Posted by: woodbeecarver   in Knives

KNIFE FAVORITESWood carvers of every level of experience soon come to have and use their favorite carving tool.  Old pocket knives reshaped and sharpened have long been the favorites for the WOOD BEE CARVER.  Ever since a boy growing up on a farm three miles south of Poneto, Indiana, a pocket knife has been used for whittling and developed into a style of whittle-carving.


OLD RELIABLEMy long time good carving friend, Lynn Doughty can not live without his “Old Reliable” as his favorite carving knife.  Visit his wood carving blog to see the results of Old Reliable in a carving master’s hand and imagination:  www.outwestwoodcarving.blogspot.com



LARRY PIETY KNIFELarry Piety of Berne, Indiana, a very good friend and wood carver, made this knife for me following the method developed by Max Kirkes of Kansas.  Max, a cowboy poet and wood carver, taught how to make a carving knife out of a power hack saw blade.  I first met Max at the old War Eagle Seminars in Arkansas where he was the tool vendor and sharpener by day and cowboy poet at night gatherings.  The handle of this knife made by Larry Piety is tobacco marble acrylic material often used in pen turning.  It makes a beautiful knife handle for a very sharp carving blade.  This knife is another of my favorites.


KNIVES BY DON POTTERKNIVES BY CHARLES BEROLDThe growing list of favorite knives continues with knives made by wood carving friends.  Don Potter of Cincinnati made the two knives in the first photo as a gesture of friendship.  The knives made by Charles Berold came from the creative handiwork of a tool maker who is famous for his very narrow V tools and for his V tool pocket knives.  Charles is a fellow member in the Miami Valley Wood Carving Club and lives in Miamisburg, Ohio.  His tools are for sale and he can be reached at 937-746-8125 or bertools@juno.com .

There is an old saying, “A man with one watch always knows what time it is.  While a man with two watches is never quite sure.” And so it is for woodcarvers,  when it comes to knives and tools, “one is plenty, two is too many and three is never enough.” Wood carvers are fascinated with carving tools and knives and so we accumulate more and more that all fall into the category of being “favorites.” One is not more a favorite than the next one, but each one is a favorite.

Knife Favorites grow to include knives made by custom knife makers who have one thing in common.  They all make excellent carving knives.   Knife makers have to make a good knife because their reputation rests upon satisfied customers.  Each caver then adopts a custom made knife into their favorite knife corral because of design, handle comfort and appearance, blade shape and sharpness and the mystique of the maker’s name and reputation.

Wood carvers are also in search for a knife that is a “cut above” their other knives.  A custom made knife comes sharpened and polished with the initial evaluation that it is a “cut above” the other knives.  As time goes on through use the knife is not cutting as well as at first prompting a search for another “cut above” knife.  Perhaps the real secret is learning to sharpen a knife and keep it tuned up to fine carving.  And yet, we still are fascinated by custom made knives and seek to make another one our favorite.

Some of my Knife Favorites by custom knife makers will be listed below of which I can recommend each one as making excellent carving knives.  It still boils down to one’s own personal choice.  Most can be purchased from the knife maker or from tool vendors  at wood carving shows or catalogue who handle several selections of knives.


Ralph Long may be contacted  at 336-595-4563 or email: RELDPL@embarqmail.com or go to “Cool Links” and click on REL KNIVES to print off a brochure and order form.  Or click on this link: https://woodbeecarver.com/dl/REL_Knife_Net_Brochure.pdf Bob Barts can be reached at www.bobbartsknives.com.  Dave Lyons at: Lyons Knives, 3219 Windmill Dr., Beavercreek, OH 45432 (send SASE)


Everett Cutsinger of Topeka, KS.  can be reached at:785-266-5830 for a paper catalogue.  Lee Ferguson at : www.fergusonknives.com.  Bud Murray can be reached at: 573-346-7321 or wjmurray@dam.net .


Dave Notto’s “Chips Knives” may be ordered at:  www.stadtlandercarvings.com .  Drake knives at: www.DrakeKnives.com or from Smoky Mountain Woodcarvers at: www.woodcarvers.com .  Helvie knives can be purchased from your favorite tool vendor like: Belcher Carving Supply, 937-845-0346 or R1Belcher@aol.comor from the Woodcraft Shop at: www.thewoodcraftshop.com .


Denny knives are available from most tool vendors as they are very popular and well respected.  Dave Sabol may be reached at:  www.davidsabol.com .  Deepwoods Ventures may be reached at: www.DeepwoodsVentures.com or your favorite tool vendor.


John Dunkle may be reached at 419-494-5984 or his knives purchased from your favorite tool vendor.   Allan Goodman, a carver, carver instructor and knife maker from Maryville, TN made the knife in the two photographs to the right of the Dunkle knife.  It is the same knife with an interesting handle of Honduras Rosewood with one side being the sap wood (light side) and the heart wood (dark side) on the other.  The blade is shaped with the cutting edge curving in an up sweep and the back of the blade has a sway back which offers a very unique function of slicing into very tight areas.  The blade is flexible and is extremely sharp making  an excellent slicing action.  Other examples of his knives can be seen on his my-space at:  www.myspace.com/AllenGoodman1969 and further questions and ordering information by contacting Allan at: 865-679-8865 or   agoodman3646@charter.net .

RON WELLS KNIFEWARTHER KNIFERon Wells made his very popular carving knife for many years until his retirement.  Mike Shipley   www.ozarkcountrycharacters.com took over the knife making business and continues to make the Ron Wells style carving knife.   The Warther Knife is made by the Warther family at Warther’s Museum in Dover, Ohio www.warthers.com Ernest Warther founded the knife making business which made it possible for him to carve the history of steam locomotive trains and the famous Lincoln Funeral Train.  Many were carved out of ebony and ivory.  The knife handle in the photo is an orginial 1932 design.  The blade has been reshaped by me to be an up sweep cutting edge to fit the style best suited for slicing cuts.
This rounds out my listing of “Knife Favorites” other than to say that in the end my favorite knife is the one I have in my hand at the time of carving.  My favorite knife blade shape is the cutting edge curving up to meet the back edge for a greater slicing action for the most efficient knife cut is a slicing cut.  Thus one of my rules is, “Slice with the cutting edge.”

This entry was posted on Friday, April 17th, 2009 at 2:30 pm and is filed under Knives. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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