An expertly crafted knife is a work of art, just as much as a fine painting. The care and precision it takes to create a beautifully unique but still tough and functional tool is a talent only a few possess. This month, we’re paying tribute to one of the great knife makers of our era, Allen Elishewitz, and his expert work with Hogue Knives. Elishewitz’s vision has quickly brought Hogue Knives to the forefront of the production knife market.
HistoryHogue is a relatively new name in the world of tactical blades. They’re a family-owned American company founded in 1968. The owner, Guy Hogue, was a former LAPD officer who created a custom grip for his state-issued revolver while he was in the force. These custom grips became highly sought-after and the Hogue Company was born.
After the initial success, Guy Hogue was joined in the business by his sons Aaron and Patrick, as well as his grandson, Neil. The Hogues brought in master toolmaker Jim Bruhns to add even more expertise to their manufacturing process.
In addition to the custom grips, Hogue production now has six categories of equipment: grips, stocks, holsters, gear, tactical, and knives. They expanded to begin the knife division in 2010 and immediately distinguished themselves with the expert craftsmanship demonstrated in every knife. The combination of Hogue’s expert manufacturing and Elishewitz’s eye for design established them as a serious competitor in the world of tactical knives.
Allen Elishewitz has been with Hogue since their knife debut in 2010, but he has been crafting knives since the late 1980s. As a former Marine and a martial arts expert, Elishewitz uses his real-world knowledge to create peerless knives for both the military and civilians.
He was the youngest member of the American Knifemaker’s Guild when he joined in 1994 and still serves on their Board of Directors. Though he continues to independently produce his own custom creations, his creative direction has made Hogue Knives a leader in premier blades.
Products and Materials
Far before they began to produce knives, Hogue, Inc. was synonymous with the tradition and quality of American manufacturing for their excellent grips and stocks. They brought that pride and expertise to their knife division, where they are known for their state-of-the-art manufacturing process.
Hogue produces folders and fixed blade knives, as well as a custom tomahawk. These blades combine the best of old-world craftsmanship with the innovative design and technology available today. Their knives and all their products are still 100% American made.
While the styles and materials of the knives differ, they are all designed to be hard-used, tactical blades. Their line, the EX series, features a diverse array of knives to fit every wielder’s style and taste. Every blade is created from 154cm stainless steel that is cryogenically heat treated to a hardness of 57-59 HRC on the Rockwell C hardness scale. Some blades also feature a black cerakote finish to contribute to the design.
The handles are often made of the standard aluminum or G-10 frame, but some of the knives also feature a one-piece polymer frame that fits perfectly in the hand. Most models are available with different choices of deployment mechanism as well as blade shape.
Earlier models favored the drop point or tanto style blades, but more recent models have evolved to higher design and feature upswept blades. One such knife, the EX-4, won American Made Knife of the Year at the 2013 Blade Show.
Elishewitz Custom Knives
Allen Elishewitz’s personal line of custom knives features the same quality and innovative design that he brings to the table at Hogue. He personally creates each custom knife with manual machines—no CNC or third party vendors for this craftsman. Before the Hogue collaboration, Elishewitz had won numerous awards for his knives, including “Knifemaker of the Year” for Fighting Knife Magazine in 1996. He is constantly expanding his expertise, creating writing utensils and even watches for his custom line.
Though they are a relatively new arrival to the game of high-design, high-performance knives, Hogue Knives is a serious competitor and should easily be a contender for your next knife purchase. The bold and efficient style created by Allen Elishewitz is executed flawlessly in each knife produced by Hogue’s American workers.
Hogue’s line of knives is backed by their nearly 50-year history in American manufacturing, and the entire family stands behind their products. In a world where nearly everything seems disposable, knives made by Hogue shine as an enduring example of long lasting durability and nearly indestructible craftsmanship.