GypsyFreeDiver
New Member
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Mar 28, 2021 8:05 pm
First Name: Josh

New to Collecting Vintage Dive Knives

Fri Apr 09, 2021 9:59 pm

Hello all, I am a lover of vintage and vintage-style equipment. I do not scuba, but I freedive and snorkel different springs in Florida. I recently discovered a love of vintage dive knives. My little collection has quickly grown, and I have a question about Sea Hawk knives.

I have two, and they are marked differently from each other. One is marked only Stainless Steel on one side, and has no marking on the reverse side. The second Sea Hawk has Stainless Steel Japan (with the logo upside down from the other one) and the Aqua Lung logo on the reverse side.

Were Sea Hawk knives ever made in the US? I ask because pretty much every Japanese made knife I've ever owned has had Japan stamped on the blade. I love Japanese made knives, so am not discriminating, merely trying to learn as much about these knives as possible.

I won't dive the made in Japan knife because she's basically new in box. The other one has significant weathering already so I don't feel bad adding more wear marks.

Pictures are below. I apologize for not using pics I've taken myself, but the seller's pictures were better than my phone camera. I can take more pics with my phone tomorrow.

Here's the non-Japan marked knife

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And here's the Japan marked blade

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GypsyFreeDiver
New Member
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Mar 28, 2021 8:05 pm
First Name: Josh

Re: New to Collecting Vintage Dive Knives

Fri Apr 09, 2021 11:52 pm

I accidentally answered my own question tonight.

I hadn't taken the rubber grip off of this Sea Hawk yet. I did, in order to clean it, and discovered two interesting things. The first was the sticker, and the second was that this knife was made in a different manner than the other Sea Hawk. This one had the guard slid onto the tang, and a piece of round stock was then welded to the tang. It's a nice deep weld, shows proper penetration with no undercut (was trained as a structural arc welder, when younger.) Whoever did this knew what they were doing, and the bolt and tang are both straight as arrows, with the discoloration of the HAZ (heat affected zone) limited to about 1/4 of an inch. Proper stainless arc welding, it looks like.

The rust wiped off with alittle application of the brillo pad side of the sponge. Even off of the round stock they threaded to hold the pommel. I don't think that grip had even been off before, honestly.


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SurfLung
Master Diver
Posts: 1640
Joined: Sat Jan 01, 2011 2:03 pm
First Name: Eben
Location: Alexandria, MN
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Re: New to Collecting Vintage Dive Knives

Tue Apr 13, 2021 10:57 am

Big Honkin' Dive Knife!
- Thanks for your post. The classic vintage dive knives were almost always BIG knives. I still have my 12" ScubaPro knife from the 1970's. It doubled as a pry bar and hammer, ready for any adventure from abalone, to bare handed shark fighting! The darn thing weighs about 2 lbs (I think) but to quote Crocodile Dundee... "Now That's a Knife..." I call it my Big Honkin' Dive Knife.
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- The weight of the ScubaPro Knife has been a turn off for diving with it. But I've found a lighter yet still vintage replacement in the plastic handled Aqualung Knife. I haven't measured it, but I think it may also be a little shorter. I wear it comfortably on my weight belt.
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- The Sea Hawks must be among the most desirable vintage dive knives. They always seem to command a high price on Ebay. And they certainly qualify for the "Big Honkin'" category. In fact I think they would be equally at home on the belt of a big game hunter... It takes a lot of knife to field dress a deer or a bear. And I just bet the Japanese steel has a lot of tensile strength without being overly thick and heavy.
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- You must be proud to own your Sea Hawks.
SurfLung
The Freedom and Simplicity of Vintage Equipment and
Vintage Diving Technique are Why I Got Back Into Diving.

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