Rambo Knife Definitive Guide

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When it came to movie collectables Rambo Knives was a category of its own. The popularity of the knives that were used in this Sylvester Stallone action film series was not attributed to the fact that these were props used in the movie alone. They became even more sought after because of the story behind these knives, including how they were handpicked by Sylvester Stallone himself and how they were made by particular knife makers and how each knife varied in design in each film in the series.

The movie Rambo was based off a novel by David Morrell published in 1972. It was then turned into a movie by Carolco Pictures in 1980, but with a couple of changes. Unlike the book where Rambo did not have a knife and died in the end, the main character in the movie (played by Stallone) carried with him a large survival knife which eventually became as famous as the actor who fashioned it.

Stallone himself was a knife enthusiast, which is most like why he personally approached knife makers Jimmy Lile and Gil Hibben to design and produce the custom knives used in the movies. It was Jimmy Lile who designed and made the first two of the series while Gil Hibben did the same for the third and fourth.

Lile’s first design was the Original Rambo Knife for the “First Blood” movie. It had 14 saw teeth and was designed with the thought of what a person would need in a survival knife in mind. When the knife for the second movie was approved with its being slightly larger than the first, it was dubbed as the “Mission”, after the title of part II of the series. Soon enough the Rambo II Knife – Non Signature Edition went out on the market for enthusiasts.

When Stallone was not satisfied with Lile’s designs for the third movie, Gil Hibben came into the picture and designed and made the knives for the third and fourth film, which became the bases for the Rambo III Movie Knife – 20th Anniversary Edition and the Rambo 4 Movie Knife – Standard Edition, respectively. Nevertheless, all versions of the Rambo movie knives were very popular to any collectors.

Rambo uses the accessories in the handle to sew up a wound and find his way (with the compass) — he even kills a deer with the knife (tied to a shaft to make a spear). After all this great exposure, who wouldn’t want one?

The Three Rambo Style Hunting Knives

After three movies, there are actually three different hunting knives that could properly be called Rambo style. The first movie features a stainless steel, 9 inch blade (14 inch overall), full guard, saw-back knife with a corded, hollow handle (for all the goodies). Not really shown in the movie (and a bit of Rambo knife trivia) is the Phillips and flat-headed screwdriver blades — one on each end of the blade guard.

The second movie (Rambo, First Blood part 2) used a very similar knife with a blackened carbon steel blade. The blade is another inch longer than the first (at 10 inches sharpened), making this Rambo style knife 15 2/8 inch overall.

The last movie in the series features a much more radical design. This Rambo style hunting knife leaves off the hollow handle with the survival stuff and replaces the corded grip with solid wood. Gone too are the screwdriver points on the guard. The blade is stainless steel, thicker and wider than before, with a blood channel. The saw back is toned down. Of course, the trend for a longer blade continues with a now 13 inch blade (18 inches overall).

Utility

So, are these Rambo style hunting knives actually usable? Yes, mostly. The one feature that seems less than choice is the saw back. The sharp edged teeth aren’t really practical for cutting much of anything. A knife isn’t a saw. The proper way to cut a small branch with a knife is to chop, or, cut out chunks of wood by placing the knife edge against the branch and hitting the backside with a rock, driving it in. None of these are robust enough for that little job.

Pricing

Officially licensed Rambo Style hunting knives are costly. For fans, this isn’t a problem. For anyone interested in simply a functional hunting/survival knife, it would be wise to shop around based on features instead of movie credentials.

Collecting knives is one of the most exciting hobbies that I have been fortunate to be a part of for quite some time. I guess I was inspired by great manufacturers like Case Knives, Buck Knives, Gerber Knives and so many more. But, one of the coolest survival type knives to ever hit the market, in my humble opinion, has got to be the original Rambo knife.

The original Rambo knife was inspired by Sylvester Stallone and created by a professional knife maker. This genre of knife was something I loved as a kid and owned several different versions growing up. Being a collector of the original Rambo knives is very exciting for me.

Being a Rambo knife collector, one must pay attention to the market and what is coming out. Many of these knives can grow quite valuable, but many are complete flops and should be avoided completely, unless you are like me and do not mind having a drawer full of cool but valueless knives.

Display your collectible knives proudly. Being the owner of an original Rambo knife is a proud thing in itself and your collector’s knife should be shown off. Set yourself up a shadow box with illumination and hang it on the wall over the mantle or amongst a few Rambo posters. Trust me; this makes an excellent conversation piece.

The Rambo knife is something that you should plan to hang onto for awhile. These movie themed knives do go up in value over time. Do not expect this knife to skyrocket in value as soon as you purchase it or anytime immediately afterwards. These knives take time to appreciate.

Hang onto your original Rambo knife for good five or ten years. That is when you will start to see the value go up. Owning collectible knives is much like buying long term stocks. Fight the urge to check the value every week or even every month. Display your collectible knife and just sit back and enjoy it. The value will come.

There are a few companies and custom knife makers who create original Rambo knives. Try to purchase a few. Do not stick to one manufacturer or one custom knife maker. Owning a good knife collection requires diversity and a variety of different knives of the same type from different makers whether they are manufactured or custom made.

