WWI US Bolo Knife -
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.
Bolos are characterized by having a wood handle, a full tang, and by a blade that both curves and widens at its tip. This moves the centre of gravity as far forward as possible, giving the knife extra momentum for chopping action.
The item featured here is a WWI US Bolo knife. The same basic design was maintained for the
WWII bolo knives .
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 design of the knife consisted of wooden handles (not present in the example shown here). Two rivets are
used to secure the handkes in place. Single piece steel pommel. The blade is rather large and heavy, this
is typical of a bolo knife. The markings; "U.S. MOD, 1917, C.T." are found at the base of the blade.
The scabbard is of wooden construction. A Kahaki canvis sheet with a leather tip is use to cover it. The
leather portion has a stamp that reads "Brauer Bros, 1918", indicating the name of the manufacturer. The
upper portion of the scabbard cover has a wire hook assembly which allows the knife to be attached to a
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.