He is a stout barrel-chested brute of a man. He is tough as iron,
supple as a willow switch, strong as an ox, and like springs on the
traps he carries he is always ready to leap into action to face the
myriad of challenges he may find in the wilderness. Yet he is always
ready with a laugh and a song, and his eyes glint when he has the
opportunity to partake of the alcohol he carries for trade. He paddles
his bateau along the rivers of the North American continent which are
the highways of his day, spreading his culture but also blending it
with those of the indigenous tribes he meets along the way. He is a
Frenchman, one of the earliest of the intrepid breed of explorer. He is
He carries with him everything he needs to make a life in the woods.
His kit includes a smoothbore, an axe and hawk, and as important as
anything else, a knife. He carries several of these. Often there is a
small knife hanging around his neck for minor chores, and another in
one of his knee garters for emergencies. His everyday working knife,
though, is worn his belt sash, or ceinture, and he relies on it for
everything else. It will cut carrots and caribou or leather and lynx
with equal facility. It isn’t huge as Hollywood would have us believe…
perhaps with a 6” long but thin flexible blade with a handle made of
plain wood or bone. This is the same kinds of knife he carries to the
Indian tribes to trade for furs, but his knife has known adventures
that we today can only dream of!
"Knives used in America from the 1600s up until the mid-1850s tended to
be flat ground, and our knives follow that tradition. Hollow
ground blades can produce a wickedly sharp edge, but they can
much more easily chip or crack and, thus, they demand a much higher
level of maintenance. Our knives actually incorporate what's
known today as a compound bevel. The blades are flat ground leaving an
edge that is about 25-40 microns thick. Then an additional edge
bevel is added which allows our blades to be razor sharp but much
stronger than a straight flat ground blade."
Our Voyageur knife is 10 and ¼”
inches in length with a 6” blade, and at its widest point it is an inch
and a quarter in width.
It measures 1/8” in thickness along the spine and is made of 1095
It is edge-hardened and tempered to approximately 59-60 on the Rockwell
"Handled in polished bone for $140.00 or premium Elk stag for $155.00 - sheath included.
Whichever you choose, this knife will evoke the spirit of those hardy
and boisterous paddlers of long-ago.
In your hand, the knife will beg to be used, and as you do the Voyageur
within you will be tempted to shout, “Sacre Bleu, mon ami, de river is
calling my name!” More Voyageur stuff
on youtube More Old Time Voyageur Stuff