When I hear the term “handmade” I immediately think of well made. There is a level of quality that can only be had by hand craftsmanship. Machines and computers are amazing and necessary, but can’t produce the same look or feel in a product that a craftsman can achieve by hand. A true artisan can give his product the attention it needs to make sure everything is just right. He can feel and see the product. He can consider his concept and the intricacies of his media and materials. A craftsman can combine his imagination and ingenuity to infinite possibility.
You can usually tell when you see a handmade item. Handmade things are hardly ever aesthetically perfect. People are not machines and can’t be expected to maintain the same level of consistency and accuracy, but it’s ok. It’s more than ok. We understand that this is the case and appreciate the inconsistencies. Some consider the handmade look to be warm and comforting. Others may appreciate the one-of-a-kind factor. We see these imperfect products as beautiful because we know that those characteristics bring a higher level of functional quality and unique design.
Certainly high-production, factory made knives and tools are necessary. They are cost efficient and are capable of producing very high quality products. However, they are produced for the general masses in astounding quantity. In many cases quantity and marketing are the main focus as quality control is forgotten. Many budget brands make cost efficiency such a priority that the quality of materials and production are a joke. The opposite is true with a handmade item whose craftsman invested countless hours to make, not to mention the countless years he invested to learn the craft.
Bushcraft and survival tools are no exception. Yes, there are many very high quality and affordable factory made bushcraft knives and tools. Many of them are listed throughout this site. But, they get plenty of attention from me and the rest of the world already. Today, I’m talking about handmade bushcraft and survival knives and tools because not enough people are. As I toil through the various forms of social media, I see the same thing over and over; beautiful tools made and solicited by gifted craftsmen, posted anywhere and everywhere. Bushcraft and survival tool makers and other craftsmen offer their goods wherever they can; Ebay, Etsy, Pinterest, Facebook, etc. This works, but only so well and is time consuming and expensive. This shotgun marketing approach is inefficient and the solicitations are often misplaced and not welcome, leaving the brand with a bad rapport. The places that do welcome the solicitation are usually already flooded with other seller, leaving seller to market to other sellers. If the advertisement does happen to make it in front of a potential buyer, it’s often automatically ignored as it blends in with the rest of the spam.
Unfortunately, there aren’t many other options. It’s practically impossible for an individual tool maker to compete with big corporations and their big-budget marketing campaigns. In order to make it today, artisans have to work together as a community to become a large enough entity to compete. They must function as a community to gain the attention of the marketplace. This is exactly what we are determined to accomplish.
I love handmade bushcraft tools, gear and accessories and I want to see more of it. Not only do I think the craftsman is an extremely important aspect of the bushcraft, survival or any community and want to help them thrive, but because I want access to more handmade gear and I’m willing to bet you do too. There is something to be said about gear made by the people that are out there doing it themselves. Gear designed from experience by people who know what it takes.
Currently, there isn’t a dedicated place for people to go to find handmade bushcraft or survival tools or to find their favorite craftsman. People like me are forced to spend time reading through old posts in random forums and aimlessly poking around social media until we find what we’re looking for or give up. This is I have created Bushcraftsmen.com. Bushcraftsmen.com is home for the handmade bushcraft and survival community. It is a place where a knife maker, woodcarver, leatherworker, etc. can set up shop and reach the world enabling them to focus on their craft, leaving the marketing to us. It’s a marketplace specifically for handcrafted and custom bushcraft and survival equipment, but it’s much more than that. Like I said, I believe that the bushcraft and survival enthusiasts need to act as a community, which is what Bushcraftsmen.com will provide. In addition to online stores and auctions, Bushcraftsmen.com will host a database of videos, articles, images, diagrams and other bushcraft and survival information, tips, tricks and how-to’s. Bushcraftsmen.com will support an open forum giving the community a place to converse, discuss, ask questions, give advice and stay connected with their peers.
I love working with Bushcraftsmen, it’s craftsmen and the bushcraft community and appreciate the overwhelming support. Please feel free to contact me with any questions or comments at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also, if you are interested in selling handmade or custom bushcraft or survival knives, tools or gear, please sign up to do so here: https://bushcraftsmen.com/pages/vendor-sign-up.