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2/14/2015 12:28 PM
 

Dan Winkler first popped up on my radar with the movie Last of the Mohicans, for which he did a lot of the edge weapons. At that time, pre-internet, I learned what I could about him mostly from magazines, and if memory served even called and ask about pricing. At the time it was more than I could afford.  I kind of lost track of him, until a few years back when his name and Winkler II knives started going around.  Given the internet now I have been eyeballing his stuff for awhile, and trying to see if I could make my paths cross with his work.  That happened this year at Shot. I got to spend a bit of time talking with both he and his wife, and found both to very nice, honest, welcoming folks. In short the type that I like to do business with.  Talking with Dan it quickly became clear that he had a really good understanding of cutting things, and was honest about his own work and some of the designs.  I also managed to knick a knuckle on one of his axes, and started to bleed.  Of course I felt like a bit of a jackass, but I was also pretty excited to find that his stuff was that sharp. In this day and age there are a ton of good blade designs that have poor edge geometry and profile so just getting them useable is a big task. The other thing that I have noticed is that a ton of makers are making visually stunning knives, but in hand they are actually pretty un-ergonomic. They are great for wall hanging, but not for using.  I found all of the Winkler blades to be very comfortable and well suited to the hand. Even given that he makes, unless ordered otherwise, for an average hand size and mine is larger than average.  In short, without using any of his knives I feel that they probably work and cut as well as is claimed.  I am not sure if I will get one as I have a fair number of really nice knives at this point, and can't really justify getting one. However, if I didn't have those knives and was interested in a higher end knife. I would be hard pressed not to pick up one of his,  my preferences being the Hunting Knife and Field Knife.  

However, what got me really excited was his axes, and it is fair to call them an axe in my opinion, as they have a wedge shape even though they start with a flat piece of metal. There is a constant taper both from where the eye would traditionally be to the edge, and to the end of the handle. I am not sure if I am sold on the full metal tang, but for the uses they are being put to I can understand, I just think for my uses they might be a bit much. If I lived in colder country I would probably feel different. The thing that really got me about his designs, even those made for specific groups where design included a healthy dose of looks cool (he was honest about that too), was that they all wanted to chop, in that the second you picked them up they wanted to fall forward with the edge leading the way.  My guess is that they would be chopping fools with a lot of the work being done by just good balance and ergonomics.  I was excited enough that I started talking to him about a custom run, but well I came to my senses a few days later when I actually started thinking about costs associated.  I am very tempted by one of his axes, but again I have a fair number of nice axes, and not sure I can justify the price. 

I guess bottom line is that if you are in the market for something nicer, take a look at his stuff.


Co-Owner Hill People Gear "If anything goes wrong it will be a fight to the end, if your training is good enough, survival is there; if not nature claims its foreit." - Dougal Haston
 
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2/14/2015 12:46 PM
 
Which axe did you like Scot?
 
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2/14/2015 6:19 PM
 

I looked long and hard at a winkler field knife. If nothing else I think he has the coolest sheaths I've ever seen on the market.

 
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2/14/2015 7:45 PM
 
Recently sold off my Winkler Field knife (Scot, you emailed me on M4Carbine.net about a trade, long story short, workers comp sucks). Now that I'm back to work I'm thinking about replacing it as I originally intended with ANOTHER WKII knife. Specifically something which appeals to me aesthetically a bit more. I'm thinking about the Hunting model with wooden handles. The blade is 5" rather than 6" of the Field knife, which I would appreciate. The Field knife actually fits in a OKB, but just barely.

The handles he uses on these two and the Belt knife are unique. They are a sort of asymmetrical pear shape, and fit my hand (M/L gloves) very well in a number of orientations.

For me, the grind was a bit steep on this as well as the Neck Knife I got around the same time. The Neck knife is still on me nearly every day. It's a great little tool, but I had to thin the edge significantly so it would cut they way I wanted to.

I've never had the opportunity to speak to Daniel, but I've exchanged emails a few times and he seems to be a great guy.

For what it's worth, his Camp Axe is almost the exact same size and weight as a typical hatchet, at 14" and 1.5 lbs.
 
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2/15/2015 2:57 PM
 
El Mac,
I like the Camp Axe the best due to length, but I would be interested to see what kind of work the Hunters Axe would do. A Camp Axe head on a 19" Hunters Axe haft with half cord wrap and half grip was what I was talking to him about.

The sheaths are cool, but not sure one would be that useful for me. I usually have a pack belt on when I am running a sheath knife, and the sheaths aren't quick off and on.

Co-Owner Hill People Gear "If anything goes wrong it will be a fight to the end, if your training is good enough, survival is there; if not nature claims its foreit." - Dougal Haston
 
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2/15/2015 6:29 PM
 

The sheaths come with both leather and kydex panel/belt loop. The kydex one could be drilled for any sort of QD belt loop, like a Tec-lock or MALICE clips. 

 
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2/17/2015 7:58 PM
 
He lives up here relatively close to me, never met him though. At least one local shop here sells his knives and hawks, they look pretty nice.
 
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3/15/2015 10:09 PM
 
One of the local antique shops has one of his gunstock war clubs, with a signed photo of Daniel Day Lewis. It's not THE Chingachgook club, but I believe it was used in the movie. Only like $700. If anyone's interested I can send you their number ;)
 
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9/7/2015 10:53 AM
 
Do Winkler 2s usually Ned the blade reprofiled?

A couple of his designs sure catch my eye
 
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9/7/2015 11:45 AM
 
Not in my opinion, but everyone has their own views.

Co-Owner Hill People Gear "If anything goes wrong it will be a fight to the end, if your training is good enough, survival is there; if not nature claims its foreit." - Dougal Haston
 
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9/12/2015 7:23 PM
 
I have to start saving up for one of his Hunter models.
 
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