Fallkniven of Boden Sweden

Peter Hjortberger and his family established a knife retail business in Boden Sweden in 1984. With an eye to fullfilling the Swedish Air Force requirement for a pilot’s survival knife, they established a separate company Fallkniven in 1987. While Sweden has a long history of steelworking and knife making, the type of knife that was sought could not be fulfilled with the local craftsmen. For this reason Fallkniven contracted originally with Linder of Solingen Germany to make the F-1 model using ATS-34, after the original F1 prototypes were made in Japan.

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(Photo: Linder ATS-34 F1, Hattori VG10 F1, Hattori VG10 laminate F1, Linder Super Edge I.)

In time Fallkniven sought other makers in Europe and the U.S. who could manufacture knives with their preferred materials and to their strict standards at a cost that would allow bringing it to market. Only Hattori Seki stepped up and suggested a  new steel heretofore not widely used; Takefu Specialty Steel’s VG10. In mid 1997 Hattori started making the F1s which were solid VG10. Later the VG10 core with 420j2 side laminate was introduced, and Fallkniven claims a 20% increase in strength over the solid VG10 blade with well over 200 lbs of lateral strength as tested by Lulea University, Sweden.

The larger A1 was introduced following the F1 and similarly, it too was originally introduced with a solid VG10 blade.

image001 Solid VG10 A1

Apart from the blade marking, the grind line at the ricasso differed from the current A1s. Additionally, the Country of Origin was stamped as well.

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In 1995 the Swedish Air Force after much testing adopted the Fallkniven F1 as the pilot survival knife.

F1S1A1 VG10 Core 420j2 sides laminates

In 2000 the F1,S1 and A1 models were tested by the  US Naval Air Warfare Center in Patuexent River Maryland. The F1 and S1 were accepted for use by USMC and USN aircrews. The A1 passed all tests but was too large for the aircrews’ survival vests. However the A1 is known to be in use by Special Forces units of the U.S. and other nations as well.

Fallkniven_basic_lineup_to_scale

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While Fallkniven truly got off the ground with a “hard use- no frills”military application in mind, in 2002 they introduced the Northern Lights series aimed at the civilian market with a traditional guard, stacked leather handle and pommel.

Fallkniven_NL_series

Fallkniven’s success may be attributed to their philosophy which differs from that of many major knife companies. Their emphasis on design, the best materials, the best manufacturing skills and extensive product testing results in a product that inevitably costs more than their competitors. But to many buyers the difference in final quality and performance justifies the price. Fallkniven is perhaps the only knife company that openly discloses that all of their fixed blades are made by Ichiro Hattori. Furthermore, Fallkniven actively supports the development and use of the top grade steels beyond the VG10 laminates such as SGPS (Special Gold Powder Steel) as a core with 420j2 sides laminate, 3G (SGPS core with VG5 laminate- VG5/SGPS/VG5, ie; “3G”),  Laminated Cobalt Steel and Cowry-X that Hattori advocates, as well as his favored “Hamaguri-ba” (convex blade grind) in their product line. The end result is a knife brand which may very well be the best production knife available today.

hunting-knife-tk1mm

TK1 3G Mahagony

 

TK1 3G Cocobolo

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TK3 3G Cocobolo

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Micarta F1 VG10 full tang

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F1 Micarta 3G Limited Edition

HK9

HK9 3G

NL5CX

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Northern Lights NL5 Idun Cowry-X Damascus

Fallkniven website:

http://www.fallkniven.com/

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Special thanks to Mikael Wallin, Sweden.

The Fallkniven Story – 30 Years

By Peter Hjortberger, Founder, Fallkniven A.B.

http://www.fallkniven.com/en/component/content/article/27

 

 

 

 

 

 

Browning Hattoris

While Browning is naturally known for it’s firearms, it’s knives are also well known to collectors. A number of models were designed in the late 1960s for Browning by a young Gil Hibben decades before Rambo III or Star Trek movies made him famous. Designated the Sportsman’s Series they were outright hunting knives, both folding and fixed blades made to complement Browning’s firearms in the field. Like many other U.S. knife companies at the time, Browning had knives made in the U.S., Germany, Italy and Japan. As a result one may encounter some of the oldest same or similar models with a different country of origin. This shift in country of origin reflects the economics of the post WWII world.

