free ezine newsletter
knifemaking tutorials
knife making beginners
knife making basics
instructions for knife making
istock removal methos
knife sharpening
knife making supplies
knife making kits
knife blade blanks
damascus knife blanks
knife blade shapes
knife handle materials
knifemaking technology
knifemaking books
commercial knives
pocket knives
custom hunting knives
western folding knives
bowie knife
knife steel basics
rockwell hardness scale
japanese kitchen knives

Western Folding Knives

Folding knives are surprisingly old; there are examples in Roman history, and they were quite popular when pockets were in vogue from about the 1600s on. But not all folding knives are Western folding knives. Western folding knives look like outsized pocket knives, with brown handles and blades with only one sharp side that are as long as five inches; when folded out, a Western folding knife's blade will lock into place.

The folded-out design of a Western folding knife is based on the Bowie knife, the tool crucial to the taming of the American West. But a Western folding knife is handy for anyone who doesn't want to deal with a knife sheath hanging on his belt; Western folding knives fit neatly into your pocket.

You can purchase Western folding knives online or from knife dealers, or you can make your own. If you make your own Western folding knife, you need to know something about how the spring works. Since when the blade is out you want your Western folding knife to be rigid, the spring has to hold fast and stiff; but you also want to be able to put away your Western folding knife without breaking your fingers to pop the spring.

The spring Western folding knives use is called a lockback spring. It's been in use for over a century, and allows you to fold your knife and put it in your pocket, yet also use it in the same manner as a straight knife when it's open. If you want to make Western folding knives, you should be learn how to put a lockback spring into your knife's design.

Lockback springs like those on Western folding knives operate vertically, and snap into a cutout in the tang of the blade. You can release the lock on your Western folding knife by pressing the spring on the back of the knife handle. Though it's secure and strong, a Western folding knife's lockback spring normally requires two hands to operate, a drawback in some situations. But you have the security of knowing that your Western folding knife will never open by itself in your pocket.

A Western folding knife, like a Bowie knife and others in the same family, has a blade on one side while the other side is dull. Western folding knives are designed this way to make it simple to bring leverage to bear on whatever you're cutting. This makes a Western folding knife an excellent choice for hunting, and it's a good all-purpose utility knife as well.

Caring for your Western folding knife

Western folding knives, just like any knife, need to be taken care of. Depending on the material the handle of your Western folding knife is made of, you may want to polish it, buff it, or just clean it. The blade of your Western folding knife, though, needs much more care. It should be oiled and wiped clean regularly; and the spring should be cleaned and oiled at the same time. If you use your Western folding knife in messy situations ­ for instance, if you use it for butchering while hunting ­ you should clean it after every use.

If you sharpen your Western folding knife, you should do so every time it's cleaned. Keep it away from moisture when you're not using it. The blade of your Western folding knife should always have a thin layer of oil on it to repel water and humidity.

Finding good Western folding knives

You can find excellent Western folding knives in a number of places, depending on what kind of quality you're looking for. If you're a collector, you can find a remarkable variety of collectible Western folding knives for sale at ebay. If you're interested in having a custom-made Western folding knife, then you want to find a good knifemaker online or off; you should be aware, though, that a custom made knife can be quite expensive and you will probably have to wait for it.

If you want to make your own Western folding knives, you can get kits or you can purchase the supplies to make your own. Even with a simple lockback spring, making your own Western folding knife can be very challenging; making them from scratch is not a task for beginners.

Regardless of where you find your Western folding knife, shop around. You'll find the same brand names sold on different web sites and in stores at surprisingly different prices. You can save yourself a few dollars if you take a few minutes to look around.

Return from Western Folding Knives to Knife Making Supplies .net