Appalachia

A Man And His Knife

A Man And His Knife

A man without a knife is not worth a wife.

If the quote above was true I wouldn’t have to worry one bit because my husband has lots of knives and wishes he had even more!

Being an outdoorsman The Deer Hunter grew up knowing the need of a good knife. But somewhere along the way his need-grew into a full fledged love affair.

Carbon Bladed Knife

The Deer Hunter’s love of knives leans towards folding pocket knives but he would be the first to tell you he likes knives of all shapes and sizes. His criteria for liking a knife: it must have a good feel; and it must be sharp.

Forgecraft hi carbon

Miss Cindy knows all about The Deer Hunter’s love of knives. She’s always on the look out for knives she thinks he might like. Recently she scored the knife in the photo above at a yardsale. On first glance you’d think it’s nothing special-just an old wore out kitchen knife.

But the second The Deer Hunter put his hand around the knife he told Miss Cindy she did good.

The knife is a Forgecraft. Reading through a thread on this Kitchen Knife Forum I discovered the Forgecraft Company went out of business in 1968. There was quite a bit of Forgecraft stock being stored when the company shut its doors so the knives continued to be sold for many years-even though according to the forum they have not been made since 1968. The forum goes on to say retired band saws from sawmills provided the steel for many of Forgecraft’s knives.

Forgecraft and many other companies made (and still make) knives from carbon steel. The most popular choice for knife blades today is stainless steel. Carbon makes for a very sharp knife, however it also rusts easily and quickly becomes stained. Stainless steel is much easier to keep clean and isn’t as likely to rust-however stainless steel is also much harder to sharpen once it becomes dull.

The nicest thing about having a husband who loves knives-my kitchen knives are always sharp.

Tipper

*Source: Knife quote from The Frank C. Brown Collection of NC Folklore

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27 Comments

  • Reply
    dwight wyers
    August 24, 2018 at 8:27 pm

    my grandfather cut many a chew of tobacco with his case knife. my brother doug keeps it in his show case along with many other precious memories. thanks grand dad

  • Reply
    Rev. RB
    October 20, 2013 at 9:19 pm

    Our dad loved knives too. His favorite, I believe, was a fish filleting knife which I don’t think he used often to fillet fish because he didn’t care for the taste of fish. But he seemed to love that knife most of all.
    Our maternal Grandmother loved a good sharp knife too, she’d sharpened her paring knife so often that it only had the tiniest thinnest bit of a blade remaining, but she loved it.
    I remember our mother getting a set of serrated steak knives (even though we very rarely had steak). Our Grandmother tried to use one, got up and tossed it in the trash. Our Mother quickly retrieved it, but Grandma just didn’t like any knife she couldn’t sharpen. LOL
    God bless.
    RB
    <><

  • Reply
    Quinn
    September 25, 2013 at 7:22 pm

    I have a terrible time holding onto pocket knives. There are two I lost that I still regret, many years later…one that fit my hand just right, and one that was a gift from my brother and can never be replaced. Sounds like the Deerhunter would never lose a good knife.

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    September 24, 2013 at 9:43 pm

    About 50 years ago my brother Harold fashioned a knife from the front fork of an old bicycle frame. It was curved just like an Arab scimitar. He made the guard, the pommel and the grip just like the real thing. I was really impressed. Many years later I decided I could do the same thing myself. So I go looking for an old bicycle fork. Guess what? All I could find is made of tubular steel. That don’t work! Sure I can find a piece of steel bar and bent it, but that wouldn’t be the same. He made do with the scrap he had and did a spectacular job of it. People can’t do that any more. I never could!
    Your babies are seventeen! Please wish them a happy birthday and give them both a kiss from me. Thanks!

  • Reply
    Patti Tappel
    September 24, 2013 at 7:14 pm

    I never knew my Dad to be without a pocket knife. When he worked at the shoe factory he always had nice little leather cases made for them too.

  • Reply
    Judi Martin
    September 24, 2013 at 6:44 pm

    Looky here at all the folks who really appreciate good knives. When I was very young we lived in the hills of WVa. My daddy was a butcher, not a meat cutter but a real butcher. He worked for old man Kroger in one of the first stores. My dad always kept his knives very sharp and I learned to sharpen mine by watching how he did it. Daddy always peeled my apples for me. He would sit on the porch in the evenings and whittle. If I recall, his pocket knife was a Case. To this day I carry a pocket knife when I wear pants. How does a woman get by with out her pocket knife?

  • Reply
    jean
    September 24, 2013 at 5:55 pm

    Hi Tipper,a 50 year old memory come up today,your so good at causeing them.A friend from marshell wi. said the man who sharpen her knives was born with out arms,his feet did every thing hands could.God Bless. Jean

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    September 24, 2013 at 2:21 pm

    I forgot to mention, right now I’m packing my Bear and Son 3-1/2″ Yellow Delrin Mini Trapper. Made in Alabama, USA. I thought I had lost it forever but it showed up a few days ago.

