BLADE Magazine

PHOTOS: 15 Greatest Bob Loveless Knives of All-Time

Robert “Bob” Loveless is regarded as one of the most influential custom knifemakers of the modern era. Here are the 15 knives that show why.

1) R.W. Loveless and Abercrombie & Fitch: A Match Made In Heaven

Best Robert Loveless knives
This is one of Loveless’ first knives made for Abercrombie & Fitch during the early 1950s. The photo is courtesy of John Denton.

2) Loveless-Johnson Collab

Steve Johnson, who worked as a junior partner with Loveless, says Bob made a huge difference in his life. Pictured is one of the few knives marked “Loveless Johnson” reportedly still in existence. The image is courtesy of John Denton and the John Denton collection.

3) The Most Beautiful Knife Bob Ever Made?

If Bob Loveless reportedly said that this integral semi-skinner, with its dark-green canvas-Micarta handle, is “the most beautiful knife I ever made,” then who can argue? The knife was crafted about 1987 and features a drop-point blade. It is from the John Denton collection, and the photo is by Hiro Soga.

4) The Loveless Dagger

The dagger looks so good, you want to pick it up, and feels so good you don’t want to put it down. The dagger in a full, tapered tang, Micarta handle and double guard looks and feels good. It is from the John Denton Collection.

5) Loveless-Merritt Collab

The combined skills of Jim Merritt and Bob Loveless are simply without peer. This pair is a prime example of the combined efforts of Bob Loveless and Jim Merritt. The knife photo is by Durwood Hollis.

6) The Crooked Skinner

The Bob Loveless Lawndale-made crooked skinner at right in the Hiro Soga photo features a 4.5-inch skinner blade, a nickel-silver guard and ebony handle. The camp knife is wrought from 1/4-inch stainless steel stock with a 6.5-inch clip-point blade, full tang and ebony handle. The knives are in the John Denton collection.

7) Big Bear Classic

This particular Loveless Big Bear Classic fighter boasts an amber-stag handle, which makes it one of the few made, and no Loveless bolts. Its approximate value? $35,000. That’s a lot of bear bones. Image and information via Dave Ellis.

8) New York Special

This is perhaps the rarest and hardest-to-find of Loveless pieces—the original New York Special with a snap in the sheath. According to Dave Ellis of Exquisite Knives, originally told, there were seven. This is the long-lost 8th! Image via Ellis.

9) The Pearl Gent

Loveless preferred Micarta handles. This “gent’s” model is one of the very few knives made with pearl. Image via Dave Ellis.

10) The Iconic Drop-Point Hunter

A prime example of a drop-point hunter, made in 1973 when Steve Johnson worked with Bob Loveless, it features hidden-tang construction, a single guard and a maroon-Micarta handle. How sweet it is! From the John Denton collection, this piece was photographed by Hiro Soga.

11) Loveless-Parke: Part Drop Point/Part Skinner

Only 36 knives bearing the Loveless-Parke logo were ever produced (Parke was an investor in Loveless’s knifemaking business for a short period of time.) This knife, made in 1967, is an example of that effort. The image is courtesy of John Denton and the John Denton collection.

12) The Delaware Knife

This is an early (1950s) hunter made by R.W. “Bob” Loveless when he lived in Claymont, Delaware. Interestingly, there are thumb notches on the back of the blade, just ahead of the guard. This is an extremely uncommon feature on a Loveless knife. Photo via Hiro Soga.

13) The Delaware Maid

An ultra-rare (only three of seven survive) Loveless “Delaware Maid” hunter with the VL&A (Von Lengerke and Antoine) logo, this knife has a trailing-point blade and a slender double-pinned hardwood handle. The photo is by Hiro Soga.

14) $13,000 Chute Knife

Originally designed for a Spec Ops parachutist working in jungle climates, the “chute” knife was fashioned to cut the lines of a parachute should the operative become entangled in them, a tree or other obstruction. This amber-stag handle model is valued at $13,000. Photo via Dave Ellis.

15) The Iconic Schrade Semi-Skinner

The knife Bob Loveless built for Schrade features a stainless steel blade and synthetic molded handle with no guard. The top piece is the Schrade knife, and the bottom is the Loveless semi-skinner prototype from which the Schrade knife was developed. Note the finger-grooved handle, a feature seldom seen on a Loveless knife. The photo is by Hiro Soga.

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