 

BRus4018F Made in U.S.A.

506germ Made in Germany

DSC_0734-1 Made in Japan

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Of all the knives that Ichiro Hattori made for Browning,  one of the two most prominent models would be the 1970s Sportsman Model 3718.

The Browning 3718 was a Drop Point Hunter with an overall length of 7 3/4″ overall and a blade length of 3 1/2″. Steel was described as 440 by Browning at the time but later disclosed to be Aus8.  The 3718 long discontinued by Browning was made by Hattori in later years in a VG10 version and a Cowry-X Damascus version. A model designated 3717 is Hattori’s adaptation of a Japanese Kiritsuke tip (sometimes called a reverse tanto in the U.S.) to the 3718.

HATTORIBANDT 3717/3718 in VG10

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At one time the H-3717 was made separately with a single bevel for right handed and left handed users.

Img1302 KD-3717 Cowry-X

Img697 KD-3718 Cowry-X

The other famous model is the Browning Double Edged Damascus Hunter.

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rsz_scan0002 (1) Cover of “Book of Knives” 3rd Edition 1988

In 1983 Browning approached the Seki knife makers with an idea to make a one time limited edition damascus hunter based on one of Gil Hibben’s designs. Up to that time the making of a damascus blade involved the forge welding of iron and steel in alternating layers that often resulted in a costly and not very rust resistant final product. To meet Brownings requirement a new kind of damascus was created; not using iron, but stainless steel and nickel silver forge welded in 200 layers. The final result with it’s surface grain, beautiful pattern and high luster was such that Browning changed it’s plans and decided on extending the limited run designating it the Browning Model 3816. However only two models were produced over two years as the US Dollar to Yen exchange rate in 1986/87 made further production prohibitive.

DSC_0740 Model 3816

The knife was sold as the Model 3816 Browning Double Edged Damascus Hunter, with a mahagony handle and stainless steel guard and pommel, and a retail price of $350.00 in 1985. It came in a wooden lined presentation box, no sheath, and a certificate issued by Browning on Wa-shi (often called rice paper in the U.S.) and was serial numbered to 1000.  Overall length was 7 1/2″ and the blade 3 5/8″. The Model 3816D was the same but with engraving on the guard.

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The second model was a concurrent run of 1000 knives called the Browning Damascus Classic Hunter.

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This design survives today only in the Hattori Presentation Master Hunter I models, one in ATS-34 and the other in 120 layer nickel Stainless Cowry-X Damascus.

H-101 H-101 in ATS-34

KD30-101b KD30-101 Cowry-X

KD30-101

hattori-kd30101-2 KD30-101 Cowry-X

 

 

 

 

 

SOG Specialty Knives, and Boker Solingen

DSC_0236_zpsw1gwr3zr (1) sog-logo

In the early 1980s a young Spencer Frazer discovered and was inspired by a display of original Vietnam War era MACV-CISO Studies and Observation Group (SOG) Special Forces combat bowies. They were designed by Conrad Ben Baker and made in Japan,  contracted with Yogi Shokai and Japan Sword. They used SK3 carbon steel and because the knives were subcontracted out to several makers, the fit and finish, even the guards varied. The bluing ended up being black, blue, purple or even plum. The knives bore no markings to avoid being traced; “sterile” in covert operations parlance.

OrigSOG01 Original MACV-CISO SOG knife

Determined to bring a reproduction of this SOG knife to market, Spencer Frazer contacted Bo Randall of Orlando Florida. Unfortunately, even back then there was a years-long waiting line, but Bo Randall referred him to someone who could help. That person was A.G. Russell who had contacts with Kencrest Corp, the top exporter of Seki knives. They in turn brought in Ichiro Hattori to make the first  knives for SOG Specialty Knives of Santa Monica Ca. The S1 was based on the commemorative version of the originals rather than the bland unmarked issued ones. It used a blued SK5 carbon steel blade, stainless steel guard and pommel and stacked leather handle. The left side of the blade bore the SOG company logo, while the right side bore the 5th Special Forces crest near the ricasso and additional wording on the blade. The knife was brought to the market in 1986 and marketed in ads in “Soldier of Fortune” magazine.

