Steve Shackleford Blog

Icons Celebrate Over A Century of Knifemaking

50 years for D'.

BLADE Magazine Cutlery Hall-Of-Fame© member D’ Holder celebrates a half century of knifemaking in 2016 to complete with Gil Hibben the package of a combined 109 years making knives. (PointSeven image)

60 years for Gil.

With D’ Holder part of a combined almost 110 years of making knives, BLADE Magazine Cutlery Hall-Of-Fame© member Gil Hibben observes 59 years of knifemaking this year. (PointSeven image)

Gil Hibben and D’ Holder are two of the world’s top living pioneer custom knifemakers, and together celebrate over a century of knifemaking in 2016.

Hibben has been making knives 59 years and Holder has done it for half a century—both impressive achievements by anyone’s standards.

It’s interesting to note that both long-time makers share similar career experiences over their over a century of knifemaking. Each was influenced by BLADE Magazine Cutlery Hall-Of-Fame© member Buster Warenski—Hibben through the “Utah School of Knifemaking” that also included the legendary Harvey Draper, and Holder through a lifelong friendship with Warenski until the latter’s passing in 2005. Each also owes much of his success to supportive better halves: Hibben and his constant knife show companion/No. 1 public relations agent, Linda, and Holder and his Pat, who also engraved many of D’s knives.

Both Hibben and Holder are Cutlery Hall Of Famers. Each served multiple terms as president of The Knifemakers’ Guild. Both have influenced many knifemakers through mentoring, teaching and their knives.

Hibben, of course, is probably best known for making the knife used by Sylvester Stallone in the third and fourth installments of the Rambo movie series. Holder is perhaps best know for his “My Knife” hunter with a handle of stacked spacers of beautiful natural materials, including amber and others.

Holder was one of the original board members of the American Knife & Tool Institute, the oldest existing organization that fights for common-sense knife laws. Hibben made some of the most spectacular fantasy knives ever, probably the most fantastic of which were designed by Paul Ehlers.

In addition to the Rambo movie knives, Hibben also made the knives for another Stallone action vehicle, The Expendables. Holder designed a number of factory/custom collaborations, including the Toad for Spyderco and a number of fixed-blade hunters for Canal Street Cutlery. Hibben has designed a number of factory/custom collaborations, too, including many for United Cutlery.

The above only touches on the outstanding careers of two invaluable members of the custom knifemaking community. Please join us in congratulating them on a combined 109 years making knives—and what we hope are many more such years to come.

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One thought on “Icons Celebrate Over A Century of Knifemaking

  1. Ed Fowler

    When I started making knives I asked both Gil Hibben and D’Holder questions, both answered every question I asked, immediately I considered both of them friends, and still do. True gentlemen and I thank them for all they have done for the knife community.

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