Guards?

Burl Source

Forum Owner & Moderator
The other day I was watching one of Nick Wheeler's videos. It was about sculpting a fighter handle but he made a comment about guards that got me thinking. I see a lot of fighters with a thick guard that has not been shaped beyond the 2 dimensional shape. Even from some of the old timers.

To me it makes the guard look unfinished. There have been a few knives I have seen recently that I really liked but something seemed off. When I go back and look again I figured out that it was the guard.

Since I am not a knife maker I am probably overlooking something obvious.
Is there a reason to keep the guard thick and not shaped to be more 3 dimensional.

Thanks for putting up with my rambling. This was just a thought that has been bouncing around in my head for the last few days.
 

TacticallySharp

KNIFE MAKER
The only reason I can think of is if your making a historical piece and the original guard was that way. I also like the thinner sculpted guards.
 

EdCaffreyMS

"The Montana Bladesmith"
"Fighers" tend to fall into one of two catgories. Most will make them either fully utilitarian, which usually includes a guard by default, meaning that the guard it there as a matter of course, and not a lot a attention is given to it. At the other end of scale you have the Collector/Presentation type fighters. When I think of these, the first maker that come to my mind is David Broadwell, who produces some of the most fabulous Collector/Presentation grade fighters out there. David's fighter guards are always flowing, and most are carved/textured works or art.

For whatever reason, there doesn't seem to be many makers that fall in the middle. My suspicion is that many makers look at other knives for inspiration, and because the knives they look at don't have elaborate guards, the pattern just keeps perpetuating itself.
 
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PT Doc

Well-Known Member
if most fighters are utilitarian, then why have more there that needs to be there ? I guess it's in the kiss principle. more time spent on something means more cost. you could use Damascus and have it engraved but it is not a better purpose built knife.

you can post on blade forums and ask him directly. ;-)
 

GHEzell

Well-Known Member
The other day I was watching one of Nick Wheeler's videos. It was about sculpting a fighter handle but he made a comment about guards that got me thinking. I see a lot of fighters with a thick guard that has not been shaped beyond the 2 dimensional shape. Even from some of the old timers.

To me it makes the guard look unfinished. There have been a few knives I have seen recently that I really liked but something seemed off. When I go back and look again I figured out that it was the guard.

Since I am not a knife maker I am probably overlooking something obvious.
Is there a reason to keep the guard thick and not shaped to be more 3 dimensional.

Thanks for putting up with my rambling. This was just a thought that has been bouncing around in my head for the last few days.
I'm having trouble picturing this, any chance you could show a pic to help illustrate your point? Hide the maker's mark to protect the guilty, of course....
 

Burl Source

Forum Owner & Moderator
I will look for some photos to show what I mean by a thick guard that looks unfinished to me.
In my opinion it is a small thing that can really enhance the look of the knife.
and if it does not diminish the performance....why not?
 
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J. Doyle

Dealer - Purveyor
I think I know what you mean Mark. And I do like those guards.

But I also like a nice flat oval guard on bowies and fighters. If done well, it just looks 'right'. Like it belongs and no other guard would work. But I've seen plenty of oval guards that did not look right.

I've seen several that, to my eye, IN MY OPINION, look much to thick, much too wide and not in good proportions with the ricasso.
 

DonL

Well-Known Member
I'm curious also Mark as to exactly what you mean. I "think" I know, but a pic would be helpful. I've got several guarded knives in various stages of completion, but haven't finished my first one yet. This could help me understand a buyers pespective.
 
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