The Ulster Knife Co.

Ulster Knife Works

Ulster Knife Works

Ulster Knife Company, founded in the 1870’s in Ellenville, NY. From the 1870’s through about 1940, produced very high quality pocketknives, similar to Schrade during the Schrade Cut Co era. For knives of that period, I would rate the Ulster brand as actually being more collectible than Schrade because the brand is completely gone.

Ulster was bought out by Albert Baer in 1904. They retooled and produced a much more “mass market” type pocket knife, similar to Camillus and Kutmaster. When Ulster then was absorbed into Imperial Schrade, they of course ceased to be a separate company but the name was a “brand”. Similar to Ford/Mercury or GM/Chevy/Buick etc.

From post WWII through the mid 1970’s, Imperial, Ulster, and Schrade knives were made by one company, Imperial Schrade. Imperial was the “low end” line, Ulster was the “mid-grade” line, and Schrade was the “high end” line.

The Ulsters were a step down in quality from Schrade, thinner blade stock, thinner bolsters (but still solid nickel silver), and a less broad range of patterns made. In my 1963 catalog of Schrade and Ulster, the Ulsters were about half the price of Schrades for equivalent patterns.

The funny part of this is that all these knives were made on the same machines. They also were all part of a company owned by the same person. Is it any wonder that you run across the same or similar numbers and styles. In fact that is kind of what makes these knives fun. It is nice to think that everything is regimented and in a nice order but the fact is you can find combinations no one ever knew existed. There has never really been a good codification and listing of Schrade knives and any records are usually post WW II prior to that you have there catalog which only shows the regular styles and models. Which is far from inclusive of everything they made some styles were produced in such small quantity’s that they never made the catalog, prototypes, saleman’s samples, overruns incorporating what ever was left from the last run, mistakes, just to name a few examples.

The company factory was shut down in 2004 and the Schrade brand name was bought up by Taylor Brands of Tenn.

Published in: on June 14, 2015 at 4:33 am  Leave a Comment  
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Knives by Dean Laner Custom Knife Maker

Here are two nice knives from California knife maker Dean Laner

Custom Clip Point Hunter

Custom Clip Point Hunter with Zebra Wood Scales

Custom Tactical Utility

Paracord Wrapped Custom Tactical Utility

June Copper State Cutlery Meeting

June CSC Meeting Page

Published in: on June 5, 2015 at 6:18 am  Leave a Comment  
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Two Masterpiece Sub Hilt Fighters

Both of these fighters were designed by Joe Ali of Scottsdale, AZ. The Damascus steel were made by Ray Rybar of Camp Verde, AZ. The grind and handle work was completed by Todd Kopp of Apache Junction, AZ. Both are truly art masterpieces.

Large Sub Hilt Fighter

Large Sub Hilt Fighter

Medium Sub Hilt Fighter

Medium Sub Hilt Fighter

IMG_4322 IMG_4331

Tucson Expo Gun and Prepper Show


Sonoran Desert Knives will be at the Tucson Expo May 15th & 16th

3750 E Irvington Rd., Tucson, AZ 85714

Saturday 9a-5p, Sunday 9a-4p

Published in: on May 9, 2015 at 10:06 am  Leave a Comment  
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Weidmannsheil Knives

Weidmannsheil Knives – Wilhelm Weltersbach

Founded in 1882 in Solingen, Germany, Wilhelm Weltersbach produced a diverse line of quality made pocket knives and fixed blade knives for the German and European market. Calling his brand “Weidmannsheil” which translates from the German as “good hunting.”

Weltersbach used both a Stag head’s shield and a Boar head’s shield as it’s logos.

At last, all the Weltersbach cutlers had died by 1991 and all out put of knives had stopped by 1994. In 1997 the Friedrich Olbertz cutlery firm help James F. Parker of Tennessee acquire the rights to the name Weidmannsheil and the knives were once again being produced by the Olbertz Cutlery Company in Solingen, Germany for Parker Cutlery.

Friedrich Olbertz Cutlery was founded in 1872, in Solingen, the famous city of blades in Germany. The company is managed by the fifth generation of family and produces many famous brands such as “Weidmannsheil,” “Bulldog Brand,” “Fight’n Rooster,” and “Carl Schlieper” to name a few.

Weidmannsheil 2

Published in: on April 21, 2015 at 11:39 pm  Leave a Comment  
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What is a Blood Groove For?

Blood groove
This question comes up every 8 months or so. The blood groove on a knife probably is derived from the channel present on swords, where it is called a “fuller”. There are some persistent myths floating around about the function of blood grooves, from “releases the vacuum when the knife is thrust into a person” to “no functional use, purely decorative”. Let’s talk about these wrong answers first, before we talk about the right answers.

