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Rare Handmade Limited Edition Collectible Pocketknives
Rare Handmade Limited Edition Collectible Pocketknives


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Canal Street Cutlery Announces their newest pocketknife LiL' Pete
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The Best Canal Street Knives

We are fortunate to have a very intimate relationship with the makers of Canal Street Cutlery, and see a side of their knives that very few others can.   We sit on what Wally Gardiner mockingly calls their Board of Directors, and here they share their design process with gusto, and the history and rationales for these designs.  We’ve watched every single pocketknife and hunting knife in their line go through at least one design change.  It’s a fascinating exercise where they take the knife and deconstruct and reconstruct its components to improve and upgrade it. This process involves a lot of loud meetings as they sweat out the details, then run back out on the floor and make models and refine and define the process of producing it, and come back to a table to poke at it and explore its issues, and then back out on the floor again to implement and retest, over and over again.

It’s at meetings like these we have learned about their knives and what goes into them.  From our perspective, after four (4) years of observing this process, Canal Street Cutlery makes some of the finest pocketknives being made today.  A look of care goes into the way they are designed and made.  

The following represent what we think are the best Canal Street knives and why and the reasons why we think so.  There are five of them and we have chosen a representative handle material for each knife type based on the reactions and feedback we get at shows, and other interactions both inside and outside the industry.

<b>The Sunset Smooth Bone Moon Pie Trapper</b>
The Moon Pie Trapper is the first pocketknife that Canal Street Cutlery designed and manufactured all the components for.  The first one was produced in 2007 and the first open stock handles were in Amber jigged and Stag Bone.  It is called the “Moon Pie Trapper” because one of the cutlers thought the big cap at the end looked like the moon with a bite taken out of it.  The design goals were to strengthen and upgrade the classic two-blade trapper and raise the industry standard components used in making it.  They attacked the standard design and materials of the liners, the bolsters and caps, and the springs, the assembly pins and rivets, and the taper and finish of the blades and tang.  

The industry standard liner is brass or nickel silver, and Canal Street upgraded the liner of the Moon Pie Trapper to heat-treated stainless steel.  They widened the bolster and cap – first in nickel silver - and then, in 2013, they upgraded them to stainless steel.  They intentionally recessed the tang ends inside the bolsters and rounded the ends to avoid snagging issues and create a uniformly smooth and firm opening snap. They widened the striker and thickened the springs to improve the walk.  The springs were also fashioned out of heat-treated stainless steel, and changed the diameters of the pins and rivets.  They instituted a two way flat grind on the blades and finished them with two separate finishes, one for each side of the blade (mirror finished mark side, satin finished pile side), instead of a standard uniform vibratory tub finish.  They selected two main blade steels for the blade from Latrobe Steel: 440C Stainless Heat-Treated to 57-59Rc and D2 Tool Grade Carbon Steel Heat-Treated to 59-60Rc.  

The blades of the Moon Pie Trapper go through a two-step sharpening process where they are edged with a grit belt and then honed with a cardboard wheel.  All pins and attachments go through a countersinking process, which requires individually hafting each knife after it is assembled.  The final result is a strikingly substantial trapper – that has no equal on the market today.  The blades release with outstanding walk and close with resounding smart talk.  The blades hold a sharp edge for prolonged field usage.  The Sunset Smooth Bone glistens on the knife and gives a warm woodsy feeling.  This is a well-constructed durable, beauty, designed and constructed to last the test of time.

The Sunset Smooth Bone Moon Pie Trapper

<b>The Amber Stag Bone Trailing Drop Point Hunter</b>
The Trailing Drop Point Hunter is a basic sheath knife, and it was the second knife that Canal Street designed and manufactured all the components for.  The first model was also was produced in 2007.  It is called the “Trailing Drop Point” because a notch for a finger rest was designed into the front end behind the point.  A Drop Point is lower than the spine of the blade.  The design goals were to provide the hand with a comfortably balanced cutting extension for the hand.  One places the forefinger comfortably on the trailing notch while grasping behind the bolster guard with the three back fingers.  A Drop Point is designed to cut with pressure from the forefinger hence the notch improvement.  