  • Reply
    Richard Moore
    September 24, 2013 at 1:58 pm

    Great topic! My dad always carried a pocket knife for use at work and skinning rabbits and squirrels. I still have his old Tree Brand knife as well as one he inherited from my grandfather.
    I have accumulated many knives and always have one or two on me. My Uncle Buren, who loved to trade knives and pocket watches, had a knife made for a one-armed or one-handed man.
    It has notch at the top of the blade so the blade can be opened by putting the notch on a belt or pants pocket. Given the number of men who lost arms or hands through farm or sawmill work, I imagine there was a real market for such a knife.

  • Reply
    Sue Crane
    September 24, 2013 at 1:06 pm

    around our house it was Old Timer, Uncle Henry, Buck, Case, Rapala, Puma — some in the tool box, some in the tackle box, always some in the pocket, some out on a limb at the orange tree, in the couch, recliner and more times than I’d like IN THE WASHER OR DRYER!!!!

  • Reply
    Ken Roper
    September 24, 2013 at 12:07 pm

    Tipper,
    Nice topic today! And a couple of
    days ago I noticed 3 new pictures
    on the left side of this page. Two
    beautiful girls, I believe they’re
    twins too.
    One time me and the Deer Hunter was talking about our families, and he told me he probably had the only girls in the country that knows how to use a knife and
    could field dress a deer without
    any help.
    I went to our Courthouse a few
    months ago to pay my taxes. Upon
    opening the door, a Security
    Guard was seated and asked me to
    empty my pockets into her little
    tray. I emptied my left pocket
    with a knife, then the right one
    and another knife. The Security
    Guard said “My! You’re loaded for
    Bear! (She should have seen what
    I got in the car!!!)…Ken

  • Reply
    Ron Banks
    September 24, 2013 at 10:41 am

    If I don’t have my knife in my pocket I feel like part of me is missing. I use it all the time. I try to keep a sharp edge on it too. I like to make hiking sticks so I use one of my knives to remove the bark from the stick. One way to tell if you have a good edge is to put it on one of your finger nails at an angle and pull it towards you. If it sticks then the edge is good.

  • Reply
    warren
    September 24, 2013 at 10:23 am

    That’s a great quote! I love knives too and never leave home without at least one on my person! And old carbon steel knives just have a great look which I love!

  • Reply
    Carol Isler
    September 24, 2013 at 10:20 am

    Just like the little mountain fellers, in my day, the mill-hill kid couldn’t survive without his pocket knife. And, yes, he even carried it to school – not a weapon, but a tool as essential as books, paper, and pencil. One of my buddies, Jeff, even insisted on sharpening his pencil with his pocket knife, not the Boston crank-sharpener mounted on the wall beside the door. He liked the thick stubby point of a knife-sharpened pencil. “They don’t break,” he claimed.
    When Jeff needed to tend to his pencil point, he stood over the green metal trash can beside the teacher’s desk, dug down in his Sears dungarees pocket and pulled out a little green pocked knife, about the size of my pinky finger. With the pencil point jabbed into the fleshy print of his thumb, Jeff drew the blade through the wood, twisting the pencil with each pass, and let the little shavings drop in the trash can.
    Our teacher casually glanced toward Jeff and simply said, “You be careful with that, honey.” She said that every time.
    Today, in that very same school, a kid would be expelled just for carrying that little bitty knife, let alone pull it out to sharpen his pencil. As a student, I never saw a pocket knife used as a weapon.
    One day, during recess, I was sitting on the bench down at the softball field picking and biting at a hangnail. Jeff said, “Here, shave it off with this.” He opened the knife and handed it to me, still warm from his pocket. Dang! It was sharp. I bet a man could have shaved his whiskers with it.
    After my daddy passed away, I carried his little pocket knife in my purse for years. Not thinking, I pulled it out to slice an apple during lunch one day in the teachers’ lounge. Nobody said anything to me, but they all got real quiet all of a sudden. The next morning, I had a little hand-written note from the principal asking me not to bring the knife on campus anymore, since it was a violation of school district policy for employees to carry concealed weapons. That was nuts! It had to be one of the young-gun-Yankee-transplant teachers who squealed. None of the old timers would have said anything, especially the old indigenous ones like me.

  • Reply
    b. Ruth
    September 24, 2013 at 9:47 am

    Tipper,
    Wish I had saved all the knives from Moms estate sale. A lot of them had wooden handles and were carbon steel. Part of them came from my grandmothers home.
    What about a woman and her knife!
    Yep, I carry one today! No one would know what it was except an expert. It is camoflaged in the green colors and looks like a modern pen with a clip on top to snap on a pant pocket or shirt pocket. All you have to do is hold it, snap the button and “bingo” you have a blade! I guess it is a switch blade of sorts, except the blade comes out the end. The camo part is back in vogue now. In clothes, shoes, etc. especially the green color blend with the Duck Commander series and all…so my knife is right in the times…
    No, I don’t know if it is illegal or not. I don’t carry “mace” because I have enough trouble with the “nozzle thingys” on my furniture polish, window cleaner and all. So I knew in a time of crisis “mace nozzles” wouldn’t work for me!
    A friend of mines wife called me one day a few weeks after he had passed. She wanted to give me something that her husband wanted me to have…A old Swiss Army knife, that he had for years and years…Since he said that I knew about Swiss Army knives and since I was a woman and crafty “no pun intended” he wanted me to have it after he died. I still have it!
    And I cried!
    Thanks Tipper,
    Love this post today…I think my brothers have Dads old pocket knives, if they found them…he was always losing his knives, after he retired, in the rocker recliner. LOL

