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Lets talk iconic knives. 1925

No Life Club Posts: 3,976 Geometry cuts but the steel determines how long.
Re: Lets talk iconic knives.
« Reply #60 on: January 09, 2019, 03:56:57 PM »
I don't think they have a knife that could be considered iconic out side of the Spyderco fans. I'm willing to bet Spyderco fans couldn't pick just one.

I agree with you, Dean.

For the sake of argument, I'd like to put forth the Spyderco Endura as an iconic knife.  When I think of "Spyderco", it's the Endura that springs to mind. And it's one of their older designs.

For me, the Endura was the first knife that combined FRN handles, the Spydie hole, and a clip. Before the Endura....I never gave a plastic-handled knife a second glance. And the Endura brought in an unusual blade shape, as well. Unusual for the time.  Even the strengthened tip seemed to speak of purpose and intention.

I don't currently have an Endura, but for me, the Endura was THE Spydie....and maybe a game-changer.  :tu:

No argument from me.  :salute:
Global Moderator Zombie Apprentice Posts: 16,424
Re: Lets talk iconic knives.
« Reply #61 on: January 09, 2019, 04:02:51 PM »
I was trying to think of a modern knife that might be considered iconic and I can't think of a one.
I don't know, maybe my mind set is preventing me from seeing it. Correct me if I'm missing something.
I see an icon as that long produced knife that has survived the test of time, with or with out some minor changes.
In modern knives I see ideas that became game changers, more than I see knives that are iconic. Ideas and innovations alone do not make a knife iconic.
The walker liner lock was a major innovation that all liner locks and frame locks are based on.

Kershaw, ZT, Emerson, Microtech, might be well known but I'm not seeing any single knife model that has survived to become an icon.

Spyderco wasn't the first to use a pocket clip but they popularized the pocket clip and their bird head shaped blade. I don't think they have a knife that could be considered iconic out side of the Spyderco fans. I'm willing to bet Spyderco fans couldn't pick just one.

The same with Benchmade they are famous for their ambidextrous axis lock, more so than any single knife.

Cold steel had the idea of putting the end of a sword on a folder and made the tanto more main stream.
Mostly they are known for a fat man hacking chickens, dangling on a rope.

Well said.  Certainly modern knives and makers have released game changers.  The pocket clip is a great example.  Iconic simple because of that, I'd say no.  Locking mechanisms again great example. 

Iconic may be a clumsy way to describe the type of knives we are after?  Online I found, conventional formulaic as part of the definition of iconic.  I quite like this. 

Take the Khukuri for example.  Widely known to most knife people.  Certainly a blade shape that is easily brought to mind when Khukuri is said.  While there are many thoughts as to how this blade came to be its likely forefather is the Greek Kopi.  The Kopi may not be familiar to the average knife person.  It may not be as known today as the Khukuri and therefore may not be deemed iconic by the vast majority of knife people.   I dont believe it was mentioned thus far. 

Being iconic may be just that, something that has set itself apart, enduring, become part of the general accepted pattern, style, classification of blade irregardless to its forefather.   :dunno:

The guideline mentions currently produced.  I think as I've said sticking to these guideline was not terribly important.  So currently produced is a case by case situation IMO.         
« Last Edit: January 09, 2019, 04:04:24 PM by Aloha007 »

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Re: Lets talk iconic knives.
« Reply #62 on: January 09, 2019, 04:07:29 PM »
I also agree with Dean.   ;)
Global Moderator Zombie Apprentice Posts: 16,424
Re: Lets talk iconic knives.
« Reply #63 on: January 09, 2019, 04:11:34 PM »
I never hear of Spyderco before the forums.  I was not a knife person other than the basic sporting goods selection.  The more known knives were Buck 110, Kabar type fixed blades, SAK, and traditional slip joint types.  Spydercos Delica could certainly be iconic.  As mentioned there were a lot of firsts with that knife.  I have 2 Delicas.  I do have a question tho.....   Does firsts ( game changers ) move a knife to iconic?  I have thought about "game changer" since making this thread.  Would game changer need to include other copying this feature?  It would seem game changing meant there'd be hoards of makers jumping on the game change element?  With patents and such it might not be an easy thing to do?

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Re: Lets talk iconic knives.
« Reply #64 on: January 09, 2019, 04:20:16 PM »

Andrew
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Re: Lets talk iconic knives.
« Reply #65 on: January 09, 2019, 04:43:49 PM »
Does a more well known version/iteration to the "original" design take precedence? 

