Constantly on the lookout for something that will make their knives better and stand out at the same time, many of today’s custom makers don’t hesitate to jazz up the guard.
And why not? A handsome, well-made guard adds to a knife’s looks, and, more importantly, serves as a sure safety feature in helping keep your hand where it needs to be—on the handle.
Above: Brad Millman forged the hammer-finished copper guard of his Wolftooth bowie. The 12-inch recurve blade is a san-mai construction of 360 layers of 1095 carbon and 15N20 nickel-alloy steels for the core sandwiched in a jacket of 1084 carbon steel. The bird’s-beak handle is curly Tasmanian blackwood. Overall length: 18 inches. (Caleb Royer edited image)
Above: Wayne Barrett heat-colored the shapely mild-steel crossguard of his 14.56-inch stiletto. The 10.6-inch blade is vintage butcher’s steel by F. Dick of Germany and features a classic triangular grind. The handle is Merino ram’s horn. (SharpByCoop image)
Above: It’s easy to see how Ryan Breur’s Ball-Guard Bowie got its name. The guard is cast bronze and the handle is flamed white oak with a domed inconel pin. The blade has a sharpened clip and is forged from 80CrV2 carbon steel. (Caleb Royer edited image)
Above: A stylish guard of wrought iron helps put the finish- ing touches on an ancient-walrus-ivory bowie by ABS master smith Tad Lynch. The 11.25-inch clip-point blade is W2 tool steel—a material some leading smiths consider ideal for producing a handsome hamon—and the knife is 16.375 inches overall. (SharpByCoop image)
Above: An upturned guard with a finger ring—each of hot- blued 4340HT steel—and a ladder-pattern damascus blade of 1095 carbon and 15N20 nickel-alloy steels help complete a quillon dagger by ABS journeyman smith Paul Savage. The handle is buffalo horn. (SharpByCoop image)
Above: Black mirror accent balls cap the stainless steel quillons on ABS master smith Kyle Royer’s Maiden Voyage Stiletto. The 11.75-inch damascus blade features an extra-deep hollow grind, a fuller and a reinforced piercing tip. The sculpted, fluted handle is wrapped in 24k-gold twisted wire. Overall length: 17.5 inches. (Caleb Royer image)
Above: The handforged nickel-silver finger guard “with curls” gives a damascus bowie by David Davis a curvaceous look. The 7.25-inch blade is pattern-welded steel forged by Alabama Damascus. Blade finish: acid etched. The handle is stabilized buckeye burl and the spacers/ liners are ebony and bone. Construction: hidden tang. Overall length: 12.25 inches. (Caleb Royer image)
Above: Tyler Turner outfits his coke-bottle-pattern pocketknife with a folding swing guard of 416 stainless steel. The 4-inch blade is CPM 154 stainless steel in a hollow sabre grind and the scales are jigged bone. Closed length: 5 3/8 inches. (SharpByCoop image)
This article is from a previous Issue of BLADE Magazine. Subscribe to a year of Blade Magazine for just $19.99 by clicking here.
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