The original bolster the Trailing Drop Point Hunter was nickel silver, but has been upgraded to stainless steel.  It is an enlarged bolster that has a finger guard.  The blade has a full tang visible through the entire handle. They instituted a two way hollow grind on the blades also finished with two separate finishes, one for each side of the blade (mirror finished mark side, satin finished pile side), instead of a standard uniform vibratory tub finish.  The two main blade steels are Latrobe Steel: 440C Stainless Heat-Treated to 57-59Rc and D2 Tool Grade Carbon Steel Heat-Treated to 59-60Rc.  The two-step sharpening process with a grit belt and cardboard wheel honing is all done by hand.  All pins and attachments go through a countersinking process, which requires individually hafting each knife before sharpening.

The final result is an elegant, comfortable tool with a powerful blade perfect for field dressing.  The stag bone handle provides a durable grip with an old word worn feeling.  The belt sheath is hand-stitched leather, wet formed to snuggly fit the blade and handle to the side.

Amber Stag Bone Trailing Drop Point Hunter

<b>The Reclaimed American Chestnut Cannitler</b>
The Canal Street Cannitler is a marvel of pocketknife engineering that substantially improves the power of the classic three-blade whittler.  The large “Canoe” style bolsters that were integrated into this whittler is how the name of this incredible pocketknife is derived: <b>Can</b>oe-whi<b>ttler</b>; but be sure to double the “n” instead of the “t” if you want to spell it correctly.  The design goal here was to eliminate the wedge in the classic split back spring of a classic whittler.  Because the wedge tapers to a paper-thin point, it is nearly impossible to execute without leaving a gap where the springs meet.  Canal Street also strengthened the blade pivot and support with the oversized bolsters and super thickened the main blade, making it a uniquely powerful and compact.  The blade tangs are once again well recessed and rounded to give a non-snagging smooth action.  The springs are tapered to eliminate the wedge, and the liner is crimped to give the smaller blades an angle to open and close around the main blade without striking it.  The blades are Latrobe D2 Carbon Steel heat-treated to Rc 59-60 with a chunky 1054mil two-way flat ground main spear blade that is a compact 2¾” long.   The support at the tang leaves no wiggle when using the main blade with a side-to-side whittling motion and there is a built in finger rest on the rounded ends of the smaller blades where they meet the rounded liner edges.  

The Reclaimed American Chestnut wood handles were salvaged from a historic tobacco barn in Hopkinsville Kentucky and are stabilized with a drying agent and resin making them harder and more durable than bone.  In total this is an All-American classic with a comforting wood grained look surrounding a powerful compact durable blade with outstanding operating support.

Reclaimed American Chestnut Cannitler

<b>The Mosaic White Tail English Barlow</b>
The Canal Street English Barlow harks back to the origins of the pocketknife, and Barlows have long been a part of American legend and folklore that can be traced back to George Washington and Mark Twian’s Huckleberry Finn.  But this pocketknife while rooted in tradition incorporates one of the latest innovations in knife-making which has been pioneered by Canal Street Cutlery.  Introduced this year (2013) it is the first production pocketknife ever to incorporate a stainless steel bolster and to be made of “all stainless-steel construction.”    The process, invented by Dave Swinden has been considered one of the holy grails of the knife industry for at least a half century.

Put aside the innovation of this knife and look at it - because what you have is an outstandingly simple classic pocketknife, elegantly executed, with stunningly practical applications and true awesomeness.  It would be hard to leave this knife off the list of their best and it has already become a favored knife of many collectors.  The White Tail Mosaic handle process invented by Michael Pratt has wowed everyone who has sniffed it close up.

Mosaic Whitetail English Barlow

<b>The Jezebel Half Moon Trapper</b>
The last of our big five is simply known as Jezebel to many people, and Jezebel has had much written about her.  The Canal Street Half Moon Trapper is the basic single blade pocketknife made by Canal Street.  Revised three times in design she sports a 14-4 CrMo Latrobe Stainless Steel Clip Blade Hardened to a 59Rc (This steel is the equivalent of 154 CM or ATS 34).  It’s two-way flat ground and hand polished with a razor buff, and a beefy heat-treated thick stainless steel spring.  The bolsters and caps have been upgraded to stainless steel from nickel silver and the liners are also stainless steel.  This is just a great basic slip joint pocketknife.  The tang is well rounded and recessed with a smooth opening non-snagging walk, and a gentlemanly look.  The story of Jezebel is chronicled here on another blog we wrote (, but the long and short of it is that she may be the most well travelled, well written about personality in the Canal Street lineup.  She oozes charm and pocketknife seduction with a amber tortoise shell resin handle that glows in natural sunlight.