The first incarnation sets the mold for subsequent incarnations, incorporating several recognizable and characteristic design features of the first.  When we hear Bowie knife, we picture a certain blade shape and style.  The Kabar USMC knife is bases on the Bowie knife.  Both iconic yes?  The Air Force Pilots Survival Knife also purportedly based on the Bowie seems to not be iconic  :think: or is it? 

   

 

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Re: Lets talk iconic knives.
« Reply #66 on: January 09, 2019, 04:53:21 PM »
Does a more well known version/iteration to the "original" design take precedence? 

The first incarnation sets the mold for subsequent incarnations, incorporating several recognizable and characteristic design features of the first.  When we hear Bowie knife, we picture a certain blade shape and style.  The Kabar USMC knife is bases on the Bowie knife.  Both iconic yes?  The Air Force Pilots Survival Knife also purportedly based on the Bowie seems to not be iconic  :think: or is it? 
 

The USAF Pilots knife will always have a special place in my heart: I carried one!  But, iconic?  Not the way the "KaBar" is.
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Re: Lets talk iconic knives.
« Reply #67 on: January 09, 2019, 04:54:34 PM »
Good call with the Kukri. An iconic knife if ever there were one.  :tu:
Global Moderator Zombie Apprentice Posts: 16,424
Re: Lets talk iconic knives.
« Reply #68 on: January 09, 2019, 04:57:27 PM »
Does a more well known version/iteration to the "original" design take precedence? 

The first incarnation sets the mold for subsequent incarnations, incorporating several recognizable and characteristic design features of the first.  When we hear Bowie knife, we picture a certain blade shape and style.  The Kabar USMC knife is bases on the Bowie knife.  Both iconic yes?  The Air Force Pilots Survival Knife also purportedly based on the Bowie seems to not be iconic  :think: or is it? 
 

The USAF Pilots knife will always have a special place in my heart: I carried one!  But, iconic?  Not the way the "KaBar" is.

I had one and moved it to a new owner.  Lovely knife for sure.  I'm sure any pilot would could argue this knife deserves high stature and deservedly so.  Which makes me really rethink iconic as a whole.  Iconic may not be the best way to describe well known knives/edged tools/wepons.   

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Re: Lets talk iconic knives.
« Reply #69 on: January 09, 2019, 04:59:29 PM »
Spydercos Delica could certainly be iconic.  As mentioned there were a lot of firsts with that knife.  I have 2 Delicas.  I do have a question tho.....   Does firsts ( game changers ) move a knife to iconic?  I have thought about "game changer" since making this thread.  Would game changer need to include other copying this feature?  It would seem game changing meant there'd be hoards of makers jumping on the game change element?  With patents and such it might not be an easy thing to do?

Well.....I now prefer the Delica, but to my mind---and I'm just speaking from my own perspective--the Endura is the one that I picture when I think of Spyderco.  And I think it is easily recognizable as a Spyderco.

Now, look at all the Spydie features that have been incorporated into other makers' knives. Spydie drove the whole clip fad (which I hope we'll get past some day). So now, Benchmade offers knives with clips and Spydie holes (probably paying Spydie royalties).
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Re: Lets talk iconic knives.
« Reply #70 on: January 09, 2019, 05:01:19 PM »
I had one and moved it to a new owner.  Lovely knife for sure.  I'm sure any pilot would could argue this knife deserves high stature and deservedly so.  Which makes me really rethink iconic as a whole.  Iconic may not be the best way to describe well known knives/edged tools/wepons.   

But, relatively speaking, there are few people who have used or carried or even seen one. Everyone has seen a Kabar....even if it's just been in a Hollywood film.

A few people, like you and me, liking a knife doesn't make it 'iconic', does it?
No Life Club Posts: 3,976 Geometry cuts but the steel determines how long.
Re: Lets talk iconic knives.
« Reply #71 on: January 09, 2019, 05:01:53 PM »
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Re: Lets talk iconic knives.
« Reply #72 on: January 09, 2019, 05:02:25 PM »
How about the machete?  Does that count as an iconic 'knife'?
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Re: Lets talk iconic knives.
« Reply #73 on: January 09, 2019, 05:02:42 PM »
Global Moderator Zombie Apprentice Posts: 16,424
Re: Lets talk iconic knives.
« Reply #74 on: January 09, 2019, 05:12:21 PM »
Whats neat is how a predecessor can be "iconic" as well as incarnations when done right.  In the above mentioned Bowie/USMC Kabar example we see this.   

