Terry Guinn

Portrait
  • Surname: Guinn
  • First name: Terry
  • Counrty: USA Seymour, (indiana)
  • Website: http://www.terryguinn.com/

Could you depict a self-portrait ?

Hello, I produce custom handmade knives in my spare time. I have a full-time job that I support myself and my wife, Shelly. I have two grown children, Armenda, Curtis, his wife Shawna and a grandson, Karsyn. I work in the natural gas processing industry, so I always look forward to going home and working on knives. I started making knives in 1982 with the aid of my father a master machinist. My father is currently building miniatures and has built a working Gatling gun and several steam and gas powered engines. I sold my first knife in 1990 and used the profits to equip my shop and buy more materials. I enjoy the creativity and satisfaction that comes from turning raw materials into beautiful and useful tools. All of my knives are built totally by me--from the heat treating to the final sheath making.
We enjoy the outdoors, camping in the Rocky Mountains, hunting fishing and motorcycling (Harley's and dirt bikes). We believe in serving Jesus Christ and ministering to others as we are lead to. I will be happy to produce that special knife that you design or one of my own creations. The photos on this web site is only a few of the almost 400 knives that I have made. I have several well thought out patterns and always enjoy working with a new design.

How have you come to balisong, and why do you like this kind of knife ?

I started making folders (lock backs, autos, liner locks) early on my knifemaking career. To me it was only natural to make a balsiong.

How have you come to produce balisongs ?

The internet has been a good thing for my balisong production. Before internet I had good sales with lower cost hunting knives but any type of folders with higher price was difficult for me to sell. About the same time (2001) I got on internet I also made first balisong. There was a demand for my balsong knives on the internet. So it was only natural and wise to pursue the balisong knife.

What inspires you, what is your muse ?

It is difficult to say what inspires me. I have been studying custom knives since 1982, I am sure there is inspiration ingrained in my mind that I am not aware of but comes to light when it is needed. I give credit to God for my talent and allowing my success. I believe there is no accidents in life and that all things happen for a purpose.

Is balisong a knife which permits you to artistically express yourself ? Does it better than for another folder ?

I believe there is much that can be done artistically with the balisong knife. The balsiong has been ignored by the custom knife industry while other folders have evolved quite rapidly. Personaly I would very much like to work with other folders but due to time restrictions (being part time maker) I devote my time to the balisong knife at this time.

Which material do you prefer for blades (different steels) and handles (Titanium, g10, brass, wood) and why are they your favorite ?

I prefer stainless steels but I use what ever customer specifies. Most of my early knives was made using 440-C with great success. But most customers prefer other steels ost of my balisongs are made with stainless steel handles. Personally I prefer light weight knives, so Titanium would be my choice for my personal knife.

Do you use CNC machine or do you work exclusively manually? What do you think the CNC machine brings ?

I do not use CNC equipment, Due to my lack of exposure and my age I doubt I will ever have opportunity to learn or utilize CNC equipment.
I do hold in high regard those who do. For there would be much expense and training to utilize CNC equipment.
I believe it is up to customer to decide what they want.

Do you EDC a balisong ?

Yes, I carry my first magnetic latch, non tang pin prototype. It is just the right size to carry in my pocket and the magnetic hold it closed for pocket carry.

Do you flip balisongs ?

I only open and close in different ways to check performance of knife.

How could you describe your creations ?

I hope to bring forth fresh designs. But I also appreciate the traditional balisong.

Could you give some advice to amateur or professional knifemakers who wants to start making balisongs ?

I would suggest to do it even with out many tools. Some believe you need certain equipment for knife making. But if one has desire it can be done with minimum of tools. If one has some talent and much desire knife making will only get easier with added equipment.

How do you think that the world of balisong will evolve in the future ?

I have already seen many changes just in the last few years since my own involvement. I do not want to sound pessimistic but balisongs are not taken seriously by much of the knife establishment, There is also the legality issue. I believe there will be much growth but it will be limited somewhat.

Thank you Terry for taking the time to answer our questions.

Terry GUINN