s1b SOG S1

s1crest s1left side

Shortly afterwards, SOG introduced the S2 “Trident” Bowie, which commemorated the U.S. Navy Seals. This knife had a polished Aus8 blade, black Micarta handles and the U.S. Navy Seals crest on the right side of the blade. While the most commonly seen S2s have a solid black micarta handle, the earliest ones had stacked micarta handles.

s2b

 

The first S2 sheaths shipped with a nylon one marked Santa Monica, and later Edm Wa. Later models came with the leather sheath.

S2a SOG S2

s2b U.S. Navy Seals crest

A rarely seen model was the SOG SS1, which was identical to the S1 in all respects except that it had no Special Forces Crest or the “Vietnam, Fifth Special Forces Group” on the right side of the blade.

KLC09589 SS1

KLC09589_1 SS1

s-l1600 (2)

In 1989 SOG marketed a limited edition commemorative S1 which had the words “SOG SPECIALITIES” as the blade logo. It was serial numbered to 1500, and the number appeared on the left side ricasso. The origin “Japan” appears on the back of the pommel. Based on a Certificate of Authenticity signed by Spencer Frazer, knife no.0002 went to Arnold Schwarzenegger, No.0007 to Robert K. Brown of “Soldier of Fortune” magazine, No.0010 to Al Mar, and two sterile versions were given  to Sylvester Stallone during the filming of Rambo; First Blood, Part III. Of notable interest is that Spencer Frazer discloses that this knife, which was made by Ichiro Hattori, was made in one of the same factories that made the original MACV-CISO knives.

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Special SOG logo.

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Certificate of Authenticity.

Sog6

Country of origin on pommel.

A similar commemorative of the S2 Trident was also made with this logo.

S2comm

The SOG S1 has become a classic among knife collectors and has appeared in movies and television.

SOGBowie

 

SONY DSC
Terminator 2 – Judgement Day 1991

SOG Specialty Knives produced the S1 and S2 over the period of 1986-2005 that Hattori made these knives. There were a couple of limited edition commemoratives made by Hattori between 2006-2008.

TigerS1aTigerS1b

Seki production of these two models ended in 2005 and SOG shifted to Taiwan production thereafter. Amongst the SOG collectors the original Seki made models still remain the most sought after.

rsz_scan0002_zpsowtizhek 1991 AG Russell Catalog

The same knives made for SOG were later made under the Hattori brand and designated TV2 and TV3.

reghl_zpsmtt0ivxl Hattori TV-1(SK5), TV-2, TV-3(Aus8)

The earlier TV-3 designation was used for the unusual plum blued brass guard and pommel model.

DSC_0387_zpsclagsxzm Seki Hamono Kaikan (関刃物会館)Display

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During this period, Hattori also made similar knives for Boker of Germany, two MACV-CISO commemoratives, identical but the first had a signature of Conrad Ben Baker etched on the left side of the blade, and the other had no signature. Both of these are unique as their grind line ends closer to the ricasso, rather than the second spine peak. This is characteristic of the actual standard issue MACV-CISO SOG knife used in combat. All other Hattori SOG knives follow the grind line of the MACV-CISO SOG Commemorative editions.

BokerCom1

boker1

CISO/MACV Boker Ad from 2002

boker3 Boker Commemorative SOG

boker2 Right side of blade

Boker4 Left side of blade

BokerSOG

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Another Boker offering was the the Son Tay Raid commemorative and the unusual blade shaped “Force Recon” model. All of these models were made for the European market so are not encountered often in the U.S.

sontay

Son Tay Raider Boker Ad 2005

sontay1 Boker Son Tay Raider Commemorative

Force Recon

Force Recon Boker Ad 2003.

