Tactical Knives Book Reviews

The Hammer Still Rings: Ruana Knives By Frank Towsley It…

The Hammer Still Rings: Ruana Knives By Frank Towsley

It has been 16 years since Frank Towsley published his first book, Hear the Hammer: The Story of Montana’s Ruana Knives, covering the legendary custom knife company of the same name. When it comes to the history of Ruana, Frank has long been the acknowledged expert on the subject and his second book confirms this beyond anyone’s possible doubt. There are 1,700 photos, most in color, of Ruana knives made between 1930 and 2011. As with any true custom product, the company has produced endless variations and special order versions of practically ever model in the line. I found the story of the unique skinner made for an Air Force unit of game wardens on post on a military base in Alaska to be especially interesting. Now there is a U.S issue knife I bet few collectors are aware of!

If you already collect Ruana knives, there are pages of details on the blades, handles and the sheaths that will allow you to accurately date your prize specimens. In some cases, you will even be able to determine which smith in the shop actually forged your knife.

Having actually carried a Ruana Bowie in combat, I may be a little prejudiced, but I feel this company has stayed closer to the original concept of a custom knife as a superior cutting tool than most. They may not have the flash of many more recent makers’ blades, but through thick or thin, they have always gotten the job done. It’s a must-have book for lovers of real working knives.

Soft cover, 296 pages, $125
P.O. Box 453, Dept. TK
Richland, WA 99352

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  • I own and love the Leather Bound addition of the “Hammer Still Rings” by Frank Towsley.

    I am a Ruana owner and am intrigued by the rich history, tradition, and craftsmanship handed down through the Ruana family. This American institution of unparalleled knife makers are elegantly laid out in every page of this fantastic book.

    This is a “must own” for ALL knife aficionados.