Ok, I know you ALL know Lefty and I are brainstorming on the Lamson Collaboration Knife.
I thought I would start an opinion thread. Partly for our knife, partly research.
So Bolster... Whats its purpose? Is it for balance? Aesthetics? To protect the wood of the handle when sharpening/steeling?
Traditionally on drop forged knives, they were integral. The Sabs had huge ones, that modern sharpening gurus find to be a PITA, and want their knife to NOT have one down to the heel.
The Japanese use a horn Ferrule to protect the end of the yo wood, I assume to prevent splitting.
So metal bolsters. Damascus, mokume, brass, bronze, nickel/silver, stainless. Purpose? I think mostly for looks. It seems to finish the handle. As well I see it as a protection to a point for the wood. Figure a quick honing on the stones, or a quick steeling. incidental contact over years of use, coupled with food contact, the end of the wood handle starts to look rather rundown, pieces missing, looking rough, starting to lift... The bolster would have prevented most of that, and taken the abuse instead.
Synthetics, woods, and naturals ( horn, bone, etc.) Similar purpose. Looks and protection, although not as much as metal. G10 would likely be the toughest option of these if protection is its reasoning for use. Aesthetically? Its kind of sterile, but it offers a color contrast.
The naturals/synthetics would not offer much in the way of balance, whereas the metal ones will for sure change balance.
So... What are your thoughts on bolsters?
For our knife, what is your reason, for or against bolsters? Looks or function? Is it as simple as wanting a Black Tie, or a Shiny Necklace for your knife? Or is it serving a protection/balance purpose?
I await your thoughts!!