I first met Steve Woods a few years ago at the SHOT Show, where he was introduced to me as one of the best gun and knife photographers in the industry. (If you’re a regular reader of Tactical Knives, you’ve seen his outstanding work whether you know it or not.) Months later, I was talking with some competitive shooters who mentioned an IPSC (International Practical Shooting Confederation) Grand Master shooter named Steve Woods and asked me if I knew of him. I also heard about an up-and-coming knifemaker named Steve Woods who was blowing people away with the outstanding quality of both his forged and stock-removal blades. Coincidence? Hardly. It turns out that we were all referring to the same guy.
To put it simply, Steve Woods is one of the most talented and versatile folks I’ve ever met. Extremely driven, he is passionate about all his interests and refuses to do anything halfway. And his best-known knife design, the “Hide Fighter,” is a perfect example of that commitment.
The original concept of the Hide Fighter was to produce a semi-custom knife that incorporated all the design features preferred by savvy field soldiers—particularly snipers. To do this, Woods, who is also a talented long-range rifle shooter, became an active participant in the forums on Sniper’sHide.com. He posted his original design concept and drawings on the forum and invited the forumites to offer their insights. Over a period of several weeks and many posts, Woods incorporated the insights of the forum contributors and refined the design. Once he was satisfied with it, he produced a small run of them, got them out into the field, and encouraged even more feedback based on actual use.