Erin Healy Blog

Midweek Maker Forged-Style: Mike MacInnes

Mike MacInnes of Holland, Michigan, remembers his first two knives, both given to him by his dad. The first was a Buck 110 clone and the second was a Solingen hunting knife. Mike has been involved with black powder rifle hunting and gunsmithing all his life.

Mike MacInnes is a part-time bladesmith who forges his knives.

Mike MacInnes is a part-time bladesmith. He only makes, and therefore sells, the kinds of knives he likes to make, one of the joys of keeping making as a hobby while he holds on to his day job as a vending route supervisor in Michigan.

In 2012 he wanted to donate a knife for an auction to benefit the Michigan State Muzzle Loading Association. He called his friend Al Englsman and asked if he would help him make a Scagel-style knife. He enjoyed making the first one so much it lead to others. He advanced quickly, probably because his work on rifles aided his craftsmanship.

Betty is owned by Mike MacInnis, a Michigan knifemaker.

Betty is a mountain cur, dogs specifically bred to trail and tree small game or hunt and bay larger quarry.

Mike had met Al, who is a breeder of Mountain Cur, when he went to buy his squirrel-hunting dog, Betty.

Bladesmith Mike MacInnis and his wife, Erin, have two children.

Mike MacInnes and his wife, Erin, sometimes get out to Holland State Park in Holland, Michigan. The lighthouse in the background is called Big Red.

Mike is a route supervisor for a vending machine company by day, but loves his hobby. He only sells what he likes to make. He’s grateful for the influences of Bill Binky growing up, Marv Palmer and Joe Valentin. He lives near Lake Michigan with his wife, Erin, and their two children.

  • Best-selling knife patterns: full-tang hunter with 3- to 4-inch blade; hidden-tang drop-point hunter with 4- to 5-inch blade
  • Favorite blade steels: 1080; 5160
  • Blade grind: full flat
  • How he tests his knives: slice paper, shave hair, cut phone books, chop wood
  • Favorite handle materials: Michigan native maple, walnut, ironwood, ash
  • Price range: $175 to $450
  • Knife shows he attends: Badger Knife Club Knife Show
  • Facebook Groups he participates in: The Real Knife Makers of America, Knife Gods, Blade Smithing World

This 4 ¾-inch drop-point hunter was forged from 1080 steel. Handle is made of oak burl with black fiberboard liners. Overall length is 8 ½ inches. Pins are brass. Price is $175-$450.

Mike’s isn’t taking any more orders until he catches up on the orders he’s taken and finishes knives for upcoming shows. Follow him on Facebook though for updates on peeks at works-in-progress and finished pieces.

Mike MacInnes made this hunting knife using 1080 carbon steel with a bocote wood handle.

This hunter has a 3.25-inch blade forged from 1080 carbon steel. Its handle scales are made from bocote wood. The pins are brass. Maker’s list price: $185. Contacts listed at the bottom of this article.

Mike MacInnes used beautiful walnut harvested in his native Michigan to make the handles for this knife.

This Mike MacInnes piece was forged from 1080 carbon steel. The blade is 4 inches long with an overall length of 8.25 inches. “The handle is made of some of the nicest walnut that was even harvested here in Michigan,” Mike declared. The shape of the handle is a little thicker in the butt than he normally makes, but it felt so good he will probably do more in that style. The guard was forged from 416 stainless steel with a matching pin. The sheath was hand-stitched and -tooled by Mike. Maker’s list price: $350. Contacts listed at the bottom of this article.

Contact Mike MacInnes at michaelmacinnes@aol.com, 616-405-8759, at MacInnes Knives & Forge on Facebook or on Instagram @macinnesmike.

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