The stiletto has been mentioned and for good reason.  I think of the 50s/60s switchblades.  Whats interesting is a knife mentioned in this thread, F-S fighting knife is certainly a stiletto and a famous one at that.  Both knives the stiletto as most know it and the F-S fighting knife are said to be iconic.  Iterations like the Gerber Mark 2 and others also have quite a status.     

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Re: Lets talk iconic knives.
« Reply #75 on: January 09, 2019, 05:15:47 PM »
I had one and moved it to a new owner.  Lovely knife for sure.  I'm sure any pilot would could argue this knife deserves high stature and deservedly so.  Which makes me really rethink iconic as a whole.  Iconic may not be the best way to describe well known knives/edged tools/wepons.   

But, relatively speaking, there are few people who have used or carried or even seen one. Everyone has seen a Kabar....even if it's just been in a Hollywood film.

A few people, like you and me, liking a knife doesn't make it 'iconic', does it?

Sadly no.  Liking a knife or small circles of rabid fans of a certain style doesn't make a knife iconic.  Sad actually.  Might be a case of use of said knife.  A knife may have to earn the distinction?  I dont know much the USAF Survival was used?  Hopefully not much otherwise that meant downed aircraft.  So maybe we are nearing a more refined definition of iconic?   

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Re: Lets talk iconic knives.
« Reply #76 on: January 09, 2019, 05:40:39 PM »
Here's one to debate:




The "Nessmuck".

This knife is well known to knife-knuts and a few historians. It has led to numerous spin-offs by custom makers, and Bark River has a version in its catalogue. I'd argue that the Nessmuck pattern is iconic of an early period in American 'woodcraft'.

I like that in George Sears' book it is also shown being paired with another iconic knife, a double bladed folder.

As argument against it's iconic status: few people other than knife-knots and bushcrafters have ever heard of the man or the knife.
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Re: Lets talk iconic knives.
« Reply #77 on: January 09, 2019, 05:57:14 PM »
Another for consideration for inclusion in 'Iconic' status:



Emerson Commander.

Many felt this was a big game changer, especially inn the nebulously defined 'tactical' community. Small audience. Probably not well known to the general public. But amongst knife people, a classic with a sterling reputation.

Iconic?

(I had one of these for a while, but never bonded with it. Ended up giving it away. )
No Life Club Posts: 3,976 Geometry cuts but the steel determines how long.
Re: Lets talk iconic knives.
« Reply #78 on: January 09, 2019, 06:10:49 PM »
Take the Buck 110 there was nothing new about it, back locks had been around for generations.
But something about it clicked with people, as soon as the patents were off everyone and his uncle was making a copy of the 110. All the while the Buck 110 was in continuous production. Affordable classic and regardless of who makes the copy you always think of the original.

Look at Spyderco and already the Delica & Endura have been mentioned, if this was a pure knife site then other models like the Paramilitary, Tenacious, would have been mentioned as well. Which is why I think Spyderco features make Spyderco recognizable. Spyderco features are recognizable but not a particular Spyderco knife.

It's the knife not the knife features, a classic icon has to pass the test of time.

For the sack of argument the Emerson Commander isn't there yet. ;)




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Re: Lets talk iconic knives.
« Reply #79 on: January 09, 2019, 06:16:17 PM »
It's an interesting question, before knife forums and EDC-ing a knife, what carry knives did I know of?

Swiss Army Knife (as a category, so very ubiquitous that no one even thought about them)
Kabar (I thought that Bowie and Kabar was synonymous, seen in Vietnam movies)
The 'Dagger' (as a British boy brought up on tales of WWII commandos)
Kukri (ditto on war tales and I bought a cheap fake one when I was 16 at a fair)
The 'Flick Knife'. (Italian Switchblade as seen in movies)
The Spyderco (one leaf blade shape defining the entire category, seen in ads poured over by teenage boys who couldn't afford them)
The Traditional (slipjoint, the knife my grandparents generation carried with their pipes or the MOP/Silver one my mother would sometimes let me play with). I had a cheap rusty slipjoint I carried in a coat pocket when I was 10-12 but I don't remember much about it.

Other than that? Nope. They were all just categories and mostly in the 'history context' section of my brain. To be honest when I was growing up we were more interested in guns as a subject and air guns specifically as we could buy and use them as British teenagers. Not sure if that's even true any more.