Wrong Answer #1: Releasing the Body Suction

Basically, this theory postulates that the blood groove is present to facilitate withdrawing the knife from a person/animal. In this scenario, it is said that the animal’s muscles contract around the knife blade, and that this causes a vacuum, which makes the knife difficult to withdraw. But on a knife with a blood groove, blood runs through the blood groove and breaks the suction, so the knife can be withdrawn with less difficulty.

One problem is that there’s no evidence that this suction ever really happens. Also, over and over again people report that there is no difference whatsoever in the difficulty of withdrawing a knife with a blood groove vs. one without. This is one theory that has been tested and found wanting.

Yes, I realize you may have heard this myth from your deadly knife instructor, or read it in a book somewhere. But the experts agree that it is false. If your knife can cut its way in, it can just as easily cut its way out, with or without a blood groove.

And with that, I am going to change terminology from “blood groove” to “fuller”, since we all now know the so-called “blood groove” is not playing a blood-channeling function.

Wrong Answer #2: Purely Decorative

There is a grain of truth to this one. Although a fuller does play a functional role, on a short knife the effect might be so small as to be insignificant. Many believe the fuller plays a strictly decorative role on knives or swords under 2 feet long. As the knife or sword gets bigger, the fuller plays an increasingly important role. On smaller knives, it is indeed probably just decorative.

Right Answers:

Okay, so what substantive role does the blood groove/fuller play? The bottom line is, it does two things:

1. It stiffens the blade 2. It lightens the blade

That first statement has been the subject of some controversy, with some people sending me equations purporting to show that the removal of material cannot make the blade stiffer. I will table for now the question of “does the blade get stiffer, in some absolute sense, due to the fuller?” Rather, I’ll weaken the claim to say that the blade *feels* stiffer to the user who is waving it around — because it’s stiffer for its weight.

I’ll reproduce a post by Jim Hrisoulas which lays things out clearly (re-printed with permission):

When you fuller a blade you do several things:

1: You lighten it by using less material, as the act of forging in the fuller actually widens the blade, so you use less material than you would if you forged an unfullered blade. (In stock removal the blade would also be lighter, as you would be removing the material instead of leaving it there).

2: You stiffen the blade. In an unfullered blade, you only have a “single” center spine. This is especially true in terms of the flattened diamond cross section common to most unfullered double- edged blades. This cross section would be rather “whippy” on a blade that is close to three feet long. Fullering produces two “spines” on the blade, one on each side of the fuller where the edge bevels come in contact with the fuller. This stiffens the blade, and the difference between a non-fullered blade and a fullered one is quite remarkable.

Fullers on knives do the same thing, although on a smaller blade the effects are not as easily seen or felt. Actually looking at fullers from an engineering point of view they really are a sophisticated forging technique, and it was the fullered swordblade that pointed the way to modern “I” beam construction.

When combined with proper distal tapers, proper heat treating and tempering, a fullered blade will, without a doubt, be anywhere from 20% to 35% lighter than a non-fullered blade without any sacrifice of strength or blade integrity.

Fullers were not “blood grooves” or there to “break the suction” or for some other grisly purpose. They served a very important structural function. That’s all. I have spent the last 27 years studying this and I can prove it beyond any doubt…

Article Written by: Joe Talmadge

Source:  rec.knives Newsgroup May 1998

Published in: on April 21, 2015 at 5:07 am  Leave a Comment  
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Extrema Ratio Knives


Extrema Ratio, located in Prato, Italy, has been designing, manufacturing and selling high performance combat knives since 1997 enjoying a reputation for excellence that is unsurpassed in the military and tactical knife industry.

Extrema Ratio serves military and law enforcement communities as well as commercial markets and the knives are well known and sought after all over the globe.

The company prides itself in design, material and quality to deliver a high end product that meets the most severe mil-standards.


The production based on modern cutting edge technology is combined with traditional craftsmanship and the result is the pinnacle of this synthesis. The Extrema Ratio design team uses the 3D system to design new models and create prototypes. Each knife design is then meticulously inspected and then field tested. At this point the finest materials are chosen for durability, function and beauty. Each knife is then hand assembled and hand finished and inspected by Extrema Ratio team of craftsmen.

Each knife that is manufactured at Extrema Ratio has measured up to the Company rigorous standards for quality and performance. The knives are the result of painstaking research and development. This is an Extrema Ratio hallmark. Extrema Ratio knives represent a real, solid value for the money.

