The Sodbuster Thread

Discussion in 'Edged Tools' started by Geoff Randall, Aug 28, 2015.

  1. Geoff Randall

    Geoff Randall Guide

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2014
    Messages:
    1,022
    Likes Received:
    1,163
    IMHO, the sodbuster pattern has got to be one of the most used and most utilitarian pattern of all the traditionals. For over 120 years, the sodbuster has been in use by farmers, goat herders, thos who harvested peat for heat, and seen in use in many Boy Scout activities. The pattern has many different names through out the world. In the US, it's referred to as the sodbuster. Germany calls them Hippeknieps, France calls them Mineurs(Miners knife) and Spain calls them Navajas de campaña or Pastor knives. Anyway, how about sharing what you know about the sodbuster, and post pics of yours.

    Here's an observation by Lawrence Ruggiero...

    The Sodbuster: An Appreciation

    "One of the simplest pocket knives is a very traditional one. Its called a farmer’s knife, a miner, simply a work knife or utility knife or, even less elegantly, a “Sodbuster”.*

    In the U.S. it is usually a “Sodbuster” - a name possibly derived from a German word having to do with butchery but this is not established. Some say the name refers to mid-nineteenth century American Homestead Act settlers who had to “bust” sod-filled land to plant in it or to build on it and lived in poverty as a result. More likely, “Sodbuster”, like its cousin, “Dirt- buster”, refers to manual labor in general and to the basic personal equipment of farmer, ranch hand, herder or digger in particular. It is also sometimes called a “Miner” which emerges from its association with coal miners. or a “Brown Mule”.

    What America knows as the ‘sodbuster’ was and remains common in Spain where it is known as the “Pastor” or Shepherd’s Knife. The pattern is also believed to have been associated with fruit sellers and may have been known as a “frutera” (a fruit seller is a “frutera” in Spanish) in some settings although “pastor” was apparently the far more common name for the model.

    One French company calls this pattern “terroir”, which is a term commonly associated with wine but which more generally refers to anything that is thought to acquire important distinguishing attributes from the particular environment - weather, soil, light etc. - in which it grew or in which it was made. The French often call the knife a “Mineur” for the same reason its sometimes called a “Miner” in English.

    In Italy the pattern is called “Maniaghese” from the knife making town, “Maniago”, in the Northeast of Italy (Fruili) on the border with what was the Austrian Hungarian empire hinting at its Germanic popularity. But it also appeared in the farming areas of Tuscany and its surrounding regions before their transformation into sites for bands of traipsing tourists and second or third residences of the “Masters of the Universe”. Perhaps because mining was not as important as in France, the Italians don’t seem to associate the knife with coal.

    Of course what all these names have in common is a strong sense and scent of the land, of earth, of soil and of toil. This knife is “earthy” in its nature and has a peasant soul.

    As for its formal origin, the pattern is very close to antique Roman folding knives and appears in every country with a Roman past. While the Spanish Navaja and then the French Laguiole evolved from the same source in one direction, the “Sodbuster” evolved less dramatically and in a slightly different direction.

    The major differences between the Sodbuster and the old Roman knife are the shape of the blade and the addition of a spring. The pattern has no bolsters (the metal parts on one or both ends of many pocket knives) or decoration of any sort - a characteristic further distinguishing it from its Spanish Navaja and French Laguiole cousins.

    Its blade is a spear or more commonly, a drop point (unlike the elegantly attenuated clip blade of the classic Navaja and the Laguiole). It generally appears in three basic sizes from just over three inches to about 4 1/2 or 4 3/4 inches closed. It has a wood handle although bone, horn and, more recently, plastic, composition and derlin have been used. Needless to say, the unnatural handles predominate today.

    In its post medieval form, the sodbuster has the simplicity and natural grace of an old shepherd or aged peasant - Jean Giono’s Man Who Planted Trees, for example. But the form has survived so long because of its suitability for almost anything one calls upon a pocket knife to do as one tends one’s crop, herds one’s sheep, or mines the company’s coal.

    As this style knife is still today a “work knife”, it is rarely produced in expensive materials or sold at high prices. The real marvel of these knives is not their low cost but the fact that as long as the flame of historical perspective survives, its earthy nature and peasant soul survive as well - despite our contemporary situation amid industrial and intellectual pollution not to mention the end of civilization.

