Beautiful Damascus Bowie

Anyone who knows me knows I have this thing for Bowie knives. I feel there is no better all around knife than a Bowie knife.

Adnan Monger sent me this beautiful Damascus Bowie knife.

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14.5″ Long with a 9.5″ blade length. Brass guard and butt cap and a colored giraffe bone handle.

If you’re interested in owning this one of a kind beauty, click here!


Legends of Knife Making: Jimmy Lile

James Buel Lile 1933-1991, known as Jimmy Lile or The Arkansas Knifesmith, was an American knifemaker from Russellville in Pope County, Arkansas, who made the Rambo Knife for the films First Blood and Rambo: First Blood Part II


In 1971, Lile became a full-time knifemaker and was known as “Gentleman Lile” or “The Arkansas Knifemaker”. He was particularly known for his Survival knife designs known as “The Mission” series, created by request for Sylvester Stallone to use in his first two Rambo movies. These designs would go on to influence other knife makers in the 1980s. In addition to creating the Rambo knives, Lile designed and made several Bowie knives that he presented to Governor Bill Clinton and U.S. Presidents Ronald Reagan, Richard Nixon, and Gerald R. Ford, Jr. Other owners of his work included John Wayne, Peter Fonda, Fess Parker, Bo Derek, and Johnny Cash.

When Lile was approached with the specifications for the “Rambo” knife, he was told to design it not as a mere “prop” but as a basic tool to perform a variety of tasks. Lile adapted a basic clip point Bowie knife which could be used to chop wood and slice food while retaining an edge. He employed a waterproof hollow handle design to store matches, needles, thread, and a compass; the hollow-handle allows the knife to be fitted to a pole to make a spear or gig. The handle was wrapped with nylon line that could be used for fishing or making snares. The tips on the guards were made into a standard and Phillips screwdriver and the spine was serrated. Lile chose to forge the blade of 440C high-carbon steel, which he claimed could cut through the fuselage of an aircraft.


Lile was elected president of the Knifemakers Guild in 1978 and was an early member of the American Bladesmith Society. He was elected to the Board of Directors of the ABS in 1977 and acted as a liaison between the two groups. His “Lile Lock” folding knife is on display at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. In 1984 he was inducted into the Blade Magazine Cutlery Hall of Fame.

See Lile knives for sale on the website


MOD (Masters of Defense) was founded in 1998 by Jim Ray. Jim went to real knife defense experts to design his knives. Men such as Michael Janich, Alan Elishewitz, Duane Dieter, Jeff Harkins and Massad Ayoob to name a few. They were innovated with designs that the tactical knife world wanted and this proved to be very successful for MOD.

In 2003 MOD was sold to BLACKHAWK! Products Group which wanted to diversify  its already product line of holsters, packs, slings, lights, apparel and tools. By joining BLACKHAWK!, gave MOD a wider base of armed professionals and not just the elitist military and police units.

Another advantage of BLACKHAWK!’s absorption of MOD was bringing these advanced knife designs to an average person who wanted these proven concepts of expert-inspired tactical designs, but normally couldn’t afford them. This happened in 2005 when BLACKHAWK! / M.O.D. became BLACKHAWK! Blades.

Overall the M.O.D. and the BLACKHAWK! / M.O.D. have become highly desired and collectible.

We have two of these knives available:

A Nightwing fixed blade designed by Alan Elishewitz and a CQD Mark II Automatic Folder  designed by Duane Dieter. Both are rare and extremely hard to find.

For more information on these knives and to purchase, please visit our website


One of Howard Viele’s First Knives

Double Edge Slip Knife

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Purchase it here: Howard Viele

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

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

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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