I’m a gun guy by profession, so of course by nature that means I also like sharp, pointy things.
Like many of us, I use my blades for daily tasks from cutting and slicing to dressing animals and possibly as life-saving devices. I don’t spend much time in the deep, dark forests of exotic lands, unlike my esteemed colleague Jeff Randall. However, I do spend a lot of time in the woods and fields of Michigan and Canada hunting, camping, and generally wandering about (read “lost”). On my last bear hunt with archery gear in the wilds of Saskatchewan, I thought about the blades I had, wished I had, and what was absolutely necessary.
I soon recognized that while in remote camps, I require a large “workhorse” knife to handle everyday tasks such as chopping, prying and clearing brush from the tracks and trails, building ground blinds and possible bear defenses, and a sister blade for lighter duties and general camp chores.
On returning to civilization, a quick search around cyberland revealed a diversity of choices and one clearly outstanding option. Grayman Knives offers exactly the blades I’d been seeking.
As the owner of the company explained to me, the blades in the Suenami line are made from ¼-inch thick 1095 steel. He likes 1095 for its toughness for chopping and prying chores, as well as its ability to take and hold an edge well.
All of Grayman’s knives are either full double- or single-bevel (chisel) ground, as these two types of grinds perform really well on his knives. Offering either a double or single bevel offers superior versatility to the end user.
Suenamis are crafted in three different sizes in order to fulfill a variety of chore and carry options. The Suenami 7 is a menacingly large knife (13.5 inches overall), and heavy enough to be used for chopping, splitting and global chaos.
The rugged Suenami 5 can perform most camp and primitive-skills tasks and is sufficiently compact for easier carry, whether on the body or in a daypack.
The Suenami 4 is still a very strong knife, but lends itself more readily to everyday carry.
All three have a slight recurve to give them plenty of belly for tasks like skinning and slicing, and the spine profile is designed to allow you to choke up on the blade for finer detail tasks like caping, scoring, splitting fibers for twine, etc. The textured grips are G-10, but the handle scales are also available in smooth Micarta. The blades are coated with GunKote to prevent rust and corrosion.
Given that the cost of some single custom showpieces is as much as this entire series, I ordered all three of the blades.
Anticipating my next question, Grayman’s owner quickly enlightened me regarding the unique names for his exceptional blades. “The Suenamis are named after my beautiful wife,” he said. “She’s gentle like water, but strong like a force of nature, so Suenami is her nickname. It seemed like a great name for a trio of strong, well-balanced knives that are characterized by flowing lines in both the blades and handles.”
Grayman Knives is strictly a twoperson company. “My wife does our website, makes our leather sheaths, and keeps us running, while I do the knife grinding and designing,” he elaborated. “For our first four years, we sold to military, law enforcement and military contractors only. After I began to slow down on other projects and travel less, I found I had more time to devote to knife making, so we made our knife sales open to everyone, with military getting priority.
“I have spent a considerable amount of time overseas, particularly in Africa, in primitive conditions, and began to form opinions on what I liked in knives, particularly large all-around tool and survival blades. This inspired me to start making prototypes, and Grayman Knives was born. We do all of our business by email and Internet through our website.”
Perceptive readers may have noticed a distinct lack of biographical information on the creator of Grayman Knives. This was not accidental. An examination of the company’s website will uncover all the reader requires for vetting. And the bottom line is that Grayman’s superiorquality knives speak for themselves.