Required To Own A Knife?

We’ve been blogging a lot lately about efforts to regulate knives, such as a proposed law in Nevada that would make it illegal for a parent to carry a pocket knife to a high school football game.

In researching knife laws, I’ve realized they’re often very similar to gun laws: fear-based and irrational.

I recently checked out a pretty cool video about guns in Switzerland.  The Swiss have a proud military tradition and require all males to serve in the militia until the age of 30.  When joining, each Swiss citizen is issued a SIG SG 550 automatic rifle, and must keep the weapon at home during their service in case of an invasion.  The weapons are inspected regularly to make sure that no unauthorized use occurs and incidents of the guns being used for crime are extremely rare. Militiaman are allowed to keep their weapon after the service, though it is removed of its automatic function.

So, the big question, obviously, is what are the results of this novel experiment?

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Preemptive knife law passes House in Utah

The effort to get knives recognized under the Second Amendment saw another success this week after the Utah legislature took steps to pass a law that would prohibit city and local municipalities from regulating the use of knives.

The passage is seen as a victory for knife rights enthusiasts who see this as an important step to preserving the right to carry knives.

Rep. Ryan Wilcox, the sponsor of the bill, was reported in the Desert News saying that knives should be included under the protections of the Second Amendment and shielded from laws made by municipalities.

“I understand the concern of municipalities,” Wilcox said. “On the other hand, there are some rights that are fundamental to our core as a nation and should be protected.”

What the bill would do is make knife laws around Utah consistent so hunters carrying knives in different cities are not violating local restrictions.

The bill, known as HB271, passed the state’s House of Representatives 52-17 and will now go to the state’s Senate for a vote.

Last year, New Hampshire passed a similar law that recognized knives as protected under the Second Amendment. That law tacked knives onto the existing protections of firearms, effectively doing away with most restrictions on buying and carrying knives in the state.

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The Importance of a Knife Handle

About a week ago, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser ran an interview with a Hawaiian chef who teaches at a local college. In the interview, chef Grant Sato shared some important tips everyone should remember when buying and using a knife.

While most of his tips were useful, such as techniques to safely slice food and information on how to sharpen dull knives, he touched on a topic that is widely overlooked when selecting knives: the handles.

For kitchen knives and all types of knives for that matter, it’s important to carefully select the material of your knife’s handle. In the article, Sato made it clear that the handle is the most important part of a knife.

“The blades are all the same,” Sato says. “It’s the material of the handles that are different.”

There are four common types of handle materials, which include wood, composite, stag and metal. Each of these types has its own advantage and drawback.

For experienced knife enthusiasts, wood handles are the most preferred for kitchen knives because they are softer on the hands and protect against bacteria. However, they are harder to clean and don’t usually last for more than two decades.

Composite and metal knife handles are stronger, more durable and the most resistant to corrosion, making them better suited for survival knives.

Before buying your next knife, make sure you’ve thoroughly analyzed the pros and cons of the handle for the type of function your knife will serve.

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Top Five Options For Storing Knives

The importance of properly storing your kitchen knives cannot be understated. Simply throwing the knives in a drawer with other utensils can significantly decrease the life of a knife by making the blade dull and scratched.

The Knife Bag or Knife Roll

An article a few months ago in the New York Times profiled the knife storage bag of an executive chef who said that knife bags are the best for home cooks.

A knife bag, or knife roll, like the one he uses — but not quite so beat up — is a good choice for home cooks, he said. “The knives slip right in and the pockets keep them separate, so the edges don’t burr.”

The Wooden Block

Another popular knife storage method is the wooden block. These are blocks with slots to fit and store knives, but can be difficult to clean. Whenever you put the knives into the knife block, they should always be washed and dry.

magnetic knife holder

Magnetic Knife Holder

Magnetic Strips

This method of knife storage utilizes a magnetic strip installed on a wall to hold the knives in place. These should be installed in areas where people cannot bump them and children cannot reach them. Magnetic strips are among the most sanitary storage options because they can be easily wiped clean.

Drawer Knife Blocks

Similar to the wooden blocks, the these blocks fit into drawers and have slots available to keep the knives from scratching each other.

Knife Sheaths

Knife sheaths are a great alternative to the previous methods but can be time consuming since you have to put them on each knife. Sheaths that do not open up are also difficult to clean so only get guards that have hinges for them to open.

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Quirky releases the Switch, a customizable pocket knife

Quirky, an online retailer with a focus on developing innovative products, has released a new pocket knife called the Switch, which has 17 customizable features.  The pocket knife solves an age old problem: not having the pocket kinfe accessories you need.

The Switch comes in three sizes: small (2-6 tools), medium (6-10 tools) and large (7-13 tools). The knife, which retails for $79, has the following features available:

Standard Knife, Pliers, Scissors, Nail File, Tweezers, Thin Flathead Screwdriver, Phillips-Head Screwdriver, Eyeglass Phillips-Head Screwdriver, Eyeglass Flathead Screwdriver, Wood Saw, Serrated Blade, Corkscrew, Combination Bottle Opener/Flathead Screwdriver, Combination Can Opener/Wire Stripper, Pen, Magnifying Glass, LED Flashlight.

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Pope, Dalai Lama, use new forms of Swiss army knife

Victorinox, the Swiss company that took over production of the Swiss army knife after purchasing Wenger SA in 2005, has attracted a variety of new knife owners by altering the design of the Swiss army knife to satisfy a more modern audience.

An article recently published in Bloomberg discussed the company’s move to new models, some of which are bladeless, and have features like altimeters, temperature gauges and flashlights, alongside more traditional features like screwdrivers and hacksaws.

