Any Alternatives in the UK - all the knives look the same

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airborne09

Tenderfoot
Dec 9, 2016
70
22
North East
Hello ,
just for the record , and without any of what I say being taken out of context (please) , I prefer to buy from a UK maker but if they do not produce what I am after at a reasonable price then I will obviously look elsewhere as most people would . I also have nothing but praise for the quality of most British knife makers , I just prefer a different style to what mostly is on offer . In the past I used to make my own Scandi style knives and have a reasonable idea of what constitutes a quality knife from the forging process to the handle style and sheath making . I only wish one could ask a question without being shot down in flames , it creates much bad feeling dont you think ?
 

Lore

Forager
Dec 19, 2003
102
15
Co Meath, Ireland

Lots to choose from.......

Welcome to Sheffield Knives​

J. Adams Ltd (Sheffield Knives) is a family business which has been making good quality knives for six generations; we are the parent company for three other old established manufacturers F.E & J.R.Hopkinson Ltd, established 14 June 1944, John Nowill & Sons Ltd, whose corporate name was granted by the Cutlers Company of Hallamshire on 27 April 1700 A.D. and Austin McGillivray & Co.

If you have any specific requirements and cannot find the items you are looking for or if you have any difficulties using our ecommerce store then please call us on +44 (0) 114 272 3612 or Email Sheffield Knives.
 

EdS

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Not UK but Commonwealth: The Canadian Grohman-Russell knives may be ordered with stag and either SS or carbon from a delightful bird/trout knife, the classic up to a survival version.
Since I got a factory second one of these is my go to blade.

Pretty does everything I want. Food prep, small game (dozens of pheasant) and light wood fettling.

And is aesthetically pleasing

Other than that an opinel 7 as pocket - mostly where i might loose a fixed blade / don't carry a sack or big pockets. I don't like belt carry
 

airborne09

Tenderfoot
Dec 9, 2016
70
22
North East
Thanks again guys ,
Its like I said EdS , a small much cheaper knife and your Opinel 7 which you carry will do most light bushcraft work and as long as you use it within its parameters it would be ideal , horses for courses and everyone has their own preferences in knives . I have a thing about stag handled knives as I had a really good but cheap 6 1/2" (OAL) Sheffield made one when I was a boy and its what I used to skin my first rabbit with , I wish I still had it .
Thanks
 

marcoruhland

Full Member
Apr 23, 2020
50
23
Germany
may be the reason for that ("all knives look the same") is that there is a "best" possible shape for a large universal buscraftknife in our vegetation zone (gb, northern europe or us /can etc.)
and if you look for the "best" premium steel ( m390, elmax, cpm-3v, s35vn, h1 or what other steel you might it is ) too from a custom knife maker than you have to pay the price - so there ar many people who pay exorbitant prices because they want not must - because a knife is a tool but more artwork as well for them

mr
 

Spirit fish

Banned
Aug 12, 2021
338
73
28
Doncaster
Hello All ,
I hope I don't offend anyone on the forum by posting this thread but I do think it is a subject that needs to be addressed. The subject I would like to discuss is alternative style custom made camping / hunting knives made in the UK. I don't know what most members think but I have been around knives most of my life and I am 63 now and in my opinion its very hard when looking for a decent quality hunting / camping knife by UK knife makers to find any alternative styles other than the majority which seem to be based on or around the Famous Woodlore model.

Now I am not criticising the makers or their knives because there are many who make excellent strong, sturdy camping / bushcraft knives that will outlive all of us if looked after correctly. They use some wonderful modern day steels that stand up to the rigours of most campcraft duties and they use beautiful native woods in their manufacture. The only problem I can't get my head around is that they all look very similar in their general shape of both blade and handle. I suppose the point can be argued that it works, so don't change the fundamentals and ergonomics of this particular style, but by the same token so do many other styles of bushcraft knifes with the exception that there are many different styles out there which aesthetically appeal to lots of users.

I think the point I am trying to make is that on a personal basis, if possible and taking price into account, I would prefer to buy British from a patriotic stand point but I really do not like the Woodlore style of knife. I prefer a nice stag handled 7 1/2" to 8" slightly arched , drop point style knife with a quality practical blade with a slight recurve. For all it works the Woodlore style of knife just lacks a little aesthetic imagination and lets face it we all like the look of whatever style knife we buy or we probably wouldn't buy it in the first place .

Like I said I don't want to hurt peoples feelings with my own views but surely there are people here who would agree with me .

Thanks
to me a knife is a knife if it's sharp itl do , fashion doesn't interest me , iv gutted game by snapping leg bone and using fracture without using a knife , for me it's a mo ra basic anyday
 

Billy-o

Native
Apr 19, 2018
1,855
868
Canada
Just FYI, re a reference above: When I contacted Marc Jacobs a few months ago, he said he wasn't making knives now. Bugger, I said.

