Mr Butt's Damascus

Discussion in 'Blades' started by gunbunny, Mar 24, 2014.

  1. gunbunny

    gunbunny Never Trust A Bunny

    That's Mr. Zahid Butt.

    I recently found myself in the middle of a local gun show (I've had a three year hiatus) and stumbled upon this table loaded with ornate Damascus knives. My first thought was that they were fake damascus, and probably made in Pakistan or whereabouts.

    Luckily, I looked a little closer, and looking at a blade, could see (and feel) the folds come out in the grinds. The young lady tending the table was very enthusiastic about the knives, offering up a wealth of information. I was truly shocked once I realized the price of the knife (although it was clearly marked, I was too worried about the metal); a 3 1/2 inch tanto folder for $95.

    zamir butts 1.

    The back of the blade and the liners were treated with detailed filework, going along with the motiff of the decorative handle pins that looked like a paw. The scales were wood, although I usually am not attracted to wood, this was a rather unique grain pattern.

    zamir butts 2.

    At this time, Mr Butt came over and introduced himself. He had a slight accent, but explained that metal working ran in his family for generations. At this point I would have been happy to hear that he bought a piece of damascus, ground out a blade, and put scales on it. Nope, he forged the Damascus himself.

    Curious, I asked him how he did it, and he happily explained. He uses 1095 steel, drills a series of holes in it, forges it, and folds it with a power hammer. The holes are filled back in with molten metal as he works the metal with the power hammer. The result is a raindrop pattern.

    zamir butts 4.

    I was enamored with the liner lock and promptly bought it. The scales are red palm wood, and a natural oil finish was rubbed on it.

    Zahid then showed me many of his fixed blade knives he had on display. I liked the look of them, but I really wasn't in the market for another fixed blade knife. I asked him about making me a custom knife, since he seemed to be versed in several different grinds and shapes.

    He explained that he liked Pennsylvania and Virginia, and that in his home town of New York he would not be able to display or sell several of his double edged blades. He likened PA to Texas, whereas pretty much anything goes.

    When I explained to him about what I was looking for in a custom knife, he went through his things for a few seconds and handed me a knife that was very close to my specifications! He already had one waiting for the wackos like me that were looking for a BIG knife. I have a lot of knives, but I really don't have a big fighting knife. I decided right there I needed to fill a gap in my collection.

    It is a hefty piece of metal, 8 1/2 long blade, and full tang with multi-colored micarta scales. It has a blunt style tanto shape with a double hollow grind, and a set of stiffening blood grooves. The bolsters are damascus, also (just like the folder).

    Mr Zahid Butt's work may not be perfect, as I can see a few tiny imperfections in the grind here and there, but to the casual eye, they are invisible. Maybe they were intentional, and meant to be for aesthetic purposes. I knew a pottery maker once that worked that way- if you wanted something perfect, go to the local K Mart or Target and get a normal mug. If you wanted something with a human touch, buy his wares.

    I did notice how he welded a piece of regular metal to the end of the blade at the bolsters to make the knife full tang. I can imagine that he may have saved himself some work by doing this, or maybe a type of metal that is more corrosion resistant than 1095.

    zamir butts 3.

    Any way, I bought the knife for $150. I thought I got a heck of a deal from a young and aspiring knife maker.

    He then shown me some of his even larger knives. He had a 12 inch golock type machete with micarta scales. I was severely tempted to buy the tool, but after already spending almost $250, I didn't want to break the bank. Hopefully, I will see more of Mr Butt and his work in the future.
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2014
    Brokor, GOG, Mike and 4 others like this.
  2. cdnboy66

    cdnboy66 Monkey++

    Very nice, enjoy
    Mike likes this.
  3. gunbunny

    gunbunny Never Trust A Bunny

    I just found his business card after losing it for a few days. The company name is: TNZ Bounish Edge Tools, Inc, located in Dobbs Ferry, NY.

    I tried looking him up on the net, but only got address info about NY businesses. Has anyone else on here ever done business with Mr Butt, or come across his tables at a gun & knife show in PA, NY, or VA?
  4. NotSoSneaky

    NotSoSneaky former supporter

    Excuse me while I scrape my jaw off the floor. [OO]

    Those knives are nice, really, really nice. [coo]
  5. califdude

    califdude Monkey

    Those knives seem to be high quality handmade "Pattern Welded Steel" buy forge welding several layers of dissimular steels,
    but, it is not "Damascus" steel which hasnt been made for centuries. The distinctive lines found of original damascus sttel comes from the crystaline structure ferrite and cementite formed from low oxygen smelting and slow cooling.
  6. Brokor

    Brokor Live Free or Cry Moderator Site Supporter+++ Founding Member

    Calling it Damascus is still recognized among knife makers as appropriate, although it may not be entirely historically accurate. The historical purists may disagree, and the reference you made is certainly appreciated, but it is not improper to label it "Damascus" steel when speaking about steel layering and folding.
    kellory, BTPost and ghrit like this.
  7. arleigh

    arleigh Goophy monkey

    Much as I like the OP's knife it's too rich for my taste .
    I love the shape of the blade and all ,and any other material I might find welcome to use in the bush, but this is a wall hanger to me .
  8. Gregrm

    Gregrm Neophyte Monkey

    I have been a knife collector for many years. Recently at a gun show I bought a Damascus folder. A few days ago I was using it to wack a twig off a branch. The twig was about the size of my little finger. We have all done that. Well to my dismay and surprise the knife failed at the pin which held the spine lock. I have never had a knife do that.

    I determined that the pin was just a cheap brass pin and could not handle even whacking off a rather small twig. I checked my other knives, like my Buck Folding Hunter and the pin was substantially more sturdy.

    Leason learned: do not use a cheap knife for anything other than whittling!!

    At gun shows, I have bought 5 Damascus folding hunters from TNZ Bounish Edge Tools, Inc, located in Dobbs Ferry, NY. I like the looks but I will never use them for any kind of substantial use. I just do not trust their construction. TNZ Bounish Edge Tools is just too secretive for me to trust their folding hunters for any real work.

    (why does my post say edited by a Moderator??)
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2016
  9. runswithdogs

    runswithdogs Monkey+++

    I have a pair of scissors that are Damascus steel.. They Are Awsome! hold a razor edge forevvvvvver.

    so freaking expensive though.. :eek: I was scared to use them for the longest time.
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