The popular pen knife, which has a cigar cutter, hole punch and a USB data card, is even used by Pope Benedict and the Dalai Lama.

According to the article, upon taking control of the Swiss army knife, Victorinox immediately began brainstorming a variety of modifications to the traditional Swiss army knife model, including features as unorthodox as an integrated  cell phone, an extendible ruler and a small spoon to remove ear wax.

Although those ideas were eventually rejected, the company did produce a $1,200 knife, which has 87 tools, 14 blades, golf tools and a signal whistle and weighs approximately 7 pounds; the knife even made it into the Guinness Book of World Records.

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The Lowdown on Daggers

Ah, the dagger, one of the world’s most longstanding weapons.  Whether you’re stabbing Caesar 23 times or slicing off the ear of a Roman soldier attempting to arrest Jesus, it’s a great blade to have.

The dagger evolved from prehistoric tools made of flint, ivory or bone, and their function was as backup weapons to maces, axes and javelins.

After guns popped on to the war scene, daggers continued to be used for hand-to-hand combat or stealth killings.

During WWII, the Nazi regime was a big advocate of daggers, which they decorated ornately and wore on their uniforms to show prestige.

So what’s up with daggers today?  Well, they are rarely used for murdering people, but they have become quite popular with collectors.  Here are few of our favorites:

The bagh Nakh

The bagh Nakh is a very intimidating dagger to face off against in man-to-man combat.  This South Asian knife fits over the knuckle and can also be concealed under the palm.  It has between four or five curved bars attached to a crossbar or glove and is designed to rip through skin and muscle.

The Bollock Dagger

Possibly the manliest of daggers, the bollock dagger has two oval swellings at the tip of its shaft resembling the male genitalia.  This dagger was popular in England and Scotland between the 13th and 18th centuries and was commonly carried by outlaws and raiders.

The Cinquedea

The cinqueda is a long dagger that was developed in Northern Italy and enjoyed a period of popularity during the Renaissance. Cinqueda means “five fingers,” which refers to the width of the blade adjacent to the guard.  The cinqueda was mostly used as a thrusting weapon and was carried horizontally next to the buttocks so that it could be drawn laterally from the back.

Scottish Dirks

A Scottish dirk is a longish dagger worn as part of full Highland dress for formal occasions. The blades of Scottish dirks measure 12 inches and are lavishly decorated with silver mounts, pommels and cairngorn stones. Unlike most daggers, Scottish dirks are single-edged and often have decorative art work on the unsharpened edge of the blade.

Jambiyas

Jambiya is an Arabic term for short daggers that are usually worn on a belt.  The jambiya is mostly associated with Yemen, where men over 14 often wear a jambiya as a clothing accessory.  The hilt (handle) of the jambiya is what often determines the price, and certain jilts, like the safani hilt made of rhinoceroses’ horns, can cost up to $1,500 per kilogram.

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Knife Advocates Lobby for Rights

An article in Saturday’s New York Times chronicled the recent success of knife lobbyists across the country to ease restrictions on possessing different kinds of knives.

At the centerpiece of the story was the decision by Arizona lawmakers to put all knife restrictions under control of the state legislature, who then proceeded to abolish the majority of prohibitions.

The burgeoning knife movement is championed by Knife Rights Inc., an advocacy group based in Arizona, which contends that the right to carry knives is protected by the Second amendment, alongside the right to bear arms.

The group also claims that the prohibitions against certain kinds of knives, such as switch blades and/or machetes, have no basis in the potential harm the knives could cause.

It’s ridiculous to talk about the size of the knife as if that makes a difference. If you carry a machete that’s three feet long, it’s no more dangerous than any knife. You can do just as much damage with an inch-long blade, even a box cutter,” said D’Alton Holder, a veteran knife maker who lives in Wickenberg, Ariz.

In addition to its success in Arizona, the group also aided in the overturning of a New Hampshire Law that banned switchblades.

Many of the current knife bans were passed in the 1950s as a result of movies like “West Side Story and “Rebel Without a Cause,” which featured menacing knife use.

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Styles of slip-joint pocket knives

A slip-joint pocket knife is defined as a pocket knife with a blade that doesn’t lock, but is instead held by a spring, which allows the blade to fold when a certain level of pressure is applied.

Slip-joint knives are usually smaller than typical pocket knives. They don’t rely on a multitude of tools and often contain only blades. Here are a few common types of slip-joint pocket knives.

Barlow Knife

A Barlow knife has a long bolster and two blades. Its handle is often elongated and made of a variety of materials. More expensive versions of the knife can have handles made of elaborately carved ivory. The Barlow knife was especially popular among farmers and frontiersman around the turn of the century, and celebrated in literature by Mark Twain.

Congress Knife

The Congress knife has a convex front with either a straight or concave back. It usually has four blades. Though they vary from knife to knife, the blades are usually arranged so that the knife can function in a variety of ways. One common blade combination in congress knives is spear point, coping, sheepsfoot and pen blade.

Canoe Knife

A canoe knife gets its name from its handle, which is shaped like some of the shallow canoes that were used by Native Americans. A canoe knife typically comes with two spear point blades or one spear point blade and one pen blade. It is popular among fisherman for its ability to cut fishing line and perform other fishing-related tasks.

Elephant’s Foot Knife

The elephant’s foot knife, also known as the elephant’s toenail, is one of the largest pocket knives available and is usually in the range of between four and five inches. The elephant’s foot knife usually contains two extremely wide blades.

Stockman Knife

The stockman knife is of average size and usually has three blades, often a clip point blade, sheepsfoot and spey blade. Though there are straight versions of this knife, most stockman knives come in either a serpentine or sowbelly shape.

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