Badass blades with reclaimed skateboard deck handles, made by a fly fisherman in Cape Town, South Africa. What’s not to like? Meet Scott Lowry, our Little Guy profile from issue 20.
Who are you and what do you do?
My name is Scott Lowry and along with my dad, I custom make a range of knives and axes in Cape Town, South Africa. In 2009, while I was looking around an online fly fishing discussion forum, I found a post from someone in Wisconsin who went by the moniker Rancid Crabtree. He described how he made knives with basic hand tools in his garage. This piqued my interest, as I have always loved making things with my hands. It took me weeks to find the right steel and wood for the handle, but once I had the basics I couldn’t stop.
From the beginning, it was critical for me that my knives were used. The first 12 knives I made were all hunting or utility knives. When I ran out of friends who could use that sort of knife, it dawned on me that I should combine a love for cooking and knife making. That was the start of Lowry Bladeworks, eleven years ago. The next step was to pair up with my dad, Dave Lowry. He’s a retired engineer and now we manufacture Lowry Kitchen knives together.
What do you specialise in?
We have made more than 20 styles from carving, filleting, Santoku, Chef’s, cheese and rigging knives, to cleavers and a kitchen axe. We’re making new ones all the time. Most of my knives are made of Swedish or Austrian stainless steel and many of them have handles made from reclaimed skateboards. A few years ago we stumbled onto the fact that a lot of skateboarders keep their old broken decks so we convinced a few of them to part with their stash in exchange for a custom kitchen knife. Lots of experimenting resulted in a method to deconstruct the skateboard decks, stick the laminate back together into different patterns, stabilise the wood (in a vacuum with epoxy) and hey presto! – a new, unique knife handle material.
Which of your blades should we look out for?
I am fanatical about travelling with my own knives. Cooking meals while away with friends is often a big highlight of a weekend away and I don’t want to find there are terrible knives to prep the meal with. So the knives I travel with have become my firm favourites. I always take an all-rounder like one of our Santokus or a Western-style Chef’s knife and a small paring knife like the Long Dog. You can prep most meals with two knives like that. Fly anglers should check out our rigging knife that features a bottle opener and comes with a sheath.
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