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Re: Lets talk iconic knives.
« Reply #80 on: January 09, 2019, 06:29:26 PM »
What if the real iconic knife is no longer made, but if there are plenty ripoffs or tribute knives based on that icon still available and for sale now? I am referring to the Jimmy Lile First Blood knife.

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Re: Lets talk iconic knives.
« Reply #81 on: January 09, 2019, 06:32:32 PM »
Good example of a knife that has become very popular not to forget the Kephart.  Inside and arguably outside the bushcraft and knife nut crowd both knives have endured.  The camp crowd has also taken a sstrong liking tho this pattern.  Whats neat is we are talking about a knife that was commissioned in the late 1800s and continued to have influenced both Kephart and others, then I'd say yes. 

Whats interesting is the Grohmann Canadian Belt knifes resemblance to the muk.  No way of knowing if it was inspired or just coincidence.  Knife patterns come and go into and out of popularity.  The enduring nature of a tried and true design however is possibly what makes a certain knife iconic.  Whats noteworthy is the folder GWS used.  Its the Moose pattern which is not super popular  :dunno:.   I see a lot of talk about that particular pattern not being as popular as others.  I actually really like the Moose pattern a lot.     

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Re: Lets talk iconic knives.
« Reply #82 on: January 09, 2019, 06:59:15 PM »
Take the Buck 110 there was nothing new about it, back locks had been around for generations.
But something about it clicked with people, as soon as the patents were off everyone and his uncle was making a copy of the 110. All the while the Buck 110 was in continuous production. Affordable classic and regardless of who makes the copy you always think of the original.


In the early 1960's when Buck introduced the 110 Folding Hunter the main US knife manufacturers were Buck, Case, Schrade Walden Cutlery Corporation (a division of the Imperial Knife Associated Companies), Kabar, Camillus, and Western. There was no such thing as Cold Steel, Spyderco, Benchmade, Strider,Chris Reeve Knives, CRKT, etc.

Most knives sold from about $2.00 to about $6.00, (in 1963 Federal minimum wage was $1.25 an hour), so when Buck introduced the 110 at $16.00 many people said no one would buy them, but they used 440C stainless hardened to a Rockwell hardness of 58 to 60 RC which no one else was offering and they offered a lifetime warranty.

What was new was that they used a steel, 440C, that at the time was a premium grade steel at a much higher price than their competitors while offering a lifetime warranty. They literally changed the game for production knives. This resulted in the other manufacturers upping their game,  The Buck 110 was a game changer.

While it was not the first lockback knife,the Buck Folding Hunter is the knife that blazed the trail for all the other production lockbacks that followed it. It is the knife that made it popular to carry a large lockback for edc. Soon it was common to see a Buck 110 on the belt of the average working man. It became one of the most copied knives in the world.
« Last Edit: January 09, 2019, 08:13:09 PM by VICMAN »
Global Moderator Zombie Apprentice Posts: 16,424
Re: Lets talk iconic knives.
« Reply #83 on: January 09, 2019, 06:59:28 PM »
What if the real iconic knife is no longer made, but if there are plenty ripoffs or tribute knives based on that icon still available and for sale now? I am referring to the Jimmy Lile First Blood knife.

The First Blood knife IMO is an icon.  Interesting the style is Bowie inspired.  Not surprising as he was a prolific Bowie knife maker.  The knife you mention certainly is one many people had or wanted at that time 80s and today even as a collectable.  The knife is easily recognizable to that era and beyond.  The knife is still made by custom makers and really bad copies/clones are manufactured.  Mr Lile is not known by most outside the knife nut community however his "Rambo" knife certainly is.     

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Re: Lets talk iconic knives.
« Reply #84 on: January 09, 2019, 07:00:48 PM »


  Which makes me really rethink iconic as a whole.  Iconic may not be the best way to describe well known knives/edged tools/wepons.   

