A couple years ago, on the recommendation of a guy I’d only seen on YouTube I sent money to another guy I’d only seen on YouTube. Oddly, I think I got my money’s worth.
The Knife Maker:
As part of the tithing I’ve talked about before I ordered knives from a writer and knife maker named William Collins the founder of WC Knives. Collins is based in Texas and at the time I ordered my knives had only been making knives for about eight months. (He began in December 2012.)
One of the interesting features of sending him your money (he insists on partial payment up front to cover materials) is that he sends you frequent videos of the progress of your knives. This includes his mistakes–he made one on on mine which slowed things down–and the answers to any questions you may have. He then includes the videos as part of the package he sends with the final product.
In may case, his charming nature actually helped sell the purchase to She Who Must Be Obeyed. I was mostly impressed that his workshop seemed to be mostly outdoors.
I ordered two knives, the WC Knives Woodlore Clone and the smaller Woodcarver.
The knives have single bevel or “Scandi” grind drop-point blades and are made from 1095 steel which sharpens easily, holds an edge reasonably well and rusts at even the mention of water. They have hunter orange G10 handles with black G10 liners, brass pins and brass lanyard holes. The Woodlore Clone has a 4 inch blade and is 8.67 inches long over all. The Woodcarver has a 3.16 inch blade and is 7.16 inches long.
I chose Kydex sheaths with leather loops. Collins gives you a choice of sheaths, although it’s also possible to get them without sheaths.
For a new knife maker Collins did a terrific job. There are a few flaws: the “Scandi” grind is uneven on both knives–annoying mostly because it affects cutting–and the lanyard hold is partially blocked on the Woodlore Clone as if the G10 liner slipped after it had been drilled.
I’m also discovering I’m not a big fan of “Scandi” grinds, but that’s not Collins’ fault.
The best part, though, is the handles. Collins does a terrific job producing beefy handles that don’t seem to have any hot spots and there are no gaps where the handle material meets the tang. They are easy to hold barehanded or with gloves and are so comfortable you actually want to go out and cut stuff with them. (Meaning I need to repatriate them to the USA so I can actually use them more.) I’ve used them as much as I can around the house and used them enough on wood and cardboard to dull them but they are really meant to be used outdoors.
I like them enough I’m considering another purchase. Until then, I can’t recommend his knives strongly enough. He’s always coming up with new designs and tests them on his YouTube channel. Lately he’s been working with better quality steels which has driven up the price some, but he’ll make whatever you order.
He’s also an avid hunter who’s not afraid to use one of his knives to butcher a squirrel or pig on camera. He will also show you the time he spent in the woods without getting a deer.
That said, anyone interested in ordering a knife should know that he has a large backlog and that he takes deer season off until he fills his tag.