View Full Version : Traditional Trade Knives

02-28-2012, 07:02 AM
Has anyone tried one of these English or French Trade Knives from Track of the Wolf?? They come in many traditional styles and are in 1095 etched steel.

Most are less than $40. I think I may pick one up.

02-28-2012, 07:17 AM
Certainly looks interesting!

02-28-2012, 07:44 AM
They look great. what is the price range?

02-28-2012, 07:46 AM
Didnt see the price at the bottom of the post. Not bad for a good looking blade. I would be willing to try em out. If the wife wouldnt notice another blade floating around the house.

werewolf won
02-28-2012, 08:38 AM
Most of those are made in India or similar places. Their heat treating is questionable, many are not sharpened from the factory. They are nice looking, but really more a prop than a knife. You might be a lot happier buying a Green River kit, or modifying an Old Hick. You will end up with a similar knife, but a real knife. Or give Jeff White’s stuff a look, he offers a lot of scalpers and trade style stuff.

02-28-2012, 09:29 AM
I have always wanted one of those dadley patterns (center) and I love the roach bellies too! They are pretty but pretty doesn't cut! I too would like to hear more about these as crazy crow and Rangar offer similar patterns not sure of their steels???

02-28-2012, 09:39 AM
Always saw them on ragweed forge and thought of the pathfinder knife. They look very interesting.

02-28-2012, 09:59 AM
Bought my okapi and opinel as well as a few other knives from Ragweed fordge (Rangars) Good prices great service Nice guy! I'm not associated with him in any way but good guys deserve a plug!

02-28-2012, 10:20 AM
Hand sewn leather carries Jeff White knives and they come in some of the same patterns. His stuff is stand up.

02-28-2012, 10:50 AM
Think I might just have to give the bottom one a try. I really like the specs on it.

02-28-2012, 11:24 AM
I gotta throw another recommendation for Ragnar. He carries a whole line of traditional trade knives that are made by hand by a man here in the USA (Maine I think?)

Also an incredibly nice guy, awesome service, and he is really into the things he sells. His website is worth checking out even if you don't wish to buy anything. I bet you'll learn something.

I am also completely unaffiliated (except past purchases). Anyone who knows me can tell you I detest poor customer service, but will not shut up about those who are exceptional.

Dean from Oregon.

02-28-2012, 11:39 AM
i have the roach belly . great edge. however..... the coal forge finish gives a strange taste to food.

02-28-2012, 01:54 PM
I have one similar to the top as well. Handle has a profile much closer to the center one though. Really great knife. I got mine in trade so I have no idea where it came from or who made it but it's a really great knife. Takes and edge and holds it well. If the ones at Track of the Wolf are the same one I have then I can't recommend them enough.

02-28-2012, 02:17 PM
Anyone know what those little nocks in the blade at the "choil" might be? Not "'wire strippers" right?

02-28-2012, 02:58 PM
Those shown in the photo are all made by Dean Oliver in Oregon.

Nice work, inexpensive. I have one of his smallest in the series and it makes for a fine neck blade. Light and handy.

Not exceptional at edge retention and need a bit of work at first, but an honest thin blade.

Those are Spanish Notches in the blade....decorative now me thinks.

In this recent post I have photos of my small Oliver knife...


02-28-2012, 03:59 PM
Those notches are purely ornimental! I researched it because I was told they were used for stripping sinew. Can be I guess but all accounts say looks pretty!

02-28-2012, 04:22 PM
Let us know what you think once it arrives! I leaning towards getting the one I mentioned. Seems like and acceptable steel from the other posts

Trail Dust
02-28-2012, 05:17 PM
I have one of the smaller knives like Schwert does. Not a bad little knife for the price. The Espanol Muesca, or Spanish Notch, most likely identified the individual knife makers with their distinctive design or pattern. It is not a wire stripper, nor was its design intended to catch an opponents blade during a knife fight, IMO. :)

02-28-2012, 07:43 PM
I have several that I got from Ragweed forge, they get heavy use at re-enactments in the "kitchen".
They don't hold an edge like the jeff white knives or customs, but they are good for the money, much like an old hickory.
I would not buy anything from crazy crow, poor quality, horrible customer service and they sell your info to everyone.