I would distinguish between "Iconic", "Relevant" and "Famous"

to me, a Gladius sword or a Kukri are relevant. They fought wars, they raised civilisations, slayed cultures, shaped history. They had a big effect in the development of empires, the evolution o populations, their sustainment and victory or disappearance. WIthout them we simply wouldn't be here, or the world would have shaped in a different way. They are mostly older types and designs.

then, a "Switch blade" a "Balisong" or a SAK are iconic. They didn't change history in a defined, specific era or event, but they became a sign or "icon" for a generation and those that followed (kids watching "Rebel without a cause" or other 50s/60s movies all over the world and remembering the knife) and are easily described, drawn or identified all over the planet (like SAKs, be it by MacGyver or because most kids have seen a few before they are adults)

finally, we have the famous knives, which are what comes to mind when someone put a generic name on them, and are usually specific models or production blades, but they are hardly ever identified as such by the people other than nerds, aficionados or connoisseurs. Those would for instance be the Buck 110 when one says "locking folding knife", the KaBar Combat-Utility when one says "Military combat knife" and the Lile Hollow Handle Bowie when someone says or hears "Rambo knife" or "Survival knife"

I hope I put that into words in an understandable way  :dunno:

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Global Moderator Zombie Apprentice Posts: 16,424
Re: Lets talk iconic knives.
« Reply #85 on: January 09, 2019, 07:07:54 PM »
Whats interesting about Buck 110 is how well they got it right the first time.  Yes the knife has changed over time with respect to blade steel and wood choices the design overall has endured.  From what I gather the choice to go from 440c to 425m was due to this higher end steel being to hard to sharpen at the time.  They later moved to 420hc from 425m for the same reasons.  Kinda weird since the blades today are harder and harder. 

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Global Moderator Zombie Apprentice Posts: 16,424
Re: Lets talk iconic knives.
« Reply #86 on: January 09, 2019, 07:09:16 PM »


  Which makes me really rethink iconic as a whole.  Iconic may not be the best way to describe well known knives/edged tools/wepons.   

I would distinguish between "Iconic", "Relevant" and "Famous"

to me, a Gladius sword or a Kukri are relevant. They fought wars, they raised civilisations, slayed cultures, shaped history. They had a big effect in the development of empires, the evolution o populations, their sustainment and victory or disappearance. WIthout them we simply wouldn't be here, or the world would have shaped in a different way. They are mostly older types and designs.

then, a "Switch blade" a "Balisong" or a SAK are iconic. They didn't change history in a defined, specific era or event, but they became a sign or "icon" for a generation and those that followed (kids watching "Rebel without a cause" or other 50s/60s movies all over the world and remembering the knife) and are easily described, drawn or identified all over the planet (like SAKs, be it by MacGyver or because most kids have seen a few before they are adults)

finally, we have the famous knives, which are what comes to mind when someone put a generic name on them, and are usually specific models or production blades, but they are hardly ever identified as such by the people other than nerds, aficionados or connoisseurs. Those would for instance be the Buck 110 when one says "locking folding knife", the KaBar Combat-Utility when one says "Military combat knife" and the Lile Hollow Handle Bowie when someone says or hears "Rambo knife" or "Survival knife"

I hope I put that into words in an understandable way  :dunno:

 :salute:

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Re: Lets talk iconic knives.
« Reply #87 on: January 09, 2019, 07:53:00 PM »
I actually really like the Moose pattern a lot.     

Same here......I think I need one now....  :rofl:
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Re: Lets talk iconic knives.
« Reply #88 on: January 09, 2019, 08:14:05 PM »
I'm going to have to disagree a little there, El P.

The Ghurka knife is most definitely Iconic.




This is an image that defines the Ghurka soldier. The soldiers made the knife famous and legendary, and the knife is now a symbol...an icon...of the soldiers. Much the way the USMC combat/utility was (and still is) for US Marines. Both of these knives are used as symbols of their respective units. To the same extent, I'd argue that the F-S fighting knife (or variants) became the symbol, icon, of the Commandos or Special Forces.








At least for Americans, the Bowie knife is an iconic knife: it represents the frontier, the Wild West, maybe the cowboy. But some Bowie knives are also 'Famous', for example the Bowie in the Movie "Iron Mistress". A knife that became famous and helped solidify the Bowie knife's iconic status.

« Last Edit: January 09, 2019, 08:15:48 PM by Nix »
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Re: Lets talk iconic knives.
« Reply #89 on: January 09, 2019, 08:18:09 PM »
Whats interesting about Buck 110 is how well they got it right the first time.  Yes the knife has changed over time with respect to blade steel and wood choices the design overall has endured.  From what I gather the choice to go from 440c to 425m was due to this higher end steel being to hard to sharpen at the time.  They later moved to 420hc from 425m for the same reasons.  Kinda weird since the blades today are harder and harder.

I can't think of a more widely used or copied or influential knife than the Buck 110.  Versions are made everywhere. And the 110 became the symbol of Buck. It is what people, even non-knife people, think of as being a "lock-back" or a "Buck knife."

 

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