Keep your original Rambo knife maintained. I would not recommend sharpening the blade as that instantly kills the value. Keep your knife mint as possible. However, you do want to clean it every now and then and absolutely lubricate it with oil. As soon as corrosion sets in, you are going to lose a significant amount of value. And trust me on this; a collector can tell if your knife has ever rusted or oxidized. They know what to look for.

Collecting knives and more specifically, collecting a variety of the original Rambo knife can be very fulfilling, exciting and cool should you take your time and take care of your blades. Most Americans recognize the name Rambo as a fictional character in a series of action movies. These movies are modern classics. The myth could be about a number of things, but it the movies are certainly popular. Replicas of the original Rambo knives in the movies have become popular collectors items.

There is not just one Rambo knife, because he used many knives in the series of movies. Souvenir versions of each of the movie knives have been made. Both official and counterfeit knives are easy to find. Only the official ones are guaranteed to be high quality.

Survival knives have been around for awhile, but the first Rambo movie, First Blood, has a knife that led to improvement of their design. The heavy blade is made of stainless steel with sawteeth cut into the top.The handle is hollow, providing a convenient waterproof stash. A compass is visible in the non magnetic screw on handle cap.

The knife for Rambo: First Blood Part II is similar to the knife for the first movie. It is a somewhat larger black survival knife. The other characteristics are mostly unchanged.

For Rambo III, a substantially different design was used. This knife is an even larger bowie knife. It has a solid stainless steel guard and a solid wood handle.

Rambo, the fourth movie, has a fascinating plot twist involving Rambo’s knife. At the beginning of the movie, he has the Rambo III bowie knife that he soon loses. He has to quickly fabricate a new one using materials at hand. He forges a piece of spring steel into something more like a machete than a conventional knife. The rather crude but extremely effective blade has its handle wrapped in cord.

All of these knives exist in multiple versions. Those with money to burn can buy one signed by Sylvester Stallone. A blade with John Rambo’s signature also exists, one could speculate on how they managed that. It can be almost impossible for the average collector to tell which ones are authentic. One should be cautious about buying one from an unknown party.

These can be fun and rewarding to collect, particularly for someone who is fond of good knives. One can have an outstanding knife that is a cultural icon. Rambo knives can be fun to own. The Rambo Movies are classics of modern American culture. One could debate what the Rambo myth actually represents, but without question it is one that has attracted a lot of interest. Many people have developed an interest in the official Rambo knives as collectors items.

Rambo uses different knives in each movie. Thus, different souvenir knives have been issued for each movie. The official souvenir knives have always been high quality products. However, there have also been quite a few counterfeits on the market. Only the authentic official knives are reliably well made.

Survival knives have been around for awhile, but the first Rambo movie, First Blood, has a knife that led to improvement of their design. The heavy blade is made of stainless steel with sawteeth cut into the top.The handle is hollow, providing a convenient waterproof stash. A compass is visible in the non magnetic screw on handle cap.

The knife for Rambo: First Blood Part II is similar to the knife for the first movie. It is a somewhat larger black survival knife. The other characteristics are mostly unchanged. Because of the intense popularity of Bowie knives, you’ll find a wide range of different styles. In fact, there are so many different types, that it can be hard to tell what is real and what is not. For instance, you’ll find knives from the Rambo movies that are derivatives of the Bowie knife, but feature a serrated back (spine). You’ll find “Bowie” style machetes, as well. The real determining factor in the equation is your own personal tastes. For instance, if you are a purist, then the Rambo and Predator editions are certainly out of the running for true Bowie status.

This begs the question, what will a purist accept as a Bowie knife? The answer is actually pretty simple. The blade should be at least six inches in length, though they can be 12 or more inches long, as well. The blade should also be single-edged, with no serrations along the blade’s spine. The tip of the blade should also be clipped; that is, the tip should be lower than the spine (this is a trademark feature of Bowie knives). In addition, the knife should have an S shaped cross guard, with the upper guard tilted toward the point of the knife and the lower guard angled toward the butt of the knife.

The classic look is what most purists accept as a true Bowie knife, though even here, there is much disparity. Some collectors even accept Sheffield Bowies as true Bowie knives (these feature a sharpened back curve on the point, where the clipped portion curves up to meet the knife’s spine).

Rambo III moves away from the survival knife design. The new knife is a bowie knife larger than either of the survival knives. Both the stainless steel guard and the wooden handle are solid.

Rambo, the fourth movie, has a fascinating plot twist involving Rambo’s knife. At the beginning of the movie, he has the Rambo III bowie knife that he soon loses. He has to quickly fabricate a new one using materials at hand. He forges a piece of spring steel into something more like a machete than a conventional knife. The rather crude but extremely effective blade has its handle wrapped in cord.

There are a number of different editions of these knives. For a higher price, versions signed by Stallone, or even John Rambo can be had. It can be very difficult to tell which ones are authentic and which ones are cheap copies. After all, certificates of authenticity can be forged! This is a case where caveat emptor, let the buyer beware, is the operative phrase. Study the situation before spending your money.

These can be fun and rewarding to collect, particularly for someone who is fond of good knives. One can have an outstanding knife that is a cultural icon. Rambo knives can be fun to own.

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