"Original Bowie" Sabre, Japan


December 28, 2009, 09:43 PM
Going through my brother's things after cleaning out my deceased parents' home a couple years ago yielded some nice surprises. When I was a young kid in the 1960's my brother bought this knife. The maker is Sabre and it was made in Japan. I realize it is a cheap knife but it obviously has sentimental value to me. I polished up the blade the best I could and sharpened it. The steel appears to be some sort of stainless although with a low chromium content as there was a bit of pitting and corrosion. It takes a halfway decent edge. The scales are stag. I don't know where the sheath is but I remember it being really cheap and flimsy.

My brother also had a KaBar issued to him when he was in the Naval Academy which I can't find...it's funny that I don't really care about that knife as much as this old Japanese bowie.

Anyway, does anyone here have any info on Sabre knives in general and this bowie in particular? I know there is no value on it (I don't care about that) but just am interested in things like history, years in production, what kind of steel, etc.

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December 29, 2009, 10:38 AM
Those are cool knives and I saw a few in VietNam. They were well made out of good materials. Not a Randall, but good enough IMHO.

Todd A
December 29, 2009, 01:29 PM
"Sabre" is a brand mark used by Cole National Corp from the '60's to I believe the '80's.

They didn't manufacture knives, they imported them from Japan and Germany.As well as buying them from American knife companies such as Schrade and Camillus.

Not much info, but that is all I could dig up.

December 29, 2009, 07:58 PM
I have one that my Dad found fishing in th 1980's.

December 29, 2009, 08:05 PM
I bought one at a Coast to Coast hardware and sporting goods store in Healdsburg California in 1974. $10.00. Great knife, I learned how to throw using it. I always got a kick out of it being the ''Original Bowie Knife'', made in Japan.

December 29, 2009, 10:38 PM
My grandfather bought me one just like it in the late 70's at a coast to coast hardware store. That knife went with me on many hunting and fishing trips.

December 30, 2009, 02:18 PM
Thanks for the replies. Even as a little kid I could appreciate the irony of an "Original Bowie Knife" made in Japan. Back then "Made in Japan" had the same connotation that "Made in China" has now....inferior quality and craftsmanship. The new irony is that now that I am an adult I covet Japanese cutlery!

December 30, 2009, 03:29 PM
Yep,me too.Japanese cutlery and optics.

December 30, 2009, 03:39 PM
Good knife. I stupidly sold one in the 80's for a reason I no longer remember.

Enjoy the knife and the memories.

December 30, 2009, 04:32 PM
I have one exactly like that. Mine had a very simple plastic handle that fell off when I was a kid. It has had two handles on it since then.

I bought it at a dime store in Tipton Indiana in probably 1969 or so. Can't imagine it was much more than $5 'cause when I was 10, my parents wouldn't have sprung for more. It is really cool to see that it is known to others.

Mine is very sharp and is a stout blade. It has not been a primary knife since I was a kid but I still have it as you can see.



December 30, 2009, 10:03 PM
Nice looking Knife's

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