THE TALISMAN

(MK 4 - 5mm thick AISI D2 Sheffield Steel)

 

A proven, true charm of a Bushcraft type knife, that has been very popular from the outset at all stages

 The Mk 4 version is even more substantial and made from 5mm thick AISI D2 Sheffield steel

MK3 variants in 440C and Damascus steel are also available

 

Please click: IMPORTANT INFORMATION : before contacting me... 

 

PRICING AND KNIFE BUILD OPTIONS

 

CHECK OUT MY FRIEND BRUCE PARRY AND THE TALISMAN MK3 CONNECTION

 

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The Mk 4 Talismans - a joy to own and use...

 

 

The story of the MK4 Talisman is an evolutionary one as there always seems to be some improvement one can make over time. The above knife has a figured Cocobolo handle and it outlines perfectly the design profile that is meant to be both aesthetically pleasing as well wholly functional.

 

The MK4 Talisman, with having a 5mm thick steel blade, has a substantial feel to it from the moment one picks it up. Add to that an anatomically contoured handle and no matter who took the MK4 Talisman in hand, the response was always positive, for it provides for a safe, comfortable full in the hand grip that inspires confidence no matter the task in hand.

 

 

This one belongs to S. Summerfield who lives in Austria.

 

 This what he had to say...

 

Hi Paul, just opened the parcel containing my knife, well what can I say.... It's better Than I expected. Your craftsmanship and attention to detail is superb! The knife fits perfectly in the hand and is well balanced, the buffalo handle and your pin recommendation worked well together.  Both fire steel and ceramic sharpener are made to the same high standard as the knife. Lastly the sheath, brilliant! Your workmanship and precision/layout and tones are just right.

Best wishes - Steve

This one belongs to Dylan Williams

 

 

This one is what Dylan ended up with, rather than the one above. Handle is Masur Birch over black fibre liners. Three Mosaic pins and brass Lanyard tube. Matching Firesteel and Ceramic rod make the set. Sheath is standard fixed belt loop Dyed veg-tan leather, with Firesteel loop and optional adjustable Dangler loop. I had to put some extra effort into this one as I was behind schedule, but as Dylan's response shows, it was well worth it.   

 

Hi Paul,

 

Finally had a chance to open the packaging to reveal the knife and I'm very impressed by looks and quality, and the feel in hand is perfect.

I will definitely be recommending your work and your website, from all the websites I checked for handmade knifes yours was the one that draw my attention. 

I already I have an eye for another knife to be commissioned by yourself so ill be in touch in the near future. 

In the meantime Paul keep up the good work and take care.

 

Regards - Dylan Williams

 

This one belongs to Ben Wayman

 

 

Handle is in light Masur Birch over black fibre liners. Three Mosaic pins and brass Lanyard tube. A matching Firesteel makes the set. Sheath is standard fixed belt loop with Firesteel loop. Ben had wanted a lightly oiled Masur Birch handle, meaning light in colour. Ben, not living too far from me, arranged to pick the knife up and I'm so glad he did. He turned out to be a very interesting young man and a real live proper artist! He showed me some of his work and I was absolutely gobsmacked! Would the knife I made for him pass muster then?! Well, from the look on his face and how he handled the knife, I'd say he was quite pleased. Only a matter of days after he sent me the following e-mail:    

 

Hello mate, the knife had its first outing this weekend. Worked a treat. Sorted all my firewood, feather sticks, tent pegs and pot holder no probs. Looks great too. Thanks again mate. Keep up the good work!  Thanks - Ben Wayman

 

 

Not quite a matched, but they both belong to Karl Newbury. One on the left has a Cocobolo handle and the one on the right has a Masur Birch handle.

As you can tell from the family logo on the Sheaths, the gentleman is Canadian.

 

 

 

 

 

This one belongs to James Gracey

 

 

This Talisman is handled with Desert Gidgee, not an easily available hardwood nor is it easy to work with as it definitely had some effect on me. Still, it turned out nice and the Mosaic pins and my preferred sized lanyard tube sets it off nicely.  This is what James had to say about it...

