NOLEN KNIVES are designed and made with the
serious hunter in mind. Our most important objective is to make a
knife that will give you a lifetime of service. A knife is nothing
more than a tool that was meant to be used. However, we realize that
many collectors have and will continue to purchase our knives. We
appreciate this very much, but ask you to understand that our knives are
primarily a working tool not an object of art.
We started making knives as a hobby in
about 1968 for our own personal use. Then as the demand grew we
found ourselves making knives for sportsmen and collectors all over the
world. We have shipped knives to some fifteen foreign countries and
every state in the Union.
However, increased demand has not been
through our efforts alone. Our customers have been responsible for
much of the evolution that has taken place in the knives we make
today. Their suggested changes and improvements have resulted in a
better NOLEN KNIFE.
We would like to thank all of our "compadres"
in the knifemaking fraternity who have helped in so many ways, and
specifically Jimmy Lile, and Clyde Fischer.
And a special "thanks" to the
following gentlemen in the publishing industry, without whose help our work
might have gone unnoticed:
B. R. Hughes
John Wootters (Peterson's
Jack Lewis (Gun World)
Jim Carmichel (Outdoor Life)
Jim Woods (Peterson Publishing
Mel Tappan (Guns and Ammo)
George Martin (The American
Ken Elliot ( Peterson's
The heart of any knife and the true test of
its worth is the steel in the blade and the resulting temper of that
We have chosen two steels that we feel
contain the most desirable characteristics for a hunting knife. They
are D-2 and 440C. Since we use the knives we make and have tested
these steels in the field, we are confident in our selection.
D-2 is a
high carbon tool steel whose toughness and wear resistance give
outstanding edge holding ability. Yet it has just enough
chromium to make it stain and rust resistant. However, it will
rust, so it does require a little care.
considered a "stainless steel", but it is also a high carbon
tool steel. It contains enough chromium to make it highly
resistant to corrosion. When tempered properly, 440C will hold
an edge well and requires very little care.
The tempering or heat treating of the
steel, regardless of the type steel used, is the real secret to the
quality of any knife. We prefer to temper our own blades and do so
in a furnace especially made for this purpose.
We use a Rockwell Hardness Tester to check
every blade we temper. A hardness of C57 to C60 is achieved
depending on which steel we are using. A point or two lower and the
blade would have to be sharpened more frequently. Raise the hardness
figure much above C60 and, while it would hold an edge longer, the blade
will be almost impossible to sharpen.
On this subject of hardness and
edge-holding ability let us hasten to add that these two steels, D-2 and
440C, are not some "miracle" steels. The knives we make
will get dull. They will not hold an edge forever and they are hard
to sharpen, but not impossible to sharpen.
The edge holding ability of a knife will
vary from one user to another, depending on how sharp the knife is to
start with, and HOW and on WHAT it is used. We will do our best to
make you a knife that will fill your needs and of which we can both be
This website has been designed to help you
in the selection of your NOLEN KNIFE. Many of the different knives we make
are illustrated herein along with a brief description of each knife.
For more information or to send us your input please use our FEEDBACK
It would help us immensely if you would
CALL US WITH YOUR QUESTIONS. If your knife order is as important to
you as it is to us it should be worth a PHONE CALL to make sure it's
All of our blade and handle designs are
made with an eye towards function and efficiency in operation. In
regard to blade design we feel that there is no one design that will do
every job or satisfy the needs and desires of every hunter. A knife
can be a very personal thing. As a result we make a wide variety of
blade shapes and sizes.
We also offer several different handle
styles with the objective being comfort, fit, and serviceability. A
knife should fit your hand and be comfortable to use.
We sincerely appreciate your interest in
our knives and look forward to being of service to you in the very near