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s-l16800

boker_usmc_enlBoker Force Recon

In 2006 a limited edition Damascus S1 was offered by SOG. It is very rare as only 50 were made, all serial numbered, with a Certificate of Authority signed by Spencer Frazer and came in a wooden presentation box. The blade was a VG10 core with a Nickel Stainless (410j) Damascus in 49 layers.

sog-s1-bowie-damascus-presentation-box-certificate-derek_T Damascus VG10 L/E

s1d%202Damascus S1

sog-s1-bowie-damascus-seki-japan-engraving-derek_T Made in Seki

The same knife as the Hattori HD7, a VG10 core but with a 97 layer Nickel Stainless Damascus is still available only by custom order.

hd-7l_zpsmlfslbpl

HD

HD3

HD2

Another Limited Edition 1000 knife run offered by SOG was a commemorative made during 2006-2008 . It was a standard S1, blued SK5 blade, serial numbered on the guard. It came in a presentation box with a Certificate of Authenticity signed by Spencer Frazer as well as a Plaque.

s1c serialized engr S/N on guard

s1c%20everything%20inside

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s1c mainL/E Commemorative

This commemorative edition is likely the last S1 made by Hattori for SOG Specialty Knives, as they had started to switch manufacture from Seki Japan to Taiwan. It would also be the last SOG knife that used bluing on the blade, and the only Hattori made S1 with the newer “bullet cutting” SOG logo.

Sogs2 SOG S2 Trident Seki 1986-2005 Aus8

HattoriTV2 Hattori TV-3 (current) Aus8

TV1 Hattori TV-1 SK5

TV-2 Hattori TV-2 Aus8

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1998 Hattori Year of Knife Limited Edition of 99.

Thanks to SOGknivescollectors.com, Boker Germany and Lutz Krempf, Germany. Special thanks to the SOG subforum members on Bladeforum.

SOG-Knives-Logo

https://www.sogknives.com/

boker-solingen_10859905

https://www.boker.de/us/

 

Kershaw Trooper – And other Hattori Daggers

The most well known Daggers made by Hattori are likely to be the Kershaw Model 1007 Trooper and the smaller Special Agent.

Trooper1 Trooper 1007

The Trooper model 1007 was introduced in 1978 and produced continuously until 2009. It is the only Kershaw Knife that was serial numbered throughout it’s entire production. The overall length was 9 3/8″ and blade length 5 1/4″. The blade was double edged Aus8 mirror polished with a stainless steel pommel and guard. The handle was close grained ebony hardwood. When it was first introduced it had no fuller,  but one was added sometime in very early 1980.

Trooper1 Very early Trooper

20150602_140025_zps6jqrhfss (1) Case and COA

The Trooper was sold in a presentation case, with leather sheath and Certificate of Authenticity dated and signed by Peter Kershaw.

0130384236675327533 Special Agent

The Special Agent was a smaller version with an overall length of 8 1/2″, a blade length of 4 1/4″.

Hattori also made the Fang series of daggers for Al Mar Knives.

$_57 Al Mar Fang II

The Fang II was the larger with an overall length of 10″ and a Aus8 blade of 5 1/4″, brass guard and wood handle.

ALMF1F2

The Fang I was the smaller boot knife with a 6 3/4″ overall length and a 3 1/2″ blade. While not often seen now there were some variants using ivory/white micarta and sometimes very handsome engraving work.

343722-knife%20forums%20005%20(Medium)

The most readily identifiable Hattori daggers are the two models made for Beretta. Both were sold with serial numbers, Pietro Beretta logo engravings and presentation cases.

Bigberetta

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The Beretta Daggers were offered in the Large and Small sizes. They were offered is a commemorative box with logo engraved, and also without.

Beretta-knives-014 Beretta daggers

rare-limited-beretta-dagger-with-display-box-never_1_db63ac35265e8c2b4ac566923732dcb3

The Beretta models were later made under Hattori’s brand:

regul

HATTORI983B300 H983B

9 3/8″ overall, 5 1/8″ blade Aus8

HATTORI983A1300 H938A

7 1/4″ overall 3 11/16″ blade Aus8

HATTORIULTRABK H983 Ultra Dagger 9 1/2″ overall 5 1/8″ blade in Aus8

R: 148 G: 255 B: 184 X:43796 Y: 0 S: 0 Z: 20 F: 278

R: 153 G: 255 B: 180 X:43796 Y:19912 S: 0 Z: 20 F: 334

R: 149 G: 255 B: 182 X:43796 Y:19912 S: 0 Z: 20 F: 284

 

DSC_0752

A currently produced boot knife/dagger is the Fallkniven G1 Garm.

garm10 With early sheath

SWEDG1N Current sheath

The G1 has an overall length of 7 1/2″ and a solid VG10 blade RC 59 blackened with Ceracoat 8H of 3 1/2″ length.

