Bowie KnivesTo find a truly American knife design, look no further than the Bowie. Designed by Colonel Jim Bowie, who later died in the battle of the Alamo, the first Bowie knife took shape in the hands of James Black, a well known blacksmith working in the trailhead town of Washington, Arkansas. Bowie carved a wooden model and Black made two steel versions, one that matched Bowie’s pattern and a second with Black’s own improvements. Bowie chose Black’s knife.

Since 1830, the Bowie knife has become smaller and streamlined. The usual pattern today is the Sheffield, a version developed in England for marketing on the frontier in America. With a slimmer drop point blade and a false bevel on the forward third of the spine, the Sheffield knife resembles Black’s pattern but lacks the weight and cutlass quality strength of the original Bowie. The first Bowie, which Colonel Bowie presented to his brother Rezin, ended the lives of three men in the famous Sandbar Duel, proving the weapon to be more sword than belt knife. Some early Bowie knives were over thirty inches long.

Black’s knives became famous for their strength and flexibility — his secret method was rumored to be Damascus steel, though none of his original work resembles the Damascus steel of today. The process he worked alone behind his leather curtain is now lost. After a severe beating left Black blind and unable to work, he no longer remembered the methods he had used.

Some of Our Favorites

A Classic Bowie knife from one of the finest American companies, W.R. Case & Sons.

From Bear & Son in Alabama, the Damascus Bowie follows the pattern common on the frontier — Bowie blade and coffin handle.

From the premier cutler of Solingen, Germany, this Puma Stag Skinner Bowie shows the best of both European and American traditions.

Read All of Our Bowie Knife Reviews Below


Pig Sticker Stainless Steel Bowie Knife | Hunting Knife | Rubber Handle

Pig Sticking is an ancient tradition of boar hunting, usually done with long cross guarded spears. I guess this is where...
55 sec read

Daniel Boone Bowie Knife Reproduction | Fixed Blade, Stainless Steel

Finally a decent knife to honor the great Daniel Boone, the most legendary frontiersman in American history. You’ve been waiting for...
51 sec read

W.R. Case Bowie Knife | Black Presentation Hunting Knife

This isn’t just any ordinary bowie knife. It’s a Case bowie knife. Take that back… it’s a Case presentation bowie knife....
38 sec read

Wrangler Jim Bowie Knife | Maple Handle, Leather Sheath

The bowie knife’s origins date back to the early 1800s, smack dab in the middle of Texas with Colonel James “Jim”...
34 sec read

Woodman’s Pal Premium Plus Machete | Includes Sheath, Honing Stone

This machete from Woodman’s Pal is intended to be a multipurpose tool, replacing several tools you might be inclined to carry....
31 sec read

SOG Knives Sogwinder I Knife | Drop-Point Bowie Folding | Sogwinder 1 Stainless Steel

The Winder Sogwinder I from SOG Knives features a drop point Bowie blade that is exceptionally thick for a folding knife....
34 sec read

Hen and Rooster Stag Bowie Knife | Made in Solingen, Germany for Frost Cutlery

The Hen and Rooster brand has a bit of a tortured history. Founded in 1845 in Solingen, Germany by Carl Bertram,...
46 sec read

John Ek Commando Knife | Model 5 Bowie | Combat, Fixed Blade Militaria

Another top-quality knife from the Ek Commando Knife Company. These knives are instant militaria collectibles. Ek Knife has been hand-making these...
24 sec read