Svord Von Tempsky Bowie

Discussion in 'Traditional Folders and Fixed Blades' started by Cooldill, Jul 19, 2014.

  1. Cooldill

    Cooldill Banned BANNED

    20
    Jul 19, 2014
    Hello everyone, this is my first post!!! :cheerful:

    So, I've been wanting a Bowie knife for years now, and I think it's finally time I get me one. I am wanting a "working knife", something that I can take in the field and use for light tasks like cutting cord wood for fires, clearing light brush, and for possible secondary personal defense uses/wilderness protection.

    That being said, I need a tough Bowie knife that I can count on to do good work. I also don't want to spend more than $200 on the thing if at all possible. So after some research, I came across many favorable mentions of the Svord Von Tempsky Bowie knife.

    Apparently, this is a pretty tough knife. I love the looks of it, what is the darkening on the blade? I like it alot but am not sure if it's some sort of bluing or patina? All in all I love the rugged looks. However, I know looks aren't everything. Does anyone out there have any experience with this blade? How does it perform, does it stay sharp? Is this a good knife maker, is the steel used high quality? If this isn't a good Bowie knife, care to point me in the direction of a traditional style Bowie that won't break the bank and is useful in the field?

    I'm quite new to the world of blades, thank you for your help and I hope to have many great discussion with all of you! :D
     
    dingy likes this.
  2. RaptureRaptor

    RaptureRaptor

    306
    Jun 2, 2013
    I don't have much experience with svord but from what I have read it's a good, tough cutter in good steel. The coating looks to be temper colours drawn into the spine, a little research shows the coating comes off pretty quick but the steel being HC will take a patina anyway. I'd say give it a whirl and find out for yourself whether you like it. Nothing better than experience to help making decisions. There are a few chopping videos on YouTube if you want evidence of its toughness.
     
    dingy likes this.
  3. SamuraiDave

    SamuraiDave

    Apr 6, 2001
    Do some google searches on it.
    I've looked into it myself.

    Anything made of L6 steel, that is designed to be tough, will be incredible.
     
    dingy likes this.
  4. Cooldill

    Cooldill Banned BANNED

    20
    Jul 19, 2014
    I've watched some chopping vids of the knife on YouTube, looks good but I can't get over the slippery looking wood handles on the knife. Do they afford a good grip, or are they too slippery? I love the looks of them though, and the whole knife just looks so awesome and interesting.

    Is there any way I can add some type of leather to the handles for more grip? I would want to use something natural like leather because it's a historical type knife and I wouldn't want to add something like grip tape or rubber all over it LOL!
     
    dingy likes this.
  5. j man

    j man

    637
    Aug 1, 2010
    For what you want the VTB for is a good choice ,i have had a few of them & they crave hard work.
    What is considered "knife abuse" for most blades, is just another days work for the mighty Svord.
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    Elgatodeacero and dingy like this.
  6. Campbellclanman

    Campbellclanman Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Mar 10, 2007
    Svord is a New Zealand knife, the maker - or should I say Cutler is a man called Brian Baker, the Von Tempsky Bowie you are asking about is meant to be a copy of the Bowies that Von Tempsky had made here in New Zealand by a Blacksmith - I think he had around 60 made. Svords steel is fantastic - no worries there. Svord is very well known and liked here in New Zealand
     
    dingy likes this.
  7. Cooldill

    Cooldill Banned BANNED

    20
    Jul 19, 2014
    Awesome!

    Might have to order it soon!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 20, 2014
  8. PocketKnifeJimmy

    PocketKnifeJimmy

    Aug 4, 2013
    Very cool looking (and beastly) knife :)
    Love the case coloring on the upper 2/3 of the knife's blade.
    In any case, it has a serious look about it, and the specs seem to be aimed at being just that... a serious knife :)
    Nice, all the way around :)
     
    dingy likes this.
  9. Sonnemann

    Sonnemann

    Sep 21, 2010
    I have seen complaints about the handle, usually remedied with friction tape or tennis handle wrap. You can check out the Von Tempsky Ranger for a smaller version with the same stylings. Finally, I'll plug Blackjack Classic as another good bowie company, though the Svords have always seemed a little more robust.
     
    dingy likes this.
  10. ron_m80

    ron_m80

    Mar 1, 2009
    I know its touchy, but has anyone tried the new O-1 Trailmaster bowie from CS? Its less than $200.
     
  11. PocketKnifeJimmy

    PocketKnifeJimmy

    Aug 4, 2013
    I can't answer your question... but could you let me know why it's a "touchy" thing to discuss? Thanks in advance :)
     
  12. ron_m80

    ron_m80

    Mar 1, 2009
    Because for some the company is the topic and not the knife.
     
  13. dingy

    dingy

    Feb 19, 2008
    Is there guys long term use the von tempsky in woods ?
    I need your feedbacks when planning buy one .
    thanks.
     
