Steve Wheeler has been making knives for yonks and is one of New Zealand's great craftsmen, producing the highest quality finished blades. Each knife can be individually engraved for you - perhaps the initials of the owner and a date if it is for a gift.
The steel for each knife is created in Sweden by Sandvik. Called 12C27, it is their most well-rounded knife steel, giving excellent edge performance allowing razor sharpness, high hardness, exceptional toughness and good corrosion resistance. The bolster for each knife is made of high quality English brass.
Handcrafted to his own design, these are steak knives of absolute quality, and will serve any hunter well, in terms of durability and style.
I had a BGK ( Bloody Good Knife ) by Steve. I ordered it from a deer hunters meeting and thought I had been conned out of my money a few days later. The first few times I used this knife I wasn't that impressed but as time went on the better this blade became. The more animals I put it through the better it performed. It got to a point where friends just put out their hand and I pass them my knife when they were taking an animal apart.
Lost it in thick bush a few years ago now and I'm still gutted. Even got a metal detector and went over the area I travelled looking for it even though I had to drive 4 hours to get there. That's how good it became over time. A knife by Steve is a living thing that comes alive in your hand, it just takes a bit of time to bond. Like a top hunting dog, you do your best and take the pick of the litter and you bond over time and eventually it does everything that it is asked and more.
At the time of writing this review, I don't know the actual price of this knife. It doesn't matter really, because I have known Steve's work, and used it professionally in Living History Reenactment shows, for over a decade. Steve's prices are always good value for what you are getting. No shoddy home-made shivs here, only quality workmanship drawn lovingly from the raw materials and inspiration.
Steve asked me to trial this knife for him - he said it had a "serious tooth" to it which sliced through meat effortlessly. If I had read that on a box, I would have said it was marketing jargon, but after taking one look at the knife when it arrived, I knew he was right. Instead of being a series of small serrations, this knife has long flat sections of blade, with deep notches cut into blade the create wide, long teeth... more the sort of thing you would expect to find on a concrete-cutter circular blade actually. These allowed the knife to work as a slicer for tender meats - such as the pork and lamb I tried it with - and the deep grooves allowed it to grab and tear apart the tougher meats such as BBQ steak. It also ripped through gristle with ease too!
The handle has been shaped with great care - it is very comfortable to hold, and the wooden grip, seasoned with a 'live finish' - meaning it can be further treated if you so desire, or left as a natural finishing - has a wonderful smooth feeling in your hand, as though it were slightly warm to the touch. It's so much better than a cold hard metal or plastic handle. As someone with an interest in weapons, and knowing this was crafted by a weaponsmith of a high calibre, I also tested it in an underhanded knife-fighter grip, and was not at all surprised that it felt just as comfortable, and even more snug and secure a grip. The man has mad design skills!
Being Swedish stainless steel, I know the blade is going to last... probably longer than I will, to be honest. With the brass fittings, a full tang, and brass riveting, it is a very sturdy and durable design. Ordering a set of 6 of these will in all likelihood be a little costly, but these are the sorts of things you buy, use, and hand down to become family heirlooms... or, as my first impulse was when I unwrapped it, mount it on velvet and frame it for posterity. It really is a work of art.
Overall, life is like a piggy bank... you can only get out of it what you have first put in. Investing in the pleasures of life is something most people don't find the time to do any more... the little things, like eating a nice hunk of semi-carbonised critter and slicing it into mouthfuls with a beautiful blade like this... you'd be surprised how much pleasure can be found in that without requiring a lot of extra time.
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