12 Facts About William Scagel


William Wales Scagel was an American knifemaker whose style had a profound impact on the cutlery trade, influencing it for over 100 years.


William Scagel made hunting knives, machetes, and axes for the expeditions of the Smithsonian Institution.


William Scagel made a variety of knives throughout his career including Bowie knives, fighting knives, and pocketknives.


One of the rarest of William Scagel's knives is his personal hunting knife pattern, a fixed blade drop-point hunter with a secondary folding spey-blade in the handle.


William Scagel used a half stag and half leather stacked washer assembly in his knife handles that became his trademark style.


One such William Scagel knife provided the influence for Bo Randall to start making his own knives.


Randall bought the knife and in the years that followed William Scagel became a mentor to Randall, influencing many of his designs.


Every knife William Scagel made was completely by hand and without modern tools such as a grinder or buffer, his Fruitport shop was powered off a gasoline engine from a Cadillac automobile and as a result, the quantity of knives he produced over his 50 years of knifemaking is very low.


William Scagel was known for not trusting "mass produced items" and even made his own rifle for hunting.


William Scagel never visited doctors, resetting his own broken wrist at one time and successfully extracting his own teeth and making his own dentures.


William Scagel made his last knife in 1962, the year before he died.


In 1996, William Scagel was inducted into the American Bladesmith Society Hall of Fame as an inauguree.