Does the perfect fixed blade for Africa exist? Whether it does or not, what should it look like?

Posted mine in the previous thread where it and the logic for carrying it seemingly were not particularly welcome. Neither have changed.

The Von Gruff design does anything any other fix blade does, but also is configured to offer a meaningful self-defense option. That too was ridiculed as unnecessary. I will simply note that self-defense situations are never events of choice.

Without any intent of any drama, I have had two experiences in Africa. Neither fortunately escalated. The first was quite a few years ago in Rundu, Namibia hard on the Angolan border. A tough town in those days - may still be. My PH went into a local market to pick up last minute provisions, while I stayed with truck with a bed full of gear including my rifle. Not an uncommon experience for clients. We were headed into the Caprivi Strip. A drunk appeared demanding money, and belaboring the existence of rich whites. He got closer and louder until I laid my hand on the hilt of my knife. I might have been able to handle him without it - after all, he had been drinking. Or I suppose I could have run away from the vehicle so he could rummage through it. In any case, he beat a hasty retreat.

The second was in Johannesburg at the City Lodge of all places. My spouse and I were overnighting on our way to Windhoek. The youth branch of the ANC was holding a convention in the hotel. Twice during the afternoon and early evening we were mildly harassed verbally by young toughs in their berets. As the night wore on, the hallways became louder and louder as drunk young people roamed them. Our door was pounded upon several times. Calls to the front desk did no good. Fortunately, the door held. But again, a sturdy blade was far more comforting and potentially intimidating than pleading had the locks failed.

As I noted in my previous post, with a very little training, a blade can be surprisingly effective where a handgun is forbidden.
I actually loved your knife, to the point that I was going to ask if you cared whether I had Von Gruff make me one just like it. The main thing holding me back is that I simply have less than zero justification for buying a custom knife right now, but i really like the idea of that one. :)
 
As I mentioned on another thread I found a knifemaker and commissioned a knife. Here is a picture, about 90% finished.

View attachment 587601
very embellished, but wouldn't one need an old toothbrush to clean out the gore from around the nooks and crannies of that elephant head?
 
Just bought a beautiful Old Western with Giraffe handle @von gruff knife I will be taking on my April hunt to Africa. Thanks for all you enablers helping me spend $500. lol!!!
Well I think the Giraffe bone was getting difficult for him to source so you may have got in on time.
I know he recently completed his 1000th knife so it's still part of a small batch made by one single craftsman.
 
I actually loved your knife, to the point that I was going to ask if you cared whether I had Von Gruff make me one just like it. The main thing holding me back is that I simply have less than zero justification for buying a custom knife right now, but i really like the idea of that one. :)
Not to worry, he catalogues it on his site. Great blade.
 
Do these axes have a name such as "Zulu war axe" or the like? I'd love to find something like that to take home as a souvenir.
Kaliber, is the Tonga name for the the Ax. Most of the makers of these Kalibers are located a half hours drive from our lodge.
They retail for about $5.00. It takes 3 men a little over one hour to make. 1 carving the handle, 1 operating the mealie mean bag billows and 1 doing the forging.

I give the makers any truck/ cruiser springs I can find. They give me the Kalibers which we give to clients. Other names, Tonga Ax, Slagger, chopper. They certainly not Zulu war axes. The Tongas are the most honest peacful people you will ever find
 
Dr. Kevin Robertson was having a knife made in Sweden. He was advertising them on the African Hunter, we bought two of them. I agree with Kevin on it being the perfect knife for Africa.
 
Dr. Kevin Robertson was having a knife made in Sweden. He was advertising them on the African Hunter, we bought two of them. I agree with Kevin on it being the perfect knife for Africa.
Is there a link or image of this available?
 
I just looked you can google it under Doctari knife or Kevin Roberson Knife.
I was contacted by a knife store in Sweeden wanting to know if I would sell ours he was agast to find out we use them for skinning elephant.

