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G. Wiseman Handmade Pocket Knife (Black)
D-2 steel blade sodbuster pocket knife with black micarta handle. Co-designed with Sebastian Kaufmann and made exclusively for the store. Handmade by G. Wiseman in Watts, OK. Stamped with your initials. Ships free. (
This classic pocket knife is a sharp, straight-talking combination of rust-resistant steel with a black micarta handle that will last through the ages. Brass pins hold the simple, compact knife together. Whether the knife is folded or open, every joint aligns seamlessly.
This is handmade by knifemaker Gene Wiseman to custom specifications exclusively for Kaufmann Mercantile.
There was a time when every man carried a knife—not for fear of being robbed, but for fear of being rendered useless by a piece of twine, a stick, or a cardboard box. This knife is small and elegant, tough as the country and smart as the city, and designed to be carried with you everywhere. A sodbuster is a simple, single-bladed knife—not too big, and not too small—named for farmers and made to be useful for just about any ordinary job.
The blade tucks cleanly into the handle, and is secure but easy to open. We worked with Wiseman to make a knife that is useful and pleasant to carry and own. Wiseman makes each of these knives one at a time, somewhere in the back-wooded border region of Oklahoma and Arkansas.
The canvas micarta handle is very hard, will last forever, and won’t be affected by impact or moisture. The pivot pin is stainless steel with a brass washer, giving the pin a subtle, two-toned bullseye. The surface is smooth but not slippery—there's just enough traction to give your fingers something to grip onto.
Image of Gene in his workshop
Use & Care
Drop it in your pocket and soon it will feel as important to you as your wallet and keys. Use the lanyard hole to loop some leather or line through so the knife can be attached to your belt loop, bag strap or jacket. The pocket knife first became popular in 600 B.C. and will always be the original EDC, or 'everyday carry.'
This knife has a functional 2 3/4-inch blade. Local and state laws vary a lot, so check yours to make sure carrying this won't get you into trouble.
D-2 steel is tool-grade, and very strong. While it is rust-resistant, it's not stainless, and you should dry the blade thoroughly if it gets wet. The sharpened edge of the blade is perfect for cutting and whittling. Don't use it on extra hard surfaces like metal or bone.
This is a slip joint blade. Open it with the crescent shaped indentation and close it by applying pressure to the back of the blade.
This knife comes to you very, very sharp. When it's time, sharpen the blade on an oiled stone. If you're not confident on a sharpening stone, be sure to seek out a reputable professional.
Production & Design
Knifemaker Gene Wiseman worked many a hot summer in Oklahoma forging metal for horseshoes. About 10 years ago he started honing his milling and grinding skills as he turned his eye toward knife making.
He has a small workspace: the size of a trailer, about 10 feet wide by 70 feet long, where he makes the knives by himself from start to finish. Watts is a poor area in the wooded hills on the border of Oklahoma and Arkansas, the old frontier, "on the edge of the plains where it gets flat and windy."
Wiseman tells us that each knife takes two entire days to make, and at most he can heat-treat 2 to 3 blades at a time. Shoeing horses gave him plenty of experience with flattening metal—work that's sometimes dangerous and requires great attention to detail.
He talks easy and enjoys his work. And explains that he was happy he discovered the internet last year, which allowed him to start selling and making a living with his handmade knives, which is nice, because he prefers it to shoeing horses. As he says, "Being able to stand up straight without fightin' a horse, not being out in 100 degree weather with flies biting, that made learning to make knives easy."
A letter on one side of the blade is code for the year the knife was made (e.g. B for 2011, C for 2012, D for 2013). The other side is stamped with Wiseman's name.
Image of Gene in his workshop
SpecificationsEach knife can be stamped with your initials.* Please allow roughly 6 weeks before knife ships
- 2.75 inch (6.98 cm) blade
- 6.25 inch (15.87 cm) open
- 3.5 inch (8.89 cm) closed
- Hard white canvas micarta handle
- D-2 steel blade
- Brass pins
Crescent-nick (for pulling out the blade)
Rivet to attach a lanyard
Wiseman can stamp your initials into the bottom of the knife's blade. We'll contact you after purchase to get your initials, or you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org