Randall

For me it started very simply as a hobby. In the summer of 1937 I was taking a stroll near Walloon Lake in Michigan when I saw a fellow scraping paint from a boat with a distinctive looking knife. I wasn’t much impressed with the man who was using such a fine tool recklessly, But I sure liked his knife, which was standing up to some really tough use. So I bought it.

As it turned out, the knife was hand-crafted–the first hand-made knife I’d ever seen–by W. C. Scagel. Today, Bill Scagel is justly recognized as a pioneer in hand-made knives. Back then, his name wasn’t widely known. But I was truly impressed with what he’d created at a time when virtually all knives were being mass produced. I challenged myself to make a knife that was just as good, or at least make the best knife I could make.

My first knife was a simple blade ground from a file. But before long I had a shop with a small forge and I put a lot of time into crafting knives that I could be proud to make and use myself. And before long, I began selling them at my father-in-law’s clothing store in Orlando.

As an outdoorsman, I took a lot of personal satisfaction in creating knives that were simple in design but very functional. And a growing business evolved among friends, fellow sportsmen and sales to a few large sporting goods stores. Through it all, I managed our family’s citrus groves and I continued to think of my hand-made knives as an avocation.

Then, World War II began. A young sailor asked me to make him a knife for use in man-to-man combat. When his friends saw it, they placed orders, and their friends placed orders, and my knives were used in combat, and a reporter wrote a story and… All hell broke loose.

Suddenly unexpectedly we were in the knife business as envelopes addressed simply to “Knife Man. Orlando. Florida” arrived on the doorstep. I built a full-scale shop and for the first time began using apprentices. With demand so strong, it was tempting to develop mass production methods. But now, more than ever, I wanted Randall Made to stand for quality and dependability, because servicemen were telling me how much they relied on my knives.

One wrote, “It was a terrible thing at close range. (Your knife) would cut a man’s head nearly off with a quick swing.. I also used that knife to open cans, cut wood, dress water buffalo… and it stayed sharp. I was offered all kinds of trades, but I wouldn’t part with it.” Since that time, Randall Made knives have been used extensively by soldiers and Marines, flyers and sailors, generals and infantrymen. Read more>>

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