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In New Orleans, Knives by Down the River Forge Are Causing a Buzz

What makes Down the River Forge's Marsh Series worth talking about –– by Gear Patrol Studios.

talking points down the river forge knives man shucking oysters

Welcome to Talking Points, a series that looks at what makes certain products worth talking about, brought to you by Gear Patrol Studios.


Down the River Forge creates unique knives equipped for any task in the kitchen – or in the field. The company is manned by expert knifeman Stephen Bateman, who was born and raised in New Orleans. Today, Bateman’s designs remain informed by a life spent fishing, hunting and exploring the Louisiana wilderness.

Perhaps the best example of that inspiration is Bateman’s new Marsh Series. The full series includes a Marsh Knife, Cane Knife, Cleaver and Oyster Shucker – and all are handmade in Louisiana.

Today, Down the River Forge is creating some of the most interesting knives on the market, yet the brand is still slowly building its audience outside the South. Securing a knife now before the brand completely blows up – which we can expect to happen within the next year or two – may be the only way to get your hands on one of Batemans’ rarest knives.

down the river forge knives laying on a tree stump
Down the River Forge

The Backstory

Down the River Forge: A Brand Built Around Beautiful, Bush-Ready Knives

Bateman’s knives blend gorgeous materials – like Sun Devil Dymalux, forest green curly maple, walnut woods and pearl and turquoise – with performance-grade knife steel. His creations are simultaneously creative and reliable and run the gamut from gator knives to a full hunter-chef series.

A self-described ‘foodie’ and experienced huntsman, Bateman is perfectly situated to usher in a new era of knives: unique tools that will stay with you through the entire task at hand and for every task thereafter. He explains that the company began "as a creative outlet" before evolving "into a pursuit to make beautiful and functional knives for all."

Around New Orleans, Bateman’s Down the River Forge has risen to local fame. Fans include some of the best restaurants in the city and huntsmen from around the state. Bateman was also featured in Huckberry’s Dirt: New Orleans episode, where he equipped the series’ host with the full Marsh Series for several days of foraging around the state.

All in all, the word’s been buzzing about Down the River Forge down south – but now that buzz has begun to reach well beyond Louisiana.

The Backstory

What Makes the Marsh Series So Special?

Down the River Forge’s full Marsh Series includes four knives: a Marsh Knife, Cane Knife, Cleaver and Oyster Shucker, each featuring a handle made with naturally-dyed curly maple wood. Bateman used 1084HC steel for all the knives but the Oyster Shucker, which is made with 440C stainless steel.

The beauty of this series is that the full set equips you to hunt, forage and prep the majority of Southern Louisiana’s best ingredients. The knives are sure to outperform competing products in other biomes across the country too – and each is designed for the true pro.

For example, the Marsh Knife is great for basic field use or skinning, while the Cleaver can break down any large cuts of meat or vegetables around camp. A ‘Cane Knife’ is traditionally designed to harvest sugar cane, but Bateman’s version doubles as a machete that easily breaks cane to use for hunting camouflage. And the Oyster Shucker? It’s designed "for shuckin’ like a pro."

Our POV

Down the River Forge’s Marsh Series is A Fantastic Set of Knives for Any Collector, Huntsman or Chef

There is a lot to love about these handmade knives: all are obviously built to perform – Bateman & Co.'s craftsmanship speaks for itself. Gifted as a set, these knives will win you any favor with a true collector. Kept for yourself, the Marsh Series can inspire a meal, a trip or an adventure built around their myriad uses.

It won’t be long before the world rallies around Bateman’s Down the River Forge. So if you’re a fan, snagging the series – or a custom knife – before the waiting list pulls these products out of your grasp is imperative.

Price: $2,000 (set of four)

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