02-28-2012, 08:14 PM
Look at Jeff White knives that are available on Beo-wulfs vendor site or on Ebay. Beo-wulf is a member here and makes a first class sheath and Jeff Whites knives are well made, hold a good edge, and are authentic as to design for re-enactors. They skin critters well too. Support those who support us.

Added later: I just went to Beo-wulfs site and see he is also making knives. Give him a look.

Mike M
02-28-2012, 09:48 PM
Most of those are made in India or similar places. Their heat treating is questionable, many are not sharpened from the factory. They are nice looking, but really more a prop than a knife. You might be a lot happier buying a Green River kit, or modifying an Old Hick. You will end up with a similar knife, but a real knife. Or give Jeff White’s stuff a look, he offers a lot of scalpers and trade style stuff.

Most of TOTW trade knives (1750 - 1790 era page) are made by Dean Oliver or Dean Hazuka of Montana Americana.


02-29-2012, 03:31 AM
Anyone tried Kellam's line of beautiful trade knives? If so, how is the quality? They are in the 20-30 dollar range.

02-29-2012, 08:12 AM
I have all three very nice blades cant go wrond with 1095 also bear tooth leather makes great trade knives the Metis , roach belly,French trade knife very good have had no problems out of any yes I'm a knife freak

the forager
03-01-2012, 01:32 AM
I bought one from Dean at the knife how in Eugene Oregon. Nice little knife, but I wouldn't rely on it for any serious duty. Keep it oiled, rusts like hell.

fire honey
03-01-2012, 02:29 AM
i had one for quite a while, 2 years about. I REALLY liked it.. I saw a friend that had one and then happened across them for sale at a shop in bozeman and a gun/knife show. I knew them to be branded "river trader" knives and have found them for sale online under that name as well. I didn't have one of the ones in your photo, but mine was very similar to the bottom one, maybe a little more curved. i think i paid 30 or 35 bucks. after a couple years it broke! my boyfriend was using it for something he shouldn't have.. i cant remember exactly, something along the lines of adjusting his banjo tuners. I really loved it, thought it was quite sturdy, nice handle (i have small hands) very nice to sharpen, and a good balance of light but still thick and sturdy blade. blade was similar to sharpen as a mora frost knife for me. i think that the key is that this is an excellent knife for the price, and for that matter its an excellent knife compared to any others costing up to 100-120 bucks.

03-01-2012, 06:55 PM
Welcome Fire Honey

doodle lee squat
03-02-2012, 07:58 PM
Now I have one of those Green River Dadley pattern knives for 30 years. The model with the deeply checkered handle pattern. I've skinned, gutted, butchered, and broke down at least 40 eastern deer with it and a bone saw blade on my hacksaw frame. Wonderful tool, but I don't carry it in the woods, too pointy and sharp for climbing to suit me. But great at camp for deer chores.

The last few years I keep it with the saw just for butchering.

It my early years I used a Puma Bowie. I used it the same with a great number of deer, a few bears, and several turkeys. I found I had to put saw cuts in the bone handles as it was just too slick for any type of heavy deer work without rougher handle scales when your hands were bloody. I sharpened the angle on the top front edge because the blade was heavy enough to shatter leg bones with a whack from that edge and to work through joints that way. But it is really too big for eastern big game IMHO. For about ten years I've used a 5" english scalper from James White interchangeably for skinning and breaking down deer, along with the saw. It is as good as the Green River and better than the Puma.

Now if I had to cut a deer in half or quarters to get it out I just used the Old timer folder with two blades I carried. But I did not use it for bone work or disjointing . A little muskrat pocket knife is better for small game with a pair of good game shears than these big deer knives .

When you get away from game use, get some other kind of knife. Take your sharpening kit with you, you often encounter newbies with dull deer knives you can help out.

The very best is the Dadley, for handling, and for ease of sharpening. Here is a hint for all deer and hunting skinning knives: do not cut hair from the outside. It wil quickly destroy the sharpness of your blade. Stick your blade in just under the skin and cut from in to out, then as you pull the hide back, cut the tissue , not the hide. Hope this gives an idea of one hunter's findings.

03-02-2012, 09:07 PM
Cutting inside to out will also greatly reduce the hair that you release, thus keeping your meat cleaner. Deer hair is a %^$%^$^% to get off the meat once it is lose from the hide.