 

Hi Paul, sorry for the long time to respond :), the knife came today and it was absolutely gorgeous, my dad was amazed at the quality and workmanship put into the knife and he was very grateful for such an amazing knife. My dad will surely use it allot on our outback camping trips, thanks for everything,

Ill be sure to recommend you to everyone I find , cheers, James

 

This one belongs to Rene Hawkes

 

 

Handle is nicely figured Cocobolo over blue fibre liners with three Mosaic pins and a brass lanyard tube. Matching Firesteel makes the set. Sheath is standard fixed belt loop Dyed veg-tan leather, with Firesteel loop and optional adjustable Dangler loop. Rene sent me this e-mail:

 

Hi Paul,

               I have received the Talisman, to say I am pleased with it would be a massive understatement.

It is beautiful and fits my hand perfectly. I am so glad you recommended the mosaic pins as they really set the knife off against the wood.

               The grind is perfect and level and the sharpness of the edge on such a thick stock is nothing short of amazing.

 

               Thank you once again for the whole experience of buying it has been an absolute pleasure, canít wait to get out in the woods and put it through its paces.

               Please feel free to use my comments on your website as a testimonial as I canít say enough about how happy I have been with everything.

 

Kind regards - Rene Hawkes

 

 

Mike Hope's Talisman is atop a DL1 he also ordered at the same time. Same stabilised Amboyna top and Oak Burl below.

 

 

Same knives showing the wood figuring of the two Burls

 

 

This Talisman belongs to Graham Barnard, which in real life is absolutely stunning in white Ivory substitute.

 

 

 

Here it is a few months later coupled with a Beaver that Graham

asked me to make for him.

 

   

 

THE TALISMAN Mk4 AND ITS VARIANTS

 

The Talisman has been the most popular knife to date and it also happens to be my favourite model too. I suppose that having a proven track record of being a no-nonsense substantial and robust knife that is able to withstand hard use in extreme environmental conditions is a good enough reason. Another good reason why the Talisman is so liked is because the handle's profile allows me to turn out ergonomically and anatomically correct contoured handles to suit the individual's hand size, resulting in a very comfortable, safe and secure grip that gives that extra confidence regardless of conditions.

 

The MK4 Talisman version is in 5mm thick certified British D2 high carbon steel. D2 steel is a great steel; very tough and is far more resistant to staining and rusting than other tool steels. It also takes and holds an excellent edge and well proven in the real world.

 

The Mk3 Talisman version is in 4mm thick 440c, which is often referred to as 'Surgical Steel'. Knives made from 440c have proven themselves very useful for folk who might want to use their knife in all sorts of demanding situations, from hunting, foraging, fresh and salt water fishing etc. No matter the climatic extremes, 440c steel will not let you down. It's a shame that some folk confuse 440c steel with inferior cutlery stainless steels used commercially to produce a wide range of kitchen knives/utensils/cutlery. Just about everyone I know, myself included, have bought a cheap stainless steel knife at some time or other and discovered to our cost that no matter how pretty it looked, it was useless to do any cutting with! I wouldn't risk my reputation and use 440c steel if it wasn't a top performer. A well designed knife with a suitable grind and a steel hardness of around 57-58Hrc makes for an excellent working knife.

 

The Damascus Talisman version is made from Damascus steel from a blend of 1095 and 15N20 steels, with over 200 layers. RC hardness is in the 54 -56 Rockwell range, plenty good enough for a nice looking working knife. From my experience, folk tend to be rather reluctant using a nice Damascus knife for fear of damaging it. It sure is pretty stuff, but a knife made from good Damascus will have similar edge retention as other carbon based steels; so one shouldn't worry about making full use of a Damascus bladed knife. One has to bear in mind that every time a Damascus knife is sharpened, the patterning on the bevel will fade over time. I like the resulting contrast, but for those who who don't, one should request a Damascus knife with a secondary grind, which is also stronger than a full scandi grind. 

 

Unfortunately Damascus can vary from very good to utter rubbish - so one must beware and not be taken in by the pretty patterns as that's one sure way of buying scrap metal! Any knife maker worth his salt will only use quality Damascus steel sourced from reputable sources. I rate my Damascus Talisman blades as good as any quality tool steel; so you can be certain that they will take and hold a good edge. Just look after your Talisman Damascus knife as you would any other carbon steel based knife and you'll find that it a pleasure to own and use. All carbon based knives need a level of maintenance, which entails cleaning, drying and oiling once finished with.

