Welcome to the BEST custom knife patterns page on the internet!
This is one of the most popular pages on my site, consistently
gathering millions of hits and views, and many thousands of new visitors
month after month, year after year.
Why? Who else
offers so many custom knife patterns? I know of no knifemaker, no
factory, no source whatever that has created as many knife patterns,
designs, and styles as what you will see here. This may sound extreme
and a bit boastful, but please understand that I have been making knives
for over 35 years, and I've been a full time professional knifemaker for
nearly three decades. This is my real job, my only source of income, it
is how I make a living, professionally, making knives for some of the
finest clients, knife users, and knife owners in the world. It is
because of my clients and patrons that you see what is here on
this page; it is to them my thanks and the where the thanks of knife
I work with
clients on their own ideas, and many of these patterns are the results
of that collaboration, some of the best custom handmade knives in the
world. Some of the patterns have been gifted from the families of
deceased knifemakers. These are patterns for real knives that are in the
hands of military, working users, and collectors. Most of the
patterns I've created and continue to create with my own vision,
as an artist, a tool maker and user, and as someone whose main
conversation, focus, and (some say) obsession is the knife. Many of the
most successful knife patterns I make are those I create with my own
ideas, knowledge, and understanding of knife use, application, and
value. These are my artistic creations based on what I have learned.
I work with pad and pencil, rule, and curves,
using email, fax machine, and even regular mail, and lots of drawings, scanning,
hand-fitting, making templates, and fine tuning to get the profiles right (Learn more about
designing knives and
the costs involved here). The profile on paper is just a beginning; it
takes much more work to complete the knife. That's why the links to
completed photos are included. I constantly update this page and you
may see new patterns
or pictures nearly every visit.
I know and understand that a great deal of traffic, interest, and attention this page receives is from other knifemakers, knife factories, and knife manufacturers. You might be
surprised to see who and what and where this traffic comes from, and since my web site analytics identifies this, I'll include much more detail in my upcoming book.
These visitors want to know what is of value here, they want good patterns, they want to know how a
successful knifemaker creates, what new ideas, what new directions,
and what developing lines of design are being created. While most of them are respectful, they understand that simply copying an artistic and created design from
someone else is copyright infringement, so most of them get inspiration, and then go on to design their own knives based on what they may see here. To get an idea
from someone who has designed useful, functional, and highly desirable knives as a professional for decades means that a lot of the effort, labor, and struggle to
create has been already completed. Yet, not wanting to copy directly (since it's illegal) they are inspired, guided, and take the flavor and idea of particular styles
of my knives to influence their own work. I do the same thing with historic designs and adaptations.
The most important thing I can offer is that each maker or
manufacturer must and will, by necessity, make their own knife. Many of the designs can not be copied; knives with differential grinds, double three-inch hollow grinds,
combination convex/concave designs take a very skilled and practiced hand to create. Not every knife is a four-inch drop point, and the skill necessary to effectively
create salable, desirable knives does not exist in the pattern alone. Makers and manufacturers quickly find that they just can't quite get the same knife, and some of their attempts
are humorous. I'll try to include some of those in my book as well.
The important thing is that I'm honored that you are here, whether a
prospective client looking for your ideal knife, a knife enthusiast
simply exploring, or a maker or manufacturer studying trends and
directions. You must believe you will find something of value here, and
I'm honored by that. I'll do my best not to disappoint, and make sure
that every time you visit, you notice designs and patterns you haven't
seen before, and new linked photos of completed knives made to that
Thanks for being here!
This is an active count, updated every website update:
- 451 patterns on this page
- 85 groups of patterns
- 854 links color keyed in
BLUE: to completed, annotated photos of knives
- 421 links color keyed in
GREEN: to featured individual knife pages
- 1 links color keyed in
RED: to current knives available for sale
There are no distinctions between
types of knives in the pattern group, such as utility, tactical, combat, or hunting, but if you're on
this page you probably already know or recognize the different types. The scale in
each pattern group photo has been included for reference, but I can resize any
knife to your wishes. You can also choose a handle from one knife and
blade from another for a custom design (a hybrid design). The knife patterns have grind
lines and bolster outlines drawn on; these are just rough estimates
of what the knife can resemble. Please know that to discourage
direct copyright infringment, I've limited the size of the photos. In my
book, I'll probably include enlarged, full sized patterns.
- Knife names: listed to the right of the pattern group picture
- Links to pictures of completed knives are in underlined blue text.
- Individual Featured Knife Pages are linked in underlined green text
- Knives for sale are linked in underlined red text.
- Additional pictures are linked by the "&" character after the name.
- You may see some duplicates of links if the knife is a hybrid in both the blade and handle patterns
- Some of the hybrid knife names vary from the original pattern name from which they originated
- Rare or old knife pictures on my site can only be linked to and seen through this page.
- Full Tangs: Patterns show profile of handle, blade and tang steel is one solid piece of steel from tip to tip.
