You need a knife. Everyone needs a knife. You know those plastic zip ties that you can’t get the scissor blade under that are lashing down the new grill spatula? Yeah, those. You need a knife for that. You know how it aggravates your sense of order when you’re forced to tear into the plastic shrink-wrapped to your case of water bottles? A nice slit down the center keeps the bottles upright without any unsightly stretches or ragged openings. You know how you try to open impossible-to-open snack bags with your teeth, because who carries scissors, and the seem causes a vertical tear? Yeah, that. You need a knife for that. But what we all need right now are some star-spangled, flag-waving knives that cut great!
6 Selections From True North Knives’ Freedom Collection
We’ll start with six selections from the Freedom Collection assembled by True North Knives. Often these models are available with different options, and of course they’re made right here in the USA. Maker warranties cover defects, but not abuse, so remember, it’s a knife, not a hammer or a pry bar.
Brian Fellhoelter’s Freedom Frikkie has a 1 3/4-inch blade of stone-washed CPM 154 steel. The frame is stone-washed titanium. Overall length is 4 1/8-inch, overall weight, 1.27 ounces. Maker’s list price: $180. Contact: www.truenorthknives.com.
Three-time recipient of the BLADE Show Knife of the Year Custom Best Folder, Brain Nadeau adds the Freedom Hurricane Flipper to True North Knives’ Freedom Collection. 9 1/8 inches overall, it has a 4-inch blade made of hand-rubbed CPM S35VN. The handle is titanium. Maker’s list price: $1250. Contact: True North Knives.
Chris Reeve’s contribution to the True North Knives Freedom Collection is the Flag 21 version of the Sebenza 21. The 3-inch blade is made with CPM S35VN stainless steel in a tanto design. The polished titanium frame sports an anodized flag pattern. Makers list price: $425. Contact: True North Knives.
Rich Hinderer’s XM-18 Flipper is another knife in the True North Knives’ Freedom Collection. The CPM 20CV blade is done in Hinderer’s Harpoon Spanto design and measures 3.5 inches. The frame is titanium and measures 8.25 inches. Maker’s list price: $650. Contact: True North Knives.
True North Knives’ Freedom Collection includes Jake Hoback’s Freedom OSF (Open Source Folder). The 3.5-inch blade is made out of CPM S35VN stainless steel in a modified sheepfoot design. Overall length is 8.75 inches, overall weight, 6.4 ounces. Frame is titanium. Maker’s list price: $550. Contact: True North Knives.
We round out the True North Knive’s Freedom Collection with Michael Zieba’s S1 Mini. The 2 5/8-inch blade is made with M390 super stainless steel. Overall it measures 6 inches and weights 2.288 ounces. The frame is titanium. Maker’s list price: $395. Contact: True North Knives. 21 Patriotic Cutters From Custom Makers Across The USA
These custom cutters may take longer to receive, but that’s because they’re all made one at a time in the shops of hard-grinding knifemakers who sometimes have day jobs. They’re worth the wait and will have you hitting every note of “The Star Spangled Banner” when you see how they cut.
The Warnaught by Eric Luther has a S35VN blade, full titanium frames, clip and backspacer, and ceramic detent and bearings. The custom Cerakote is by Warlock Custom. Maker’s list price: $700. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or join Eric Luther Knives on Facebook.
Brent Chumbley of Triple Deuces Knives made this Regulator with a 3-inch blade made of Bohler N690 steel. The titantium framelock handle’s custom Cerakote job is by Chad Waldow. Overall length is 7 1/4 inches. Maker’s list price: $510. Contact Brent Chumbley on Facebook at Triple Deuces Knives and on Instagram at triple_deuces_knives.
The Beaver Tooth by Matthew Nolan of Angry Beaver Knives, has a Scandi V-ground 3 1/2-inch blade made out of W2 steel and acid etched with a flag design. The handle is a Rob Carper Innovations patriot red pine cone in white and blue resin. Maker’s list price: $275 with Kydex sheath, $325 with leather. Contact: Matthew A. Nolan, email@example.com, 518-791-2551 or on Facebook at Angry Beaver Knives.
Cody Wheeler of Mill Creek Knives calls this his Steel Bridge Camp model. The steel is a Nicholson American file with CARVex “We the people” scales by VP5. The 3-inch blade has a flat grind. Maker’s list price: $225. Contact Cody Wheeler at firstname.lastname@example.org, on Facebook at Mill Creek Knives and on Instgram @millcreek_knives.
Spencer Aplin of STA Custom Knives made the 9-inch blade for this American Glory out of star feather-pattern steel from HHH Damascus and Knives. The fittings are nickel silver and the handle material is stabilized and double-dyed California buckeye burl. Maker’s list price: $2000. Contact Spencer Aplin at www.stacustomknives.com.
The Driver Defense Toxin has a 3.5-inch tanto blade made out of S35VN. The knife is 7.5 inches overall with jigged and dyed blue bone scales with bone bolster and red G10 liner and spacer. Maker’s list price: $250. Contact Dustin Driver at Driver Defense on Facebook.
This 13-inch chef knife by Jack Keith of Dunnottar Forge Knifeworks has an partially flat-ground 8-inch blade made out of CPM 154 that is finished with a hollow grind and satin finish. The handle is stacked maple and walnut veneer with a cast blue acrylic with white stars. Maker’s list price: $350. Contact Jack Keith at www.dunnottarforge.com.