    Sodbusters are one of my favorites because of their long peasant tradition, simplicity, the warmth of their often wooden handles, their texture, ever developing patina, their freedom from pretense and their deep historical sonority.

    Best of all, you can use a wooden handled sodbuster like a Greek his beads or a nun her rosary allowing the natural oils of the hand to nourish its soul."
     
  2. SC T100

    SC T100 Scout

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    May 14, 2014
    Messages:
    545
    Likes Received:
    349
    Location:
    Lowcountry, SC
    I certainly appreciate mine. Great little knife, even if it has a little blade play :) It's a Case Sodbuster Jr. in CV steel.

    New/ tangerine slice patina:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Handle Dyed:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Great little knife. Takes a seriously sharp edge too. I dropped the tip just a tad to get a small point.
     
    melbolt65 and battle.munky like this.
  3. Mannlicher

    Mannlicher Guide

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2010
    Messages:
    2,512
    Likes Received:
    1,160
    Location:
    North Central Florida, and Miami
    I like a sodbuster, and have a couple of Case knives with that pattern blade. I had Gene Ingram make me one, with an extra large handle for my fat hands. It has proven to be a great knife for skinning, or field dressing game.
    [​IMG]
     
    melbolt65 and battle.munky like this.
  4. Dances with Squirrels

    Dances with Squirrels Supporter Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2013
    Messages:
    362
    Likes Received:
    1,009
    Location:
    NorthCentral PA
    I have the same knife SCT 100. I had no idea the handle would take dye. Real nice.
     
  5. Geoff Randall

    Geoff Randall Guide

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2014
    Messages:
    1,022
    Likes Received:
    1,163
    This Spanish knife maker, Pedro Bermudez, is at the top of his game...

    [video=youtube;qGEu8iV7wfg]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qGEu8iV7wfg[/video]
     
  6. Geoff Randall

    Geoff Randall Guide

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2014
    Messages:
    1,022
    Likes Received:
    1,163
    My Bullnose safe queen in green micarta...

    [​IMG]
     
    Prophet911 and battle.munky like this.
  7. Mikewood

    Mikewood Supporter Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2013
    Messages:
    2,329
    Likes Received:
    3,952
    Cool knife!

    Now that really is a shame. Those farm and field tools are meant for a lifetime of work. Mine is one of the old redneck farm tools and I carry it daily and have done so for the last 4-5 years. It will skin a deer, butter your bread and slice an apple. With little effort it will take a razor edge. The orange delrin handle is easy to spot when I drop it. It's just a touch bigger than the case mini sodbuster and a bit smaller than their standard sodbuster. So it fits well in a pocket without getting lost. I tried it with a lanyard but found that was not needed.
     
  8. Geoff Randall

    Geoff Randall Guide

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2014
    Messages:
    1,022
    Likes Received:
    1,163
    I agree, these knives are meant to be used, and they last forever and ever. I use my Redneck often, and save the others as part of my collection. I'm only missing the red micarta version, and I'm sure one will pop up not on my time, but God's time.:51:
     
  9. CaliforniaCanuck

    CaliforniaCanuck Guide

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2010
    Messages:
    3,409
    Likes Received:
    2,741
    I have a Case Sodbuster Jr. CV with yellow handle that I bought on impulse and I love it. It's a really nice size and I was surprised with how well it's made. No wiggle or blade play in any direction, perfect snap, awesome pocket knife!
     
  10. skrag

    skrag Tracker

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2015
    Messages:
    12
    Likes Received:
    0
    I carry an eyebrand. 4.5"
     
  11. T MAC

    T MAC Old Squid Supporter Bushcraft Friend

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2010
    Messages:
    9,353
    Likes Received:
    16,012
    Location:
    McIntosh County GA
    Got the Case Sodbuster Jr. with yellow handle; really like this knife. It is a good size and holds a very sharp edge, also very comfortable in the pocket.
     
  12. 2Scoops

    2Scoops Supporter Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2014
    Messages:
    373
    Likes Received:
    593
    Location:
    NY
    My Sodbuster Jr has been in my pocket for over 5 years. They take a beating and sharpen up nice. I have the Boker version, I hope it lasts another 5+ years!

