When I was at the Mother Earth News Fair in Pennsylvania a few months ago, I bought a handmade knife from a mountain man—a guy who dressed in buckskins and made a variety of hunting, trapping, and outdoor tools. The blade was carbon steel, which I prefer over stainless steel. It’s softer and easier to sharpen, even if you have to care for it so that it doesn’t rust.
Another supplier is Jantz Supply, which describes the Russell (made in America) blades:
“Green River Knife Blades, the same Russell Knife patterns (circa 1834) now available to Knife Makers. All patterns have a rugged handmade look and can boast the unsurpassed sharpness that earned Green River knives their reputation around the campfires and chuck wagons of the Old West, as well as in the kitchens of our grandfathers and great grandmothers. Heavy gauge high carbon steel blades feature full tang construction and edges that are hand-ground and hand honed to extreme sharpness. Available in Kits which include the blade, Dymondwood handle material and Brass cutlery rivets. Easy to complete, popular with many Boy Scout Troops as a group Project.”
Left: wooden handles glued and riveted (brass rivets) to knife tang before shaping on belt sander
Below: leather knife sheath, with copper rivets