Jezebel Half Moon Trapper

So there you have it, the Best of Canal Street Cutlery. If you want to have a representative collection of Canal Street knives – these are the ones we think you should build your collection around. 

Michael Siegel
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Canal Street Cutlery has developed a reputation for making the finest, absolutely inspiring, pocket and hunting knives. They are custom quality knives made by master craftsmen at the forefront of their craft, and 100% hand assembled, hand-hafted, and hand-finished. They combine classic designs with enhanced blade technology. They custom buff and bevel all parts with radiuses engineered for classic comfort, and for exciting performance. They tool and dye their own parts to specifications that have raised the bar for the entire industry. They use premium edged blade steels, and inspiring natural and enhanced antler, bone, horn, pearl, stabilized woods, hardwoods and resins for handle materials. Each knife has its own soul, coded according to a key numbering system, serialized, and recorded in the factory record log, and a certificate of manufacture. Their hunting knife edges are sheathed in custom designed leather sheaths, wet fit to the knife, for a snug and tight fit. Every pocket knife is wrapped carefully in tissue with an individual velveteen jewelers pouch, and placed in an historically styled gift box, with a beautiful green and gold antiqued label. is based in Ellenville, and committed to supporting the production of Canal Street Cutlery's fine steel-edged products. We believe that they are part of man's history. They embellish, have reached new heights for the prehistoric inspiration of the cutting edge, and are one of the most important Cutlery Shops making knives today. Their knives can take you to unparalleled dreams of adventure, and we seek to bring you the joy of a finely made knife.
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New Item Now Specially Offered Through The Weekend - also buy any cannitler and get a $33 rebate
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Win A Free Canal Street Knife

Want the pleasure of owning one of the finest pocket or hunting knives made today?

Canal Street Cutlery harnesses the power of third and fourth generation cutlers, that have been making classic pocket knives in our area since the 1840's. They make them one at a time, by hand, in the oldest knife making factory building left in America. Using premium materials and old world artisanal craftsmanship, they make heirloom knives of stunning beauty and lasting quality.

People may think we are a little crazy, but we want to put these knives in your hands so bad that we have decided to give them away. Sign up here with a valid email address, and first and last name*, and each month of this year you will have the opportunity to win a Premium Handmade in the USA Limited Edition Canal Street Knife -- Absolutely Free!

People tell us they love winning our knives! They also love learning about their amazing quality. If you like pocket knives or hunting knives ~ you'll love Canal Street Cutlery ~ and you'll love us too.

Yes it's true ~ We are giving away $1,500 worth of Brand New - Premium - Limited Edition Handmade Canal Street Knives throughout this Calendar Year. We did it last year and had a lot of fun with it. Drawings are held on the first monday of each month. Eligible entrants* have supplied us with their legal first and last names, as well as their email address, and have not unsubscribed and/or bounced from our active email subscriber's list. Email and Facebook subscribers receive news of new knife releases and our special promotions in addition to being eligible to win a free knife each month.

*Please make sure we have clear and accurate email info and that you clearly include a valid first and last name when you sign up - we are not responsible if we and/or can't read your entry, nor are you eligible to win if we don't have, and/or you don't sign up with, your real, verifiable name, and if you fail to confirm your email address when receiving a request for confirmation in at the email address you provided. By signing up, entrant certifies that they are of legal age and can legally take possession of one of our knives. Registrant also gives permission to to forward them periodic emails of news and specials on our website at our discretion. Prize winners are notified via email.

 If we contact a winning registrant and they fail to respond promptly to our email announcement we reserve the right, to redraw and select a new winner. Upon such a redrawing the original winner's prize announcement shall be deemed vacated. Winners may not trade prizes. If prizes get damaged due to transport to and from shows we reserve the right to make an equivalent substitution.
See a list of our winners over the past year at the following link as well as a picture of the next knife that's up for grabs:
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I have been carrying a pocket knife from the age of nine on. You never know when you need to use a pocket knife, but everyone who carries one knows that they come in handy sometimes. They are not only a useful tool, but just knowing they are around is very comforting.

My first pocket knife was a Buck Ranger, with a wooden handle. I then went through a variety of Swiss Army Knives and their different blades and tools. Today I carry various Canal Street Cutlery knives.
I don't carry Canal Street Cutlery just because I sell them. I carry them because I understand what goes into the making of these knives. Each one is not only beautiful, but a puzzle that has been worked out by a master craftsman. They have singular details which give them an edge over the vast majority of knives made today. While they are production knives, they have many of the qualities we in the knife industry associate with a custom knife.

