The Secret History Of Horace Kephart Knife

Kephart (1)

Before  I speak about the Kephart knife, let me tell you the man behind the iconic design.  It is also one such Knife story which gained the name of its designers like Bowie and Nessmuk. 


Kephart Knife History

Kephart knife was designed by a person named Horace Kephart. He was born on September 8th, 1862 at  East Salem, Pennsylvania, and raised in Lowa

Also read ” Hidden Mystery Behind Nessmuk Knife

He is well known for his writing, also he was the author of “Our Southern Highlanders” and the Classic outdoor Guide of all-time “Camping and woodcraft”

He was the director of library St. Louis Merchantile in St Louis Missouri from 1890 – 19303.

In 1904 his family,  wife with 6 children’s moved to Ithaca, New York, without him, later that year even he moved to a new place in western North Carolina where he managed to live in Hazel creek section.

 This Hazel Creek is now known as the Great Smoky Mountain Nation Park.

Kephart was the person behind the campaign to establish the national park,  He managed to gather his photographers and his friend to leave until it later became National Park.

He has written multiple books and one of the best book is “Camping and Wood Craft” you can read it here. He has written a book on Appalachian culture and Lifestyle called our “Souther highlander” and A short history book “Cherokee”

The sad part: Kephart never left the Great Smoky mountain, he was killed in a mountain road accident on April 2nd, 1931.


So you may ask!!!!! what about the knife?

 Bushcraft  knife to Kephart knife story

Horace Kephart describes his custom Knife design in his famous book “Campaign and woodcraft” and quoted it as his own design and made by a country blacksmith his design was called as a bushcraft knife.

Outdoor activist loves this design. The design of Bushcraft knife  is not that eye-catching as of the Nessmuk Knife, whereas the pattern is truly workhorse design and it can outperform from any knife that can be compared with like Gerber 31, Seax Knife even Nessmuk knife  but all has its own functionalities

Even though the Horace Kephart life was shot down by accident, the dream of building a national park became True after 2 months of his death also people started calling is bushcraft knife design by his name and Then it became the famous  Kephart Knife.

Also read: “Secret History Of Buying a Legendary “Gerber Knife”


Kephart knife Design Pattern

There is no exact special pattern for  Kephart knife. It is the plane cutting knife designed in keeping the outdoor enthusiast and hunters in the mind.  It’s pretty much hardwood striking knife with very huge built dimensions, basically its a beast In The Wild which can do anything you want it too.


Type of Kephart Knife

There are some different Kephart knife available in the market now, these are not the original design of Kephart whereas they have done some modifications to it.

  • Horace Kephart knife
  • Becker Kephart knife
  • Condor Kephart knife
  • Kabar Kephart knife
  • Bark River Kephart knife
  • Handmade Kephart knives
  • Becker bk62 Kephart knife

Kephart Knife Reviews

1. Kephart knife dimensions
2. Kephart knife handle shapes
3. Kephart knife blade
4. Kephart knife sheath


1. Kephart knife dimensions

Both blade and handle have the same length. Blade length was 4 1/4  and Handle was 4 1/4 

The blade was 1 inch wider and It has a thickness of 1/8 inches. It’s a pretty plain design with the broad pointed tip


2. Kephart knife handle shapes

The handle had an oval cross-section design.  Very few knives contain this design handles. It is long enough to hold the blade size giving an awesome grip on the handle. There are no sharp edges in the handle as that of  the Opinel fishtail handle design which can blister your hand

Also, there is a finger guard in the Kephart knife design. saving your fingers while cutting. The original Knife of 1890 used the hardwood, which is of lightweight. With a length of  3/4 inches in the back and sloping towards neck with 1/2 inches.


3. Kephart knife blade

The Kephart knife uses the Carbon Steel material as It was one of the famous material of that time. carbon steel is very strong and holds the high pressure. Its popularity depleted nowadays because of the stainless steel.  I still prefer the carbon steel over the stainless steel because office precise cut, you can also go through this article to get a clear picture of Carbon Steel vs stainless steel.


4. Kephart knife sheath

There is a document which says Horace Kephart was fascinated in George Washington Sear work and design. He uses the same content of pure leather sheath for this knife designs. Pure leather is indeed the best quality materials that can stay for decades without worrying.

Also Read: “Spanish Rapier – worlds best rapiers?


Kephart knife pics

Old Kephart Knife
Old Kephart Knife
New Kephart Knife
New Kephart Knife
Colclesser Brothers
Colclesser Brothers

Best Kephart Knife

One of the best Kephart knife available that you can and keep a hand on is “ Becker BK62 Kephart knife

Becker BK62
Kephart knife
Kephart knife
Blade Type Fixed Blade
Overall Knife 9. 625 inches
Blade Length 5. 125 inches
Blade Thickness 0.158 inches
Blade Width 1. 1875 inches
Edge Angles 20 Degrees
Blade Material 1095 Crow Van / Walnut Handle
Sheath Brown Sheath
Made in United States
Product Dimensions 12 x 2 x 3 inches
Weight 6.4 ounces
Model number BK62
View At

Conclusion On Kephart Knife

Horace Kephart is an iconic person behind the well-known Kephart knife.  if you are a hunter or outside person etc, I think you should definitely try it once. Bowie, Nessmuk and Kephart are monumental knives designed by a great people of the past


The End, ♥ towards Pocket knife

Reference: wikipedia.org , frontierpartisans.com , knivesshipfree.com

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