From: Robert Wieland (wieland@ME.UDel.Edu)
Subject: Re: Hunting Knife Recommedation
Newsgroups: rec.hunting
Date: 2000/06/14 writes:
> I need recommendations for a hunting knife. Nothing too fancy or
> expensive but not a cheapo either. I'd like a blade that holds a sharp
> edge and is fairly easy to resharpen. I haven't decided if a sheath or [snip]
> So speak to me. Which knives should I look at? What else should I
> consider?

The five most important ingredients in a great knife are, in order of
1> Great steel
2> Great steel
3> Great steel
4> Great steel
5> Good blade shape

The knives I have found & recommend are sheath knives made by Marble
in the $60-$90 range. These are made from 52-100 vacuum-melted
ball-bearing steel that is put through a long treatment which includes two
cycles of cryogenic stress relief and heat tempering. It ends up around
Rockewll 58-C (hard as a file) but not brittle in the least. It is mighty
hard for a steel, to the point that natural Arkansas stones (a form of
silica) don't sharpen it very rapidly, but does it ever take and hold an
edge! These knives enable you to get world-class steel in a knife without
running up a three-figure tab by having an in-demand custom-knife artisan
spend hours at a forge.
The design I like is their Woodcraft, which I have. This is a
classic time-tested pattern; there is a picture of it in 'Camping &
Woodcraft' by Horace Kephart, 1918. (I think this was 1918, but I'm sure
it was before 1920. If you've never seen that book, request it from your
library, its a fascinating account of the way things "used to be". It is
something of a classic; my copy, bought in 1967, was the 35th printing.
Sorry, I digress.) But the Woodcraft is a full-sized, heavy-duty knife,
notably thicker & heavier than other 5" blades; if you have smaller hands
and/or if you prefer "working close", they have the Fieldcraft, which is
pretty much the same blade at 2/3 scale.
And just this past year they have offered the same steel in their
Sport 99, a reproduction of the Loveless drop-point knife made famous by
its custom maker, who has apparently agreed to let Marble use his name on
their model, which I consider a quite an endorsement. If I were buying
today, I'd get this model.
The best place to order from that I have found is Discount Knives,
reachable on the net at They have links to
Marble, and a bunch of other makers, such as K-Bar and Case and Buck.
Don't overlook them for kitchen knives, either; they have the best prices
I've yet seen on Chicago Cutlery, and can save you bucks if you're buying
one of those knife-sets-in-a-wooden-block as a gift.
DISCLAIMER: I have no connection with either Marble Arms Co., or
with Discount Knives, other than as a satisfied customer. I am not
claiming I have done extensive testing, and know these knives are the
best, but I own one, and it is the best knife that I've ever had.