The largest dagger by far is the Cold Steel Taipan in Sanmai III laminate, with a VG1 core and 420j2 sides produced from 2006 to 2015.

7988937211_fc84234a5a_b

The Kershaw Hunters

In the mid 1970s, Peter Kershaw, formerly a marketing representative at Gerber Legendary Knives formed his own company together with his wife Judy and shipped their first knife in 1974. He had sent a Made in USA Gerber fixed Blade to Ichiro Hattori to serve as a design basis for the series of knives that became the Kershaw 10X0 series. The blades were all Aus8 and while the original models had wood handles, the basic production models used a phenolic resin handle.

IMG_03291974 Kershaw ad.

kershaw10x0$_1MoosehunterComkershaw_1031_01

Several serial numbered engraved limited edition boxed presentation models were also made.

s-l1600

Untitled

Recent Hattori versions in VG10 (60-61RC) Cocobolo handles with black spacers, stainless steel hilt and pommel.

HATH301300 H30 Field Hunter

HATTORIH31 H31 Field Camper

regdlH31,H29,H30 VG10

While the Hattori brand versions of Kershaw models are in VG10, a rarely seen model is the Kershaw model 1129 (Hattori H29) with a Cowry-Y blade, a powder steel used only by a few custom knifemakers in Japan, such as Koji Hara. The Kershaw model 1129 is said to have been made in limited numbers as a test prototype. Cowry-Y is made, along with Cowry-X by Daido Steel and is reported to contains 1.25 of Carbon, 14.5 of Chromium, 3.0 of Molybdenum, 1.0 of Vanadium, 0.3 Nb in HRC 62-64 .

kershaw1129a

kershaw1129b

kershaw1129c

The Kershaw 1050 Folding Field is arguably the best known classic Kershaw folder.

xz8BhJw Model 1050 Folding Field

GEDC4343 Made by Hattori in Aus8 steel

KERSHAW1050 Specifications

There has been a number of variations in the ricasso stamping which has been summarized as;

1979-1981 Left side: Kershaw, Oregon USA. Right side: 1050, Japan.

1982-1989 Left side: Kershaw, Oregon USA, By KAI Japan. Right side: 1050.

1990-1998: Left side: Kershaw, Folding Field. Right side: KAI 1050, Japan.

1999- 2008 Left side: Kershaw, Folding Field. Right side: 1050, Japan.

R: 151 G: 255 B: 181 X:43796 Y: 0 S: 0 Z: 20 F: 346

Post 2009 : Kershaw marketed 1050s manufactured in China for one or two years using 8Cr13MoV steel.

The Kershaw 1050 is on display among the knives in the Seki Sword Tradition Museum (関鍛冶伝承館) in Seki City, Gifu Prefecture, Japan.

DSC_0419_zpsnw3rcjz7 Model 1050 in Display in museum

i-kershaw_small Various Kershaws

kersh

PakaWood scaled 1050 marked Kershaw. One if three special editions made for the1974-2004 Kershaw 30th Anniversary.

kersh1

kersh2

6b7e_3

Second 1974-2004 30th Anniversary Edition Kershaw 1050. VG10 core with 16 layer Stainless/Nickel blade, solid Nickel Silver blosters and Micarta scales.  Serial numbered and only 500 made sold in presentation box with Certificate of Authority. 4 inches (10.2cm), Overall – 8 1/4 inches (21cm), Weight- 8.2 oz.

i-14215 Hattori 1050 VG10 S/N 074

Third and final 30th Anniversary limited edition-  300 knives using VG10, stainless steel and ebony marked “Hattori” and 500 knives marked “Kershaw”.

i-30th01 Hattori 1050 pair VG10/Ebony

hattori_ph Current Hattori H-51 VG10/Cocobolo

H51 H-51 Large and Small

rad3D38CKnife%20Hattori H-51

ha015_zpsmwaountz

H51 in Cowry-X powder steel.

kd30ml

Special thanks to Mikael Wallin, Sweden.

