View Full Version : Question for Les on integral knives

02-04-2002, 04:43 PM
I have always heard that an integral, fixed blade knife is generally more expensive, more labor intensive, more time consuming, more difficult to make, and superior to a knife that is assembled with a blade, guard, buttcap, etc. Is this true? Are they more desirable? What are your feelings on integral construction? Was Ted Dowell the first to offer an integral? Thanks for your reply and anyone else who has any thoughts on this subject.

02-04-2002, 09:59 PM
I think part of the reasons that integrals are more expensive is because they take quite a bit more material. it makes sense to me that an integral would be stronger than a regular knife being one piece of steel. also it is more work to make them cutting the bolsters/guard and buttcap also gives you less margin for error. you mess it up on an integral you can scrap the knife or at least make it a non integral. with bolsters/guard if you blow it, you can make a new set of bolsters or a new guard buttcap.

I don't know anything on their history
hope this helps

Les Robertson
02-12-2002, 11:31 PM

You hit the nail on the head. The piece of steel you start with makes the cost go up on an integral knife before the maker does anything to it.

Integral's are very labor intensive, as Abel pointed out, making a mistake on a integral can be very costly.

I don't know if Ted Dowell was the first. I do know he made them and they were/are very nice. Other integral makers include, Fred Carter, Williey Rigney, Doug Casteel, Billy Imel, David Broadwell, WD Pease, D.F> Kressler, Mike Sakmar and Edmund Davidson to name a few.

Edmund is probably the premier maker of this type of knife today.

Mike Sakmar makes some very nice integral hunters.

I suspect that Buster Warenski has made some as well.

In my collection I have a Carter Integral, Pease Integral, Rigney Integral and Imel Integral. I had a Ted Dowell Integral last year but sold it. You can't keep them all.

Im sure there are other makers I have missed.

Integrals are incredible pieces of work....and some of the most expensive out there.

I do have a couple of WD Pease integral's in stock. Email me if your interested.

02-13-2002, 05:15 PM
To add to that list, I am noticing a lot of smiths making integrals these days. I have seen them from: Joe Flournoy, Jerry Fisk and Al Pendray. I love integral knives. They have such a solid look and feel.

Don Cowles
02-13-2002, 06:57 PM
"Mike Sakmar makes some very nice integral hunters." 'em if you can find 'em. Word has it that Mike is out of the straight knife business, and will be focusing entirely on folders.

02-13-2002, 07:23 PM
Don't forget Ricardo: (

02-15-2002, 12:11 AM
I saw in the knives 2002 Integral section, there were knives with the steel, and a handle overlay, no bolster, nothing....and they were called integral just because some metal was left around the edge of the handle??? Huh? that doesnt make much sense! integral to me is the whole thing is one hunk of metal, not just the blade and handle overlay...

03-19-2002, 12:03 AM
I agree that some of those knives didn't look much like something I would consider an integral. I guess all these skeletonized neck knives that I am seeing are also integrals.

03-19-2002, 03:13 AM
ya...what Taz and Keith said!....those are NOT integrals in my book...heck I have been wanting to make integrals for their book..I have! sigh...

03-20-2002, 11:45 PM
Jens, let me know when you are ready to try an integal. I would be very interested.

03-21-2002, 05:16 AM
I will Keith!....I might try it out soon using my Pantograph..yet I might have to wait untill I get a regulare any case you are going to know.

03-31-2002, 02:44 PM
here is something more in line with a traditional style of integral

now of course it is a bit embellished with the inlay and the engraving