It all started as TBS wanted to produce a knife that was made of high quality materials, in Europe by European cutlers with generations of experience that you didn't need to take out a mortgage to own. I genuinely believe that anyone producing a knife and selling it for £400+ is ripping you off as it simply doesn't cost that much to produce, whatever they tell you. From my 30 years experience in the outdoor industry I understand what the reality of what things cost and those companies will be making a easy £200+ profit out of that product.
I started many years ago making my own products and using different blades, but just couldn't get exactly what I wanted. I didn't want to follow the idea of producing a product that ended up to be so expensive it automatically became a collectors item that no one wanted to use!
This spurned the idea of basically stopping everything I did and starting from scratch. Of course, the valuable experience gained over the years was something that was invaluable and I sat down one day with an idea to put my money where my mouth was and start TBS Knives. Obviously I started with the ever trustworthy and faithful workhorse that is the TBS Boar Fixed Blade Bushcraft Knife and that has now spurned a whole range of products that have become popular Worldwide.
The obvious first question was how to make a high quality Bushcraft Knife for less than £150? Well I found that the answer was relatively easy. If you cut out the materials middlemen you can bring the cost of the steel down substantially without compromising any quality as you are simply buying higher quantities of the same material.
A lot of makers producing these silly priced knives are using the same materials but they are buying bar stock steel. Essentially a pre-prepared length of steel that they will cut a blade blank out of. This can be expensive and in some cases very wasteful as there will be more left over steel that has be be binned or recycled.
We do it a little differently, I found that if you buy an entire sheet of steel that the Bar stock is cut from you bring the cost of each individual piece down. Of course that means you have to buy enough steel to produce about 500 knives but, if you are planning for the long term then it works well....
Likewise, when buying other materials like timber, instead of buying from a small dealer in the UK why not go direct to the wood yard in Finland, Spain, Denmark or Turkey and buy in bulk? This allows you to have a great pick of the timber available and we now end up being a timber supplier to other makers as well.
I have not chosen our timbers simply because they look good, they are chosen because they are sustainable and function extremely well. There are timbers that other makers are using that we simply won't use as there is no traceability of them. They may be sourced from illegal logging or from sources of timber that are dieing out or are on the endangered lists - WE WILL SIMPLY NOT DO THIS.
All of our Timbers are sourced from quality sustainable sources in Europe, for example the trees being harvested for our Turkish Walnut were planted by the current owners Grandfather and Great Grandfather and are sustainably replanted. "Turkey isn't in Europe!" I hear you say. Well I admit, obviously only some of Turkey is on the European Continent but my point is we are not cutting down vast swathes of Rain Forest to handle our knives in some strange exotic wood.
We have been very selective with the TBS range of knives. Each knife starts with a simple drawing. This is then converted to a CAD diagram and from there, once materials are selected we move onto to prototyping. The prototyping stage is essential simply because it allows me to use, test and, if necessary make any required changes to materials, grind angles, heat treats and handle variants. Once this process is complete we move to production.
The first stage of construction of our knives is about the only part actually done by a machine, the knife blank is cut from a sheet of steel by a machine. From that point on they are ground, beveled, assembled and finished by handful of Master Cutlers and the results speak for themselves!
I have selected a great choice of Steels for TBS knives. Steel manufacturers continually develop and improve their products over time so I will always be looking at new products and testing new materials.
TBS Knives are currently produced in 3 different steels and with future models we will likely add more steel choices as things progress. All our steels have been selected for their obvious qualities. You can now either have K-720 Carbon Tool Steel, N695 Stainless Steel or N690 Stainless steel.
Bohler K720 High Carbon Tool steel is one of the toughest steels out there and is used widely to make high precision tools that need to stand up to some serious punishment.
Bohler N695 Stainless steel has a high hardness and great wear resistance and is one of Bohlers premium stainless steels. We have decided to make a variant of our knives in this steel as, after quite some testing, we have found that it performs extremely well. It has a higher Carbon content that many other stainless steels which means it holds an edge longer and can be tempered to the same degree as Carbon Steels. This particular steel actually has a higher content than many High Carbon Tool Steels. This makes it perform with pretty much all the benefits of Carbon Steel with the added bonus of great corrosion resistance.
Bohler N690 Stainless Steel is a Martensitic chromium steel with cobalt, molybdenum and vanadium added especially to make hardened cutting tools with excellent edge-holding properties. It was developed for tools and components which can be hardened to very high hardness levels and great corrosion resistance. When fine ground it produces a wickedly sharp edge and will retain that edge far longer than many other steels available on the market today.
