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  1. #1
    Member Florey55's Avatar
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    Fairbairn-Sykes?

    I would like to get a Fairbairn Sykes.

    I don't mind having a currently made one so, my question is -

    Who makes the best version? Nowill? the Chinese? Someone else?

    Best means high quality steel and faithful adherence to the originals..

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    Senior Member M1 C FAN's Avatar
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    I purchased a Nowill and Sons 2 yrs ago that i love it. The quality is great and it was reasonably priced compared to a vintage example.

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    An operator colleague of mine, told me in 1975 the FS they were issued with weren't satisfactory. Bent, didn't keep an edge. Stock might have been bought from the lowest bidder.

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    You'll get what you pay for. In other words if you want a top quality reproduction 1st Pattern F/S knife there are a number of firms out there who do make such knives but you will have to be prepared to pay a significant amount of money to obtain one. If you want a repro 2nd Pattern F/S knife and don't want to spend too much but still want a reasonably good product, I would say look at an Indian 2nd Pattern F/S knife. I wouldn't bother with repro 3rd Pattern F/S knives since originals are available at a reasonable price.

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    Really Senior Member Roy's Avatar
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    I used to have a modern William Rogers of Sheffield FS knife which was exactly the same as the one shown to me by a Royal Engineer who was in the Falklands. He had purchased it as a souvenir upon completing his commando course with the Royal Marines and he said they were popular with those who had completed the course and a box full was available to those who had passed.
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    I collect WW2 Fairbairn Sykes variations.
    I love them as antiquities for what they represent as a historical statement and for whom they were associated.

    I started with 3rd patterns, then second, then first.
    A couple of wood handled variations.
    Have to be careful collecting these there are lots of variables, and pitfalls, and fakes, and oddities and "aged" modern reproductions.

    I carry a penknife as my EDC, but, if I were in an occupation that required a killing knife, (I am not,) I would buy a modern fighting knives with non-metallic handle and a blade made from modern steel.
    Fairbairn himself didn't like the 3rd pattern, and was explicit in his criticism of the cheapness of it.


    The US made Fairbairn Smatchet is in the middle.

    Machine ground 3rd pattern blades (all wartime)
    Notice the thickness of the guards on the wartime 3rd patterns.
    The post war 3rd patterns usually have a distinctively wafer edged and thin stamped guard.


    Hand ground (drawn) blades 2nd + 3rd pattern (all wartime)


    A really nice "all black" 2nd pattern on Fairbairn's book "Get tough" - the drawing is of a 1st pattern.


    A selection of 2nd and 3rd pattern wartime blades.


    A wood handled RAF dagger (not 3rd pattern) (wartime)


    A nice salty first pattern blade showing the distinctive ricasso and S shaped guard.
    Last edited by dcollector; 11-21-2020 at 04:45 AM.

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    Advisory Panel browningautorifle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dcollector View Post
    I collect WW2 Fairbairn Sykes variations.
    Very nice display of FS knives. Now when we need an example of one we know where to find them.
    Regards, Jim

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    Really Senior Member Aragorn243's Avatar
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    So are the ones currently being made considered repros or simply modern variations of an issue knife that wasn't issued, simply sold to the general public. In other words are they REAL knives?

    How about the NATO marked ones?

    I would like to have one simply as a representative but can't afford a legitimate WWII one and wouldn't take the chance on one being real or fake anyway. But I don't want a "fake", Chinese made piece of crap, etc.

    If they are real, made in Sheffield, what should I look for? Are the ones being sold by the companies legit, should I spend the extra on a NATO marked one?

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    Quite and easy thing to achieve a good quality copy. Here's a link to the third and second pattern with the price variation, good luck:

    Fairbairn Sykes Commando Knife, 3rd Pattern
    'Tonight my men and I have been through hell and back again, but the look on your faces when we let you out of the hall - we'd do it all again tomorrow.' Major Chris Keeble's words to Goose Green villagers on 29th May 1982 - 2 PARA

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    Contributing Member Flying10uk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aragorn243 View Post
    should I spend the extra on a NATO marked one?
    No, because they are relatively common.

    ---------- Post added at 11:21 PM ---------- Previous post was at 11:15 PM ----------



    Quote Originally Posted by Aragorn243 View Post
    I would like to have one simply as a representative but can't afford a legitimate WWII one
    I don't think you would be disappointed with an Indian 2nd Pattern F/S knife which currently sell in the UKicon for just under £100 from WWA.

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