- Hidden Tangs: Patterns show a "stick"
or "stump" at the handle location. Handles are
independently shaped with a guard and threaded pommel, which can
vary greatly. Use your imagination, and look at the linked pictures
to the right of the pattern photo.
Check out the
knife anatomy page for more information
on hidden tang knife handles.
- Folding Knives: have a pivot dot in the center of the front bolster.
Folding knives also have an (F) after the name.
- Have the name of the pattern but don't know where to locate it on the patterns page?
Look it up in the Alphabetic Pattern List here.
These patterns, knives, and every image and word on this web site is protected with a registered copyright
through the Copyright Office of the Library of Congress. More details on
Thanks for respecting copyright laws!
Here are a few examples of patterns with completed knives. Please click on the thumbnail knife photos for enlargements.
It's true, the best knives have names, not model
numbers. A model number is just a number; it's a cold, impersonal
registration of one of a long line of repetitive patterns, suggesting a
factory has produced all the numbers leading up to the model, and will
crank out a never ending list of cloned numbered pieces after that
number. Your numbered knife is somewhere in the monotonous string
A name personalizes the custom handmade knife. It
adds to the knife's flavor, animation, and style. It defines the knife
by purpose or intent. While I try to stay away from knife names like
Slasher or Stabber, there is some mystique in a name like
Bulldog or Ladron. Incidentally, the name Bulldog comes from the Bastogne Bulldogs
of the 101st Airborne, the Battalion of my son, and their mascot. He
designed this fine knife for combat use and carried it in a couple
combat tours in Iraq. Ladron is named for a
mysterious singular mountain in south central New Mexico, and it is the
Spanish word for thief. It was a favorite area to hike when I lived
nearby, and I would have loved to carry "Ladron" the knife there.
Many of my knives have southwest and specifically
New Mexico place names. The Land of Enchantment has a flavor that suits
artistic creation, and the place names seem appropriate. I've lived here
nearly all my life, and I try to honor those many memories with a
fitting name to a matching style of knife.
You've probably noticed that many of my knife
names originate in the stars, that is, they are names of stars in the
cosmos. Many of these patterns are Gerry Hurst's, left to us when he
died. He didn't have names or numbers for them, so in order to catalog
them, my wife and I reached for names he probably would have liked,
names of the heavens. Then, I carried on the tradition in new designs
and even name some for features and areas on planets and moons in our
own solar system. Somehow, cruising through the names, one will stand
out as fitting and complimentary for a pattern. Take the name Horrocks.
It's a crater system on the moon. The name sounds like a powerful
warrior, so how could it be more fitting for a large, heavy, curved
combat knife? A pattern designed for a Personal Security Detail in Iraq
is named Macha (Maax-ah), named for a Celtic
Goddess, a protectress in war as in
peace, a goddess of war and death.
She has cunning, sheer physical force, and
dominance over men. How fitting for this specialized CQB knife made
for protection and defense.
You might notice some Israeli names on the list as well. These are
counterterrorism knives, knives designed and created with the direct
input of the Israeli National Police/National Defense Force YAMAM unit
members. They are widely considered as some of the very best
counterterrorism units in the world, and it's an honor to design and
make knives with their input. A knife that stands out is the Ari
B'Lilah, which means "Lion of the Night," and these tactical
assemblies and ensembles feature all the gear necessary for nighttime
Some of the names on my patterns are the names of
our grandchildren. I'll bet you can't tell which ones. Hint: no, it's
not Draco! Some of the later models were designed with the
input of those very grandchildren. For instance, the Tanker was designed
by my grandson who serves in the United States Army and drives an M1A2
Abrams tank, using the knife for his needs there.
Some names describe the blade shape itself, like
Sheepsfoot, or Reverse Paring, or Half Moon Skinner. Other names
describe the use of the knife like Game Set: Caping, or Carving. Other
names bear the names of the designer who worked with me on the design of
the knife, like Sanchez, Berger, or Gibson Trailhead. You'll also
see the designation Magnum on a few of the blades. These are larger
evolutions of an original design, for example the Nihal Magnum
larger combat version of the Nihal. Other knives are hybrids,
combinations of the blade of one knife and the handle of another. Their
names are hyphenated, like Cygnus-Horrocks.
There is usually more information on the name on the individual
featured knife pages included as the green links below. On those pages,
you'll see much more information and many more photos of the individual
knives. If you want to index or locate a knife by name only, you can
do this through my Alphabetic Knife
Pattern List page, or my Table of
The neat thing to know is that a name gives a
custom handmade knife personality. We are creatures of words, and words
mean things. Our language is more than just a way to share and express,
it is a way to characterize, personalize, and animate those objects we
use, cherish, and ultimately leave behind.
Note: some of the photographs that are linked at the knife pattern
names are old, photos that were taken many years ago, with chemical
photo processing, back in my early knife making days. Some of them were
scanned from lower quality prints, or directly from old negatives.
Please forgive the quality of the older photos at the hyperlinks.
I've included some photos of recent knives for your
interest. Thanks for being here!