The Karma by Jase White at Kastaway Custom Living was inspired by a real-world self-defense situation. The knuckles are in the CPM S30V blade rather than the handle, which is made of 1095 carbon steel. Maker’s list price: $50. Contact: Jase White at 423-453-9793, email@example.com or message at Kastaway Custom Living on Facebook.
Rich Richardson made this for a retired navy commander. The blade is a mix of Devin Thomas Damascus steel in basket weave pattern and steel from the battleship USS Texas. (Authentication was provided.) Overall length is 9 inches. Handle is stag with a mesquite spacer. Maker’s list price: $800. Contact Rich Richardson at firstname.lastname@example.org or message him on Facebook.
Jason Karl Glover of Mammoth Creek Knives made this 5 1/2-inch cleaver with triple grinds out of 1095 steel. The handle is Kirinite Patriot scales. Overall length is 11 inches. Maker’s list price: $375. Contact Jason Karl Glover at email@example.com, call 801-540-7023 or message him on Facebook at Mammoth Creek Knives.
JD Edwards hand-forged and hammer-finished this pair of fighters in 1095 carbon steel. The knives are 16 inches overall with an 11-inch cutting edge. The handle is made of bubinga wood and fitted with brass pins. The knives were commissioned by a family member of two brothers who are combat veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan. Maker’s list price: $250 each. Contact: JD Edwards at firstname.lastname@example.org or message him on Facebook at JD Edwards.
Bobby Toerck made this trailing-point skinner with a 4.5-inch 1095 carbon steel blade, polished to a mirror finish. The overall length is 9 1/2 inches. The scales are fashioned with Wavy American Flag by Robert Belcher of Mental Co. Maker’s list price: $350. Contact Bobby Toerck at 903-812-1173 or message him on Facebook at T4 Custom Knives.
Tom, short for Thomas, Jefferson of No Surrender Holsters made this sheath with a slide-out beverage opener on the backside to accompany “Forged In Fire” winner James Huse’s BBQ knife below. Contact Tom Jefferson on Facebook at No Surrender Holsters.
James Huse, “Forged In Fire” champion made this knife using patterned steel from Alabama Damascus Steel. The blade is 9.5 inches, 14.5 overall. The handle is made from Patriot Kirinite. Maker’s list price: $700. Contact James Huse on Facebook at Huse Knives.
Adam Rose of The Bearded Blade made this 4-inch blade from 1075 steel for a veteran who recently returned from Afghanistan. The handle is made from We the People CARVex scales. Overall length is 9 inches. Maker’s list price: $150. Contact Adam at email@example.com, on Facebook at The Bearded Blade or on Instagram @thebeardedblade.
Clay Smith of Sinister Knives calls this model the Battle Bean. The everyday carry is a friction folder knife/ bottle opener, perfect as a BBQ buddy! The 2-inch hollow-ground blade is made with W2 steel. The hardware and pivot pin are stainless and the liner and backspacer are aluminum. The handle scales are by Voodoo Resins. Maker’s list price: $150. Contact: Clay Smith at Sinister Knives on Facebook @bud809 on Instagram or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dale White of White Made Knives in Sweetwater, Texas, made this 10-inch knife for a soldier. Both the staff sergeant and the knife did two tours in Iraq. The blade is hollow-ground made out of 440C steel. The handle is sand-blasted canvas Micarta. Maker’s list price: $350. Contact Dale White at email@example.com or on Facebook at White Made Knives.
John Waltz of Edge7 Custom Knives made this everyday carry tanto out of CPM3V. The hollow-ground blade is 3 inches and the knife is 7 inches overall. The scales are from J Hue Customs. Maker’s list price: $275. Contact John Waltz through www.edge7customknives.com.
Jr. Madan of Patriot Horde Knives calls this model DaCleava. The 4-inch blade is made out of 1095 steel with a flat grind. Overall length is 9 inches. The handle is fashioned with CARVex Wavy Flag scales, fitted with brass pins and lanyard tube. Maker’s list price: $250 with Kydex sheath. Contact Jr Maden or Patriot Horde Knives on Facebook.
Denny Furey of Furey’s Urban Combat Knives Unlimited uses high carbon 1095 steel to make the Americana. The knife is 7.5 inches overall with a 3.25-inch blade with mild hamon. There is file work on the spine, and the bolster and pommels are 410 stainless steel. The handle is fashioned from Patriot Kirinite scales. Maker’s list price: $300 shipped with Kydex sheath with hardware and embossed makers mark. Contact Denny Fury at firstname.lastname@example.org, 405-642-2198 or at Furey’s Urban Combat Knives – Unlimited on Facebook.
Tim Lambkin of Chops Knives hand makes everything on The Patriot Folding Lockback. The overall length is 8 1/8 inches. The 3 1/4-inch blade is made with pattern-welded stainless steel by Chad Nichols. The handle scales are mammoth tooth with anodized titanium bolsters and pommels. Filework everywhere, inside and out, is done by Tim. Maker’s list price: $1950. Contact Tim Lambkin at email@example.com or on Facebook at Tim Lambkin (Chops Knives).
Shane Barefoot of Barefoot Custom Knives offers the Competition Chopper model in 3/4 size. Overall length is 13 inches. The flat-ground blade is made with 52100 steel. The handle is made with blue-and-red-dyed maple burl. Barefoot Custom Knives big-vine filework is filled with red resin. Maker’s list price: $450. Contact Shane Barefoot at 864-444-7410 or visit www.barefootcustomknives.com.