Chris Rowley was a farrier for 12 years or more before he joined the Army at age 34. During his seven years of service he deployed six times to Afghanistan with 2nd Battalion, 75 Ranger Regiment, winding up his service this year as a weapons squad leader with the rank of staff sergeant.
He always loved blacksmithing and found time after work and on weekends to keep his hand in it by making knives. “Pretty soon half of 2nd battalion had one of my knives,” he said.
When Chris entered blacksmithing competitions, his horseshoes were hammer-finished, essentially going from the forge to horse. He tries to carry those shaping skills over to his knives, completing as much work in the forge as possible. Although not applicable with all steels or designs, many of his knives maintain a richly textured hammered finish.
Chris lives with his wife in Rainier, Washington.
- Best-selling knife patterns: small everyday carry knives and 4- to 10-inch bowie-fighters
- Favorite blade steels: 1084, 1075 and 15N20 for ease in forge-welding and the contrast with 1084 and 15N20; also W2
- Blade grinds: hollow and flat
- How he tests his knives: cardboard and random materials for everyday carry knives; chopping kindling and prepping game for camp-oriented knives
- Favorite handle materials: resin-and-burl-wood combinations by Voodoo Resins and J Hue Customs. “Both finish really well,” he added.
- Price range: $275 and up
- Forums he participate in: BladeForums.com
This knife has a 9-inch flat-ground forge-welded blade of 1084 and 15N20 steels. The handle is made of redwood burl with Voodoo Resins spacers and G10 liners. His maker’s mark is a diamond cutout to represent the Ranger Battalion emblem. Maker’s list price: $500 with sheath.
Watch Chris Rowley Cut Out His Maker’s Mark
The diamond-shaped insignia is used to represent the battalion within the Ranger Regiment. Often in comments, you will see it typed as < 2 > for 2nd Battalion, for example.
Subscribe To BLADE For More Stories Like This
A one year’s subscription to BLADE will ensure you’re the first to read all six Knifemaker Showcase stories. You’ll also get the latest knife news, knifemaking how-tos, knife reviews, plus knife history and articles that tap into the knowledge of both the legends and the up-and-comers. Don’t miss out. Subscribe.
1973 BLADE magazine issues in digital PDF! Delivered straight to your e-mail inbox for instant download. It’s 1973, and the future of the modern knife industry was being forged by a pioneering group of knifemakers with a magazine and a mission. Get these collectible first issues of the World's #1 Knife Publication! Click Here to Download the Pack