All of the knives are made from N690 Cobalt Stainless Steel which is a steel from a small plant in Austria, often used in the manufacture of surgical instruments. This steel along with their tempering methods produce a steel of great strength, flexibility with the capability to take and retain a razor sharp edge. The handles provided on the fixed blade knives are made from a grip polymer called Forprene which provides a very sure and comfortable grip even when wet. The folding range of knives have a shell made from a super strong anticorodal alloy and the best materials are used throughout to ensure reliability and longevity.

Dark Talon

If you want a knife that will hold up under extreme conditions, then take a look at Extrema Ratio Knives

6 Hunting Knives by Jeff Morgan

California knife maker Jeff Morgan makes a no-nonsense hunting knife. Made of 1095 high carbon steel. His knives are bought by hunters, cattlemen, farmers, ranchers the world over. The really great thing about his knives is that you can have a hand made custom working knife that will last for years for right around $100.00.







Click on the photos for more info

A Visit with Rick Genovese

An hour and a half North East of Phoenix, nestled between the Tonto National Forrest and Roosevelt lake, in the shadow of the Sierra Ancha range with part of the Mogollon Rim on the the northeast and the Mazatzal Mountains westward, you’ll find Tonto Basin and Rick Genovese, master knife maker.

(According to an NPR story on the Lone Ranger, Tonto Basin is the inspiration for Tonto, the native American companion to the Lone Ranger.)

I took the hour and half drive up to Tonto Basin to meet Rick in person and to see his work. Rick was a very gracious host, inviting me into his home and giving me a tour of his shop as well as showing me some of the knives he had recently completed.

I first met Rick on Facebook after seeing a post of one of his outstanding knives which was engraved by Mitch Moschetti

rick genovese

I thought, “Wow! Who is this guy?” After a little research, I became his Facebook friend which lead me to today’s travels. I arrived at his home a little after 10am and we spent the next two hours talking.

Rick grew up in Phoenix and worked in his dad’s business as a machinist. Of course working with tools led him to begin making knives in 1975. His first knives where in the style of Bob Loveless, (who doesn’t start there?). It wasn’t long after he began his hand at making folders. From there he stepped up his game and began working his framed folders with gem stone materials such as fossilized Mammoth, Jade, petrified woods and his favorite (as well as mine) Mother of Pearl.

"Dolores Dagger"

“Dolores Dagger”

"Dolores Dagger"  Featuring Kevin Casey Feather Damascus blade and Picture Jasper inlays.

“Dolores Dagger” Featuring Kevin Casey Feather Damascus blade and Picture Jasper inlays.

Gent's Folder

Gent’s Folder

Gent's Folder

Gent’s Folder

Gent's Folder

Gent’s Folder

Gent's Folder  Pearl & Opal inlays each side, 18k Gold toothpick, engraving by Mitch Moschetti in leaf pattern with 24k Gold border

Gent’s Folder
Pearl & Opal inlays each side, 18k Gold toothpick, engraving by Mitch Moschetti in leaf pattern with 24k Gold border

Gent's Folder  White Pearl with Lapis Lazuli ovals

Gent’s Folder
White Pearl with Lapis Lazuli ovals

Gent's Folder

Gent’s Folder

Gent's Folder

Gent’s Folder

His own favorite knife model is the “Sleek Dagger” style folder

Rick holding his "Sleek Dagger" folder

Rick holding his “Sleek Dagger” folder

"Sleek Dagger" folder

“Sleek Dagger” folder

"Sleek Dagger" folder

“Sleek Dagger” folder

His most popular knife style is his Gent’s folder which he makes in three different sizes


Rick still makes a fixed blade now and then. Here’s one he is currently working on

IMG_4178 IMG_4177


Rick’s shop is currently in a storage unit until he moves to his new home

IMG_4179 IMG_4180 IMG_4181 IMG_4182

The first thing you notice about his shop is how immaculately clean he keeps it, every tool has it’s place. A bit crowded, it still has plenty of room for Rick to produce the fine art knives he makes. Though his knives sell in the thousands of dollars with buyers all over the world he is far from pretentious.

His knife making mentors include makers such as Ron Lake, Steve Hoel and his Japanese Sensei, Kuzan Oda whom he met in Colorado. The story he told was Kuzan Oda had recently left working with Bob Loveless and was looking for a place to make knives. Rick had a shop he allowed him to use in trade for knife making lessons and tips.

For this lover of knives it was a good trip.

If you’re interested in acquiring one of Rick’s beautiful knives, you can simply email him at genoveseknives (at) hotmail (dot) com.

On the road north

On the road north

View from Rick's back yard

View from Rick’s back yard

Quiet beauty

Quiet beauty


Tonto National Forest

Tonto National Forest



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