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

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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

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Tonto National Forest

Tonto National Forest

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Bulletproof Design

At the gun show this weekend I met a very nice young lady named Alexandria Smith or Allie for short. She has long brown hair, beautiful dark eyes that shined and one extremely gorgeous smile.

Alexandria Smith

But most importantly was the really cool art pieces that she created and was selling at the show….

The Bowen R4 – an esoteric collector’s item.

Bowen r4 brass

Find out more about her work here

Published in: on October 27, 2014 at 8:47 am  Leave a Comment  
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Why You Need to Spend a Hundred Dollars on a Knife

A hundred dollars? For a knife?

Yes!

Let’s start out by saying this isn’t 1980 any more, it’s twenty five years later. You can’t get the knife your pops bought you back then for twenty dollars. Because back then a twenty dollar knife was a well crafted, well made, but an expensive knife. One that was expected to last. I’ve seen many of them, old, worn, some partially broken. Because they were used. People carried them in their pockets and pulled them out to use when ever they needed them which most often was daily. They cut, poked, prodded, stabbed, pried, re-sharpened them, all the time. Well twenty years later those blades are worn out. They held up and your pops got his monies worth out of his knife. Unless he lost it, there was never any need to buy another one.

That brings us to today. That same knife your pops bought and probably still carries with him at the bottom of his pocket would cost him a hundred dollars today. Now there are knives out there today that you can still pick up for around twenty dollars. Ninety nine percent of them are produced over seas in China, and yes many of them actually have 440 stainless steel blades.

440c steel was invented in the early 1900’s and was quickly adopted by the cutlery industry which helped revolutionize the industry by moving many knives away from high carbon to “SS, rust free, Rostfrie, Inox” stainless steel. 440c though, still a good inexpensive steel, belongs back in the last century. Metallurgy has grown by leaps and bounds since then. There are modern steels such as 154CM, S30V, ATS34, ASU8 and many others. All modern steels that are well adapted to knife blades. The reality is there is a higher cost in the manufacturing of these steels.

Knife scales or handles also have improved. Wood, Stag and composite plastics were the norm. Wood is still found on many knives today, though much of it is of the more exotic woods imported from around the world. Stag is still around, but the price is gone up and is continuing to rise as it gets scarcer mainly due to less and less hunting that is going on. Plastics are prevalent and have improved in durability. But there are other materials which are now preferred by knife owners.

G-10; simply a specification for a grade of fiberglass laminate composite made as commercial sheets, rods and tubes which makes an extremely durable knife handle.

Micarta; is a brand name for composites of linen, canvas, paper, fiberglass, carbon fiber or other fabric in a thermo setting plastic.

Dymondwood is a product of Rutland Plywood Corp of Rutland, VT. Select hardwood veneers are impregnated with advanced dyes and resins through state-of-the-art processes. The result: rich colors and optimum strength and durability that allows precise and efficient crafting. This beautiful, highly engineered material provides endless possibilities for fine, high quality products. DymondWood is ideal for creating high quality knife handles, pens, plaques, awards, trophies, billiard tables, pool cues, drumsticks, desk accessories, etc.

Exotics such as Mother of Pearl, Ivory, Abalone, Mammoth Tooth, etc.. all used as knife scales were expensive then and still are today.

Last, wages have gone up since then. Knife making in the highest quality takes a certain skill set. Skills that take time to learn. The skilled knife makers need to be paid a wage equivalent to their skill set.

You add up all the above and you will find a quality knife at a hundred dollars is a bargain. With that you should expect to get a well working knife you would be proud to carry, use, abuse, re-sharpen and expect to last you as long as your pops lasted him. Yes there are knives out there that can still be had for twenty dollars, but I’m a firm believer in “You get what you pay for.”

When you’re ready to spend you’re hard earned money on a quality knife, the best advice I could give you today is; Do your research!”

Published in: on January 27, 2014 at 8:21 am  Comments (1)  
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Basic Knife Fighting Techniques: Grips

Knife Grips

There are several ways a knife can be held for offensive or defensive use. The two most common are the forward and reverse grips.

