I have found that the Schrade Sharpfinger is about as good of a fixed-blade knife as a woodsman can find. I purchased a pre-2004 American-Made last year and have enjoyed using it. I’ve already published a post about it so I won’t go into too much detail about why I am so fond of this extraordinary knife. But I am providing a post about a “new” one that I found this past weekend.
While browsing a gun and knife show in Ranson, WV, I came across a set of Schrade Scrimshaw knives. Both were new-in-box. The first was a folding hunter design and the second was the Sharpfinger design. Both were listed well under their standard value and I was certain that I could talk the seller down considerably.
After a little haggling, I purchased the Sharpfinger for a price that I was happy with. He didn’t give it away free but I managed to get it for well under its actual value. I looked at the folder (I even drove back to the show to look at it again) but forced myself to pass on purchasing it. The seller wasn’t willing to sell it for considerably less than what I paid for the Sharpfinger. I was tempted. But ultimately, I decided that it was far too big to use as a daily carry and wouldn’t suit my needs as a woodsman’s knife. I loathe unusable knives.
The Sharpfinger is exemplary and having a Scrimshaw model is that much better. For those not familiar with scrimshaw, it was the sailor’s artform of carving designs or pictures into whale teeth or ivory. Of course, we don’t allow using whale teeth or ivory any more but it is nonetheless a part of Americana. The faux ivory on the Sharpfinger is actually a material called Delrin. Although it isn’t true ivory, the feeling, handling and balancing of this knife is truly spectacular!
Schrade began making these Scrimshaws in 1976. The one that I purchased is actually a 1977 which is a nice coincidence as it is also the year of my birth. They continued making these knives throughout 2004 – each with a different image. When Schrade went overseas in 2004, the new company continued making them but have kept the same engraving – I believe it is a whitetail deer design. **A word to the wise, be cautious of purchasing 2004 or newer Schrades as their blade quality decreased immensely.
My particular model has an eagle engraving with the words “liberty” and “justice” on one side and an image of the Mayflower with “The Mayflower 1620” engraved on the other.
If I were a collector of pretty knives, I imagine that it would be enjoyable to try to make a year-by-year collection of these knives, leaving them shiny and new in their cases. But I’m not. As pretty as it is, I believe that this is my new woodsman knife and will accompany me on all of my backwoods adventures.
If you’ve ever come across one of these knives or know anything more about them, I’d love to hear about it.
If you enjoyed this post, you may also like “Classic Pocket Knife Designs” and “The Estwing Sportsman’s Axe – An Ecellent Hatchet for the Outdoorsman.”