Your Traditional Knife of 2020

Discussion in 'Traditional Folders and Fixed Blades' started by Jack Black, Dec 12, 2020.

  1. OldHercDude


    Jun 28, 2020
    True, but a lot of them begin to take up too much space.

    I need to find a nice storage solution one of these days.
    Jack Black and scrteened porch like this.
  2. Peregrin

    Peregrin Traditional Forum Moderator Moderator Gold Member

    Sep 2, 2004
    Just joining in the fun, Jack! No prize for me please!

    It'll come as no surprise to some that my 2020 KOTY is my Solingen made Boker Nessmi.

    I can't go anywhere without it. I really like Jesper Voxnaes' design for the Nessmuk mini. It fits the hand well, goes anywhere and is quite versatile for my every day tasks. Well made with Micarta handle slabs and a CPM-S30V blade. Based on George Washington Sears knife, the Nessmuk. He chose Nessmuk for his pen name. It was the name of an Indian that taught him much about woodlore.

    The bonus for me is that this little knife reminds me of my youth hiking, camping and canoeing the Fulton Chain Lakes in the Adirondack Mountains of New York State, with my dad, younger brother and some good friends. The Fulton Chain Lakes and Moose River were Nessmuk's stomping ground. I've read his stories of his adventures, and have been to all of his places many times. Old Forge, Inlet, first lake through eighth, I've paddled them all. The knife is a nice little tribute. If you get the chance there's a nice exhibit on his history at the museum on Blue Mountain Lake.
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  3. akaMatt

    akaMatt Gold Member Gold Member

    May 10, 2017
    I was also thinking about this annual thread recently. It has been such a strange year all around. I thought my knife totin' might be the most consistent thing in a year otherwise full of twists and turns.

    And so, for much of the year I had my Snakewood 29 (The Wrattler) in my pocket. I had actually determined this was my pattern, and so I aquired a M&G version, and traded a B&SK for a version of the 29 in Osage. I was pretty much done at that point, and since my snakewood daily tote was from a previous year, I would not have a knife for this thread.

    But, in keeping with 2020, all that changed in early October. I had a fairly significant birthday this year, and my daughter surprised me with a new knife... a Buck 112 in S30V from the Custom Shop, engraved for the occasion. Well, I was floored... it's way too big, too bulky, too heavy... just a monster compared to what I've carried... and it is absolutely amazing in every way!

    I am completely smitten with this knife, and it hasn't left my pocket or hands since I got it. The build quality is fantastic, and it fits my hand like a, well... a custom knife! The blade steel is great, and takes and holds an extremely sharp edge. And despite being built like a tank (relative to my other knives), it is an amazing slicer due to the blade grind.

    We shall see how long this infatuation lasts, but I don't see any end in sight at this point. So, without a doubt, here is my 2020 KOTY!

  4. Prester John

    Prester John Gold Member Gold Member

    May 20, 2018
    Jack, I intentionally did not enter for the giveaway. I have won a couple of giveaways already this year, and would like someone else to have a chance to win.
    I am enjoying this thread. So many beautiful knives!
    Jack Black likes this.
  5. Pàdruig

    Pàdruig Live and Let Die Platinum Member

    Dec 1, 2016
    Jack, I am very happy to see this thread pop up, I've been looking forward to it. I now have the opportunity to sit down, read over everyone's choices, mull my own over, and write up a post.

    Like for so many, this has been a very difficult year. Despite fire and flood, plague and unrest - I still managed to acquire quite a few knives and when reflecting back over the year, it is curious to see where my interests have taken me. I've seen a lot of fixed blades enter my collection this year - a lot of Nordic designs, several from BF makers here, and others that have struck my fancy. With GEC's shutdown early this year, I saw myself exploring other manufacturers of traditional pocket cutlery and discovering patterns that had not piqued my interest prior.

    Interestingly though, this will be the first year that a Lambsfoot knife has not taken the coveted spot of KOTY. Though I still carry a Lambsfoot rather regularly, I did not acquire a new Lambsfoot knife this year so there are no candidates. Fear not though, my enthusiasm for the pattern has not dimmed but it certainly has given me the opportunity to experience other knives.

    Though I didn't have to think too hard on what my 2020 KOTY year is, I did take the time to think about some of the noteworthy runner-ups.

    As mentioned above, I've taken a keen interest in some of the Nordic designs - namely the puukko. As a result, I have acquired a number of them. I've been carrying this Tommi Mäkelä on my belt since I got it - sporting a forged blade and a sizable handle made from Bog Oak, it has certainly captured my enthusiasm and I suspect it will be hard to bump this one from its comfortable place as my go-to belt knife.

    (Please forgive the recycled pics - weather isn't agreeable right now. This knife has considerably more patina now)

    However, even though the puukko has become indispensable, I have not ventured out nearly as much as I am used to doing due to the current climate. As a result, a belt knife is hardly needed when puttering around the homestead in gym shorts.... Because of this, I will have to pick another for my 2020 KOTY.

