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Big Folding Hunters

Posted by Abner Fitzillie on

I love big sheath knives, but I have found like others have they are too big to carry around all the time. Sometimes I will pack a small fixed blade knife especially when woods wandering but I also love the big folding hunter knives. Schrade named theirs the Bowie Folding Hunter and other companies have referred to them with similar names, but usually they are referred to as a folding hunter.

It is surprising how many companies have developed identical knives, but when you want a big folder it makes it easier if most of them are the same and you just pick the manufacturer and steel you prefer.

Left to right; Case USA 6265, Schrade Walden USA 225 H, Imperial USA Frontier 4624, Imperial USA Frontier 4622, Marbles MR-128 (China), Marbles MR-118 (China), and Schrade USA Old Timer 25 OT.

They all feature the same 2 blades, a long Clip Point blade and a Skinner blade. They were designed for the hunter, but they were perfect for cleaning fish and everyday use. Many times when you buy a used folding hunter, one of the blades will be worn and the other showing little use. Usually the Clip Point was used for everyday use, but some preferred the Skinner blade. The knives were 5 1/4" closed and featured 4" blades. The scales on the knives were the choice of the manufacturer with some offering a variety of materials but generally of bone, Delrin, wood, or some form of plastic. 

If you do not want to look like a teenager and let your pants hang low and preview your boxer shorts or plumber crack, a belt sheath is the way to carry them. However some people just carry them loose to toss into in a pack or pouch. The belt pouch helps protect the knife as well, and there was a time when almost all men had one on their belt, especially in the 60's and 70's.

These knives as still easily affordable, used ones can be found for around $15 and a new Case model for a little over $50. Of course some of the more Classic and Vintage folding hunters can cost a lot more. The blade material is usually either high carbon steel like 1095 or one of the stainless steels like 440c and both can do the job well. One advantage the Hunter Folding Knife had was if one blade got dull cleaning a big animal like an Elk and a sharpener was not available, they just switched to the other blade to complete the job. 

One of the big changes was in 1964 when Buck introduced the Buck 110, a single blade lock back folding hunter and since then over 15 million have been sold. It was probably the most popular single blade folder. In 1993 Buck switched to 420 HC Stainless Steel and has used that steel on many knives since.

If you are looking for a good knife and possibly a model to start collecting, the Folding Hunters are a good place to start. However, I must warn you they are addictive, but then so are all knives.

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