By Blade Editors
BLADE enters the house stretch in observance of its fortieth anniversary through doing a three-part sequence spotting the head forty customized knifemakers over these first forty years (1973-2013).
We compiled a listing of a few of the head makers and submitted it to a panel of professional knife observers and requested them to choose their best 5 to ten and rank them.
Though "top customized knifemakers" might be subjective, we want to imagine a best maker is one that excelled by way of environment a regular that different makers tried to emulate, and/or excelled in caliber of craftmanship, originality, and creativity - or both.
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Additional info for BLADE's Best Knifemakers: The Best Knifemakers of BLADE's First 40 Years
E. ” JIM SCHMIDT Lobred: “Jim was the epitome of sole authorship. Collectors loved both the man and his knives. He was a gentle giant. His early work with damascus helped create techniques that are still used today. His ladder-pattern damascus was and is as good as it gets. His designs were new and novel, especially his carved gargoyle pieces. He became almost an overnight sensation and his work claims record prices today. ” Harvey: “A wonderfully talented craftsman who also possessed a rare artistic gift.
As a result, we asked our panel members which one or ones we had left out and to rank them in their lists, too. com, Daniel O’Malley of BladeGallery, Neil Ostroff of True North Knives, Les Robertson of Robertson’s Custom Cutlery, Paul Shindler of Knife Legends and Dave Stark of Steel Addiction Custom Knives, and knife collectors Peter Gill and Chris Schluter. PHIL BOGUSZEWSKI Ostroff: “Phil’s flipper folders did the talking—once you had a feel for a ‘Bogie,’ you were hooked. ” TOM MAYO Stark: “Tom’s following and fan base has almost become cult like.
His knives follow a story line and his methods allow his work to have perfect fit and finish, but always look old. ” Ward: “Jim does not strive for perfect fit and finish but endeavors to have his knives look as historical as possible. ” GIL HIBBEN Ward: “When I think of fantasy knives ‘of the future,’ I think of Gil Hibben. ” Overton: “The first custom catalog I ever got was the Ben-Hibben catalog. It enabled me to understand a collector piece in its own right. He did a lot to popularize 440C as an upscale, high-performing blade material.
BLADE's Best Knifemakers: The Best Knifemakers of BLADE's First 40 Years by Blade Editors