    IMG_0772.jpg
     
    battle.munky likes this.
  13. Tnev123

    Tnev123 Tracker

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2012
    Messages:
    108
    Likes Received:
    4
    Location:
    Texas
    Carbon fiber sod buster jr I just got for my birthday from my fiancé. Thing is sweet very light and very sharp hope it will last a lifetime

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2015
    battle.munky likes this.
  14. Geoff Randall

    Geoff Randall Guide

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2014
    Messages:
    1,022
    Likes Received:
    1,163
    A Case Soddy belongs in everyone's pocket....

    [​IMG]
     
    battle.munky likes this.
  15. hillst1

    hillst1 Scout

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2009
    Messages:
    910
    Likes Received:
    1,179
    Location:
    North Carolina
    I also love Case Sodbusters. The GEC in O1 steel and and Queen in D2 are also very nice.
     
  16. DomC

    DomC Retired Old Scrub Stomper Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    1
    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2011
    Messages:
    8,904
    Likes Received:
    25,539
    Location:
    East Central Florida
    I love my Case Sod Busters too...
    [​IMG]

    DomC
     
    Medicine maker and battle.munky like this.
  17. teranaut

    teranaut Scout

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2012
    Messages:
    508
    Likes Received:
    12
    The Sodbuster pattern sure is a good one. I have been enjoying my Bull Buster for a good while now. I have two more in red micarta in storage, not quite sure if I'm going to pass them down to the boys or what. We'll see when the time comes.

    [​IMG]
     
    Medicine maker and battle.munky like this.
  18. Judge

    Judge Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2015
    Messages:
    803
    Likes Received:
    2,445
    Location:
    Kingston, WA
    image.jpg
    Inherited these two from my Father. He never used them, actually he never used any of the knives in his collection. Other than being His I never gave them much thought until this thread. Unless they're something collectable I may start giving them a go. Like my Father before me, I have a soft spot for such things, unlike him I'm not afraid to use them for their intended purpose.
     
    Medicine maker and battle.munky like this.
  19. backlasher

    backlasher Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    May 4, 2013
    Messages:
    6,028
    Likes Received:
    6,467
    Location:
    Gulf Coast, Texas
    I've got 4 Rough Rider stainless liner locks in this pattern, one in each pack for food prep. I'll try to get a picture later.
     
    Medicine maker likes this.
  20. Marine'sdad

    Marine'sdad Scout

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2015
    Messages:
    245
    Likes Received:
    10
    Location:
    The Old Dominion State
    I have a case mini sod buster w/ black handle
     
  21. Nightflyer

    Nightflyer Supporter Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2014
    Messages:
    1,001
    Likes Received:
    2,258
    Location:
    Red Sox Nation
    My camping trio. Three hard working American made blades that handle any job asked of them and take a wicked edge. Esee 6, Buck 110, and GEC Bullnose. The orange Bullnose is always in my pocket.
    image.jpg
     
    battle.munky likes this.
  22. ejt

    ejt Tracker

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2012
    Messages:
    36
    Likes Received:
    12
    Location:
    East Kentucky
    Here's mine. I generally carry it to work, where they bought it for me as a Christmas present a few years ago. Its a rather cheap one but it takes a good edge.


    [​IMG]
     
    battle.munky likes this.
  23. CA Bowhunter

    CA Bowhunter Tracker

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2010
    Messages:
    55
    Likes Received:
    5
    Location:
    Northern California
    case sudbuter.jpg
    I have always loved the Case Sodbuster here a hard to find lock blade Sodbuster I carry this every day.
     
    battle.munky likes this.
  24. Geoff Randall

    Geoff Randall Guide

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2014
    Messages:
    1,022
    Likes Received:
    1,163
    Very nice...the liner lock Sodbuster was made from 1970 until the early eighties. They truly are hard to find.
     
    battle.munky likes this.
  25. CA Bowhunter

    CA Bowhunter Tracker

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2010
    Messages:
    55
    Likes Received:
    5
    Location:
    Northern California
    There one on eBay right now for $75
     
  26. SC T100

    SC T100 Scout

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    May 14, 2014
    Messages:
    545
    Likes Received:
    349
    Location:
    Lowcountry, SC
    Yeah it did! But not as well as I had hoped. I used RIT dye (red) trying to get it to turn orange. It is, but a pale-ish orange. If you do it, careful with the RIT...it etched the blade pretty good due to the salt in the solution, which gave it some character. If you have the stainless it probably won't affect it at all. It was fun though, and there no other knife like it now!
     