My knife was stolen by my wife’s maid. She was Shona not Tonga.
 

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So following on from the carrying knives in Africa thread, I am interested to hear from those that DO prefer to carry a fixed blade knife. As an amateur knife maker, I am interested to know if there are any common themes in the knives people prefer to carry while on safari.

Just judging from the other thread, many chose no knife at all, and a large group chose a folder or multi tool. But for the segment that opt to carry a fixed blade, I would be interested to know all the specifics you can mention, eg size, steel type or thickness, handle material, etc. Any details you think are relevant really. If you think the ideal already exist, I am interested to know what it is.

I realise this is very subjective and similar to asking "what is the ideal rifle for Africa". So possibly answers will be all over the map. I do ask this with some trepidation since the design by committee route rarely ends up with good outcomes. But I am interested to see what comes up in the discussion that comes out of th
I actually loved your knife, to the point that I was going to ask if you cared whether I had Von Gruff make me one just like it. The main thing holding me back is that I simply have less than zero justification for buying a custom knife right now, but i really like the idea of that one. :)
Last night I ordered the Heavy Hunter with 5 inch blade. Buffalo bolsters and giraffe handle. Garry told me I will have it by the end of the month so I can take to my hunts in Zim and SA
 
Kaliber, is the Tonga name for the the Ax. Most of the makers of these Kalibers are located a half hours drive from our lodge.
They retail for about $5.00. It takes 3 men a little over one hour to make. 1 carving the handle, 1 operating the mealie mean bag billows and 1 doing the forging.

I give the makers any truck/ cruiser springs I can find. They give me the Kalibers which we give to clients. Other names, Tonga Ax, Slagger, chopper. They certainly not Zulu war axes. The Tongas are the most honest peacful people you will ever find
Wow Lon I would love to buy one from you when I am there to go in my office!!!
 
@Red Leg wrote it out very well. I can't imagine going in the field without a fixed blade knife, and I would rather have a bit extra blade to work with than one a bit too short.

Here is the knife I have carried on my last few trips, I had Gary work up the blade shape for me. It is a great knife for many uses.

View attachment 587200
Is that the smaller version of the JT ranger?
 
Wow Lon I would love to buy one from you when I am there to go in my office!!!
Anyone who treats my staff good gets a well used one thats what you want.

The hundreds of kilometers of roads and blinds that have been built.
In Tanzania on a bet i halved skinned snd loaded a nice buff by myself with just a Kaliber. The head comes off for sharpening and other uses such as skinning.

Lon
 
This discussion of knives prompted me to start digging around in drawers and boxes to find knives suitable for a trip to Africa. I found my Bark River Nessmuk along with 3 custom Nessmuks I forgot I had, I found a Bark River neck knife with a skeleton handle, more Moras than I could count, and the list goes on.

1708198529513.jpeg


Now to find the other knives I remember buying but forgot which box or trunk they got put it in!
 
That’s a fine looking knife
It catches my eye, it's a pretty thin tip I'd be worried it breaking but I do like fine tipped knives. Never cared for a skinner type blade tho they do work good for skinning but not much else. I think he did one in magnacut which would be cool.
 
Is that the smaller version of the JT ranger?

It is a modified buffalo skinner. If you are interested, I'm sure he still has the specs. If not, I think I have is original drawing somewhere.
 
Kaliber, is the Tonga name for the the Ax. Most of the makers of these Kalibers are located a half hours drive from our lodge.
They retail for about $5.00. It takes 3 men a little over one hour to make. 1 carving the handle, 1 operating the mealie mean bag billows and 1 doing the forging.

I give the makers any truck/ cruiser springs I can find. They give me the Kalibers which we give to clients. Other names, Tonga Ax, Slagger, chopper. They certainly not Zulu war axes. The Tongas are the most honest peacful people you will ever find
any chance you would ship a couple to the us? That is seriously authentic!
 

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