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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
My Step Son Chris called me a few weeks ago and said he wanted to buy me Custom Knife for Christmas. Wow so many choices in designing a knife. He knows I love knives and I would be proud to own a custom from him. I thought I would throw it out there for some ideas from you guys. Show me your blades!
 

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Buck® Knives - OFFICIAL SITE - Hunting and Tactical Knives

I have owned a "Lancer" model 305 which is the smallest 2 blade they make for 40 years or so. I use it almost everyday. It's not what you are looking for, but it's been a great knife. They have a lot of cool models.
That is a sweet knife I bought one similar to that from Sears and gave it to my Grandfather. I was probably around 14 at the time and after he passed I found it in his house. It had the small blade broken off I guess I could have had it replaced at Sears but it wouldn't have been the same. Thanks for reminding me of that knife I think I carry it for awhile. I'm never without a knife in my pocket.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Here are some of the knifes I'm considering.
image.jpg image.jpg image.jpg image.jpg

If I could carry in MD this would be the sheath I would choose.
image.jpg
 

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Gaetan Beauchamp makes some of the most beautiful custom knives I have ever seen. One called "Come and Go Leopard" is particularly gorgeous. You can see it and enlarge the art at AG Russell here. A.G. Russell Knives | Gaétan Beauchamp - Come and Go Leopard

Also check out his Scrimshaw pages at his own website. Gaétan Beauchamp

For a huge selection of custom knives to get ideas from go here. Arizona Custom Knives - Custom handmade and production knives All my dealings with Arizona have been positive.

The majority of my custom knives are made by Randall. Randall Made Knives Note there are both "catalog" and "non catalog" knives available as well as endless personal customization. Also be aware the current wait time for a Randall is approximately 5 years. There are however dealers, such as Nordic Knives who have inventory. Nordic Knives - The Leader in Custom Knives - Custom Knives

The knife I had in West Virginia was a Ruana "Smokejumper" RUANA KNIVES - BONNER, MONTANA The wait time on a Ruana is far shorter than a Randall. They make excellent knives for the price.

As a final note, all my knives are "users" I'm not saving them in a safe in pristine condition for anyone. They see field use regularly, always have. For instance my designated dive knife is a Randall. For that I carry it in a custom kydex sheath. Most of my Randalls have custom sheaths, leather and made by me to suit the purpose I have for the particular knife. I also have an affinity for non-stainless knives. I find they sharpen easier and develop character over time. For instance the Ruana blade steel was heavily aged and showed considerable patina. Once a tool steel or carbon blade develops a patina it becomes less susceptible to short term rusting issues. Obviously non-stainless knives require a commitment to care. If you end up with a non-stainless knife I can easily explain to you how to properly patina the blade for good field service.

Randalls and Ruanas are well suited for everyday use. They may be custom, but they are functional in the extreme.

You may also enjoy looking at the EK knives and reading about their history. They are famous fighting knives. Apparently they were recently bought out by Ka-Bar, and may no longer qualify as a custom knife.

As a final note, be careful of Randalls offered by private sellers and on Ebay. They are at a level of collectability and of a price point that invites counterfeiting.

Here is a picture of a few Randalls I just happended to have on my computer.

View attachment 14402 View attachment 14403

This Chris Reeve is also a custom knife.

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As is this Mooremaker.

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Understand that the definition of a custom made knife varies. Some consider it a knife that is individually hand made. Others consider it a knife that is made to your individual design and specifications. Regardless of the definition, have fun selecting your gift knife Rick. They can become treasured possessions and valuable heirlooms. My personal favorite custom knife, and the one that sees the most use is an extensively customized Randall Combat Companion...which is not pictured. If you decide on a Randall and need more pictures of other models or various custom options, PM me and I'll break out the camera.
 

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For those who liked the Derringer/Knife combo, North American makes a production offering. It has the North American derringer (.22 mag.) and a CRKT knife (Cedar Rapids Knife and Tool). You can get the combo for around $300. I haven't used one, but I have handled them. Called the NAA Trailmaster.

View attachment 14406

And of course any competent holster/sheath maker could make you a rig for your chosen combination of custom knife and derringer.
 

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I've been carrying a Spyderco for over 30 years now. Before that was an assortment of smaller knives of the same style as the Buck pictured earlier in the thread.
Currently carrying a Spyderco Rookie with stainless scales, but I've owned the same knife with the G-10 scales and I like it a lot.
It's a "Goldilocks" kinda knife for me.....not too big, but not too small.

rookies.jpg
 

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An additional note on Randall knives. They have amazing historical significance. A tremendous number of famous men have used Randalls. The bottom knife in the composite picture I posted is a Randall model 17 "astro" which was designed by Gordon Cooper for the Mercury astronauts. Randall Made Knives » Model 17 ? Astro

See also here for Gus Grissom's Randall. First knives in space. Virgil "Gus" Grissom's Survival Knife

Owning a Randall is like owning a piece of history.

General William Westmoreland with his ivory handled model 1.

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I could go on and on...but I will spare you. :D (BTW Hoot, Doc Ford in your well liked Randy Wayne White novels had a Randall attack/survival model 18...the hollow handled one in my composite picture.)
 

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And excellent site. I'm not a member, but I visit occasionally. I have been making and hunting with my own longbows since I was in my teens. Primarily of the Howard Hill style.
Very classic : HH bows, and Randall knives. Good advice for the OP on custom knives. As an illustration of how treasured a family heirloom a custom knife can become, and a little more on Randalls, see the following link:

Trad Gang.com: Two very interesting knives, and a story worth telling
 

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CRKT=Columbia River Knife & Tool. Good stuff, have three different models. They replaced for free my everyday carry M16 folder after I wore it out through use and sharpening.
 

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Here's one of my favorite Randall stories. If you can get past the "times new roman" and "font" crap, it's sort of funny. It's also cute as the forum members start to figure out what's going on...it's not all fake, but it's not all true. Made me laugh out loud when I first read it. What an incredible (and I do mean incredible) blending of history and events. So, if you're bored and like Randalls....

The Story of the Magic Randall Knife
 

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More Randalls for Rick.

View attachment 14420

Top three Randalls by primacy of use, L to R. Custom Combat Companion, Model 17 "Astro" with a scuffed up set of scales ($100 bill hidden inside) and a Model 18 Attack/Survival with the short blade (old knife, with the original old style sheath that is never actually used in the field (the sheath, not the knife).

View attachment 14421

I recon you might have gathered at this point that I think highly of Randall knives....
 

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I was going to mention General Westmoreland never left home without his knife. He and my father served together, and General Westmoreland was always "grumpy" because my grandmother took him for $19 in penny ante poker. Don't know much about the knife, other then General Westmoreland always had it with him. We used it to rough in a piece of burled walnut that was to become a replacement stock for a pre-'64 Winchester in .30-06. Ever try to carve burled walnut? Ain't easy.

The only custom knives I have are a set of 8 paring knives I use for steaks with blades made from work hardened worn out blades made from the big cutters that cut Air Force uniform shirt pieces 100 at a time and oiled walnut handles. They are not pretty but they are efficient. Everyone who has sat at my table and used one has commented on how easy it gets the job done.
 
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