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Balisong Discussions Customs to productions, discussions about balisongs/butterfly knives, what's the best and how to do those crazy tricks.

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  #1  
Old 11-28-2006, 11:13 PM
ninjaman ninjaman is offline
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tradional filipino bali's

i really prefere the looks of the tradional style balisongs, with the wood/ bone inserts and what not. does this mean i have to go to a pawn shop to get a nice handmade bali like this? how much am i looking at paying for one? i have also seen nice tradional japanese balisongs, but they dont really compare...

i found these, they look nice but there production, do you think these were made like the handmade ones that are incredibly sharp or were these factory made? http://www.balisongworld.com/catalog...&DeptID=193790
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  #2  
Old 11-29-2006, 09:58 AM
ExamonLyf ExamonLyf is offline
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You can certainly pick up a nice FHM (Filipino Handmade) for a reasonable price.., but I'm not sure I understand you're whole question, or perhaps maybe just your perspective?

Those knives you pictured are made in the Philippines. In fact I know some of the folks that make them, and they are "handmade"...., meaning NOT "Production Knives". Keep in mind that both hand ground custom knives (from anywhere), range in quality a great deal, and that HOW the blade is produced does not necessarily indicate SHARP. There are some incredibly sharp production knives out there of all sorts, so getting a Filipino Handmade does not guarantee sharpness, it simply means the profiling and grinding were not done by a machine. A machine ground blade can be every bit as sharp as any custom given good edge dynamics to work with, so I wasn't clear on that part of your question.

Also.., every aspect of the quality regarding FHM's will vary a great deal depending on where you buy the knife, who made it.., etc. Not all Filipino handmades are GREAT, and they certainly aren't all scary sharp. In fact, some have very poor edge geometry, making re-sharpening difficult unless your skill level is high and you have good equipment.

They range from quite rough in fit and finish.., to very nice, but you have to search around some to find the very best ones ~~> which is a workout these days.

The best FHMs I've seen were made in the 10-12 years following WWII.., and they are fairly hard to come by, but not impossible to get on the secondary market.

I'd suggest looking -HERE- to start. Armand Palacio owns this site, and lives in Manila. Most of the knives shown are handmade, and not too pricey. The blade material is almost all 1095, but now and then you'll see a few with 5160 ~~> also a non-stainless high carbon steel. Both these steels hold an excellent edge given a good heat treatment, and both have a long history in the cutlery industry all over the world.

Part of the line he sells has machined handles, which you'll see on the site, but you will find what most would consider the typical/traditional FHMs you'd see as a tourist visiting the Philippines (U-Channel folded brass handles with indigenous materials used for inserts), and his prices are fairly reasonable.

Good luck with it...


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Last edited by ExamonLyf; 11-29-2006 at 10:18 AM.
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  #3  
Old 11-29-2006, 07:15 PM
ninjaman ninjaman is offline
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thank you, that helped very much! i just like the look over the FHM's alot more.. do you know if those companies (the one i listed and the one you listed) ship to california? what are the laws regarding bali's in cali? i notice you are also from cali.
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  #4  
Old 11-29-2006, 09:22 PM
ExamonLyf ExamonLyf is offline
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Shipping Balisongs into California (from anywhere) is illegal.

Like most vague and ambiguous legal babble.., it's not illegal to OWN a Balisong here, but it is illegal to carry one with a blade 2" or over (i.e., 1 15/16" blade length is OK).....

The same silly law pertains to automatic knives as well, and they both basically fall under the "Switchblade and gravity knife" rulings back in the early 80's.

I'm not going to discuss how to get around Customs Laws on any Forum.., simply because it does the hobby no good at all. Needless to say.., if Customs Officials in the Philippines identify a Balisong knife in a package..., it's "Bye-Bye".., and they will keep it..., no doubt about that ~~> been there done that....

My suggestion is to hang around some of the major Balisong Forums on the Internet, as many folks have quite a few FHMs that get traded and sold.

Hope you find one you like....


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  #5  
Old 11-29-2006, 11:05 PM
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Messinger Messinger is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ExamonLyf
if Customs Officials in the Philippines identify a Balisong knife in a package..., it's "Bye-Bye".., and they will keep it..., no doubt about that ~~> been there done that....
Well I didn't pick up anything fancy - just palenke (street market) balis, but they all made it home in my checked bags. This was back in '92. Guess I was lucky.

