Although Swamp Rat Knife Works officially began operations in 2002, the company history goes back to 1970 when Jerry Busse began making custom knives. Busse’s first production facilities were humble ones — a cabin 16 feet wide and 40 feet long, with no running water, no heat, and no insulation. Busse turned his hobby into fulltime production in 1982 after graduation from college and earned enough money to finance his own higher education. He continued making knives even while teaching university classes. In 1992, newlyweds Jennifer and Jerry Busse formed the Busse Combat Knife Company, with a new focus on advanced CNC machining rather than Jerry’s custom one-of-a-kind knives. In 2002 the company’s growth allowed expansion into a new endeavor run by Jennifer Busse. Swamp Rat Knife Works focuses on knives with the same important design features as the high-priced Busse Combat knives, but built for the general public and available at a more affordable price range.
What’s Unique About the Rat Works
You’ll find only a small selection of pre-manufactured Swamp Rat knives available from the company’s stock production runs. Swamp Rat Knife Works develops new knife designs and then takes pre-orders from interested buyers. Knowing how many knives are needed to match demand allows Swamp Rat Knife Works to cut costs and streamline production, putting money and labor into knife quality instead of extra product numbers. When you pre-order from Swamp Rat you’re committing the company to the production of a semi-custom blade with an unconditional lifetime guarantee. Swamp Rat knives also show up occasionally at Gun and Knife shows, and of course on Ebay.
Swamp Rat’s production remains small, with only a few knife styles in the classic Busse designs available directly from the company. Swamp Rat typically creates fixed blades of D2 tool steel or SR 101 steel with several choices of handle materials. Blade styles include Bowie hunters and drop point skinners, built tough enough for the hard jobs in life, as well as lightweight thin-profile knives with skeletonized grips.
Read all of our Swamp Rat reviews below