Cutting Commentary

A Journal of Knives & Knifemaking

Saturday, February 18, 2006

William F. Moran Jr

When I was a boy knives fascinated me, as they fascinate many boys, and it occasionally occurred to me to make one but I never made much attempt in my preteen youth. I didnt know the depth and breadth of the custom knife field until my mid-teen years, but what I did know was a handful of names I had learned from my father. These men, in my young estimation, were something akin to gods and legends of another world, and they had the gift of steel and the forge.
The names were Moran, Randall, Loveless, Morseth, Ruana.

Robert Loveless continues on. Bo Randall, Harry Morseth and Rudy Ruana have all already passed from us. It is with sadness that I've noted around the forums in recent days, and now here, the passing of William F. (Bill) Moran Jr. at age 80.
Bill Moran did more in his life to promote bladesmithing and custom knifemaking and breathe life into the field than probably any other single man. Even for those of us who never met or corresponded with him (and I must say I am, to my regret, a one) he provided inspiration in artistry and in character as we took steel to the forge and to the grinder. The knifemakers knifemaker may be an understatement, but Mr. Moran's talent, innovation and good spirit has touched almost all of us who makes knives in one way or another.

There is a different kind of spirit that flows in the veins of the artisan, as different in the blood as streams of nickel in damascus, and it is a touch of those who have gone before, a breath of creativity and will to continue, to carry on, and to make them proud.
They say a man is not gone until all his work, and his spirit, are forgotten. Hopefully Bill Moran will live forever in our minds, our hearts and in the fire of our forges.

Some links for photos of Bill and his work and shop, as well as reading about him and his life:,0,924624.story

For those who want a Moran classic, but cant afford the $10,000 + that the originals go for, CAS Iberia offers a very nice Moran design Persian dagger:
Spyderco also offers two excellent fixed blades designed by Moran, of a more utilitarian design that would be a pleasure to own and use.


  • At 8:05 PM, Blogger Christopher said…

    My Dad was really good friends with Bill Moran, and I had the pleasure of meeting him many times. Our entire family was delighted by him. He was the kind of person that from the moment you met him, you never ever forgot about him. He had this twinkle in his eye that I just can't begin to describe. He could talk to you about anything and when it came to knifemaking... well, it was like sitting at the feet of one of the old masters, but he was one of the most humble people you could ever imagine. It's sad to see him leave us, but I like believing that he and his wife are having a very happy and joyful reunion right now. Thanks for writing about him :-) Chris p.s.: I did a little write-up about him too if yer interested :-)


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