-Ben

Edited to add: Oh, I bet you meant mail packages. Yeah, I never got much much to show up at point B that way. : (

Last edited by Messinger; 11-29-2006 at 11:10 PM.
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  #6  
Old 11-30-2006, 12:47 AM
ExamonLyf ExamonLyf is offline
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Hey Ben ....

Actually.., going over there to get them is best (in my opinion).., so I'm not surprised you got them through without any problem.

In Batangas Province.., mainly around the outskirts of Taal.., there are still some very talented Balisong makers of the "Old School".., but sadly I don't believe the tradition will be carried on. Most of the young folks move towards Manila now.., or Cebu City ~~> simply because they can make more money, and no one can blame them in that regard.

They have tightened up the Customs stuff quite a bit given what's going on in the World ~~> and also because of the Abu Sayyaf (obviously).....

It's really a combination of bad dynamics with the politics and varied economic structure in the Philippines currently.., and very sad to me. It's such a beautiful country.., and very nice people.

I hate to see the true Filipino style Balisong die out (or become a "PRODUCTION" type product).., but I do think that is what will happen over the next 20 years.

One FACT will always remain true for the folks of Filipino heritage. The Balisong knife (in design).., certainly didn't originate there. The Euro-Folks beat them to the two-handled stuff by quite a few years ~~~~~> [BUT].., there is no doubt in anyone's mind about [WHO] made the knife famous...., and the Philippines will always have that distinction far above all others.


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  #7  
Old 11-30-2006, 10:05 PM
ninjaman ninjaman is offline
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so pretty much my only option to get a FHM is to go to a pawn shop on nevada? or have you guys heard of another way?
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  #8  
Old 06-20-2007, 08:35 AM
225Q 225Q is offline
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hi, I'm a new member here,but have been into knives since I was little.
I have a Balisong that I bought almost 25 years ago.
It was made in the Philippines for Gutmann cutlery in Mt Vernon ,NY.
It has polished bone handles.
I have the orig wooden box etc it came in.
I have been trying to find out what it may be worth.
And I haven't seen another one like it,and I'm wordering why.
Anyone know what its worth?

My buddy had one that his uncle brought back from Korea,that looked similar.
thanks guys
225Q
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  #9  
Old 06-20-2007, 09:25 AM
ExamonLyf ExamonLyf is offline
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Hey there, and welcome to the Forums!

The knife you have sounds like what Gutmann called "The Original Balisong", and I haven't see many around lately (although they made a great number of them).

Depending on exactly when you got it, how they were packaged can very a great deal, but for "Collectors", those most valued are the larger models. I have three different sizes of thier Balisongs, ranging from roughly a 3" blade to a little under 5". I believe they made just three sizes, but I could be wrong on that. Pretty nice knives, and quite collectible in my opinion.

Those most prized come in a wooden box with a sliding top, and the box says "Original Balisong" on it. Most (but not all) of those came with a leather sheath also.

I'd say $65-$100 on those depending on the condition of course, and perhaps a bit more if you've got the papers, wooden box, and the knife is MINT condition. The market has softened on them some beginning in about 2000-2001 since Benchmade and many custom makers have joined in producing this type knife. In the 90's I saw some sell for as much as $200 since there weren't so many options out there, but I don't think the market would hold that price point now.

Still a nice collectible Balisong, and a good representation of "Old School" Filipino design dynamics.


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  #10  
Old 06-20-2007, 11:01 AM
225Q 225Q is offline
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hello, thank you!
And thanks for the info,
I do have the orig wooden box and the orig black nylon sheath marked "orig balisong' etc
the blade is 3.5 inches long.4 1/4 inch closed.
its never been carried and only been out of the box a few times,So it nice.

I have also Valor "ninja" balisongs ,440 stainless,one-4.5 blade,and one-3.5 blade.
And a Paker,Gypsy with bone or stag type handles..4" blade.surgical steel,#1586.
all brand new,never carried.
One other,Romo,silver eagle,j-20 surgical steel,brass liners,4" blade.
nice to find a place to talk about knives!
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  #11  
Old 06-20-2007, 07:06 PM
ExamonLyf ExamonLyf is offline
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Cool .., those are some nice production knives to collect. I really like some of the "Gypsy" models. They are pretty neat....


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balisong, blade, butterfly knife, knife, knives, switchblade


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