Bowie knife

A famous fixed blade knife with an adventurous history and  versatile uses


Kudos to James Bowie! For a knife collector, this name does not only ring a bell, any enthusiast should know by heart that such a legendary man exists.  Imagine a Crocodile Dundee or a Rambo in his battles inside the thick jungle without his bowie knife.

Bowie knives are those popular types designed by James “Jim” Bowie.  Jim was known to be the best knife fighters during his time. He earned that title after surviving an incredible fight despite the stabs that he got from his opponent at a sandbar duel in 1827.  

Bowie knife

Following that event, a “large butcher knife” (as described by the witnesses of the duel) from Bowie became popular and eventually, the public wanted to have a knife with the same characteristics.

Though it was not really ascertained that Jim Bowie is indeed the first designer of the bowies, no other information recorded could as well attest otherwise.  The only known fact is that together with his brother Rezin, Jim designed a series of 9.5 inches bowie knives.  This means that there is no one exact original bowie but different versions and improvements of the designs.

The most sought-after of this kind of fixed blade knife is made by James Black and was known to be the historical bowie knife.  It was a carved wooden model with bent top edged blade.  It had a blade length of 6-12 inches, with of 1.5-2 inches, and thickness of ¼ inch with a false edge along the rear of its blade and a large guard. One feature that people admired in this knife is the extraordinary blade strength.  No one ever successfully replicated this rare knife perfectly and Black died without telling anyone the secret to that outstanding piece.


At present, however, several variations of these continue to appear but only as decorations – miniaturized ones or ones with thinner blades.  Two companies, SOG Knives and Cold Steel Knives are still producing low-cost and high-quality bowie knives both for users and collectors alike.

While many of the knives by Bowie are attractive which makes them a must-have for passionate knife collectors and for campers as well, there is also more to their beauty that increases their demand.  A possible alternative for machete, a bowie knife may also be used to chop wood, clear vegetation, slice animal skin and other tough cutting jobs required in a camping or so.  For sure, it makes the cleanest cut. 

For a knife collection, as mentioned in the introduction, no Crocodile Dundee or Rambo could be complete without their very weapon – their bowie knives.  It could be very expensive if you would look for the authentic knives which were actually used in the movies, so, you can settle for almost real replicas of these to add variation to your collection. 


But if you really want the actual pieces, you would not only have to save up a lot of money, you would also have to wait that Crocodile Dundee (Paul Hogan) and Rambo (Sylvester Stallone) auction theirs. So to complete your sets of collectible knives, grab a bowie knife.  No knife enthusiast should miss that.

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