 

The drop point Talisman is basically the Mk3 440c version with similar dimensions to the Damascus Talisman. I decided to make a few Mk3 Talisman blades with a drop point as some folk like that sort of profile. I suppose with this configuration the finished knife will be lighter and the balance of the finished knife will be more towards the middle of the handle, making for a very responsive knife to handle.

 

 

PRICING AND KNIFE BUILD OPTIONS

 

 

 

The TALISMAN MK4

in

5mm thick AISI D2 steel

 

 

 

TALISMAN MK4 BASIC KNIFE PRICE + AVAILABLE EXTRAS

STANDARD KNIFE PRICE

OPTIONAL EXTRAS

IF REQUIRED

 

KNIFE Ė COMPLETE WITH ONE OF THE STANDARD HANDLE MATERIAL FROM THIS LIST WITH BRASS PINS and BRASS TUBE LANYARD HOLE and a STANDARD FIXED BELT LOOP FULL SIZE SHEATH

 

 

 

 

£165

 

PRICE OF EACH INDIVIDUAL EXTRA TO BE ADDED TO BASIC KNIFE COST

 

 

INTEGRATED FIRESTEEL LOOP

 

 £5

SAME WOOD HANDLED FIRESTEEL

 

£10

SAME WOOD HANDLED CERAMIC ROD SHARPENER   £10

ADJUSTABLE BELT EXTENSION LOOP AND 'D' RING

  £10
MOSAIC PINS instead of Brass/Cooper/Steel pins   £5

*** Please add £10 to above prices towards p&p to standard UK addresses. Knife sent via Royal Mail Special Delivery - Insured and next day delivery by 1pm.

 

*** Please add £20 towards p&p for non-standard UK and Overseas Destinations.

 

NB: The TALISMAN MK4 is only available in 5mm thick D2 steel.

The TALISMAN MK3 versions are in 4mm 440c steel.  Please enquire if you would prefer a MK3 version.

PRICING AND KNIFE BUILD OPTIONS

 

 

 

THE TALISMAN - Mark 3 in AISI D2 & 440C steel

 

The MK3 version is not too dissimilar to the Mk 2 in profile, but comes with a slightly deeper grind and contoured handle profile for a more comfortable, secure and safe grip. The steel is the very highly regarded AISI D2 high-carbon, high-chromium tool steel alloyed with molybdenum and vanadium. D2 steel takes and holds an excellent cutting edge and being semi-stainless due to its high chrome content makes it much easier than other tool steels to look after.

  

 

This Talisman was commissioned as a gift from a lovely lady to her partner. The handle is made from Purpleheart over red fibre liners and has three Mosaic pins and a brass lined Lanyard hole. A matching Firesteel is also incorporated into the Sheath, which is a standard British type made from 3.5mm dyed veg tan leather and nicely embossed. The sentiment behind this knife is what makes me very proud and happy to be involved. The photos don't do it justice, but the contouring of the handle's profile can be seen. 

 

Here's what the man had to say when he got the knife:

 

"Hi Paul, I got my knife from my partner and it is the best present I have ever received, your craftsmanship is second to none. I was in awe when I opened the package. You have a great skill and I would recommend you to anybody who would appreciate a good knife. I will let you know how it stands the test of time.
Happy Christmas and a good new year "

Virtutis fortuna comes!!
 

 

Below are four prototypes of the MK3 Talisman in 440C Steel.

 

As can be seen, the MK3 Talisman has the most contoured handle in profile and sides of all my knife models. This helps ensures a safe, comfortable and secure grip. My view is that if someone wants a custom built knife, then the handle should be worked to suit them and not make do with a 'one size fits all' type handle. No matter the quality of the steel and fittings etc., if the knife doesn't feel right in the hand, prolonged use will not endear it to its owner once the blisters start to become bothersome! I have a fantastically made £600 RWL-34 bushcrafting knife from a well known source. It's stunning to look at, but the handle is too smooth and bulky, which renders the knife rather uncomfortable and unsafe to hold hold. One of these days I might either sell it on or re-work the handle!  

