Richard Eadon Biography
It all started about five years ago when I started building knives and sold one to a friend that was based around the bushcraft knife, the blade was OK but the cutting edge geometry was all wrong, knives for working wood and knives for handling game have different requirements. I had a blade made that I thought would be great, and it had several aspects that were pretty good but I missed the target, it started us thinking though...
The friend (Andy) and I sat with malt whisky and talked, and I made some templates, these were made into the first batch of knives which were closer; but still not right. The blades changed, but the handle was about right. The blade was made slightly longer and pointier, as I usually hunt roe deer at 40 - 50 lbs whereas Andy was hunting red deer at 200 - 300lb.
Once I had a pair done we were up and running, Andy was using one for about a year before I put in for a batch of four to be made. These all sold but my life went crazy at work and I didn't get back to it for a while. I kept in touch with Andy and he kept nudging away at me to launch it.
Batch three (three blades) came out and two were sold. I sent one to The US for a trial run, Patrick Smith, owner of Kifaru still uses his as first choice. Batch four came and I kept one for me, five was still small at four blades and batch six was a dozen, all of which have now sold. Once this happened I asked my school to reduce my teaching hours from 5 days per week to two and started making knives and leather goods more, all have the hunter in mind.
The blades have a full flat grind which allows for easy deep cutting, they have a secondary bevel which can be kept as such for sharpening on systems such as the sharpmaker or the lansky, but I prefer to round the shoulders on mine and make it a convex edge, providing less resistance to the cut and increased strength with wicked sharpness. This does take time and practise to achieve though.
Of equal importance to the geometry is the steel, the geometry makes the edge stronger than the choice of steel, but it is still important. I have tried 12c27 sandvik, CPMS30V and RWL 34, and N690, a German version of the Japanese VG10, with almost the same elemental make up. I am more than happy with the performance of all the blades and firmly believe they all work extremely well for the job they have been designed for.
The shape of the blades is of great importance in gutting (or gralloching). They are long enough to bleed the chest cavity. The drop on the point is just enough to help in unzipping with your finger tip behind the point to prevent the user piercing the innards and the thumb ramp and finger guard combination allows a strong hold in bloody conditions with confidence.
I use only stabilised woods or epoxy based handles which are impervious to blood and moisture as well as meeting UK and European hygiene laws. I shape all these by hand and by eye, initially on a machine sander but they are all finished by hand to ensure I am happy for the finished product to go out to the customer.
I firmly believe this knife is a valuable tool that does what it is meant to do. I use mine a lot, but as the kind of person I am, I try others from time to time and always end up coming back to this knife, because it is designed for the job of processing the animal after a hunt. I always use mine for the whole process from gralloch to freezer and find it does all jobs admirably.
My favourite sheath is leather, without a doubt. It is a material with soul that you can see a story told with every use, it is a material that requires care but I love to work with. Kydex, the plastic sheath has it’s place, it is important in terms of cleanliness and I source these sheaths for hunters who ask for them in their professional role or who simply prefer the ease of use.
I enjoy working and owning leather goods, aside from the pride I take in making them, I like to see them age. I look after the leather goods I own regularly with oil and polish where appropriate. If done so these goods can last decades. Users of leather understand this well and this care becomes an intrinsic part of the ownership. If a product of mine fails through material or workmanship I will make good that repair or refund the buyer without quibble. This cannot extend to consequential damage however.
Having equipment I have confidence in and enjoy using adds value to my experience. Having leather to care for allows time to reflect on the experiences before the rifle goes back in the cabinet, the knife in the drawer.