Mihai Bostan Knives
Well as this is a review of the Knife maker, as much as the knife we have, we thought we would start by giving you a bit of info into the smith before we talked about his blade.
We recently got our hands on a custom, hand-made knife from a 28 year old gentleman, called Mihai Bostan. He currently resides in Birmingham, but he’s originally from Romania where he graduated university with a mechanical and production engineering degree.
He started crafting knife handles for knife blanks but quickly decided he wanted to do more. He made his first knife and after a work colleague bought it and asked him to produce another, he enthusiastically started to make his life goals more of a reality. He went part-time so he could focus more on crafting and hopes to make it his full-time career over the next few years. He has the determination and skills to make this happen, and his knives stand up with the best of them.
He uses CAD (computer aided design) to get a good idea of how his knives will look long before he starts crafting. This gives him the benefit of making changes to get a knife’s design spot on and then moves on to crafting a wooden model to see how it really feels and looks. If you get a knife designed by him he can send you the wooden model so you can get a look before you make your final decision. I like his entire approach, as it’s a lot more technical and modern, and I think it really brings custom knife manufacturing into the 21st century. Combine that with being able to hold a wooden mock up before getting it crafted is a really great way to treat his craft and his customers.
It took him about 25 hours to craft this knife, and you can see that the time was well spent. The quality is superb and there’s very little that I would alter for myself. I would thin out the handle a little and make the end a bit deeper, but that more for my own hands and really there’s nothing wrong with it. The Walnut scales look wonderful with the mosaic pins and the red liners, this really is a good-looking knife. He’s finished the blade in satin and its overall length is about right for a nice medium-sized bushcraft knife. It wasn’t as sharp as I would like, but it wasn’t hard getting it to where it needed to be.
The sheath is the usual style for a bushcraft knife (which his how he likes them) and the red stitching stand out nicely against the tanned leather. It holds the blade firmly but still makes it very accessible (I shook the knife violently while upside-down and it didn’t budge). The colour matches wonderfully with the walnut scales and the whole thing including the knife really is beautiful. While it probably isn’t my favourite leather sheath, it’s definitely one of the best looking.
The handle has red liners and as previously mentioned is made with walnut wood and held together with two mosaic pins. The fit and finish of it is superb and you really cant feel where the scales meet the tang even slightly, he’s really spent time perfecting his knives and this is just another area where it shows. It is a bit rounder than I prefer in a handle but it looks and feels a lot more traditional like this, which is really nice. The over-all shape fits well in the hand and I haven’t once thought it felt off with all of the use I’ve given it.
The blade is made from 4mm thick 01 tool steel and has a flat grind which looks very good. He currently offers the option of 3/4/5mm in 01, Damascus and stainless steel. He also will do a Scandinavian or sabre grind if the flat grind isn’t your preference. The heat-treat should be spot on as he sends his blades out to be professionally treated. This just ensures the blades strength matches the overall quality of the entire knife and you get the piece of mind knowing that you’ve paid for something that’s going to hold up to extensive use. We have had this for a few months now, and I kept forgetting to get the pictures I needed for this article, but I’m really glad I took so long as I got to use it quite a lot more that I would have otherwise and it really held up well. The blade barely needed a sharpen to keep it razor-like and every time I got to use it I remembered that there was no other out there like this one, so it was a little bit special.
All in all, we are very impressed by this knife. He hasn’t been a smith for as long as the big names out there, but we know he has the capability to compete with them. We all look for production knives far too often and really forget that we can get something special from a good craftsman at really good prices. This is one of my favourite bushcraft knives, but is far from the most expensive that I own. Keep an eye on him and get your orders in early as his knives will only go up in price (and rightly so), so grab yourself a really, really good blade at an amazing price while you can.
If you want to contact Mihai Bostan, or look at some of his work, check out the links below.