Holdsworth Hunt Knives

I'm always deeply encouraged by the efforts of local communities to support local manufacture, consumption and identity — and the idea of localism generally. Frome Independent organises a monthly market in the pleasant Somerset town of Frome, and it's a splendid and highly popular affair.  The market showcases 'fledgling and established contemporary designers & makers' and 'independent local, seasonal and regional food and drink producers'.

A more local world
Frome market traders are also involved with the local Pixie payment and loyalty scheme, the aim of which is to 'create a more local world'.

On my last visit to the market, as well as finding some excellent biltong made by a South African expat — devoured before I returned home — I came across a stall for Holdsworth Hunt Knives of Frome. Holdsworth knives are made in a workshop in the town. Localism beyond comparison.

Up close, Holdsworth knives are stunning. You can see and feel the quality of the materials and workmanship. Ed Holdsworth Hunt is the cutler. He was on the stall that day. Never got a chance to speak — chewing biltong — but from the look of Ed's hands, he really puts in the effort to creating his knives. His knives really should be in drawers of the best country sports shops in the land, and in the hands of the best country sportsmen.
Don't leave home without one
Regular readers will know I'm a fan of pocket folding knives. I rarely leave home without one. Ed makes some excellent friction folders, usually to order.

Friction folder?
A friction folding knife doesn't have a lock or a spring, but uses friction between the handle, and a tang at the back of the blade to keep it open. Ed's friction folders come in different sizes. As he tends to make to order, you can choose the handle material, the lining and blade finish. The blades are made from 01 grade tool steel. Not only that, but you can choose the pivot pin colour and the colour of the stitching for the waxed leather sheath the knife comes with.

Pole & Hunt Forged Knives

Ed also works with Alex Pole to create tools for food preparation. Alex forges steel blades at his nearby smithy and Ed crafts them into cleavers and knives. They try to use local materials where possible for their Pole & Hunt Field and Fork collections.

The Field Dressing set (below) is designed for preparing small game in the wild. Within the waxed leather roll you get a cleaver, friction folder, skinning knife and a ferro rod.

How can a cleaver be so beautiful? 
The blades are forged using British high carbon steel. Over his anvil, Alex profiles the steel and tempers it to make it super hard. I like how the top of the blades are left naturally rough-hewn. I think you can appreciate the amount of workmanship more. And it contrasts wonderfully with the smooth, sharpened edge. How can a cleaver be so beautiful?


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