5 from the Grinder: Dave Armour (Armour Cutlery)

Greetings fellow enthusiasts, it is once again time for KNIFE Magazine’s short format interview series – 5 from the Grinder. We have a large glut of new entries, so it is going to take a bit to work through them all. If you have submitted an entry, and are waiting for it to run, we appreciate your patience. If you have not, you can find out more at this link. One of the things I love about 5ftG is that we cover makers all along the experience spectrum, from folks who have only recently made the transition from hobby to small business, to Masters with decades of experience.

Today’s maker is Dave Armour of Armour Cutlery. David lies somewhere in the middle of the spectrum, having been making knives for a bit over a decade. One thing I find interesting is that he is one of the few custom makers I have seen that will sell you an unfinished kit knife. I like that idea a lot.

Without further ado, I yield the floor to Dave…

Please introduce yourself and let us know what led you to making/designing knives

I’m a full time Bladesmith/ knifemaker out of Auburn, Il. I’ve been making knives most of my life, but really got seriously into it about 12 years ago. As a teenager we went to Branson, MO a lot. I watched Ray Johnson at Silver Dollar City make knives and asked him questions till he threw the Gun Digest Book of Knifemaking at me and told me to get the hell out of the shop. Been playing at it ever since.

What knifemaker(s) or designer(s) have had the biggest influence on you? Do you have any mentors?

I was mainly self taught early on. Bob Engnath was helpful in the beginning. I made several of his kit blades at first. Really I“ll take advice from anywhere. I consider makers such as Karl Andersen, Michael Tyre, and Brion Tomberlin “pro’s pros”. Never seen anything of theirs that doesn’t blow me away.

What is your favorite knife pattern or style from history?

I love making older bowies shrink down a bit to more practical size. There’s such a variety available you can pretty much find something to fit your need.

What is the next big thing in knifemaking? / What direction do you see the industry going?

I think more and more makers are going to branch out from just the old school 1 knife at a time model. I split my knifemaking into 3 categories: forged knives are custom one off pieces, stock removal knives have set patterns with some options, and kits for people who want to try do this themselves.



Is there a knife from your lineup that you feel best exhibits who you are as a knifemaker/designer in terms of design elements, aesthetic or techniques used?

I call my style “Sufficiently Evil, Deliberately Casual” In forged knives I’d say a recent San Mai fighter I made describes my style: simple with a bit of a flair to it. In my stock patterns I’d say my Kimee Model. Kind of cute but kind of deadly, it’s a playful knife that has an attitude.

What is your EDC and why?

I bounce between several folders. I have an affinity for Kershaw Emerson models. I’m playing with making folders. As soon as I get one to work the way I want it I’ll carry it instead.

If you would like to learn more about Dave or see more of his work, check out his website and socials…

Website: www.armourcutlery.com


Facebook: Armour Cutlery

Phone/Email/Other contact
217-741-024six / dave(at)armourcutlery.com


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