  • Reply
    Tamela
    September 24, 2013 at 9:41 am

    Knives were an important part of my growing up. All the menfolk in my family had multiple knives and the women had small special knives for their purses. I was taught how to handle a knife for the fun of hitting a target on a tree; I was also taught the multiple functions of a knife and other bladed instruments. Most important was being taught how to sharpen a knife! Many winter evenings were spent learning how to get the edge just right.
    It’s a shame that knives have become so commonly used as weapons that they are banned from so many places. Kids need to learn how to respect, care for, and properly use such tools. Maybe if more kids could hunt,fish, and spend more time outdoors learning a bit about true self-sufficiency there would be fewer problems in this old world.

  • Reply
    Shirla
    September 24, 2013 at 9:01 am

    I doubt the old saying is true. My ex-husband had tons of knives but was definitely not worth a wife. Dad always had Case knives. His mother carried a small red handled pocket knife in her apron to use to cut thread when she was sewing on her old sewing machine. I have her special knife now, but don’t remember what brand it is.

  • Reply
    Ethelene Dyer Jones
    September 24, 2013 at 8:38 am

    One of my pet peeves is a dull kitchen knife! I used to have sharp knives, but since it’s up to me to sharpen them, I don’t always get the edge I’d like. Glad the Deer Hunter keeps your sharp for you, Tipper

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    September 24, 2013 at 8:33 am

    Tipper, I knew that was a fine knife the minute I held it in my hands. Some knives just talk to you. I also know how the Deer Hunter loves those old carbon blades. They sharpen soooo nice.
    The Deer Hunter not only loves knives he knows how to take care of them and how to sharpen them. I hate to get ready to cut something in the kitchen and the knife is too dull. I have an overpowering urge to throw it as far as I can.
    It’s is interesting that that old, .25 knife is so much better than the newer, high dollar, stainless knives. Go figure!

  • Reply
    Mike McLain
    September 24, 2013 at 8:32 am

    I haven’t carried a pocket knife for years until I finally bought a new Case XX to carry. I had no idea how much I was missing until I had it. I probably use it for something most every day.
    It is a stainless steel model and so far has held a good sharp edge. I have only honed it with my Granddad’s old razor stone a couple of times.

  • Reply
    Janet Smart
    September 24, 2013 at 8:21 am

    My husband always carries a pocket knife with him. And, if he opens it and hands it to you to use, please-please-please do not close the knife yourself (or he will have a little fit). That is bad luck! Give the knife back to him to close after you finish using it. My son Andrew has an anvil and he made a forge for it. He recently made a knife out of an old RR spike. It’s really neat looking.

  • Reply
    Lise
    September 24, 2013 at 8:09 am

    My husband always keeps a knife in his pocket, and has taught me to do the same! One never knows when one needs a good knife:) And like the Deer Hunter, he keeps all our knives sharp, and enjoys doing it!

  • Reply
    dolores
    September 24, 2013 at 8:02 am

    Interesting! I have noticed that many of the men here in NC seem to carry a pocket knife. They just seem to have it ready if the need arises. I have seraded edged ones for my big kitchen knives; they just aren’t the same as a real sharp knife. My dad was real particular, especially when he needed to carve a turkey or beef type of meat.

  • Reply
    Jane Bolden
    September 24, 2013 at 7:52 am

    Thanks! Going to keep my eye out for Forgecraft knives.

  • Reply
    steve in tn
    September 24, 2013 at 7:51 am

    a pocket knife was a rite of passage when i was young. we even traded then at school. another memory that isnt coming back. simple an innocent times.

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    September 24, 2013 at 7:49 am

    I finally meet a woman who understands knives and understands her man’s relationship with his knives. I have only one wooden handled kitchen knife but have it hidden. You know what dishwater does to a wooden handle. I have an 8″ boning knife and an 8″ breaking knife both stainless steel. They are professional meatcutter’s knives. It is hard put an edge on them but they will stay sharp for a long time if taken care of. I never put them in the sink but heaven knows the times I have rescued them from amongst the tableware.
    My best paring knife is stainless too. Took me a long time to find it. Strangely enough it was a “Martha Stewart” from K Mart and said China on the blade, but it is heavy and I like the balance. I polished “China” off the blade and put a mirror finish on it. You could use it to put on your makeup.
    The best thing anyone can do to keep their knives in good shape is to keep them out of the hands of people who don’t understand or respect them.

  • Reply
    Eva Nell Mull Wike, Ph.D.
    September 24, 2013 at 7:19 am

    Tipper: This KNIFE INFORMATION is ALL new to me except your note about the band saw from sawmills statement. “Turning down’ at Ritter Sawmill in Hayesville was my Daddy’s job and was close to the band saw. It was a dangerous job and so loud it destroyed his ability to hear. But he stayed with it 16 years!
    Eva Nell

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