Custom/Handmade Hunting Knives - Terrier Blades

Knives, one of the oldest tools in mankind’s history, have always fascinated me. Having advanced over the years into professional knife making, many people wonder about the story behind the guy who makes the knives and founded the company.Here is my story:...

As a youngster, I could always be found in the kitchen 'borrowing' a knife for my adventures out in the woods....and so the number of kitchen knives dwindled, and subsequently, I was quite often in trouble. I progressed and soon was making my own wooden knives and swords for my adventures: my first designs.

As I got older, I could be found working, during the school holidays, to support my growing passion. Naturally I couldn't afford the good stuff and some of those cheap knives never lasted too long. So one year, I worked 4 weeks for a construction company to make the money for my first quality knife, the Puma Waidblatt. I was 14 then and I still have this knife.

Before attending a German University to achieve a mechanical-commercial engineering degree, I received several scholarships, some in a tool manufacturing company. There I acquired some old metal saw blades that the heat treating department had softened enough so that I could work them.

After many hours with the metal file and sandpaper for shaping I finally had my first hand made knife. With the engineering degree there came my introduction into metallurgy which fueled my ongoing interest in knives. Attending a special trainee for certified welding engineer, I got more in depth knowledge about steel, metallurgy and the heat treating process as well as some forging. Steel can be quite a difficult material if one goes into the depths to understand the mystery.

Starting to work in companies as an engineer and later project manager, the knife making had to stand back, but was never out. I continued to search, investigate, look for knives, knife making, etc. more on the hobbyist basis than a knife maker. The more I looked the more critical I became because I understood steel and could see what quality was and what was not. I made myself several hunting knives and tried them out in the ‘German’ wilderness. Later I advanced into working with D2 steel when I started making knives with the larger wood saw blades and even planer blades.

However, pit corrosion and other unpleasant experiences led me to begin researching knife steels and the knife making process switched subsequently in to the high quality stainless steel used in modern knife making.

After my immigration into Canada, life changed. Good-bye big companies and engineering, hello wilderness, mountains, lakes, rivers, hunting and fishing. Now what do you need out there? A good knife or even several as one blade won’t do it all.

As an avid hunter, hunting guide and outdoors person I quickly recognized that one knife will not be perfect for all work but some very good all-around blades can be made. You wouldn't approach a wounded bear with just the Classic Deer Hunter on your belt.....some serious blade will do better in the pinch. In the same token the Bushwhacker Knife will be a bit clumsy when dressing your game....especially if you want to use it on a grouse or a rabbit...It will do fine for the butchering of big game such as deer, moose or elk...not even to talk about fish and filleting.

This leads me to developing different design for different applications and then test them in practical situations, so a Terrier Blade is tested true in the conditions it is designed for. With all the background in my education and work experience, Terrier Blades can surely be titled as designed and build with German engineering behind it. Today, my knives and blades are made exclusively with high quality knife steel, mostly the powder metallurgical form like CPM steels (CPM 154, S30V, S35VN etc. ), RWL 34 , M390 and other high quality steels. We love Damascus steel, especially Damassteel, but the price tags on these knives are high and mostly they will not see any use even that the knife and steel will stand up.

I very much love to design knives and so being involved in a custom order knife is sure a pleasure for me. For this one-of-a-kind knife I will make a computer assisted design (CAD) according to the customer’s idea and will discuss all aspects with the future owner before I start making this gem.

My evolution as a knife-maker , I consider it not finished yet, as I intend to continue to explore new options, checking out a new steel, materials, developing new designs and testing the knives, for as long as my wheels are turning......

 

Peter Demmer