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Whatever happened to the knives I grew up with?

Discussion in 'Non-Firearm Weapons' started by sleepyone, Apr 23, 2013.

  1. sleepyone

    sleepyone Well-Known Member

    After not buying any new knives for about 25 years, the last five I have bought several for hunting or EDC. I'm 48 and remember when the knives guys owned were mostly Buck, Case, and Old Timer and to a lesser degree Uncle Henry and Schrade. I had a few multi-blade pocket knives in those brands at one point but only have one three blade Old Timer left from my youth. I also have a made in U.S.A. Gerber that is about 25 years old. A couple of years ago I began buying Kershaws like the OD-1 and Skyline for EDC.

    Now I'm wanting to buy a heavy duty fixed blade hunting/survival knife with the blade length between 5-7". Buck still makes the model 119 in various configurations. I don't know about Case, Old-Timer and Uncle Henry. It seems like everyone is buying Kershaw, K-Bar, SOG and other brands. How do the old-school knives compare to these brands? I have read mixed reviews on the Buck 119. Is it, or any of the old-school brands, still made in the U.S.?

    I really like the SOG Seal Pup line and especially the SOG SE37-N SEAL Team Elite with the 7-inch partially serrated black TiNi coated AUS8 stainless steel blade for $90 on Amazon. It is a little pricey compared to the Buck 119 Special with Cocobola Wood and Brass Handle for $68. That Buck is a beautiful knife!

    Are SOGs all they are cracked up to be? Whatever happened to the knives I grew up with? Did they just fail to keep up with the trends for military/tactical knives with black steel, synthetic handles, serrations and all the tacti-cool stuff guys want now? Did their customer base literally die off like Oldsmobile's?

    I still like the looks of a classic Bowie-style knife over all these tactical knives, but I like all the features that tactical knives offer.
  2. sleepyone

    sleepyone Well-Known Member

    I think my original post was a little long-winded. What I really want to know is if SOG Seal Pups are good knives and are worth the extra money compared to the decades old Buck Model 119? Also, have Old Timer, Case, or Uncle Henry any quality survival/bowie style knives that can compete wit the SOGs?
  3. ApacheCoTodd

    ApacheCoTodd Well-Known Member

    Look here for some decent Seal Pup prices: http://www.knivesplus.com/SOG-KNIVES-SEAL-SERIES-TACTICALS.HTML

    The Buck'll be made in Idaho but the majority of Old Timer and Uncle Henry fixed blades are imported now and if they were proud of the country of origin they would name it.

    The SOG is certainly worth the money asked if it fits the bill for you but is seriously lacking in aesthetic quality compared to say a Buck Coca especially one of the brown sheathed ones.
  4. jmr40

    jmr40 Well-Known Member

    These aren't the cheapest, but are far from the most expensive. For the money I like the ESEE 4 the best. I use the 3 as my hunting knife. Anything bigger than the 4 or 5 is more knife than I like.


    A good place to buy


    Older Sog Seal pups were USA made. Newer versions are imported. Some of SOG knives are still very good, others not so much. You can look at the SMKW website above. They carry a lot of SOG knives. I like their Twitch II
  5. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Well-Known Member

    I have the SOG Seal Pup Elite and its a good knife if you like the design. I do. A lot has changed in 25 years in the knife world. The Bucks are still good and Schrade and Camillus went out of business. Their trademarks were purchased by United (I believe).

    "Survival knives" are many things to many people. Some like really large knives that lend themselves to chopping and others lean toward 5-6" blades. Many like the Fallkniven, Bark River, Becker (Kabar), ESEE, to name a few. I personally like a knife in the 5-7" blade length and my most recent one that I use is the Blackjack 125. I find that I simply don't use a really big knife a lot and tend to grab my swiss army knife for little cutting chores. There are lots of good knives available these days. I also tend to try to keep the price at least somewhat reasonable.
  6. Blackhawk30

    Blackhawk30 Well-Known Member

    I used to carry knives like a 3 blade stockman.sodbuster or camper knive.Now I just carry a Spyderco Delica.I have yet to break a Delica blade.I've snapped the tips off of the older designs.
  7. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

    Schrade went under (taking the Uncle Henry and Old Timer names with it). The current owners of the name aren't producing the same knives that you trusted.

    Take a look at the KaBar BK-15, -16, or -17 before I'd recommend an AUS8 blade knife.
  8. MartinS

    MartinS Well-Known Member

  9. 788Ham

    788Ham Well-Known Member

    A knife a lot of folks have probably forgotten about, the Puma brand. I've had a Puma Hunter since 1965, 6" solid blade, not sure about today's prices, but I gave about $35.00 back then. Its made in Solingen, Germany, superb steel too ! Once an edge is on it, little to no effort to keep it that way. I've used mine to skin several deer and one bull elk, truly a superb knife to carry.
  10. JRH6856

    JRH6856 Well-Known Member

    Puma White Hunter currently runs about $400
  11. Yo Mama

    Yo Mama Well-Known Member

    hso took the words out of my mouth! bk series is amazing, and the sheaths are quality.

    I'd also look into the Ontario RD series.

    Times have certainly changed for blades, but IMO for the better. There are an amazing amount of choices.
  12. Il Duca

    Il Duca Well-Known Member

    A very under rated name in fixed blades- in my opinion anyways- is Muela. They make some very nice fixed blades in the sub-$100 range. They seem to like Sandvik as well, which I am very fond of.

    My current favorite fixed blade, the Muela Rhino:




    While it was a little north of $100 it is an incredible knife for the money. I have had 3 and $400 fbs that were not nearly as pleasing in the hand. It's easy to do scalloped handles, also easy to screw them up- but Muela hit the nail on the head with these. It feels like part of my hand. And it came sharper than your average factory edge too. The sheath is also of very good quality.

    There are plenty of good makers out there: Becker, Essee, BRKT, BHk, etc. But there are also some outstanding lesser known makers, like Muela, that rarely get the credit they deserve.
  13. sleepyone

    sleepyone Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the info. A cousin of mine mentioned the Muela during a turkey hunt last weekend. I'll also check out the K-Bar.
  14. cluttonfred

    cluttonfred Well-Known Member

    I like doing searches on www.knifecenter.com even if I don't always buy from them because their site makes it easy to search by country of manufacture. A quick search over there turned up over 40 made-in-USA fixed blade hunting knives priced $50-100 from Benchmade, Buck, Case, Ontario and SOG. I am sure there is something in there that will tickle your fancy--as somebody who tends to drop things, I'd go for the Case models with the orange G-10 handles. YMMV. ;-)

  15. Deltaboy

    Deltaboy Well-Known Member

    I got my fixed Old Timers back in the 1980's and I kept them. They do all I ask.
  16. Zeke/PA

    Zeke/PA Well-Known Member

    I still have the Cattaraugas Barlow that I had as a boy, it's retired of course but it was used to play MANY games of Baseball, dress Rabbits,clean fish, and dress out my first couple of Bucks.
    Retired now, it's in my "older knife" collection.
    I own an ancient fixed blade Marble's, a Case Barlow and a Schrade Barlow ALL quite old.
    I bought all the Case and Schrade stuff from a "belly-up" local store a few years back and ALL the Schrade/ Old Timer knives that I could find when the Schrade Ellenville plant closed.
    I don't need any more BUT every so often an Old Timer turns up at an obscure Mom&Pop store.

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