Photos: 7 Custom Knives with Handmade Bolsters

Some people are bolstered by success, and others create bolsters to help them succeed. In the latter category would be knifemakers fashioning folders with bolsters, whether for utilitarian or aesthetic purposes, or both.

Gawie Herbst

Gawie Herbst folding knife

South African knifemaker Gawie Herbst knew just the person to engrave the bolsters of his art folder, his son Thinus, yet it was Gawie who scrimshawed the elephant ivory handle, and complemented it with a damascus blade and blued-titanium liners.

Scot Matsuoka

Scot Matsuoka folding knives

There are no straight lines on Scot Matsuoka’s titanium frame-lock folder, not on the titanium bolsters, the carbon fiber handle scales, nor the 3.75-inch, hollow-ground CPM 154 blade. The folder also features the IKBS (Ikoma Korth Bearing System) and Rick Hinderer Lockbar Stabilizer. (SharpByCoop image)

Jeremy Marsh

jeremy marsh custom knife

Mokumé bolsters provide a nice respite between the claw-like damascus blade and carbon fiber handle scales of Jeremy Marsh’s compound-ground folder. (SharpByCoop image)

Bill Duff

bill duff folding knife

Bill Duff chose mosaic damascus bolsters for his locking-liner folder in a 3-inch, fileworked 440C blade and mammoth ivory handle scales. (Chuck Ward image)

Norman Sandow

Norman Sandow folding knife

Knifemaker Norman Sandow blackened the titanium bolsters of a locking-liner folder showcasing a damascus blade, a jade-inlaid damascus thumb stud and mammoth ivory handle scales.


Brian Fellhoelter and Jeremy Horton collaboration folding knife

A collaboration between Brian Fellhoelter and Jeremy Horton, the “FTR” features a 3.5-inch fullered blade. Niobium bolsters help set off the piece, as do carbon fiber handle scales and a one-side-only titanium frame that doubles as the frame lock. (SharpByCoop image)

Dan Chinnock

Dan Chinnock folding knife

Appropriately named the “Fish Tail” for its handle and pommel shape, Dan Chinnock’s locking-liner folder parades a 2.75-inch Chad Nichols damascus blade and bolsters, blue mammoth-ivory handle scales, a sapphire-inlaid 24k-gold thumb stud, gold screws and anodized titanium liners. (Chuck Ward image)

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