YouTuber Jim Skelton Goes from the Sidelines to the Playing Field

Skelton Bladeworks

YouTuber Jim Skelton is well known for his critiques of high-end custom knives. But now he’s leaving the reviewer’s table for the workbench to try his hand at knife making under the Skelton Bladeworks label. Since the beginning of the year, Skelton has dived into full-time knife making and has big plans for the future.

Currently, Skelton’s catalog consists of four fixed blade models: the Occipital, Tibia, Mandible, and Bone Chopper. Prices sit around the $400 mark, but two new models are in the works for the remainder of the year, aimed at a lower price point. The first, called the Littlefinger, has a 3.75-inch modified wharncliffe blade and is expected to sell for around $300. Another unnamed knife still in development, that Skelton describes as a small, simple neck knife, should hit an even lower price – somewhere around $275. “I’m hoping that will allow people to experience my work for a lot less money,” he says.

Skelton Bladeworks folders will eventually be a reality, too. No less a maker than Todd Begg himself has agreed to show Skelton the ropes. “He’s graciously offered his time to teach me what I need to know to make a quality folder,” Skelton says. While he’s learning the ins and outs of custom folders, Skelton hopes to offer a small-batch production version to whet fans’ appetites. He is talking with several possible partners for this and says he hopes to have a U.S. made folder retailing for $300-400 by next summer.

Skelton committed to his dream job of full-time knife making in January. To fund the necessary equipment for his workshop, he sold off parts of his massive collection of custom knives. Among those he parted with was his one-off Frank Fischer Battle – the crown jewel of his collection. “That was my number one knife. But it was time to pay for my grinder,” he says. Now, Skelton’s corral of customs is much reduced – although still envy-inducing at around 150 pieces.


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Nearly 400 reviews on his YouTube channel shaped Skelton’s well-known eye for detail. Now on the other side of the industry, he has translated those high standards into his custom work. He says he would love to see his knives on another reviewer’s channel. “The greatest joy for me in reviewing was discovering someone who was relatively unknown. I wish there were somebody out there like me to review my knives.” Many have asked about the future of his channel in light of the new career, but Skelton confirms that he has no plans to leave YouTube behind entirely. “I’m trying to figure out a way to put more time back into my YouTube channel.”

Skelton’s books are currently open. You can order a Skelton Bladeworks knife here.


Knife featured in image: Skelton Bladeworks Occipital

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