A bolo is a large cutting tool similar to the machete, used particularly in the jungles of Indonesia, the Philippines, and in the sugar fields of Cuba. The primary use for the bolo is clearing vegetation, whether for agriculture or during trail blazing.
Bolos are also used as military weapons and as such they were a particular favorite of the Filipino resistance during the 1898 Philippine Revolution against Spain, the Philippine-American War, and the Commonwealth period. Since the bolo was first used as a farming implement, it was used in combat because during colonial times the ubiquitous bolo was readily available to the common person. For this reason the study of the bolo is common in Filipino martial arts, such as Balintawak Eskrima, Pekiti-Tirsia Kali and Modern Arnis.
This is a US Bolo Model 1917 fighting knife. As issued during WWI. Manufactured by the Plumb company.
The handle is made of wood and is held together by three large screws. The
The handle has a series of wooden ridges which makes for a better griping factor.
A view of the side of the handle reveals that the texture goes all the way around the wooden pieces.
The tang is also visible from the side. It is clear how it couples with the pommel.
The crossguard is made of metal and has an ondulating pattern. One side of the crossguard has a round hole. The crossguard
is not normally stamped with any markings.
This page is a recognition and identification guide for military fighting knives.
Multiple detailed photos of a specific sample are provided. Descriptions point out
clearly defined points that should be noted.
One of the most commonly asked questions is "How much is my fighting knife worth?".
A price guide is included here to address this question. The value of the knives is
reviewed over a period of several years. A trend can be observed. The present worth
of the edge weapons in the collector's market is illustrated.
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The bolo knife is marked at the base of the blade on both sides. One marking reads "Plumb, PHI". The other
marking reads "U.S. Mod 1917".
This is a view of the bolo knife outside of the scabbard. The blade tapers out as it approaches the tip. Most
of the weight is concentrated on the tip, that is what allows the knife to deliver a powerful blow. The blade
is of single edge design.
This edge weapon is currently being reproduced.
It is becoming more difficult to be able to tell the fake ones from the real ones because
the quality of the reproductions is improving. The collector must become familiarized with
the construction style and materials employed in the manufacturing of this item.
Attention to the details is critical in order to be able to determine the authenticity of
If you have an interest is seeing other fighting knives, you can do so by going to our
Military Fighting Knives Price Guide
identification guide. Where we cover Army, Navy, Army Air Force, USMC and other organizations.