Note: One of the best articles on the complete history of Kershaw Knives can be found at the following Knife Depot page:

https://www.knife-depot.com/learn/Kershaw/

 

 

 

 

The Hattori Fighter

FT100A  FT100 in Cocobolo and Ebony

The Hattori Fighter under the “Hattori” brand is a quite well known and sought-after knife among collectors. It was made in two sizes; the FT-200 was the larger with an OAL of 14.25″ with a 7.63″ blade and the smaller FT-100 with an OAL of 11″ and a blade length of 6″. Both with a polished solid silver nickel hilt. The handles were offered in Cocobolo, Black Ebony and, White Dupont Corian for the smaller model. Oddly, the larger FT-200 was described as being MVS-8 stainless steel while the smaller FT-100 was Aus8. The larger model appears to have been last produced in 2010 whereas the smaller one seems to have been in production until quite recently albeit in limited numbers.

FT200bFT200 Ebony

In either case, it is basically impossible to find either of them new in stores, unless Hattori decides to do another run. Typical of Hattori’s products, the fit and finish is superb and the knife is a true collection piece. When I first encountered this fighter I had assumed that it was a variant of a Loveless Fighter. However it turns out that it actually has French origins. The design was initially created for a project in 1988 to produce a limited number of Commemorative for the 200th Anniversary of the French Revolution. The handle perhaps gives the strongest hint of this history.

A rare FT-200 version is a limited run reportedly of just 10 pieces which used Buffalo Horn as the handle material.

photo-8

photo-9

 

The most well known version in the U.S. however may be the Junglee “Hattori Fighter”. The original knives were made by Ichiro Hattori and have “Seki Japan” on the ricasso.

Junglee HF Junglee Hattori Fighter

Hattori-fighter-02Made in Seki- MVS-8 Steel

 

BabyHattori Junglee Baby Hattori Fighter

Junglee Knives started in 1985, as the brand name for a group of tooling and machinery companies owned by Mr Shiraz Balolia, who had also acquired the old Gutman name. The unique combination wood/synthetic handle is said to have been designed and patented by S.Balolia himself, who actually holds a great many patents on various designs and machinery. It was available in two sizes, the larger called the “Hattori Fighter” with an OAL of 13.25″ and a 7.75″ blade, and the smaller “Baby Hattori Fighter” with an OAL of 11″ and a 6″ blade, both with a nickel hilt. These knives were introduced to the U.S. market in the mid-late l1990s and the Taiwan Non-Hattori versions lasted until at least 2008. Apart from the unique handle, the Junglee Fighters differ from all other Fighter versions in that they had a serrated section on the spine. When manufactured by Hattori , MVS-8 Stainless was used. Back when Junglee Knives had it’s own website they explained MVS-8 as “an alloy comprised of .85% Carbon, 14% Chromium, .5% Manganese, .5%. Silicon, 2.5% Molybdenum, .15% Vanadium with a hardness between 57-61RC”.

MVS-8 is a proprietary steel made for Masahiro, one of the largest and well known cutlery knife makers in Seki. It also happens to be owned by the Hattori family. Masahiro also manufactures knives for the Tsuge designed brand which is marketed by Kitasho, owner of the Kanetsune brand.

The Junglees originally made by Hattori were MVS-8, at least the larger model, and switched to “440 stainless” when production was later shifted to Taiwan around 2005/2006. No one seems to be sure which “440” it really was, many suggesting and perhaps hoping that it is 440C. But in those days “440” could mean alot of things.(Back then SOG used “440A” to mean Aus6A, and Browning used “440” to mean Aus8A). Amongst collectors, the original Hattori/Seki made Junglee Fighters are considered much more valuable than the Taiwan made ones which were marketed by Smoky Mountain Knife Works at less than half of the price of the originals in the later years.

A fairly recent but discontinued product was a copy of the Junglee fighter blade design by M Tech USA, a maker of tactical knives using “440”.

mtech-cs-tactical-knife-5825-p

The Katz “Alley Kat” models have long been manufactured by Hattori in Seki, however the handle is a Kraton or similar synthetic.

