William Rodgers "I cut my way" Knife - any good?

  • Hey Guest, We've had to cancel our 2020 Summer BushMoot PLEASE LOOK HERE for more information.

Nomad64

Full Member
Nov 21, 2015
1,073
575
Just out of range
Hi All,

I picked this up cheaply from a charity shop recently, not really my thing but it was going in the bin as they were not comfortable selling knives etc to the public.

I am aware that the William Rodgers "I cut my way" brand was associated with good quality knives in the past but the makers name just seems to be etched rather than stamped into the blade and the sheath seems pretty cheaply made.

Have I saved a decent knife from being smelted down or is it (as I suspect), just a cheapish knife with a famous old name on it?

IMG_0424.jpg

IMG_0425.jpg
 

Macaroon

A bemused & bewildered
Jan 5, 2013
7,115
266
69
SE Wales
It's a real one all right, looks to me like one of the two styles that were most popular with Scouts and general hiker/camper types in the 50's and 60's. Some of them used to have 'THE BUSHMANS FRIEND' on the other side
of the blade. The other type had a Rosewood handle and I have one on my desk right now that's been with me since 1961.

Compared to some of the boutique and highly finished tools available they look a bit shabby to some but they are actually a very usable knife; great for food prep. and slicing as it's not too thick, and very easy to sharpen.

Definitely well worth saving, a little bit of British history for people who use knives, a terrible shame to just bin such things. I'd be pleased to have one like it :)
 

Countryman

Full Member
Jun 26, 2013
1,608
49
North Dorset
Yes this will be a good quality Sheffield Steel knife.

Unfortunately the brand has in recent years been usurped by an unscrupulous maker of "hand made" knives (Far East imports)

There is a thread on here where I am less than thrilled that one of our fellow members of BCUK moved one on to me.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

Sieddy

Full Member
Nov 12, 2016
206
27
Oxford uk
That looks like a pretty cool knife- its good to have a Sheffield original. :)
Its just a crying shame that our cutlery companies don't have the modern reputation of Victorinox, Boker and Mora etc. I'd much rather buy a Knife from Sheffield than Solingen! (not that I've got anything against Germany or any other country)
☹
 

oldtimer

Full Member
I have a wooden handled William Rodgers "Bushman's friend" with a blade sharpened down so much that it resembles a bodkin! It was my scout knife back in the 1950s. It filled the niche in the bushcraft community that is now occupied by Mora i.e. cheap but dependable I also have a much higher quality William Rodgers "Bushman's Friend" hunting knife with stag horn handles which my wife bought me in 1965. It was modelled on the German pattern. Neither had decent sheaths and I made the sheath for my hunting knife myself.

I used to own a knife similar to the one you show back in the 1950s. The sheath is typical of those supplied with the knife at the time. They were very popular in our scout troop and we used to wear them on our belts at school with our scout uniforms. They were always seen as tools and never weapons. On the other hand, the easily obtained Sykes Fairburn Commando knife was seen as a weapon and ridiculed as a Scout knife although some boys had them as they could be had from government surplus stores.

It would never have crossed our minds to have bought anything other than Sheffield steel knives. Puukos were known about but looked exotic and flimsy compared to Rodgers, Nowill or Richards scout knives. Nowadays my first choice is a little Brusletto or a Mora Companion.
 

Samon

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Mar 24, 2011
3,970
38
Britannia!
I think it's nice! that's all that matters aswell. If you wanna sell it or trade it let me know, I love old traditional finger guard knives. :)
 

Janne

Guest
Feb 10, 2016
12,368
2,257
Grand Cayman, Norway, Sweden
When I was young, I had a knife looking exactly like that, but it was made from some kind if awful metal alloy. The stag handle was plastic.
Made in USSR.
Edge lasted a few minutes.

Must have been a blatant copy.

I like German made knifes and cutlery. " Hart wie Kruppstahl" as the old saying goes!
 
Last edited:

Nomad64

Full Member
Nov 21, 2015
1,073
575
Just out of range
Thanks all for feedback - I was a bit put off by the cheap leather sheath and the fact that it looked a bit by the shoddy plastic handled sheath knives other kids had in the scouts in the 1970s which usually fell apart before the end of the first camp.

Most of the online info about William Rodgers seems to focus on the Sykes Fairbairn Commando daggers that Old Timer mentioned but they do seem to be an interesting old make and certainly glad I saved it.
 

Countryman

Full Member
Jun 26, 2013
1,608
49
North Dorset
I still have my Dads William Rogers boy scout knife from probably the 40's. It's had a bit of restoration. Dad gave it to me in about 1978 and I abused it camping and hunting for years. Now it's awaiting one of my kids to be its custodian.

Sheaths not great but better than the foam Cordura Buck Knife ones!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk