Bowie knifes

Whether you are a knife lover or suffer from aichmophobia (fear of sharp objects), the Bowie knife is instantly recognizable by its unique design.

Originally intended for...

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Whether you are a knife lover or suffer from aichmophobia (fear of sharp objects), the Bowie knife is instantly recognizable by its unique design.

Originally intended for self-defence, the Bowie knife is now used by hunters for skinning and slaughtering game or simply by knife collectors. It also makes a respectable wilderness survival knife and a competitor for one of the better choices for a bug out bag (if you don't mind).

The first Bowie knives were made by local blacksmiths by hand for individuals. Today you can buy a bowie knife from virtually any knife manufacturer in the world, although many enthusiasts are still looking for individual knife manufacturers for their own unique bowie knife.

What makes a knife a Bowie?
The Bowie knife was primarily developed as an easy-to-use, portable and practical melee knife. It was like a little sword with a heavy blade.

When the knife was first made, many described it as a big butcher knife. Today, however, it is immediately recognizable by its trimmed edge.

Bowie knives have a large combat knife with a fixed blade, a clamping point at the end of the blade and a hand guard. Its weight allows sufficient strength to cut through both foliage and meat with a single swing.

History of the Bowie knife
The true history of the Bowie knife is different. However, everyone is sure that the knife was designed and built either by or for one of the Bowie Brothers, Jim and Rezin.

The most popular account claims that Jim Bowie has designed the knife and commissioned Arkansas blacksmith James Black to create it. After some modifications to the model, they came to the final design we know today.

The black version of the knife includes a hand guard, and the back of the blade is covered with brass or silver to catch the opponent's own blade during a fight.

First, the curved end of the blade was not sharpened. This model is now known as Sheffield Bowie because it is very popular with cutlery factories in Sheffield, England. However, the knife was always intended for close combat and self-defense.

Jim Bowie made the knife famous for its use during the Sandbar Fight, a famous duel between Bowie and several other men that took place along the Mississippi River in 1827. Jim was shot and stabbed, but he still managed to gut one opponent with the knife and then injure and scare the others away. The fight was reported in the local press, which immediately made the knife sought after by the masses.

Other reports claim that Rezin Bowie, after being attacked by a bull and unsuccessfully stabbing the animal with his knife, was inspired to develop a harder blade. After the development of a design, the knife was manufactured by the blacksmith Jesse Clift.

There is also evidence that Rezin was the Bowie with the original design, due to his granddaughter's letter to Louisiana State University in 1885, in which she claimed that she was Clift at the same time as he forged the knife for Bowie.

Regardless of the source, the Bowie Brothers gave the world a knife design of the highest quality.

The Bowie knife in popular culture
The Bowie knife has been used in many literary works in recent centuries. In Bram Stoker's Dracula it is a bowie knife with which Dracula is killed instead of the usual wooden post. The knife was also used in classical works by Harriet Beecher Stowe, Mark Twain, Charles Dickens and Jules Verne.

The Bowie Knife made its Hollywood debut in the movie "The Iron Mistress" and the television show "Jim Bowie", both based on the life of James Bowie. More recently, the Messer has been an important component of The Alamo films, the first three Rambo films and the Crocodile Dundee films.

Originally the knife was intended as a weapon, but it also proved useful for hunting and camping. This type of application is still widespread today. However, today's campers and backpackers usually rely on pre-packaged and/or practical items.

Since many variations of the knife have been developed, in size, style and design, the Bowie knife is also popular with collectors. The Bowie knife is made by the American Bladesmith Society more than any other blade.

What to look out for when choosing a Bowie knife
There are many variations of the classic bowie knife. Once you have identified the intended use of the knife, consider the following features when deciding which knife to purchase.


The traditional material for a Bowie knife is carbon steel because it retains a sharp blade and is easy to sharpen. With the further development of modern stainless steel alloys, the knives are also manufactured with comparable materials and even anodised aluminium.

Anyone interested in an authentic knife should opt for the carbon steel version. However, either the material for the hunt or for the exhibition is sufficient.