Cool Custom: One-Armed Alaska Ulu

Cool Custom: One-Armed Alaska Ulu
Josh Wisor had never made an ulu before, so he found out his customer’s needs and searched the Internet for various examples of ulus to arrive at his design. The 41-year-old has been making knives part time almost five years and earned his ABS journeyman smith stamp at BLADE Show 2022. He plans to go for his master smith stamp as soon as he’s eligible, which should be sometime in 2024. (Jocelyn Frasier knife image edit)

Josh Wisor makes a special knife for a special customer.

If you think Josh Wisor’s Alaska Ulu looks a bit different, that’s because it is—Josh built it for a customer who lost an arm and suffered nerve damage to the other as a result of a farming accident.

Josh made the ulu open-ended so the customer can more easily grip the handle and thus use it more easily as well with the hand of his nerve-damaged arm. The customer uses the knife for food prep and even on deer in hunting camp.

Ulu in use
Josh’s customer demonstrates how the Alaska ulu’s open-ended design enables him to easily grip the handle.

A big fan of damascus, the customer wanted a pattern-welded blade, so Josh accommodated him with one of 1084 carbon and 15N20 nickel-alloy steels heat treated to a Rockwell hardness of 60-61 HRC. In other words, it is equipped to do some serious cutting.

The result is a noteworthy using knife for a more-than-satisfied customer.

Check Out More Cool Custom Knives:

Download BLADE's Knife Guide Issue!NEXT STEP: Download Your Free KNIFE GUIDE Issue of BLADE Magazine

BLADE’s annual Knife Guide Issue features the newest knives and sharpeners, plus knife and axe reviews, knife sheaths, kit knives and a Knife Industry Directory.

Get your FREE digital PDF instant download of the annual Knife Guide. No, really! We will email it to you right now when you subscribe to the BLADE email newsletter.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here