 

As part of a broader Wilderness and Cultural exploration project, I was asked to provide a good number of Mk 3 Talismans. As is my want, I played around with the colour of handles, grind and blade profiles of four Mk3 knives to serve as samples. Eventually, the top two knives went to a couple of people who will be spending quite a bit of time Filming in the Amazon jungle during 2013/2014/2015. These served their purpose according to the feedback I got. The bottom two I kept hold of and made some further alterations to the blade, which can be clearly seen. The original brief for the knives required that the knives should be robust, requiring minimal maintenance, easy to sharpen and suitable for use in extreme environmental conditions. The Talisman in 440c steel was the obvious choice and it served for no less than three separate projects; which speaks volume for the design and suitability of the knife in really tough and demanding conditions. The Talisman remains my favourite model and for good reasons...

 

As a good number of the MK3 440c Talisman knives were made for the exploration project which a good friend of mine is lead, I cannot as yet show the actual knives or name names etc. Let's just say that things worked out so well for me, I was yet again chosen to make twelve uniquely distinctive Mk3 Talismans as presentation gifts for key team members. These too were received with great praise, making me feel very proud to be part of the team myself. Once the project goes public I'll then be able to tell my story...       

 

 

 

 

This one I shortened and tapered the blade, which when finished it felt very good in the hand and definitely turned out to be a very sturdy general working knife and obviously less bulky than the original Talisman. This one is going to a friend of a friend who loves the great outdoors as a thank you for doing me a good turn. His feedback will be well noted!

 

 

 

This one I altered the back of the blade so that an extended finger would fit nicely, thus providing for more control whichever way the knife is held to cut with, as is often the case with Carcass preparation etc. This one has already found a home with a very keen shooting pal of mine. With my pal being a fine regular shooter and also a good fisherman, this knife will be used a lot so I'll be keen to see how it shapes up being abused!

 

 

To see more original photos and read about the origin of the Talisman click here

 

 

Below are samples of Mk1 and Mk2 Talisman knives

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mark 1 version shown on the left and Mark 2 version on the right for comparison purposes.

 

On the left is my own Mk 3 version, which doesn't look too different from the Mk 2 one, that's because the changes are subtle. 

 

The Talisman's is designed as a substantial no nonsense tough Bushcraft knife. I've made the Mk 3 version in D2 and 440C steels. The D2 steel, version is aimed at the more traditional of Bushcrafters who prefer a high Carbon steel. Although not stainless, it is far more resistant to staining and rusting than 01 tool steel. The 440C version is for those who need a capable knife for use in allsorts of environments without having to worry about their knife staining or rusting, making for minimal maintenance. Both versions are hardened to 58Rc so you can be sure that they'll take and hold an excellent edge.

 

The Talisman is a well tried and tested design that can be relied upon at all times. It has an excellent balanced feel in the hand aided by an ergonomically shaped handle contoured according to the end user's hand size. As good as some 'one size fits all' commercially made knife handles are, nothing compares to a handle made to fit the individual.

 

 

 

Stubby MK4 Talisman in Granit Corian

Yet another little experiment, this one turned out OK. Just a shade shorter than a fully grown MK4 Talisman with a less pointy tip. It might come in handy when any of my arrows get stuck!

 

This one belongs to Gordon Hallet

The handle is Stabilised Oak Burl

 

 

 

 

Next to Damasteel, RWL-34 steel is a top favourite of mine and I would be working with it a lot more were it not so expensive. But that might change in the future if I decide to work more with high end alloys despite the cost because I can create a very few XL type models based on the range of standard knives I do already in my own time.

 

RWL-34 is high end alloy powder steel that is stainless and takes an excellent edge and holds it brilliantly. The hardening process is a complex specialised business, which includes a Cryogenic phase. On average a hardness on the Rockwell scale of 58 to 60 is normal.

   

 

The First MK4 Talisman in Koolibah Burl

This the first time I used Koolibah Burl and yes, the colouring is that red! This I made for myself, but it soon was on its way to a new owner. Dylan Thomas was the first to order a MK4 Talisman and the Sheath was merely an experiment that did not appeal to me at all. But, a mate of mine liked it, so I gave it to him.

 

 

Some examples of MK2 version

 

 

Some examples of MK1 version

 

Damascus Talisman in Redwood

 

 

Tom's second Damascus Talisman in Thuya