Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Types of Knives - The Whittler

The traditional pocketknife still has a large following among those persons who like the feel of an old-fashioned style of knife in their pocket.  Many people grew up with these old-fashioned pocketknives and appreciated the ability of many of these simple knives to help them complete a wide variety of everyday chores. There were also knives that had a non-working use that served as a type of entertainment and as a way to showcase the talents of a person skilled in the use of a knife. One of these knives was the whittler.

The whittler is an all-time favorite amongst many knife enthusiasts. A whittler is basically a three blade pen knife that uses a split-back spring construction. This type of construction is a basic characteristic of whittlers. A whittler will normally have a large master blade on one end and two smaller blades on the opposite end. The two smaller blades are generally the same size and usually include a small clip blade along with a coping blade. When closed, the master blade will normally rest between the two smaller blades.

A whittler normally has two springs. There will normally be two smaller blades that work off of separate springs, while the larger master blade works off of both springs. The master blade generally has a thicker tang which allows it to use both springs at one time. There are some whittlers that have three springs and these are known as three spring whittlers. The three-spring type of whittler is quite rare.

Larger versions of whittlers were often referred to as carpenter’s knives and a fairly large number of whittlers actually derived their name from the style of handle used. One of the most familiar styles was the “cigar” whittler. This particular type had unequal bolsters and had a distinctive “cigar” shape. The scales on this type of whittler were generally made from amber bone with a burnt jig which made it further resemble a “cigar”.

Used to pass the time, as well as by many to showcase their talents, whittlers remain popular among knife enthusiasts wishing to display their carving and whittling skills with a knife.

Got whittler?

Staying above the water line!



Anonymous said...

Thank you Riverwalker, great knife information up there. Many of the whittler patterns have 'swell' scales in the middle, making the knife widest at that point. It is supposed to give the hand greater purchase when pulling towards you, or so I've been told.

riverwalker said...

To: anonymous 12:17

I think the whittlers with the swell centers are sometimes also referred to as "balloon" whittlers...

Thanks anon.


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