  27. Geoff Randall

    Geoff Randall Guide

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2014
    Messages:
    1,022
    Likes Received:
    1,163
  28. savage99nc

    savage99nc Supporter Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2012
    Messages:
    69
    Likes Received:
    16
    Location:
    Ernul NC
    Now that's beautiful [emoji6]
     
  29. Jean

    Jean Guide

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2012
    Messages:
    1,868
    Likes Received:
    1,301
    Love to find one as well.
     
  30. Geoff Randall

    Geoff Randall Guide

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2014
    Messages:
    1,022
    Likes Received:
    1,163
    I've seen them, well used, for upwards of $70+. A NOS brand new one in box was selling for over $135.00 on eBay, and frankly, I don't think it's worth that; of course, if you're so inclined to spend that amount of money for a locking sodbuster, than for my money, I'd go for a German Eye Brand Clodbuster...http://postoakknife.com/collections/all
     
  31. Jean

    Jean Guide

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2012
    Messages:
    1,868
    Likes Received:
    1,301
    It would be a working knife, ~ $30 tops.
     
  32. Jean

    Jean Guide

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2012
    Messages:
    1,868
    Likes Received:
    1,301
    Hey, there is one for $8 as well, except that the description says liner lock at one point, lock back at another, and the picture shows neither.
     
  33. Traditionalist

    Traditionalist Scout

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2009
    Messages:
    973
    Likes Received:
    1,048
    Location:
    E. OR
    Yet another great thread for knife appreciation, and it reminds me that my little Case yellow CV Sodbuster Jr. is napping in the basement and feeling neglected. I'm heading there now to add it to my shelf of EDC stuff so it can be included in the rotation.

    The Case Sodbuster (and probably some of the other brands) is one of those "get more than you paid for" knives.
     
  34. Mikewood

    Mikewood Supporter Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2013
    Messages:
    2,329
    Likes Received:
    3,952
  35. jaydendyck1

    jaydendyck1 Scout

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2014
    Messages:
    443
    Likes Received:
    624
    I'll play

    [​IMG]
     
    battle.munky likes this.
  36. jaydendyck1

    jaydendyck1 Scout

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2014
    Messages:
    443
    Likes Received:
    624
    [​IMG]

    One more with my favorite woods fixed blade and a neat little rifle
     
    battle.munky likes this.
  37. Canajun

    Canajun Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2015
    Messages:
    1,788
    Likes Received:
    1,935
    Location:
    British Columbia
    That's a beauty!

    I see a lanyard hole and different scales (?) on them, but are they otherwise created equal? On Amazon they range from under $25 to over $100. Is it just the handle material or are there different qualities of steel used, etc.? I guess what I'm saying is, if I buy a sodbuster off Amazon that has basic scales (say micarta rathetr than antler, etc.) am I still getting the same quality of blade and guts?
     
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2015
  38. Nightflyer

    Nightflyer Supporter Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2014
    Messages:
    1,001
    Likes Received:
    2,258
    Location:
    Red Sox Nation
    Well cared for but has seen plenty of use!
    image.jpg
     
    battle.munky likes this.
  39. Slips73

    Slips73 Guide

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2012
    Messages:
    2,080
    Likes Received:
    629
    Location:
    Flagstaff, Arizona
    I bought this GEC Sodbuster for my 18th birthday last summer and it has been a constant companion, I've hitchhiked the west, been through snow, mud and rain, used for food prep for all my meals, cutting up avocados, whittling, thorn removing, I fought fires with it in my back pocket, been dropped a few times, sat on, fallen on, covered in black soot and smoke and generally abused,but I cleaned the micarta up, a quick strop will bring it back up to a razor edge, its definitely got some stories to tell as it starts its second year never leaving my pocket. Its also my only knife believe it or not. I trust this one
    [​IMG]
     