FT100 Katz Alley Kat 6006 and Hattori FT-100

The sizes are different as well, if the site information is accurate. The smaller Alley Kat 6006 has an OAL of 10.75″ with a 6.5″ blade. And the larger Alley Kat 8008 has an OAL of 13″ and an 8″ blade. The blades are described as X70, and described as a “proprietary” Stainless Steel with a Rockwell Hardness of 54-55. However, the Kats Knives site does show this: “About our Steels XT70 – AUS6A – 56 Rockwell “C” Scale Hardness XT80 – AUS8A – 58-59 Rockwell “C” Scale Hardness” So, perhaps that’s all there really is to it. http://www.zknives.com/knives/steels…h.php?nm=xt-70 Kats Knives’ product line consists of knives manufactured in Japan and Spain and generally are considered of high quality, fit and finish, marked chandler Arizona on the left side ricasso and the country of origin on the right side.

Katz Alley Kats Katz Alley Kats 8008 and 6006

AK8008DM

ak8008-dm-1000x1000

Katz 8008 Damascus

The Katz models are the only versions still not “discontinued” however it is possible that they are limited to existing inventory.

Within Japan, Hattori also mades the larger Fighter for Kitasho of Seki, which also owns Kanetsune of Seki. There were two models, the Silver Stream and Silver Stream II, under the “Tsuge” brand label.

The earliest models of the Silver Stream had “Hattori” engraved on the right side of the ricasso.

Tsuge Silver Stream Tsuge Silver Stream

Tsuige SS2 Tsuge Silver Stream II

Both appear to be identical or near identical to FT-200, with an OAL of 13.79″ and a blade length of 7.63″. The original Silver Stream is discontinued , but the Silver Stream II can still be found occasionally and appears to be produced in limited numbers. It also uses MVS-8 and the handle is purple Japanese boxwood. Tsuge is a combat knife brand and named for a Mr Hisayoshi Tsuge, an author, former military journalist, mercenary and French Foregn Legionaire who apparently designs knives based on his military background, but he does not have any production facilities. The Silver Stream II, Model TS-31, was recently reintroduced as a limited serial numbered run of 150. I was lucky enough to pick up No.85. Another version found only in Japan and long discontinued is a model called “Stag Fighter” made by the late Custom knifemaker Seizo Imai and sold under the IMAX label. The IMAX model used ivory and stag for the handle, and an Aus8A blade. Overall length is 333mm (13.11 inches) and a Blade Length of 175 mm (6.89 inches). It is thought that this model was last produced in 2012. Unlike other IMAX models, the Stag Fighter appears to have no markings on the blade or ricasso.

imax-fighter IMAX Fighter

imax-fighter1 IMAX Fighter

The Hattori Fighter is a truly beautiful knife to look at, light and nimble as a true “Fighting Knife” should be. It is perhaps the lack of a blackened blade and synthetic handle that we today take for granted for any “fighting knife” that is the heart of it’s charm. In any version it’s a fine addition to any collection.

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Special thanks to Japan Knife Direct and Anthony Thomas.

February 2015 KH

 

Ichiro of Seki 関住維知郎作

Hattori Ichiro

Ichiro Hattori (Born 1939- 服部 維知郎)is a renowned knife maker in the city of Seki, Gifu Prefecture Japan. Seki is the most internationally well known of several cities famous in Japan for it’s history of cutlery and craftsmen going back some 800 years. He was born into a knife maker family and began his craft at the age of 18 in his father’s factory “Masahiro”, founded in 1932 and still one of Japan’s largest makers of culinary knives as one of the well known “3M”s (Masahiro, Masamoto, Misono).  In 1971, Ichiro Hattori started his own business Hattori Hamono K.K. (Hattori Cutlery Co., Ltd.) to pursue his interest in sporting knives.

