Moderators: Saeed
Randall knives
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Hello Everyone,
I have recently taken interest in custom knives and so far have only one by Rick Menefee in D2 steel.
I was wondering why Randall knives are so expensive and difficult to get given the fact that it uses 0-1 steel which rusts easily and it's hardness is rated at about 53 compared to D2 which is harder and has better rust resistance?
Could it be that the Randall knives are more for purposes of collection and not for working?
There are many custom knife makers out there with the likes of May, Dozier, Ingram and father and son Winston etc who seem to favor the D2.
Please, I mean no offence to many out there who have the Randalls and I'm just posting this for my enlightenment.
Posts: 134 | Location: Cebu, Philippines | Registered: 08 September 2010Reply With Quote
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Picture of Grenadier
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There are many knife collectors who own Randall knives and will never use them. However, I believe there are many more persons who own Randall knives and do use them.

Randall knives are also offered in stainless steel and have an "S" stamped on the blade. I have always bought the stainless models. I understand that the standard carbon tool steel models have some advantages related to sharpness and edge but I'll leave that to the knife experts to hash out. I like the stainless.

I currently own two. One is a model 22 "Outdoorsman" with a 4 5/8" blade of 3/16" thick stainless steel. Mine has a stag handle, nickel silver hilt, and a crow's beak butt cap that is drilled for a thong. It usually goes with me when I go into the woods. It is a good all around knife and it has proven to work well as a skinning knife. The other one is a model 16 with a model 2 style handle in stag, 7" blade of 1/4" stainless steel, and a brass double hilt with a thong hole.

I have owned others, a model 14, model 15, and a model 1. I have also given a few away as gifts to people that I know will use them. They will outlast their owners.

Randall will let you order just about anything they have with just about any combination of features you want as long as it can be done. You can send them your own handle material to use and you can order special serial numbers.

Posts: 10723 | Location: North of the Columbia | Registered: 28 April 2008Reply With Quote
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Picture of Singleshot03
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I have a couple of Randall's and I have abused the daylights out of them. If i had the extra money 25 years ago I should have bought more and saved them.
Posts: 1355 | Location: Cincinnati  | Registered: 28 May 2009Reply With Quote
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Picture of jdollar
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owned 2 that i resold on this forum for a little more than i paid for them( after 15 years of ownership). both were unused. there are way too many custom makers who make a better quality knife for the same amount of money with MUCH BETTER QUALITY steel and no ridiculous 5 year wait. you are definitely paying for the name/mystique. for years i collected custom made knives( and still have 15-20) and there is no comparison to what a Guild member or journeyman apprentice turns out one at a time and what the Randall factory turns out- just plain night and day comparison. sorry Randall lovers but it's just a fact.
Posts: 10406 | Location: Georgia | Registered: 28 October 2006Reply With Quote
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Thank you all for taking time out to address my concern.
On another note, anybody out there have any experience with Herb Derr, particularly his Damascus blades?
Thank you.
Posts: 134 | Location: Cebu, Philippines | Registered: 08 September 2010Reply With Quote
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First of all, Randalls are not really considered to be custom knives, they are handmade but to a pattern and often with quite a few people doing the work. To a large extent they are living off their reputation because most people don't know better. That doesn't make them a bad knive by any means but there are many better for the same money, not to mention shorter lead times.

Second, while there are better steels, O-1 is a fine knife steel that can easily be tempered into the low 60s on the Rockwell C scale. I believe Randall tempers it to about 57-59 to allow for ease of resharpening but am not certain about that number.

Finally, D2 is also a good steel but it is certainly not the best knife steel anymore. It can be made to be perfectly functional for most people in almost every situation but most of the makers you mentioned use it because it is relatively cheap, fairly easy to temper, and they are used to it.

There are many divisions in custom knives, but the simplest is whether they are made for working or looking/collecting. The fact is most knife uses can be easily handled, depending on type wanted, by many of the upper end commercial knives and relatively few true customs get a lot of use, except for the hunters costing less than $300-$500. Not many people want to take a Fisk or Dean Bowie out and start whacking bushes with it when they usually cost well in excess of $2000.

I've got a couple of Derr knives but have not used them. He has a good reputation for users tho.

When considering US based operations of guides/outfitters, check and see if they are NRA members. If not, why support someone who doesn't support us? Consider spending your money elsewhere.


I have come to understand that in hunting, the goal is not the goal but the process.
Posts: 17099 | Location: Texas USA | Registered: 07 May 2001Reply With Quote
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Could it be that the Randall knives are more for purposes of collection and not for working?

Back in the 60's and 70's Randall's were one of the few good knives you could buy. There were very few alternatives to factory knives, and factory knives were not that good. It was apparent that knife companies were being run by accountants interested only in the bottom line. Steels were garbage, everything was called “Solingen steel”, or some trademark name like “wire cut steel”, all of which were about the softest and worst heated stuff you ever had. At least Randall made 440 C blades or properly heat treated 1095. Randall's were heavy duty for the time and the sheaths they came in were about the best you could get.

The Randall #1 blade shape is a classic American design, worked well in a number of applications and there are lots of Randall #1 and #14 copies in the market today.

Virtually every Vietnam era Infantry Officer had a Randall.

We live in a much better world today than forty years ago, many more choices. The best factory knives today are really outstanding and there are lots of excellent custom knife makers. However, Randall's are a known quantity, have excellent name recognition, Randall is a bit slow on adopting the latest and greatest steels, but there is noting wrong with the steels they use.

The price and wait for a Randall reflects their desirability. People want them and are willing to pay high and wait long for one.

Go to the shop in Orlando and look at the knife collection and letters. Too bad there are no tours of the factory behind the shop.
Posts: 970 | Registered: 10 October 2005Reply With Quote
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I have a few Randalls.

Two of them I have used a lot to gut, skin, and butchergame from elk down to rabbits squirrel and birds.

One of these is the tool steel blade the other is stainless.

I really like the balance of a Randall, as well as the handle size in relation to the blade size.
Best way I can describe it is that they feel "lively" in the hand.

I find they stay sharp, but they are easy to keep a good edge on them and easy to sharpen.

I used to be a butcher, and I process all of my own game animals, so I have cut a fair share of meat.

If you hunt around there are some places that sell Randalls for the factory price, at least they used to, I have not bought a new one for several years.

I bought all of my Randalls from Silver Dollar Pawn, owned by Wayne Buxton. He has moved his store to Rowlett Texas if I remember correctly.

Posts: 16134 | Location: Texas | Registered: 06 April 2002Reply With Quote
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The actual name of the store is Silver Dollar Gun & Pawn Shop.
Phone number 972 272 7215.

I have not been in his shop since he moved.

He has been selling Randalls for over 30 years.

In the past he always had several in stock.

Posts: 16134 | Location: Texas | Registered: 06 April 2002Reply With Quote
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Picture of DuggaBoye
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I don't get to see Wayne as much as I used to either--

Wayne even has his own Randall design--

The Buxton Custom Fighter

Posts: 3814 | Location: TX | Registered: 03 March 2009Reply With Quote
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I bought one 15 yrs ago and am not disgruntled. It's functional and well made. Better than most of the junk made today. A custom knife it is not. For the money, you can get much more knife.
I've come to put Randall's into the category of the unknowing/uneducated. My college roommate thought he had the best of everything---only because some other uninformed person told him "it" was the best. He had a Randall and did not know his head from ass a/b knives, steel or makers. He knew his Randall was the best though.
Posts: 1135 | Location: corpus, TX | Registered: 02 June 2009Reply With Quote
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