  40. Geoff Randall

    Geoff Randall Guide

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2014
    Messages:
    1,022
    Likes Received:
    1,163
    This Bullnose sodbuster is made by Great Eastern Cutlery, and the quality of this folder is only bested in fit and finish by high dollar custom knife makers. GEC made these in orange and black Delrin, Nifebrite (glow in the dark), maroon and green micarta, and a SFO (Special Factory Order) for I forgot who in red micarta. You will not find this knife on Amazon or on eBay. If you do find one on eBay, it will go for close to $200.00 new. The only micarta sodbusters that are for sale are by Queen Cutlery, and you can see this particular one here: http://www.collectorknives.net/queen-cutlery-sodbuster-country-cousin-green-linen-micarta-d2-70lm/ As for quality, you can't go wrong with Case sodbusters, which can be had for as little as $19.95. The Queen I mentioned is very well made, made in the same city that GEC knives are made (Titusville, PA), and comes in D2 steel. The GEC's came in O-1 tool steel, and later editions came in 1095. As for the lanyard hole, well, GEC has everyone beat on this, since no one else is offering it, unless of course, you go custom which from my research starts at about $400 on up.
     
  41. Paul Foreman

    Paul Foreman Bushmaster

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2012
    Messages:
    8,857
    Likes Received:
    16,318
    Location:
    Sellers, Alabama, in South Montgomery County
    who makes a good lock back "sodbuster?"
     
  42. kamagong

    kamagong Scout

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2012
    Messages:
    673
    Likes Received:
    1,379
    I like the idea of the sodbuster, I just wish they had more of a point. I still have a couple though.

    Here's one made by Kerry Hampton. Jigged bone covers since I dislike synthetic handle materials.

    [​IMG]
     
    battle.munky likes this.
  43. Geoff Randall

    Geoff Randall Guide

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2014
    Messages:
    1,022
    Likes Received:
    1,163
    The Queen #70 has more of a point, for those who prefer that blade shape.
     
  44. Geoff Randall

    Geoff Randall Guide

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2014
    Messages:
    1,022
    Likes Received:
    1,163
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2015
    battle.munky likes this.
  45. bumma

    bumma Supporter Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2014
    Messages:
    1,672
    Likes Received:
    4,592
    Location:
    Maine!
    Dang it!

    Why do I read this stuff? I'll just be over on Amazon for a while...

    :4:
     
  46. crawford1775

    crawford1775 Supporter Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2011
    Messages:
    363
    Likes Received:
    168
    Location:
    Edmond, OK
    Moore maker knives has a lock back and liner lock sodbuster. www.mooremaker.com made in texas. I also had a mudbug I got in a trade with a member. Haven't used it yet but looks pretty neat. The edge seems a little small but is well made.
     
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2015
  47. Geoff Randall

    Geoff Randall Guide

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2014
    Messages:
    1,022
    Likes Received:
    1,163
    While Moore Maker and Bear & Son are two USA made manufacturer's, it should be noted that the quality, fit, and finish of their knives have been described as spotty at best. I have seen well executed knives from both makers at gun shows, as well as poorly made examples. If you're thinking about buying from one of these manufacturers, I would recommend that you have one in hand rather than ordering one site unseen.
     
  48. Paul Foreman

    Paul Foreman Bushmaster

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2012
    Messages:
    8,857
    Likes Received:
    16,318
    Location:
    Sellers, Alabama, in South Montgomery County
    thanks, geoff and craw ...
     
  49. lefty923

    lefty923 Tracker

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    May 3, 2014
    Messages:
    180
    Likes Received:
    123
    Location:
    Colorado Springs, CO
    I wish GEC would do another run of the Bullnose. I just can't see carrying a full size soddy in my pocket.
     
  50. NJStricker

    NJStricker Supporter Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2010
    Messages:
    1,950
    Likes Received:
    3,339
    Location:
    Ohio
    I have an older Sodbusters I picked up used 20 years ago. My only complaint is that the black Delrin gets slippery when wet (think field dressing). Has anyone modified their handle to improve the grip? I'm thinking about chucking a bit in my Foredom and gettin' jiggy wid it
     

Share This Page