White Tiger Handmade Knives History
I have been fascinated with knives for as long as I can remember. I have owned and used a multitude of knives ever since I was a small boy. I made my first custom knife while at school for my ‘O’ level metalwork project. I have been making custom knives on a semi professional basis since about 2001 and full time since June 2015. I am a member and apprentice smith with the American Bladesmith Society.
I hand forge my blades as well as making knives with the stock removal process. I also make knives from my own damascus and laminated stainless carbon san mai. All the knives I make are hand crafted one at a time in my own workshop, forging, grinding, heat treating, gun blueing and the leather work that will finally hold the finished knife. No one else is involved at any time in the production of one of my knives.
Knife Making Processes
As I am the only bladesmith here at White Tiger Knives I can be very flexible in terms of what I can offer a customer regarding style, materials used and type of fittings for their special knife. I will try to accommodate them as best I can in this. I do have a large selection of patterns I have designed over the years which can be customised to individual requirements. The only thing I will not change is that all my blades come with a flat grind. I feel this is the best all round grind for blade geometry, edge retention, integral blade strength and life expectancy of the blade.
Types of Knives Manufactured
I make mainly fixed bladed knives, but I also make mountain man style friction folders and Japanese style folding knives. I design my knives to be used, they are robust, strong and I hope aesthetically pleasing to the eye. I consider all of my hand crafted knives as pieces of functional art. They can and have been used by gamekeepers, bushcraft enthusiasts, deerstalker's and professional soldiers. I will say again they are designed to be used by PROFESSIONALS. I do not make or sell my knives to any individual under the age of eighteen.
Knife Design and Influences
I try not to make too many of the same style of knives. Variety is the spice of life. I do like to make different styles from historical Bowie's, daggers, tactical knives, Tanto's, survival type knives to primitive rough forged style knives with a Native American feel.
Materials for the Knife Making Construction
I work with O-1, EN43, EN45, O-7, L-3, EN42 J-1080, 80Cr V2, 8670, 1075 + Cr, Aogami blue paper steel, Shiro2 white paper steel, silver steel and W-1. I also use truck leaf springs in my forging classes and for more rustic knives and in the herb choppers that I like to make. If properly heat treated this steel produces an extremely tough blade. I use Micarta and G10 more frequently in the construction of my handles and I always enjoy working with these man made products. However I still feel that the figure you can bring out of exotic woods, be they natural hard woods or stabilised will always have an aesthetic advantage over a man made material. If properly cared for even natural handle materials will give the owner a life time of service.
In recent years I have been very honoured to win the best in show category for a full time maker at Knives UK, 2016, 2017 and 2018. The only dedicated knife show held here in the UK. Each of these awards was for a Bowie and I have to say that this style of knife holds a special place in my heart.Contact Us
Perhaps I will build a small forge and make one last sword to be buried with me. I hear the sounds of the hammer in my mind even now and I am at peace. Conn Igguldon, Bones of the hills.
Stephen Nowacki | Founder and Director