Anza Knives

Made one at a time in the USA

These days it’s hard to find something that isn’t stamped “Made in China” and harder still to find something handmade that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg.  Anza Knives are an exception and Charlie Davis stands behind his product.

About four years ago, I bought an Anza bird and rabbit knife at a speciality knife retailer in Sierra Vista, Arizona.  It caught my eye because the cool thing about Charlie’s knives is that they are made from old files.  Charlie fashions them into knives in a manner that leaves the serrations of the file intact on several areas of the blade.  He believes  that old high-carbon files are an ideal material for knives because file steel is made, well, for cutting.

I’ll admit, I hadn’t used the knife much. Fixed blade knives don’t usually wind up on my belt when I leave the house, so the knife mostly stayed in my kitchen. One day I noticed one of the exotic wood scales fell off. It took me about another year to get around to reaching out to Charlie to see about getting it fixed. After I found his email address on the web I sent him a description of the problem. Charlie emailed me back himself and told me to mail it to him to his shop in Lakeside, California, no questions asked.

From there I corresponded with his helpful, friendly assistant Linda. She told me Charlie would fix and ship it back to me free of charge. I’m not much a fan of exotic woods and at some point I asked her if Charlie could replace the handle, or scales, with Micarta. Linda told me that request might cost a bit, as working with Micarta is difficult and it is hard on the knife making equipment. Nevertheless a few days later she wrote back to me, “Charlie said we’ll give you the handle the way you want it. No charge. We’re like Burger King… have it your way. He just wants happy customers.”

The only thing she asked of me was that if I shot a deer in the fall would I send her the tail,  for use in her craft projects.  About a month later, Charlie sent me back a polished, sharpened knife with a good-looking, practical micarta handle. Free of charge.

Anza Bird and Trout

Unfortunately, I didn’t shoot a deer last year, so I couldn’t send a token of my thanks.    But I did shoot a mess of squirrels and a few ducks. Happy to report the knife did the job; it fit my hand well and held an edge. I didn’t go out and try and chop down a tree with it, but the little blade sliced through tough squirrel hide and delicately breasted out a few ducks with ease.

If you are in the market for a knife that you will be proud to own, made one at a time by an American who stands behind his work, look into Anza Knives.

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