Steels have been selected specifically for each knife depending on the environment and intended use and each have their obvious merits.
The obvious next step is a sheath. We are not in the habit of re-designing the wheel here but we have offered some great variations depending on customer requests and have been extremely happy with our designs and products.
I decided from the very start to offer a "naked" sheath with the future option of being able to add useful products like a firesteel and sharpening stone to make a truly versatile series of products for a wider audience. This has spurned many different other products and helped form the basis of TBS Leather. TBS Leather now produces over 20 different sheaths, pouches and accessories for carrying any number of useful tools in the field.
All TBS Knives have a lifetime guarantee that covers all aspects of manufacturing, material and construction. The guarantee does not cover abuse, tampering or neglect. Please note that it is a quality cutting tool and, if maintained, will serve you for many years to come. It is not an axe, hammer, throwing knife, pry bar, screwdriver or anything else a knife was not designed for.
In all cases look after your kit and your kit will look after you!
Typical Steel Analysis:
K720 Carbon Tool Steel - Carbon 0.90%, Manganese 2.00%, Chromium 0.35%, Silicon 0.25%, Vanadium 0.10%. (HRC 58)
N690 Stainless Steel - Carbon 1.08%, Molybdenum 1.10%, Chromium 17.30%, Silicon 0.40%, Manganese 0.40%, Vanadium 0.10%, Cobalt 1.5%. (HRC 60)
Write an online review and share your thoughts with other shoppers!
I just received my order of the curly birch boar knife. Its outstanding, better than expected. I am 100% glad I purchased the boar. It is going to be with me, on all my adventures. Thank you for taking care of us bushcrafters, and thanks to andy for changing my order for me. Fast shipping, well packaged and courteous sales people. I love it. From here in the states, I say God bless Great Britain and The Bushcraft Store. Thanks again. Joe
Craig-Midland Game Fair-
Hi Jim, Just a quick word of thanks to yourself and the guys on the stand at Weston park last Saturday, I must apologise for taking up more of your time than I should but you convinced me to take purchase of your TBS Bushcraft knife and I must admit, "what a piece of kit", so much so that I have just ordered another one for my son, once again many thanks for your help and advice.
I Bought one of these knives after a long wait. I was definitely not disappointed, the fit and finish is superb, the satin finish on the blade is crisp and even throughout, the blade is robust and shaving sharp with clean grind lines and a great angle on the scandi. The backspring is a proper man's backspring, it isn't opening until you want it to open and it would take quite an effort of negligence to see it closing by accident. The curly birch has been left with a very slightly textured finish which is great for a solid grip and the palm swell is perfectly proportioned and placed for my hand. I've given it a thorough workout and it took everything in its stride. All in all, this is one of, if not the, most comfortable slippy I've ever handled and it looks classy too. Damned good job Bushcraft Store, you've got a solid winner here." Well done guys and many thanks,
I must tell you how happy I am with my recent purchase, It's your TBS Boar folding every day carry non locking knife. I love everything about it including the birch handle, lanyard hole, width and shape of the blade but I especially like the Scandi grind and the overall quality. It was bought to replace my Joker edc which broke recently but it just doesn't even compare to that knife. Superb!!!
Top piece of kit, I have bought this knife as a real all rounder. It has a great handle shape and is really comfortable to use; the Scandi grind is REALLY sharp and I have found it easy to maintain. I have also used this knife for small game and, being stainless steel and micarta, it is such a bonus as you just run it under the tap, dry it and not worry about. Top job!
This has just become my favourite knife! I have had it a couple of weeks now and it performs brilliantly, really sharp straight out of the box and the curly birch handle on mine not only looks good it really fits the hand well. The sheath is good as well as I like to carry a knife along my belt instead of the traditional way as I find it doesn't get in the way as much, especially if you are in and out of your 4x4. Well done lads it is a real asset to the stable and I can't wait for the folding variants to arrive - you'd better put me one by!!
My partner bought me a timber wolf knife a few months ago aside from it being a thing of beauty with its olive wood handle, it's a functional treat!
Glyn Ashton-Holywood, Co Down-
So good I bought 2. After quite some deliberation I took the plunge a couple of years back and bought the Boar (fixed blade version) with walnut handle.. Originally I bought the "kit" with dc4 and plastic handle firesteel. Recently I not only purchased the matching walnut firesteel but I bought a Grizzly with Micarta scales and leather sheath. I have several artisan made knives but these are just so good I keep wanting another, a boar folder is next on my hit list.. If you're are thinking about a new knife, do yourself a favour, stop looking and just buy one of these, you won't be disappointed.. Almost forgot, service and advice is second to none.