Knives with Cachet!

Explore the World of Handmade Folders 

Handmade folders have their own cachet.

Yes, they fold, and by modern standards, the majority of them will lock.

Any multiblade folder maker can make a one-blade lockback; and any one-blade lockback maker can make a fixed blade.



Handmade Folding Knives

Keith Ouye, of Honolulu, Hawaii, makes his flipper tactical folders from s30v with titanium frame and handles. Engraving is by Bruce Shaw.


On the other side of the coin, many fixed-blade makers do not tackle folders. Folders are more complicated. Nevertheless, because of their utility and function (keep in mind that few fixed-blade knives fit the everyday-carry motif), folders are more popular.

Today, there are plenty of folder-makers—good folder-makers and, at times, great folder-makers.

For this “pocketknives”-oriented issue of Knives Illustrated, we wanted to pass along some photos of some of the better ones out there today.



Knifemaking Levels of Difficulty


Don Hanson Knife

Don Hanson operates his knifemaking under the Sunfish Forge moniker—thus, he might be expected to produce a nifty sunfish-patterned multiblade (and he does, indeed) featuring mosaic Damascus blade, bolsters and color scrimshaw on the ivory handles created by Tina Hanson.


Take into consideration that all great knives require an extraordinary amount of skill and talent. Following is an overview of what goes into each. They are presented in order from least difficult to most difficult:

· Fixed-blade: Grind the steel, affix a handle. The only thing left is the details!
· Single-blade folder: One blade that needs to be centered.
· Multiblade folders: Both blades on one end are easier than making the blades fit. The more blades, the higher the difficulty level.
· Small multiblade folders: A tighter space for the blades to fit without touching.


By J. Bruce Voyles
Photos by Jim Cooper