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All knives include a hand-stitched, wet formed sheath. Ask for more pictures of these if interested.

See bottom of page for description.

Shipping and insurance is $9.00 in the US






About Ray Rantanen

About Damascus

Current Damascus Knives

Current Carbon Steel Knives

Current Railroad Spike Knives

Throwing Hawks

Horseshoe Knives

Kitchen Knives

Knife Styles For Ordering

Totem Poles

Misc. Items

Knife Maintenance

Customer Comments

Where To Order


Current Railroad Spike Knives



Large railroad spike, 7 1/2 inch blade, 11 3/8 inches overall. Handle is twisted. Carving style point-Great for carving, camp, butcher, survival, defense. Comes with a sheath--very unique $189






This is a great all around style bowie from a large spike. Blade is 6 3/4  inches and is 11 1/4 inches overall, The handle is beautiful zebrawood.  Very unique. Feels great lots of authority. Comes with a sheath. Ask for more pics of this one  $189.


A beauty!!!- a large spike knife with a clip point blade of 5 inches, 9 1/4 inches overall. Comes with a sheath. The handle is beautiful bocote hardwood.  $160 postage and insurance $9




My first spike knife was made in the summer of 1990.  It was made as a lark and turned out to be more than expected.  After hardening and tempering, the blade would shave hair and cut through steel rivets by pounding on the back with a hammer and still remained shaving sharp.  Many experiments were performed to determine the best quenching medium for hardening and the tempering colors that gave the best edge.

The goal was to make a reasonably priced knife that would perform as well as higher priced knives and was unique.  Currently old spikes are used that show a particular spark when ground that definitely is not mild steel. Some of the railroad spikes used are higher in carbon near .55 to .6 %.  These spikes have a designation H C somewhere on the head, it stands for “hard core”. They have a higher carbon content than regular spikes. These were typically used on curves and switch yards where a tougher spike was required.

RR spikes vary a lot in the carbon content- I have found about 45 different spikes. I spark test them against known carbon content bars of carbon steel. They range from about .25% up to near .60%. By trying different quench mediums to harden them I have them able to cut through mild steel rivets on the anvil with no deformation or chipping. Of the thousands of RR spikes knives I have made- none have been reported not to do the job intended for them. The proof of any knife is if it performs for the job it was designed and hardened for. They also make excellent wood chisels and scorps for wood carving if tempered correctly. 

After shaping and grinding, the blade is normalized then heated to a hardening temperature and quenched in quenching oil. Spikes with lower carbon content are quenched either in water or brine. The result is a knife that is hard on the cutting edge and softer in the back and handle area. The cutting edge has tested at a Rockwell C scale hardness of 55 to 58 and the blade back and tang at 40.

The finished product is available in many blade styles.   Laminated Birch wood slabs or elk and deer antler attached on each side of the handle with the spike head polished to a bright luster makes an attractive knife.  Popular styles are trailing point, drop point, skinners, Clip point and fillet/boning knives. The head of the spike on the end of the handle is great for cleaning the blood along the backbone of large fish. It also allows a positive grip when drawing the knife from the sheath.

The sheaths are made by sewing along the blade edge with a welt in between to keep the blade from hitting the stitching.  They are all hand stitched from quality vegetable tanned leather.

Small narrow gauge or mine rail spikes make excellent neck knives. These small knives can be worn on a thong around the neck or on a belt.  The popular blade shapes are a straight point, drop point or a trailing point. These also make an excellent belt buckle knife.

The total package is an affordable, durable, unique knife of almost any blade shape. They make a good backup knife for skinning or other unique applications or make a good everyday knife that performs well.  Reports indicate they out perform many commercial knives for sharpness, edge holding and ease of sharpening the convex ground blade.

Handle choices vary from antler to natural woods and the very beautiful laminated birch. If desired the handle can be made by twisting the spike and polishing instead of laminating handle materials on the sides of the flattened area. Write, call, or email if you have questions or a special request.  My email is

I have been forging iron, steel and knives since 1974.  My products are different than most you will encounter. My doctorate degree in physics from WSU has helped immensely in understanding the complex task of forging, hardening and tempering steel.