Welcome one and all to the latest installment of KNIFE Magazine’s 5 from the Grinder. Today we are showcasing Neal Green of Double X Knives. I do not know Neal personally, but he lists his greatest mentor as Patrick Doyle, which reflects well on Neal. Since Patrick was a student/mentee of Alan Elishewitz, by the transitive property, he is an influence on Neal as well. Good company on both accounts.
And with that out of the way, I yield the floor to Neal Green.
Please introduce yourself and let us know what led you to making/designing knives
I started my knifemaking journey by making oyster knives for my hometown volunteer fire company in Georgetown, Delaware. It’s a long standing tradition, where the oyster knives are auctioned annually at the fire company’s oyster eat to supplement their annual budget. Once I started, I fell in love with it. Some knives have auctioned for over $8K, which has been a great addition to the organization’s lifesaving budget.
I’ve been making knives seriously since 2017, but being an active duty Soldier, my workshop has moved several times and capabilities have fluctuated over the past several years. I’m looking forward to building a dedicated shop once I retire to Hampstead, NC in fall ’23.
What knifemaker(s) or designer(s) have had the biggest influence on you? Do you have any mentors?
I am a knife enthusiast…..so I like just about all knives. Therefore, my influences come from a wide variety. However, I tend to enjoy the timeless, simple and clean shapes/profiles with slight modifications and using modern materials. Dietmar Kressler, S.R. Johnson, and Bob Lum are probably my favorite makers but I also love the aesthetics of most Loveless, Herron, and Lake knives as well.
Patrick Doyle (Doyle Knives) is my biggest mentor and I’m extremely thankful for such a great maker taking me under their wing. He’s answered any question and guided me through several problems, big and small.
However, the knifemaking community is so open to sharing and helping where they can……..meaning, many great makers have provided their insights and assistance (knowledge) whenever I’ve asked.
What is your favorite knife pattern or style from history?
The Kwaiken. Almost every maker and knife manufacturer has a Kwaiken model. It’s simple, clean, attractive, and effective.
What is the next big thing in knifemaking? / What direction do you see the industry going?
Definitely CNC. CNCs and desktop routers are becoming smaller, more affordable and easier to use. Even if makers just use them for handles, they’ll produce more precise and uniform products, consistently.
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?
My Fixed Zulu or Fixed Trapper is the model that best exhibits my style. A smaller, clean, simple, and classic design which can be used for most tasks required of a knife. On some of the versions, I like to add a shield cutout which looks more like the classic designs.
What is your EDC and why?
I rotate the specific model, but it’s typically a liner lock folder. I wear a leather sheath I made which holsters a folder, a small Leatherman, and a small flashlight. That sheathed trio has been on multiple airborne operations and deployments – it’s gotten me out of several tight spots.