Classic, functional, durable, and exclusive. If these are characteristics that appeal to you, then you’d do well to browse Kaufmann Mercantile, an online store known for selling items that “will last a long time,” as the company puts it. (Continuing, “A well-made object can be passed down, and shouldn’t have to be replaced, so there’s one less thing in landfills,” company literature states.)
Along those lines, one item we were taken with as of late is the store’s G. Wiseman handmade pocketknife. Beyond classic antique styling, the folding “sodbuster-style” knife is crafted with extreme precision — its seams align perfectly, and the materials were chosen as much for their heirloom lifespan as their beauty.
Each G. Wiseman knife is made by the man himself, Gene Wiseman, a former horseshoe maker from Watts, Oklahoma. Wiseman will stamp your initials into the base of the blade to truly make it one of a kind.
So, what does this kind of rare quality cost you? How about $330. Yes, this is one rich blade, though going on the Kaufmann Mercantile “heirloom” theme we can see how it qualifies.
Handmade one at a time, these pocketknives are craftsman-built tools in the age of mass production. Elegant in build and materials, they feature brass pins and a smooth, but not slippery, resin handle. The blade is sturdy and more than strong enough for any pocketknife duty. When you’re cutting and whittling days are done, pass it on to the next generation.
The blade is 2.75 inches, and the knife has a total length unfolded of about 6 inches in the hand. A type D2 steel, a working grade metal, is used for the blade.
The D2 steel is strong and extremely sharp, but it is not stainless. Take care to dry the blade when it gets wet to prevent corrosion. It is also not a locking blade and should be handled as such.
Don’t consider this a wilderness-ready survival tool. Any blade would be helpful in the woods, but there are many lighter, weather-resistant and useful blades for the woods. This one shouldn’t go further than the cabin or campsite.
In the end, at $330, the G. Wiseman knife falls in the “money is no object” category. But I guess if that’s your realm — and if you appreciate the timeless styling and value the effort taken by one man’s hands to build it — then this little knife will serve you well.