I picked up an Aberg knife last year. In general profile it is brilliant, but the thickness behind the edge was terrible. So, I scrubbed it on some sandpaper for a while. Came out very well. So much so that it put me off ordering a nice one in A2 from Mr Ingram. If you can find one affordably and are prepared to do that, I'd recommend it as a route. (Stefan Aberg is not UK, btw).

Look out for this guy - - he was on here for a bit but I haven't seen him since we squabbled over nothing much. But his knives look very good and I really would like one myself.

Alan Wood does a Lakes (among other things), which I think is pretty useful looking. Covers all bases for touring and hanging about. But Alan Wood does a lot of very good knives and understands how they work at all sorts of scales. His Bird and Trout, Woodsman etc are all good and he'll make you the pattern you ask for, in the grind you ask for (offering advice if he thinks there might be a better option). His work is not so much a treat - though its that certainly - more a verity.

And, of course, the best thing is that all these people work with carbon steel.

But, I think what the world could really do with is some makers who will take a pretty accurate drawing and make that knife for you out of what you want (or at least offer a few steel/handle options). I have three or four knife patterns that I have cut out of 1/4" board. All perfect, except that they are made of 1/4" board and not steel. Drawing a blade outline is pretty simple. The magic is all in the dimensionality of the handle.
 
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Laurentius

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Aug 13, 2009
2,090
353
Knowhere

Welcome to Sheffield Knives​

J. Adams Ltd (Sheffield Knives) is a family business which has been making good quality knives for six generations; we are the parent company for three other old established manufacturers F.E & J.R.Hopkinson Ltd, established 14 June 1944, John Nowill & Sons Ltd, whose corporate name was granted by the Cutlers Company of Hallamshire on 27 April 1700 A.D. and Austin McGillivray & Co.

If you have any specific requirements and cannot find the items you are looking for or if you have any difficulties using our ecommerce store then please call us on +44 (0) 114 272 3612 or Email Sheffield Knives.
[/QUOTE]
Indeed I have had dealings with this company for some time, buying blank blades for me to handle. Jack Adams himself was making knives into his eighties but he has sadly passed away now, however the tradition is still going. I remember Jack saying how they supplied the steel for Reg Cooper to make his knives, so there you go. I bought my first knife from the company as teenager from a fishing tackle shop in Whitby, and it cost me the grand sum of 18 shillings and sixpence saved out of my meagre pocket money :)
 
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Spirit fish

Banned
Aug 12, 2021
338
73
28
Doncaster

Welcome to Sheffield Knives​

J. Adams Ltd (Sheffield Knives) is a family business which has been making good quality knives for six generations; we are the parent company for three other old established manufacturers F.E & J.R.Hopkinson Ltd, established 14 June 1944, John Nowill & Sons Ltd, whose corporate name was granted by the Cutlers Company of Hallamshire on 27 April 1700 A.D. and Austin McGillivray & Co.

If you have any specific requirements and cannot find the items you are looking for or if you have any difficulties using our ecommerce store then please call us on +44 (0) 114 272 3612 or Email Sheffield Knives.
Indeed I have had dealings with this company for some time, buying blank blades for me to handle. Jack Adams himself was making knives into his eighties but he has sadly passed away now, however the tradition is still going. I remember Jack saying how they supplied the steel for Reg Cooper to make his knives, so there you go. I bought my first knife from the company as teenager from a fishing tackle shop in Whitby, and it cost me the grand sum of 18 shillings and sixpence saved out of my meagre pocket money :)
[/QUOTE]
I'm currently living close to sheff near mexbrough I might get a Sheffield steel knife one day there really high quality from what iv heard
 

