Rick Poirier is a member of the American Bladesmith Society and a member of Team Hayes.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the people who have given me a lot of their time so I could learn these skills, especially Wally Hayes, who still gives me a lot off help and guidance. Thank you.
As a young man Rick studied and trained in many forms of martial arts and developed a keen interest in knives and edge weaponry. He also spent 15 years as a boxing instructor and trainer. In life he worked as a professional photographer and then as a carpenter and custom house builder. In 1996 he was introduced to Master bladesmith Wally Hayes and over the next few years they became friends. In 1998 Rick asked Wally if he would let him apprentice as a bladesmith under his guidance. Wally agreed and the journey began. From that moment Rick started to cut back his hours as a master carpenter and spend more time in the knife shop. In 2006 Rick and his wife sold their house in the city and moved to a rural setting where he set up a full time knife shop. Rick has found that his varied backgrounds have benefited him greatly in the ergonomics of his knives. He was helped and guided selflessly by people who shared years of knowledge and experience and hopes to be able to do the same for others.
His most popular knives are full tang 5 to 7 inch blade tactical and fighters. He doesn’t usually make the same knife again although he will make similar knives a few years apart. He uses mostly O1 tool steel, 1084, and lately W2. He uses these because they give good edge retention, are reasonable to work, and the W2 gives nice temper line. He also uses Damascus (which he makes from 1084 and 15n20, sometimes from O1 and mild steel) and cable Damascus (mostly from elevator cable). Most of his knives are flat ground with some hollow ground because these grinds give a deeper and cleaner cut. He tests blades by cutting rope, cardboard, sheets of paper hanging by the edge, and sometimes by shaving leather when making sheaths. His handles are epoxied cord wrap over various fish leathers, various bone, various wood, and micarta. “I usually make the knife before I pick the handle and the knife usually tells me what to do next once the blade is done.”
Rick’s knives range in price from $250.00 to $3,500.00, most in the $500.00 range. Look for Rick at The Blade Show in Atlanta in June and The New York Custom Knife Show in Jersey City in the Fall.
Rick’s knives are available by special order, on his website www.ripcustomknives.com and also from EDCKNIVES.com. All Rick’s knives are made by hand one at a time, no CNC machines, no water jet cutting, etc.
“If anyone wants info and I can help, I will make the time. Feel free to contact me by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone at 506 525 2818 and I’ll be glad to do what I can or get you in touch with someone who can. I am very fortunate to have been able to learn my craft from such a knowledgeable person as Wally and am ever grateful and still learn from him all the time. I hope to become a master smith sometime in the future in the mean time i keep improving my craft one knife at a time.”
First knife in 1998. I am a full time maker apprenticed under ABS Master Smith Wally Hayes.
I forge my own Damascus, cable, 1084/15n20, 01/mild. Most of my knives are made with 1/4 inch tool steels depending on what I’m trying to achieve. They vary. Mostly 01 tool steel, some 1084, and lately some out of W2.
Knives start at $200 and up depending on the knife. All knives are custom made to my specifications. Contact me to discuss your unique knife and what it will cost.
I accept PayPal. Please contact me for instructions.
RP before 2007. RIP 2007 to present. Etched R.I.P. Tombstone on some knives if not stamped before hardening.