No matter where you look, there are secrets to be unveiled. All you have to do is dig deep. Five thousand miles away from home in sunny California, I was standing on another great stage, in another world, overlooking the sleepy Lough Mask’s Cushlough Bay. Ireland is breathtaking but this was different altogether. I felt light-headed and not from the long night I endured the night before with Ronan, a local fisherman, and knife enthusiast. Ronan loved three things - a good bottle of Irish whisky, his fishing rod, and knives. And he had a collection of knives worthy of a museum. So far, I saw his whisky and fishing equipment that were in his trawler, but still none of the fixed blade knives that I saw pictures of when I first met Ronan online. Soon, that was going to change. I was about to discover knives that most of us will never know of.
The Elephant Tusk Blade
My giant Irish guest Ronan led me to his arsenal, a faintly lit room but enough to dazzle any knife enthusiast. He pointed to an old oak chest. It's where he kept the knives I crossed the Atlantic for. The first one he took out was a spectacular sword that resembled the Australian boomerang at first. It was called the 'Tusk Sword' he said, and it did resemble an elephant tusk. This is the kind of weapon you'd expect to see in Lord Of The Rings' Middle Earth. War elephants were fitted with this sword and trained to use them as weapons for added tusk-power.
The Indonesian Claw (I Knew This One!)
The second blade Ronan took out of his battered oak chest was a familiar one. He knew it. It was a handmade double-edged Karambit he received as a gift from the Minangkabau people of Indonesia who weaponized this knife. Next, he took out another Karambit knife. I recognized this curved fixed blade knife right away. It's the TSUME. from Tekto Knives. Ronan said it was one of the best Karambit knives he saw in the western world.
The Apache Revolver
Designed and created in the late 19th century and made infamous by the French underworld, this is a multi-weapon that threatened the streets of Paris. It's the weirdest knife I saw, not to mention ever held. The Apache Revolver was a combination of a brass knuckle, pistol, and knife in a compact package. Ronan said this firing knife failed because it was neither a great knife nor a revolver. I could see his point. A weird thing to hold nonetheless.
British Special Forces Lapel Knife
This is a fixed blade knife straight out of the blockbuster 'The Spy Who Loved Me. This was one of the early concealed weapons for the Special Forces that was designed to be hidden behind the lapel of a jacket. It was still large enough to be deadly in use. The knife had a plethora of cover names that were used to confuse enemies. A small knife with a big history.
Honorable Mention - Trephine
The Trephine looks like a corkscrew and you might be tempted to grab your bottle of Shiraz when you first see it. But this is a surgical instrument with a cylindrical fixed blade. Used by surgeons for cutting holes in bones for several purposes, it's one of the most bizarre tools that's categorized as a 'knife'.