I’ve been bemoaning the fact that 2017 was pretty devoid of much ‘new’ in the way of NEW products. So many of the new releases were just reworks of old knives we’ve seen before and the excitement level was pretty low. I hope that’s not the way of the future.
Probably the most exciting truly new item was the release of the Schatt & Morgan Express Knives. And in reality, this is a rework of another series of old knives but at least it was new to most of us. The acceptance wasn’t as wide as a more conventional traditional folder, but the guys into collecting the old auto’s seemed to love it.
When I got to thinking about neat older knives, a couple of pieces I’ve acquired this past year came to mind. Now they’re not necessarily anything I think needs to be re-released, their uniqueness is interesting.
The first piece that ranks high on the the cool list was the Cattaraugus King of the Woods “Yukon” that I picked up at an auction. I sold it this fall to a collector that was thrilled to get his hands on it due to it’s rarity. It was truly a big old workhorse of a knife.
Another work horse is the Western States lockback. It’s lock mechanism is very similar to the more recent GEC Bull Lock. Again, like the Cattaraugus, this is a big knife that was made to be used by the serious hunter, trapper and farmer.
I have to believe that in their day, these knives were met with wild enthusiasm by the serious outdoorsman. Today, knives like these would immediately be popular sellers but unfortunately most would end up in display cases. The world has changed and the need for a heavy duty work knife that will actually get used is rare.
From work knives, I have a couple of ‘fun’ knives. I’ve always liked looking at some of the smaller, miniature knives. This little hunter caught my eye primarily due to the chunk of stag used in the handle. The overall quality of the knife is great. The tang stamp is simply “Solingen”. Wish I had the original sheath. They may not be practical but I think it’s a holdover from my youth that they just looked cool.
And speaking of original sheaths, this little Mora is a true gem. I had a guy I’ve known for a number of years show up at a gun show and ask me if I was interested in buying it. It didn’t take long to say yes.
The quality of the embellishment on the sheath is fantastic. The knife has obviously been used and put away wet more then once without a good cleaning. It’s amazing the sheath is in the condition it is. Someday I have to work on cleaning up the blade. It’s not deeply pitted, just stained.
Not so long ago, I asked what would it take to create some excitement in the knife world like we saw 8 or 9 years ago. Personally, as a huge fan of the of the premium steels, I hope we see more manufacturers use them in more of the traditional patterns.
I hope the legislative changes that seem to be taking place across the country continues and we see a wider acceptance of practical auto’s. There’s definitely a place for more reasonably priced, high quality auto’s that are built with the sportsman in mind. I’m not talking about $250+ tactical style auto’s but how about a nice GEC #23 auto? Congrats to Buck for taking the step they did.
Wouldn’t it also be great to see more companies take the lead from Spyderco’s Mule Team project and put out some ‘experimental’ blades for folks to try? Spyderco deserves an award for taking the initiative and having the creativity they’ve shown with that project. I know it’s given me the opportunity and motivation to try some different blade steels without spending a ton of cash.
There are so many other ideas that are possible. All I can do is hope!!!!