Monday, October 10, 2011

The Modern Nessmuk

Many knife makers make a version of the knife found in the book Woodcraft And Camping by George "Nessmuk" Washington Sears.  Some simplify it others try to make a spitting image complete with stag handle.  The first thing that caught my attention was that so many knife makers sold a version (I had never seen the illustration below).

I had to know more, I quickly purchased a copy of Woodcraft and Camping from Amazon and read it cover to cover (it's good to be a reader).  It seemed that Nessmuk's major tenet was simplicity or no fluff.  He seemed to gravitate towards things that were of a reasonable/useable size and utilitarian.  He describes his folder and hand axe in detail but there was not much said about the knife that bears his name.  This lack of description has led to many internet discussions about the reason behind the design (some say it doubled as a spatula or eating utensil, others say the hump may have been for scraping, others say it may have been a broken kitchen knife that was re-purposed).

With the above in mind and because I like reasonable sized fixed blades that are not "stabby" I set to work making my version; what I call my Modern Nessmuk.  I tried to keep in tact the curves of the original and the utilitarian ability (a stout point, and the curved blade).  I did venture away from the original in that I use a hollow grind and thicker steel; the original is said to have a thin blade and flat or convex grind.  I take great pains in shaping the handle for comfort; no sharp edges or flat scales. My "Nessmuk" has a nice hand filling "Coke bottle" shaped handle.  So with the above in mind the pictures below show what I came up with.

David Sharp


  1. I like the look of the blade and the handle looks commfy for long use. Will you be posting this on Bladeforums?

  2. Great looking knife and I like the pry bar too. Are you selling these anywhere?