I can’t remember exactly, but it was about 18 months or so ago I saw an advertisement in The Backwoodsman for a nice little trout and game knife made by Wild Boar Blades. I called the number to get some pricing and information. Come to find out, the maker has a shop out in Silver Lake, WA and answered his own phone. The gentleman seemed like a great guy so I went ahead and ordered one of his knives.
Shipping was quick and the price was good considering I was getting something from a custom knife maker. Some of my custom knives have been over $600, so this was almost “chump change” in comparison. Again, I will say that the maker himself was great to talk to over the phone and the pictures of his work made his knives appear quite good. Then I got it in the mail……
Now I don’t want to pick apart someone’s work nor do I dislike the knife enough to not use it. There were just some quality issues that need to be addressed before I feel that it should have been released from the work bench.
First, let me show you the knife.
The grind on the blade was also way too sharp of an angle. It would not hold an edge at all. It took me several hours on a stone to get the angle to a workable angle. As you can see here, I did not do a perfect job. It is a lot better than it was, however. The blade came with a very sharply angled convex grind to it. The way it was done made it where the blade did not hold an edge nor could I get it very sharp. A flatter or more tapered grind would have been a better choice for this knife considering it was designed for cleaning trout and small game. It really came as more of a patch type knife than anything else. I still have many hours left to make it perfect, but considering the other flaws I will just let time and strop sharpening fix the edge.
The other issue that will require my attention is the stitching of the sheath. Even though the sheath is not evenly cut and the stitches were not properly aligned to the edge, the real problem is that the maker used an easy stitch with unwaxed thread. Of course the thread broke and is now in need of a complete restitching job.Now don’t get the idea that I hate the knife. The finish sanding and polish of the scales is awesome. The design and shape is phenomenal as well. I even like the maker’s mark and name of the blade company. I just think that there are some build and quality issues that need to be addressed.
As a side note, I have used this knife quite extensively to clean small game and fish. It has cleaned 20-30 trout, several dozen ducks, a dozen or two rabbits, probably a 100 doves, countless squirrels and helped bone out my son’s deer. After flattening out the edge on the blade it is now sharp enough to work as it was originally intended. Again, it has a long way to go. As you can see below, it is sharp enough after meating out several racks of ribs last night to still cut paper without issue.If you have the skills to fix the blade when you get it or are like me and don’t care too much about using a blemished custom knife, I would recommend the shape and design of this knife. If you want a show piece or don’t know how to fix the edge of a knife to make it more suited for cutting up meat then I would recommend you look elsewhere.
I hope that Mr. Simonson didn’t read this before he passed away.
Let me know if you’d like me to take that knife off of your hands. I would be happy to have another one of his pieces.
He had psoriasis of the fingertips and put his all into his work. He was one of the nicest men I have ever met and his knives were the reason I met him.
I am happy that you had a good relationship with him and hope that you get some big smiles of your friend every time you get a chance to use one of his creations. When I buy something like a custom knife, a firearm, tool, etc., I do so with the intention of keeping it. If I do decide to get rid of it, I will let you know.
Thus far I have fixed the angles on the blade, sharpened it properly, and have worked on the handle a little bit. I still have to finish the handle angles and restitch the sheath. Once I corrected the cutting angles I will say that this knife does work quite well for field dressing birds and small game. Since I don’t really fish for trout too often, I have not had a chance to try the new blade configuration on them. Seeing as how well it works for small game, it will probably work well for trout now.
The heat treat may be off a bit, however. It doesn’t seem to hold an edge too well, but it does get pretty sharp.
Again, I am happy that you had a great relationship with Mr. Simonson. I never met him and only spoke to him over the phone. He did seem like a pleasant person during the couple minute conversation that I had with him.
Have a great day and enjoy your collection!