4Hattori

post-250-004318800%201287991856_thumbIchiro Hattori’s name is well known among those in the knife industry for his OEM work for major U.S. Knife companies starting in the 1970s when Peter Kershaw contracted with him to produce the 10×0 series of fixed blades such as the Deerhunter, Elkhunter, Moosehunter series as well as the classic 1050 Folding Field, and the Model 1070 Trooper and Special Agent daggers as well. Browning also had Hattori make their classic Sportsman series of fixed and folding hunting knives such as the 3718 and 506. In 1983 Browning planned to create a limited edition damascus knife and Ichiro Hattori was involved in the creation of a knife  made using Stainless Steel and Nickel Silver forge welded in layers. This was designated Browning model 3816 Double Edged Damascus Hunter and was produced for a mere two years 1984/85 before rising costs forced it’s termination in 1986/87.

DSC_0346_zpshcmuby72 (Kershaw Model 1007 Trooper)

BrowningDamascus_S (Browning Double Edged Damascus Hunter)

Perhaps the most well known knives made by Hattori are the fighting bowies for SOG Specialty Knives of Santa Monica California, which were reproductions of a design originally created by Conrad Ben Baker for MACV-CISO Special Forces operations during the Vietnam war. Hattori made the S1 and S2 bowies from 1986 until 2005 when SOG Knives moved their production from Seki Japan to Taiwan. These along with other Seki made SOGs are in high demand as collectibles. Hattori also made four Vietnam commemorative knives for Boker of Germany which were marketed only in Europe. Hattori also made a number of models for many other companies such as Parker, Beretta, Al Mar Knives, Katz, Junglee, Jet-Aer Corp (G96 brand), Tekna, Valor Corp Miami, and The Cutlery Shoppe’s Gryphon brand.

s1%20horizontal SOG S1 Bowie

R: 171 G: 255 B: 160 X:47888 Y:53648 S: 0 Z: 20 F: 338

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Hattori only manufactured the high end quality models for his overseas customers, a practice still continued to this day. While most of his OEM work is now historical, Hattori still manufactures all of the fixed blade knives for Fallkniven of Boden Sweden, and several of the larger Sanmai Mai III knives for Cold Steel Inc. of Ventura California. Hattori has also provided his Cowry-X damascus blades for use by the custom knife maker Anthony L Marfione (Microtech) as well.

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(Fallkniven Northern Lights NL1 THOR and Cold Steel Trail Master Sanmai III)

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(Fallkniven Northern Lights NL5 IDUN in Cowry-X)

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(A.Marfione “Troodon” using a Cowry-X Sanmai Damascus Blade by Hattori.)

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As word of the quality and fit and finish of Hattori made knives increased, he began marketing knives under his own brand in 1993 which are in high demand by collectors from around the world. And as he only produces occasional limited runs Hattori knives are invariably always difficult to acquire. Hattori has made knives using a wide variety of steels both Carbon and Stainless over the last 45 years, but in recent years his work has centered around laminates using VG10 and high performance powder steels like 3G(SGPS) and Cowry-X. Ichiro Hattori developed the Nickel Stainless Damascus and holds a patent on the Laminated Steel Product. While he refrained from making culinary knives for many years so as not to conflict with his family business he has made three lines of cooking knives as well.

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(KD Series Cowry-X Nickel Stainless Damascus)

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No longer made and considered one of the most sought after culinary knives by collectors.

 

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(HD Series VG10 Nickel Stainless 63 layer damascus)

A Damascus series made in collaboration with Ryusen, no longer available.

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FH Series VG10 Special Cocobolo

A series based on a design submitted by members of the former kitchen knife subforum of Knife Forums.

The few Japanese style (wabouchou) models that were made were not in the traditional carbon steels but in the Cowry-X powder steel.

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Hattori also makes the Nenox series of Stainless knives for the Nenohi brand.

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Ichiro Hattori’s skilled craftsmanship is respected not just in Japan but by many knife makers around the world. Well known for his dedication to achieving perfection, willingness to face countless sessions of trial and error, each knife he makes is subject to the most severe control and his motto of “No Compromise” earned him the title of “World’s Best Knife Craftsman”, and he was given the “Excellent Skilled Craftsman Award” by the Seki City Cutlery Association. In 2010 he also received the “Contemporary Master Craftsman” and “Outstanding Knife Making Technician” awards from the Government of Japan Ministry of Health.

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