Nothing thrills me more than opening and closing a Canal Street Cutlery Moon Pie Trapper, and seeing the heated-treated stainless steel components shimmer with the blade movement. The sounds and feel of this knife, the Cannitler, the Half Moon, the Stockman, the Swell Center Jack, and the Single BladeTrailing Drop Point Hunter all reach a primal place inside of me. The heft and feel of their various knives all give me a sense of pride in their beauty and seeming simplicity.

When you talk knives with others, this Northern boy starts to drawl. It is a drawl born of swapping stories and experiences shaped by the individual who has adventured with a knife.

Free masons have a belief that they are constantly being shaped from a rough stone to a more polished stone inside. It is possible that this deep seated belief of a man's personal improvement through life and learning as embraced by freemasonry explains the attraction we have as a species to knives. Knives are a tool that allows us to change the look and surface of other materials using the blade in order to make them more useful or improve them. I believe that this is what makes them so vital to so many.
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Three years ago Canal Street Cutlery's Wally Gardiner hired a gang with crowbars and handsaws to go to Hopkinsville to deconstruct the Hoover Barn (pictured above) and save its 100 year old American Chestnut Wood. No one in the knife world had ever contemplated putting American Chestnut Wood on a knife, and the old timers just shook their heads as they watched Wally sort through all this wormy old wood that nobody in the world thought was worth saving. They were all fairly certain that Wally had lost his marbles. Then again, as the septenarians and octagenarians had all known Wally from the time he started in the knife business, very few were betting against him.

The following Spring, Wally was making smooth grained classic American knives with his Wormy American Chestnut Wood. This wood not only had beautiful character, but told a great story, and folks in the industry who saw it on knives had to have it. It started out as a limited edition of four hundred (400) knives, but the pressure grew enormous. Folks had to have this wood on their knives. A run of 400 turned into 600, and finally Wally gave in and decided that he would't limit the number anymore. Canal Street would keep making Chestnut Wood knives until the wood ran out.
The cutlers at Canal Street Cutler are showing electrifying improvement in the wood piece selection and the grainy beauty of this historic batch of Chestnut Wood. Even the most grizzled of the old timers will will now tell you that this wood makes extraordinary knife handles.

The early bird inventory we secured is long gone and replenished, and the 3¾" Pinch Lockback and Half Moon Trappers in Chestnut Wood are the most successful knives Canal Street has ever produced. They will not be around forever folks. If you haven't gotten one yet - you should make the move. These knives are destined for true classic Americana.

You can read more about it here:
You can find the popular Pinch Lockback model here:
and the Popular Half Moon Trapper model here:
You can own a real piece of American history when you own one of these knives.
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We shine up our knives for approximately 30 shows a year, and very often our customers seem surprised that their fingerprints stand out on the knife blade. “No Probem!’” we always say, “fingerprints are part of the deal,” and whip out our natural kid chamois and wipe the blade clean. Natural kid skin Chamois is our weapon of choice to clean blades. Our friends at the last tannery left in New York State make them just for us, and we thought we’d share with you why we are so happy to have our locally made chamois with us wherever we go.

Knife professionals all make it very clear that fingerprints on knife blades must be managed. Some even open blades by pivoting them by the sharp edge of the blade to avoid contact with their fingers. Nearly a thousand versions of written knife care instructions say: oil your blades and joints occasionally with a light sewing machine oil, and “wipe off fingerprints and moisture with a soft all cotton cloth, or chamois.” They explain that fingerprints contain acid which will cause corrosion.

Scientifically speaking, finger tips, in addition to what they pick up and then imprint on surfaces, have skin cells which consist of proteins and water. These proteins are mostly peptides. Each peptide is a complex chain of amino acids that contains DNA, hormones, and antibodies. The various peptides perform specific roles including maintaining the cell, cell-to-cell communications, and/or regulating chemical reactions. Three dimensional (3D) chains of sequenced amino acids, they chemically interact with everything they contact.

The peptide Demcidin – an antibody common in human sweat
When a fingertip comes into contact with a surface it may deposit thousands of different peptides, each ready to do battle to protect the skin. Peptides aggressively look to pick a chemical fight with your knife blade, and create chains of chemical reactions on contact. It is, therefore, very important that you wipe these suckers off efficiently – for while they help your body and your skin – they are by design at war with your knife blade.

