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Date Published: 2023-08-07

Bowie Knife Basics

Bowie Knife Basics

By Desiree Weeks

When Crocodile Dundee famously said, “That’s not a knife… THAT’S a knife” and pulled out a Bowie knife against a would-be mugger in the 1986 film, I think we all agreed that Bowie knives are indeed an impressive weapon.

The Bowie knife itself also has an interesting, and at times conflicting, history. For the most part, it’s believed that Rezin Bowie created the Bowie knife in 1830 for his brother James “Jim” Bowie. Jim was known for his knife fighting and his use of a large knife during a one-on-one duel turned into a much larger battle that became known as the Sandbar Fight. He later died at the Battle of the Alamo.

It was stated in an 1847 article that the Bowie knife was originally designed to be a “wearable, convenient, close-combat weapon” that was much shorter than swords of that time.

While there have been muddy accounts and further discussions about the Bowie knife’s origins and whether it was truly the first of its kind, it hasn’t stopped the knife’s popularity.

Characteristics of a Bowie knife typically include a broad, clip point blade that is at least eight inches long. They also feature a cross guard to protect the user’s hand while using.

We have several Bowie knives that you’re sure to love!

Here are just a few of my personal favorites from our traditional, collectable, and fantasy categories.

Traditional Bowies

When it comes to traditional Bowies, we have a lot of great, visually appealing options. One of my personal favorites is the Timber Wolf King Stag Crown Knife. This nature-inspired, massive knife has a genuine bone handle with a stag antler crown pommel and hefty curved handguard made of brass. The 15” modified clip point blade is 3/8” thick, which is exactly what you’d expect from a traditional Bowie.

A more modern take on the traditional Bowie is the Gil Hibben Extreme Survival Bowie Knife. This Bowie from master knifemaker Gil Hibben features a large 10” 7Cr17 stainless steel blade with sawback teeth for added power. Lashing holes are predrilled into the polished hand guard and pommel for attaching a spear. As its name suggests, this is one piece that could easily accompany you on any survivalist journey.

Collectable Bowies

If you caught my previous blog about Sylvester Stallone, you know I am a fan of his films. If you’re also a fan, then you’ll be happy to know you can find both Rambo and Expendables knives right here on our site with the rest of the collectable Bowie knives.

One of the coolest things in my humble opinion is the Expendables Collector’s Kit. This is the perfect way to snag three great pieces, including the Expendables Bowie Knife, for one great price! Along with the impressive Bowie knife with Expendables artwork on the synthetic ivory handle, you’ll also get Expendables 2 Arkansas Toothpick and Three-Piece Expendable Expendables Kunai Set.

So, maybe you’re not a film fan. That’s cool too. If you’re looking for just an impressive Bowie knife for your knife collection, the Hibben HellFyre Highlander Bowie is a great option. This piece has a beautifully crafted blade, made using the exclusive HellFyre Damascus steel. The copper color wire wrapping the handle perfectly complements the copper tones of the blade while the guard and pommel are metal with black chrome finish.

Fantasy Bowies

Fantasy Bowie knives are those pieces that, you guessed it, are meant to be something you’d dream up. A great fantasy example is the Dragon and Castle Fantasy Knife. It has an 8 1/2" stainless steel blade that depicts a dragon attacking a castle on both sides. The handle is also molded into the shape of a dragon with a black TPU molded grip. Easily display this stunning piece in your home with the included black premium wood stand.

For a more subtle fantasy piece, check out the Timber Rattler Sinful Spiked Bowie Knife. It has a lot of elements of a traditional Bowie, including a reddish-brown hardwood handle and polished handguard and pommel. What sets this piece apart however and pushes it into the fantasy category is the unique almost wave-like spikes down the spine of the blade. It’s sure to be a truly unique piece that everyone will envy.

Shop All Bowies Here

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