    When GEC shut down its factory early this year, it left a lot of questions and concerns for their future wellbeing. It also halted my purchases from them for a brief period of time, allowing me to look elsewhere to get my cutlery fixes. Viper Knives from Maniago, Italy has been producing slip joints for a bit now, using modern manufacturing methods and materials. This has resulted in very high quality cutlery in some very notable patterns. I took a gamble on one and a Swayback in Stag made its way to my doorstep. I was instantly enamored by this knife, enough so that I had to write about it in a somewhat lengthy review.

    Since then, it has occupied my pocket rather regularly and the exceptional steel continues to impress. It is also interesting to note that this same pattern became our Forum's 2020 knife.


    Despite the Viper Swayback being such an exceptional knife, it still doesn't take the top spot. No, that place is reserved for another.

    This past summer, there was discussion regarding GEC's #97 pattern (large Coke Bottle) and as it's been in the past, the conversation was rather tepid. One thing led to another and I ended up ordering one to experience it again after having written the pattern off last year. For whatever reason, I decided to carry the knife for a month straight in order to familiarize myself with it, discover the pattern's history, and document my observations accordingly. I expected that after a few days into this experiment, I would be letting my eyes wander and I would never be able to follow through. However, I was rather wrong - with each passing day, I became more enchanted with the knife and I began to have need for no other. I then decided to seek out the entire #97 run as well as find examples from other cutlery firms, old and current. One month of carrying this pattern stretched into two and though I have allowed myself to carry other knives since, the large Coke Bottle frame has won a place in my pocket and a substantial place in my collection.

    This is a few of them:


    As a result of what I deem to be a rather memorable experience - one where I discounted a knife pattern awhile back only to rediscover and become quite an enthusiast of it - I have to name this Tidioute #97 as my 2020 KOTY. It is the one that started it all and has seen a considerable amount of use since then.


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  6. Wild Willie

    Wild Willie Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 19, 2018
    That is one of my favorite books... I picked it up that last time I was in blue mountain lake at the museum... Most excellent pairing of blades as well!
    Peregrin likes this.
  7. Bmgillum

    Bmgillum Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Nov 8, 2016
    This has been a very good year for me, knife wise...I have been unsuccessfully trying to get a Don Hanson folder for years and this year, within a space of 4 months, I got two...

    92120502-0763-444E-83D2-EEA8624FA005.jpeg 32C46B87-4798-464F-8A17-66BF45E9C1E7.jpeg
  8. HEMI 49

    HEMI 49 Gold Member Gold Member

    Aug 9, 2018
    Just joining for the fun Jack....

    I was fortunate to acquire many knives this year..... When GEC spit and sputtered during various shutdowns, I bought some Schatt and Morgans, Vipers, Lionsteel and Rough Ryders...... I was fortunate to be able to keep up with GEC's 2020 offerings, having only missed 2 or 3 so far.....

    My all time favorite 2020 knife is a Lionsteel/Latham collaboration called the Otnat..... It is an absolute dream knife..... M390 blade for the steel snobs..... Pinchable blade with opposite side nail nicks..... Flashy composite handles for a lightweight, durable grip..... Walk and talk guaranteed to get an old man's heart pumping..... Perfect blade shape suitable for opening up your pension check or cutting up a cucumber for a salad... Provision for a Lanyard without the ugly hole..... Mike and Lionsteel thought of everything on this one.... I carry it 4-5 days out of the week..... Please forgive the lousy photo.....
    aji1, AnW, RayseM and 21 others like this.
  9. JonMcD

    JonMcD Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 1, 2020
    Thanks Jack for this great thread! I’ve given this some thought and would to share some of this years journey. 2020 was my first foray into traditional knives and it was a fun way to spend a year that had many bizarre and unusual moments. My brain enjoys absorbing a new gob of information, and the world of traditional knives does the trick. It only took a couple hand slaps from the mods for me to learn to not add in pics of modern knives! I added up the knives I ended up keeping - 16 from gifts via friends, family and forum GAW’s (not counting the ones won by my kids!), and 8 that I purchased for myself. Here are my highlights. I’ve saved my KOTY for the end.

    I bought this pair - Craftsman 95066 and a 80’s Camillus TL-29 - and they ended up in my pocket every weekend I was doing chores on the tractor or backhoe around my property. I fell in love with the stockman and it probably qualifies as my 3rd most carried knife of the year. This is a hardworking duo!


    I picked up the GEC 62 for myself. I had to have it due to my infatuation with oak trees. I love the DLT shield. The tribal lock was a gift from my father-in-law (one of 7 he gave me throughout the year). I love the sycamore covers on this one. Reminds me of feathers.

    I carried these swaybacks quite a bit as well. The pruner did a a good bit of...pruning...around the house. The ramsfoot (gift from wifey) ate some apples, got flitz’d, and then stayed shiny the rest of the year.