swyn

Full Member
Nov 24, 2004
898
35
Eastwards!
I agree with the sentiment that most ‘Bushcraft’ knives look pretty much the same. Similar ‘survival’ types.
Thats probably coz they are constructed to do pretty much the same thing ie, a one fits all situation. So they will ‘do’ a multitude of tasks reasonably well but not one specific task in any way other than it will eventually be finished.
Certain knives are just silly money and I have never been a speculator in this field.
I have a number of fixed and folding knives dating back a good number of years from blades that I bought for specific purposes and acquisitions that simply took my eye at the time. Very few, except those I know I have somewhere but can’t remember where they have been put, are regularly used, perhaps not daily or weekly but I know that I can reach for them if the need arises.
I have a 1960’s copy of a ww2 German fixed blade that I use for cutting fibreglass insulation and rolls of damp proof. This sits in my Masons tool bag, the blade holds a good edge.
An Australian shepherds folder in my workshop used for general purpose things, gifted to me during my travels out there.
A small fish shaped folder gifted to me by a beautiful Italian lady which is on my car key ring.
A handsome C Claycombe camp knife that is regularly used for camping and outdoor cooking during times when we are enjoying our outdoor camping spot.
A Swisstool. A SS and a carbon Mora in specific spots to hand when required.
A pretty Mick Langley knife that is used for dressing game and is superb at this job.
A Tekut Zero Chinese folder as an every day carry knife.
A Spanish folder that I fell in love with recently as the olive handle is superb.
Not forgetting my wife’s Svord peasant and Fallkniven folder kept in the feed shed and polytunnel respectively.
I bought a Damascus kitchen knife blank from Dave Budd, fitted a cherry handle and gave this to my youngest daughter as well as gifting a SS skandi knife to my eldest girl when she went to work in Oz.
There’s a SLR bayonet, a Kukri, a bowie type sheath knife and a mother of pearl handled flick knife hiding in drawers somewhere.
Not all these would suit small hands and to be honest the bayonet has such a silly small handle it is not a lot of use other than what it was designed for. Fitting to the barrel of your rifle!
If I wanted a specific knife I would probably make a wooden template and then commission a knife-maker to create the blade in whichever steel was required.
Now that would be a fun process…
I’d like to play with Benchmade Bugout and Freek knives I like them from the engineering perspective and they look very handsome. Carbon fibre features here in their design.
There is a review on a hollow handled bushcraft knife which was a good read. The Ice Station in the Arctic(?) featured and the knife was made with the most exacting engineering principals that tickled my magpie mind.
Folders make fantastic presents too.
S.
 

robevs73

Maker
Sep 17, 2008
3,019
192
48
llanelli
Interesting thread.
If I was a hunting and fishing guy I'd probably make my own in a decent stainless with linen micarta handle, I wouldn't use antler , technologies have moved on. I can understand that you want something astheticaly pleasing but surely something easy to clean and sharpen is best for game prep.
The Canadian Groman knives were mentioned earlier and they fit the bill, also Casstrom make good mid price knives, the Alan Wood model is definitely worth looking at.
You're not getting a custom knife on a £100-£130 budget from a good maker here in the UK.
All the best with your search.

P.s I also thought you were talking about a larger knife in the original post.
 

mic201m

Member
Oct 28, 2004
37
10
Hertfordshire
these posts always amaze me , £ 100-130 for a knife and sheath wow.
after the cost of materials you must be a very fast worker to make everything
in a few hours , well done!!
 
Last edited:

Murat_Cyp

Full Member
Sep 16, 2020
107
28
39
East Midlands
Yeah, I also felt that I wasted my time by posting a detailed post to this thread when realised that the OP was hoping to buy such a knife at 100 - 130 £

There are some definitely good buys from custom UK makers in the range of £ 150 to 200 £ including a sheath. But these are more basic and less labour intensive materials and designs. You will not get a properly heat treated stainless with a good symmetry hollow grind and hidden tang in good quality sambar stag. In the US, yes you can buy something like that for around £ 200, but not anywhere in the range of 100 - 130.

The closest fit to the OP definition is Dreadnought forges loveless semi skinner knife. They used to be around 150 including a handmade leather sheath. Now they are in the region of £ 180. However, there is no value to this suggestion now, since this thread is quite old.
 
Last edited:

ianpatt

Full Member
Feb 26, 2013
22
7
56
Essex
Hello All ,
I hope I don't offend anyone on the forum by posting this thread but I do think it is a subject that needs to be addressed. The subject I would like to discuss is alternative style custom made camping / hunting knives made in the UK. I don't know what most members think but I have been around knives most of my life and I am 63 now and in my opinion its very hard when looking for a decent quality hunting / camping knife by UK knife makers to find any alternative styles other than the majority which seem to be based on or around the Famous Woodlore model.

Now I am not criticising the makers or their knives because there are many who make excellent strong, sturdy camping / bushcraft knives that will outlive all of us if looked after correctly. They use some wonderful modern day steels that stand up to the rigours of most campcraft duties and they use beautiful native woods in their manufacture. The only problem I can't get my head around is that they all look very similar in their general shape of both blade and handle. I suppose the point can be argued that it works, so don't change the fundamentals and ergonomics of this particular style, but by the same token so do many other styles of bushcraft knifes with the exception that there are many different styles out there which aesthetically appeal to lots of users.

I think the point I am trying to make is that on a personal basis, if possible and taking price into account, I would prefer to buy British from a patriotic stand point but I really do not like the Woodlore style of knife. I prefer a nice stag handled 7 1/2" to 8" slightly arched , drop point style knife with a quality practical blade with a slight recurve. For all it works the Woodlore style of knife just lacks a little aesthetic imagination and lets face it we all like the look of whatever style knife we buy or we probably wouldn't buy it in the first place .

Like I said I don't want to hurt peoples feelings with my own views but surely there are people here who would agree with me .

Thanks
There is another forum called the AGF Air Gun Forum and there are some great Bladesmiths on there, might be worth having a look?
 

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