The editor looks at a traditional knife with a lot to offer
While I was at the Midland Game Fair, a gentleman of a certain age sought me out to make a point. He, like me, is somebody who values a good knife and puts them to hard work every day. What upset him was that that I mostly write about the more modern designs, featuring stainless steel blades and synthetic handles. I also prefer locking designs that protect my delicate little fingers. All his life he’s used English-made, non-locking folders, with carbon blades, and needed me to know that they were everything a countryman could ever need.
With this in mind, I contacted Sporting Cutlery, who suggested that I take a look at just such a knife made in Sheffield by A Wright. With some embarrassment, I had to confess that I had no idea that you could buy an English-made knife these days, other than from top-end specialists. I was even more surprised to learn that it cost just over £ 30. The carbon steel, spear-point blade lives between brass plates, topped with buffalo horn scales and uses a friction lock, making it legal to carry. If there’s a more traditional ‘gentleman’s daily carry’ then I can’t think of it.
Being so slim, it’s very comfortably carried in your trouser pocket, although I’d worry that coins would damage the lovely finish on the buffalo horn scales. If you used it to open a box or to peel an apple, I don’t think anybody would give you a second look. It’s not a threatening thing at all.
What it needs is some respect and TLC. Being a carbon steel blade, it’s easy to sharpen and hold a good edge, but will corrode is left wet. If, for example, you used to gut rabbits, it would need a very good wipe down there and then, plus a good wash and drying when you got home. The brass plates and buffalo horn need some care too, but I don’t see this as a rough and tumble field tool. This, for me, is the simple knife that lives in your pocket for all those little daily jobs, like cutting string, opening boxes and splitting feed sacks. These are generally clean, dry jobs, so damage and corrosion aren’t such big concerns.
Knowing that this fine knife is made in England gives it a real pleasure of ownership, and its compact dimensions and non-locking build mean that it can be safely carried with you all day, as long as you’re sensible; i.e. don’t go to the pub with it. It’s a truly lovely thing and reminds me of the knives I had as a kid.
“If there’s a more traditional ‘ gentleman’s daily carry’ then I can’t think of it”
With a pocket knife and a pen, you’re ready to start your day