    I didn’t quite know how to handle the generosity of the porch. It caught me totally off guard and was completely unexpected. The 47 Case stockman was won in a @JohnDF GAW (thanks again John!). The yeller Schrade was an out of the blue gift by Jeff - @Amir Fleschwund
    I have started to refer to it as the “Fleschwund Trapper”. My 8yr old son has used it to learn to skin game with...RIP chipmunks. I love these two knives.

    Seen here with the afore mentioned Fleschwund Trapper, I bought the 23 on a whim, curious about the mesquite. I was smitten by the curly grain and into the collection it went. Still though, it’s a bit of a beast to carry.

    hese two are serious contenders. The Barlow was a Fathers Day gift from my kids and got a ton of watch pocket carry time. The 29 is the hands down runner up of the 2020 KOTY. I wouldn’t be sad at all if you sent me on my way and I could only carry a 29. It redefined my ideal of a perfect size carry.


    ut the hands down winner is the Northfield 86. I bought it in January and have massacred countless bags of apples with this beauty. I got accustomed to the heft of it before I knew it was bigger and bulkier than the average slipjoint. But now we are bonded and the 86 definitely takes the cake as the top dawg Knife of 2020. On to 2021!

    And yes Jack, count me in for the patch! What a cool way to remember the year!
  10. JohnDF

    JohnDF Gold Member Gold Member

    May 14, 2018
    You are very welcome. :)
  11. Jack Black

    Jack Black Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 2, 2005
    Todd makes a great knife doesn't he Tim? Congratulations :) :thumbsup:

    Thanks Taylor :) I've got to agree with @joeradza , that looks like a great pattern :) :thumbsup:

    I'd enjoy that very much my friend :) :thumbsup:

    Not at all :D I was thinking of downsizing about 10 years ago, but I chickened-out in the end :rolleyes: Good luck with your move :thumbsup:

    Thanks Joshua, I think I'll have to go through the thread from start to finish, and try and get it right :D :thumbsup:

    Got yer buddy, glad you've had a lucky year, in that sense at least :) :thumbsup:

    I have been looking forward to your post on the Boker Nessmi Gary, it was great to see how smitten you became with it earlier in the year :) :thumbsup:

    Fantastic! :) Definitely a Knife of the Year :) Belated Many Happy Returns ;) :thumbsup:
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  12. Jack Black

    Jack Black Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 2, 2005
    What a post Dylan! :cool: It's a shame there were no new Lambsfoot SFOs this year, though I am so smitten with my Hartshead Barlow, I don't know if it would have made a difference in terms of my own KOTY :rolleyes: I have admired your Puukko many times, it really is a beauty, and you take a fantastic photo my friend :cool: Bearing in mind our private discussions, I am not too surprised that you chose one of the #97s, and what a wonderful collection you've quickly accumulated :) :thumbsup:
    Prester John likes this.
  13. Jack Black

    Jack Black Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 2, 2005
    Congratulations :cool: :) :thumbsup:

    So which one is it going to be?! ;) :D :thumbsup:


    You sound smitten Brent :) :thumbsup:

    It looks like you've had a busy year Jon! :D I'm glad you're enjoying your time here so much :) We've all had a couple of hand-slaps! :D ;) :thumbsup:
    JonMcD, Prester John and Old Hunter like this.
  14. Old Hunter

    Old Hunter Gold Member Gold Member

    Jul 12, 2012
    That has to be the Knife Picture of the Year! The blade looks like Doug Turnbull worked some magic on it - STUNNING! OH
  15. Onebigbill

    Onebigbill Gold Member Gold Member

    May 21, 2019
    Jon, I too have an 86 in Autumn Gold jigged bone. Just a gorgeous knife.
    JonMcD likes this.
  16. Magizm7

    Magizm7 Gold Member Gold Member

    May 18, 2017
    No ifs, ands, buts or maybes,
    No second prize in this game,
    No bridesmaids, only the bride,
    No other contenders to make a claim!!!

    K. O. T. Y. for me for 2020............ the #74 Mustang in Smooth White Bone:D
  17. Old Engineer

    Old Engineer Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 30, 2014
    Really like your 74 !!!!!! What year was that made my friend .

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  18. Magizm7

    Magizm7 Gold Member Gold Member

    May 18, 2017
    Thanks, Harry, so do I.
    It is an SFA from last year's rendezvous although it is stamped 2017.
  19. Old Engineer

    Old Engineer Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 30, 2014
    I thought that was what it was . :thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup: I got one too . I am sorry that we did not connect there . They had some very nice pieces to get there in 2019 .
    Take care my friend and carry it in good health .

    mrknife and Magizm7 like this.
  20. Jack Black

    Jack Black Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 2, 2005
    A man of decision! :cool: :thumbsup: Mustang seems a popular choice this year, great-looking knife :thumbsup:
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