Natural kid leather chamois has the needed surface textures and chemistry to wipe off peptide chemistry from your knife blade. This is why experienced knife makers have learned to prefer it.
Our local tannery has made a small amount of natural kid chamois available to us. They are made using a historic tanning process with all non-toxic vegetable based dyes, and have been cut to usable sizes. They are nothing like the chamois you will find anywhere else, soft, supple and ready to pull the genetic chemistry war off your knife blades. Use it to wipe off excess oils, dirt and polish as well.
Treat your knife blades like a knife professional. Fine Natural Kid Chamois is available for purchase @ the following link: .
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Knife Pass - The Story of Jezebel
Submitted by M Siegel on Sat, 02/23/2013 - 12:46

Here’s a great story about one of our pocketknives. It begins in May of 2012. We had sent Scott Rauber, the pocketknife blogger at, a Canal Street Cutlery 3¾” Kogut Amber Tortoise Shell Half Moon Trapper to review. Scott was so over the moon about this knife that he famously threatened to take it to bed with him, and give it “its own special pillow and little knife blanky!” in his review. After many similar ruminations he ended by ranking it on his “Steel Sahlute Scale” a “Perfect 10.”
Scott usually auctions off the knives that he reviews, but he ended up keeping this beauty, and three months later he was inspired by a cigar group he belongs to. They pass out a box of cigars around the country to participants who then write about their experience. He wondered out loud “What if this knife could talk?” about it’s adventures. So inspired, under his handle “TripleF” on AAPK/, he posted a thread called “Knife Pass,” and therein signed up a group of participants that agreed to play with his tortoise shelled baby for a week or two and then pass it along to the next person on the list, and to share their experiences; “whether we cut twigs for a marshmallow roast, or carried it to work or hunting with us, or used it to gut a duck, whatever.” So the journey of the knife I sent him from Ellenville, New York continued.

Scott Rauber's AAPK Knife Pass thread has had over 8,000 views, logged more than 600 posts over 40+ pages. The Canal Street Amber Tortoise Shell Trapper was named Jezebel or Jezzie by the participants after much discussion. Jez traveled back and forth, Coast to Coast, to 12 homes around the country. From Florida to JohnnieR in Arizona, then to Junebug in So. California, back to chetr1200c in New York, down to Donald (DRS) who fed her very well in North Carolina, over to On Edge in SE Virginia, then west and north to 313 Mike, who shared her with some Cheeseheads in Wisconsin, then to the banks of the Ohio River with whit107, up to Mike England in Michigan, down to Jody744 in Georgia, back to Orvet on the West Coast in Oregon who put her through her paces, then back east and south to RangerBlueDog in Tennessee.

They examined her, cut stuff up with her, cut into things, shaved things, sliced things, carved things, whittled things, thrown her, dropped her, propped her up, posed her, eaten with her, tucked her in, unwrapped stuff, taken her on their travels, for walks, for rides, witnessed calamities with her, unpacked and repacked her, photographed and videoed her, blogged and written about her, and sharpened and re-sharpened her all giving their opinions as well as admiring her beauty. She made her last stop with knifegirl in Western Pennsylvania before she was returned back to Scott in Florida.

Donald, DRS, took a stunning photo of her while Jezebel stayed with him in North Carolina. It’s a picture I love because not only was Donald able to show her in a light I’d never seen before (she positively glows), but he also captured her just as she was at the time, with the evidence of use infused throughout her, and still showing off her integrity, and an innate beauty, after being put through her paces.

The story of a pocketknife is generally the story of the travels of the person who carries her in their pocket and uses her. There is a primal magic at work when you unfold it from your pocket and she becomes useful. Useful in a way that traces its roots back to a moment of prehistoric man’s invention. We all share that moment in our common experience of using a knife to cut things.
Carrying a Canal Street knife raises the level of that common experience to a rare experience. So few of them are made, and so few knives are made anymore that aim for the old world quality and integrity of Canal Street. Wally Gardiner often says his Canal Street knives are made to last the owner’s lifetime and their grand child’s lifetime. How many things are made today with that in mind?
If you want to read the unedited, unbiased story of Jezebel and her travels you can find it at the following link at

…by the way, we still have a couple, but only a couple, of Jezies left in case you are interested - see Donald's photo and acquire one here ( ) to  see what all the fuss is about  ; )
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