There could hardly be a more functional tool than the knife. Quite simply, they are designed for cutting things. And while knives may be one of the most basic pieces of equipment around, they are also the ultimate multi purpose tool. The ubiquitous multi-blade Swiss Army knife is renowned for its array of functions, and there are many other specialised pocket knives that go above and beyond their fundamental cutting requirements. Then there are the undoubted works of art: limited-edition blades honed and hand-forged to the highest levels of perfection and adorned with engravings, exotic materials and inlaid with gemstones.
Regardless of your requirements and the tool you choose, from a switchblade to a lever-lock to a simple front-opening blade, a good quality, well-cared-for blade will last a lifetime. Alan Bonini cuts into a cross-section of knives available, whether you’re in the market for a low-end pocket knife, or want to invest in a classic one-of-a-kind collectors’ piece.
It can take between six and 10 months to complete one of these precision-made works of art and involve 30 artisans encompassing 800 different operations to complete what is one of the most expensive and finely crafted knives in the world.
With a blade made of powder metal die steel developed by Hitachi Metals of Japan, this stainless alloy is forged into an unprecedented hardness, which gives extreme sharpness, edge holding and wear resistance.
The manufacturers worked closely with partners in Japan to develop a laminate that captures a “core” centre layer of steel within softer layers of stainless steel for its blades, which mimics the traditional “temper lines” of Samurai swords.
Frame materials include titanium, mokume, Damascus, steel with a gold inlay, deep-relief carved silver and a host of other specialty alloys. Mukume and Damascus are custom-forged tapestries in metal.
Inlay choices include fossilised woolly mammoth bone and tooth, fossilised ivories, rare shell, exotic hardwoods, carbon fibre, gold, silver, stone and just about any other rare natural and high-tech materials. Fittings are custom made from stainless steel, titanium, silver and gold as dictated by the mechanical requirements of the knife and aesthetic balance of the finished piece.
With a blade machined from solid bars of US-made premium-grade stainless steel, originally developed for tough industrial applications, this 2009 “Knife of the Year” has a stainless-steel frame with satin finish, mosaic pin inlay with a push button and ivory inlays. The Damascus steel blade has a herringbone design and a leafy scroll engraved with 18-carat gold.
The raw parts are hand finished with a mirror/satin finish then fitted with a variety of custom inlays and options – everything from G-10, an extremely durable combination of layers of fibreglass soaked in resin, to mastodon tooth. Each knife is unique because the natural materials have their own colour and tone that can change with age.
Weighing just 4.4 ounces, fewer than 100 steel DONs will be made each year. The frames and inlays for each DON is curved and fluted for a custom feel. No two of these custom-made knives are the same because each one has different handle colours, inlays and blade finishes.
The high-tech components are assembled and handfitted by craftsmen in Santa Fe Springs, California.
Designed in the UAE with a high carbon stainless-steel blade, this low-price, quality knife is actually manufactured in Maniago, in northern Italy, a town renowned for the production of knives, scissors and shears, which are exported worldwide.
With three different styles for various functions and 18 different colours, the M62, which was launched at the Abu Dhabi International Hunting and Equestrian Exhibition this year, is lightweight and comes with a lifetime warranty.
A utility blade with a grip that may appear like rough plastic, but is actually G-10 material, a durable combination of layers of fibreglass soaked in resin, this small, lightweight penknife is a perfect hunting utensil designed for falconers.
The knife was designed by Mohamed Amiri, of Tamreen Sports in Abu Dhabi, who is setting up Batic Metal Crafts, the first knife-manufacturing company in the UAE.