The following are variations of the forward grip:

  • Hammer grip – the hand is wrapped around the knife handle, with the thumb on top of the fist, as if gripping a hammer
  • Saber grip – the hand is wrapped around the knife handle, while the thumb is placed on the top of either the handle or the spine of the blade
  • Modified saber grip – as before, but with the thumb wedged against the flat dimension of the blade.
Read the rest of the article here:

New Article Posted: Kitchen Cutlery Knives

Chef Knife

Chef Knife

1. Chef Knife (French Knife)

This is the cooks most important and versatile cutting tool. This all purpose knife is used for a variety of cutting and chopping work, as well as slicing and mincing. The blade is normally 8 to 12 inches long and a few inches wide.

A good Chef Knife in the hands of a skilled cook can be more accurate and faster than a machine.

2. Utility Knife

This smaller, lighter knife is used for light cutting and slicing jobs, often on fruits and vegetables.

The blade is usually 5 or 6 inches long.

3. Bread Knife

For slicing breads, cakes and pastries, a bread knife is used most often in the bakeshop and to cut loaves of crusty bread.

The blade is usually 8 to 10 inches long.

Read the rest of the Article HERE

Fixed Blade Knives You Can Carry in Your Pack or Pocket

A new article by Mathew Lesniewski of ML Knives has been posted to the website. You can read it here.

Posted from WordPress for Android

Published in: on May 3, 2011 at 1:48 am  Leave a Comment  
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How to Chose a Knife

How to Chose a Knife

What Type of Steel Do I Need?

Probable the #1 question that is asked and one that is very important because:

  1. You want your knife to stay sharp for a long time, and there is no better indicator of the edge retention than the name/type of steel.
  2. You want to make sure that it’s a “named” stainless steel, if the make of your knife tells you that “it’s stainless” they are certainly not telling you much.

There are a variety of steel compositions, some are used to keep designs affordable, while others are used because they are the best steels available anywhere.

Common types of steel used in knife making include 440C, ASU-8, 154CM, VG-10, CPM-S30V as well as various Damascus steels.

Other factors in choosing a knife include the following:

How Will Your Knife Be Used?

  • Everyday: Are you opening boxes or cutting twine?
  • Outdoor Activities: Backpacking, Climbing, Hiking, Camping?
  • Hunting/Fishing: Are you field dressing game or cleaning/filleting fish?
  • Tactical/Survival: Do you need a heavy-duty knife that won’t fail?
  • Limited Edition/Custom: Are you a collector? 

    What Knife Features Do You Require?

  • Fixed Blade: Always ready for use and dependable.
  • Folding Blade: Compact, safer to carry and improved dependability with locking blade.
  • One-Handed opening: Has a thumb stud, blade hole or other feature to facilitate one hand opening of the blade. Some models are one-handed opening and closing.
  • Gutting/Skinning Blade: For field dressing game.
  • Thick Blade: For heavy duty tasks.
  • Lightweight: Use of composite or other materials to minimize weight.
  • Saw edge: For cutting wood or bone.
  • Sharpness: Stay sharp and is easy to sharpen. 

    What Type of Materials Do You Want in a Knife?

    Blade Materials
    A good blade combines good edge retention, ease of re-sharpening and rust resistance.

    • S30V is the best blade steel available. It is a high vanadium stainless steel with even higher edge retention.
    • 154CM and BG-42 are two custom steels with much higher carbon content, giving them higher hardness ratings and dramatically higher edge retention.
    • 420HC and 440C are stainless steels that provides excellent rust resistance, is easy to re-sharpen and have good edge retention.

    Handle Materials
    A good handle should feel solid and well constructed when you hold it. We suggest you consider a handle style and material that meets your needs and suits your preferences.

    • An ergonomic design provides comfort.
    • A rubber or textured handle provides a sure grip in wet conditions.
    • A wooden or stag handle adds beauty to the knife.
    • Plastic/Composite handles are durable under extreme conditions.

    By going through the above questions, you will be able to choose a knife that not only fits your needs, but one that you’ll be happy to carry and possible show off to your friends

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    For more information, please visit this articles web page.