  14. Camillus

    Camillus

    Jun 3, 2015
    I have never been that impressed by Svord. They seem to market themselves as rugged based on a certain basic quality finish and materials, and a lack of grace in their designs, yet they aren’t very cheap. To me they are only an imitation of better maker’s knives. I can’t figure their popularity - possibly it shows a lack of good alternatives in New Zealand (which is a shame).

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    I do own a number of heavy duty field knives that I have bought from makers on these forums over the years. Generally you can get a fantastic knife made from very high quality steel from makers like Gollik and others. Check out the knife makers for sale thread.
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2020
  15. Campbellclanman

    Campbellclanman Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Mar 10, 2007
    The Svord Knives are very popular- so they didn’t work out for you - I am sure that every maker has people who like or dislike.

    I just think that if a guy like Brian Baker in a small town called Waiuku ( pronounced Why - uku ) can start off making knives at home then end up selling so many around the World - it’s a cool story.

    By the time they reach the shores of your Country Camillus they have been hit up by the middleman and taxes perhaps for your tastes the quality was outgrown by added costs - I’m not sure?

    Farmlands around NZ for years have demanded the simple curved Skinner type knife to cut a Sheeps Throat- the Svord Skinners I have seen do job as quick as the animal can even comprehend what’s happening- I guess it helps if the Farmer knows what he or she is doing as well.:eek:

    Im not sure if Svord wanted to get too into having a huge range of designs as a Few knives do whatever you need in reality and adding grace and finesse isn’t what was on Bakers mind originally ( I don’t think Brian Baker makes them any more? ) as for the choices in New Zealand we have the same choices you have - gone are the days we have to wait for the boat to arrive. :D

    Seriously though - I have to pay a wee tad off double to buy an American Knife and have it arrive here - Because of exchange rates etc. But I still but them because the Traditional bug bit me.

    The Von Tempsky story is a great one- and I like the idea Svord pay homage to the knives that were made here in New Zealand so very long ago - We hear a lot about American Civil War and their Knives - well Von Tempsky had actual Bowie Knives made here in New Zealand to aid in the fight in the Maori Wars at the same time as your Civil War - so this was New Zealands Civil War, so hats off to Svord for making a rendition of the real deal - a knife which got to be very popular far from the shores of NZ. I think it’s a cool story about the Von Tempsky Bowie’s.
     
  16. Camillus

    Camillus

    Jun 3, 2015
    Fair enough. My comments were more directed towards their basic knife line. The pics I posted are of two popular Svord knives that I don’t think much of, but others do seem to like them.
     
  17. dingy

    dingy

    Feb 19, 2008
    I will get one.
     
  18. Sidehill Gouger

    Sidehill Gouger

    Dec 29, 2007
    In the cutlery industry those are both referred to as "beef skinners." There is another pattern called a "sheep skinner" but there are no hard fast rules once the knives are in the hands of the end user. I've seen beef skinners used on sheep and sheep skinners used on beef. Practically every major meat packing knife company has made them. Svord's steel is very good and their's preform better than many out there. But they are still pure working blades, not hang on the wall collector items.
     
    meako and dingy like this.
  19. Camillus

    Camillus

    Jun 3, 2015
    That is the sentiment that Svord has built its business on. Svord wants you to believe that their poor workmanship is somehow excusable because they are the ‘real deal’ and flaws in design, materials and finish are demonstrative of their authenticity. I don’t believe in that at the best of times, and when you see the prices that their higher priced knives sell for, its plainly wrong.

    The problems with their knives are manifold, as you will find if you look at customer reviews and feedback, especially on their higher priced wooden knife lines. I have done internet research and I have also handled many Svord knives, and politely told sales assistants that they aren’t what I am looking for.

    Those problems would put most companies out of action, but there is a Svord customer that takes perverse pride in those same flaws.

    To describe a flawed knife (either in design or in production) as a ‘working knife’ or a ‘no nonsense’ knife does nothing to rectify that. The flaws are points of qualitative difference, and quality matters.

    I place the Von Tempsky bowie squarely in that category. Just look at the sheath it comes with for goodness sake.

    As for the supposed superior steel - again, it’s a user perception issue. People want to believe that the Svord carbon steel is somehow higher quality, because its an ‘authentic knife’ and they believe that authentic knives are better users. That is the romantic story they are buying, and so they do buy it and they do believe it.

    So I would strongly advise the OP to take the money they would spend on a Svord bowie and ask what a knife maker on these forums would produce for it, you will be pleasantly surprised.

    Having said all that, which I admit is a fairly damning assessment, I have spotted a couple of the Svord plastic handled utility knives which could be good users and which I am going to test out. I will give them a fair unbiased assessment. Note these particular models are priced much more reasonably than the ones I am taking aim at in this post - especially the Von Tempsky bowie - and therefore their faults are not as egregious.
     
  20. dingy

    dingy

    Feb 19, 2008
    i have few peasant knives from Svord, they are well made ,cut well ,easy to carry.
    so i order a von tempsky forest bowie , it will come to me in 40 days.
    when i got the knife , will put some feedback here.
    man.
     

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