Very similar to my straight knives for wood carving - my special bevel forging process, high carbon steel, fully hardened, finely beveled, razor sharp.
The Cherry wood handle is given a satin varnish finish, to make it stand up to kitchen use.
Blade is 3 inches long, handle is 6 inches long. PN $85.00
(scroll down to see picture below)
Some years ago a neighbor and very close friend, Susan, brought me a fine kitchen knife she had made a large chip in (about 1/8") while trying to cut
through some small bones. She said she had gotten it while in Japan. Susan went on and on about how special this knife was. Well, I could have done a fairly
quick job of it by grounding the entire edge down to remove the chip, then grind and sharpen new bevels of about 35 degrees (typical of our western cutlery).
But as I looked at it more carefully I realized the bevel
was exceptionally fine, about 12 degrees (total), running all the way to the edge except for the tiniest microbevel! I decided
I would be true to the maker and maintain the 12 degree bevel while removing the chipped area. Because it was already heat treated, I would have to use brand new grinding belts
to avoid overheating. An hour of very careful grinding and
about $30 of belts later, I was finally done. I brought it home and put it in my wood knife block for Susan's visit to come get it. That night, while cutting raw carrots for stirfry,
I wondered if it really made any difference, that fine bevel. So I grabbed Susan's knife and took a few chops on the carrot. The knife went through the carrot so easily,
I honestly thought I missed it - wow, it really did make a difference! I was impressed, and decided that if I were ever to make cutlery, that was what I was going to shoot for.
I figured my forged bevels and special heat treating would be a great combo for the ultra fine edge. So, here they are!
On the differences between O-1 and W-1 tool steels:
The main advantage of O-1 is that it is slightly less prone to rusting than W-1, but not a great deal so. O-1 is certainly not
a "stainless steel".
The advantage with W-1 is that it can be forged much more aggressively. Particularly with forging the bevels,
which involves pounding the thin edge, O-1 must be treated more carefully. I believe W-1 holds an edge better than O-1
partly because I'm
able to be much more aggressive with forging W-1. The thorough forging of the bevels compresses and packs the grains of
steel, making the steel tougher. If O-1 is forged that aggressively,
it is very likely to fail (as in breaking in half!) after being heat treated.
I use W-1 for all my wood carving knives because it is the best for edge holding. I use O-1 only when I want some rust prevention.
If you'll be careful about rinsing off acidic foods and keeping it dry when not in use, I recommend a blade of W-1.
Besides their very different appearance, these knives are unlike normally available cutlery in several other ways:
Virtually all other cutlery is cut and ground from flat sheets of steel. My knives are forged from round bars of very high carbon steel.
Not only are the tapers forged in but also the bevels, which improves the quality of the steel. (Please go here for more information about my bevel forging process.)
Bevel of about 12 degrees (total) and a very small micro-bevel
at the very edge, so they will cut through food incredibly well.
The blades are differentially hardened, so that they are very hard at the edge, yet tough along the back so they can't break. During this step in the
heat treatment, the blade is heated to glowing red and just the edge is dipped into a tray of oil to quickly cool and
The beautiful patina on the blades is a result of the last step in the heat treating, called "tempering". The parts of the blade that are
the hardest are straw colored, the softer and tougher parts are purple and blue. I purposely avoid grinding these
colors away, as they also add a bit of rust resistance. These patinas are just on the surface ane will wear off with use.
After the edges have been sharpened and honed razor sharp, they are gun blued. This does a great deal to prevent rusting
(that's why it is used on gun barrels).
From forging, through heat treating, to final honing, I make these knives the same as my wood carving knives which do a great
job of slicing through hard woods. As Cutlery they perform incredibly well.
About the Handles:
The wood is first glued onto the metal shanks (with the best adhesive I found after testing over a dozen). The solid copper rivets aren't just glued in
(which is common practice). They are piened over at both ends.
The handles are finally sealed with epoxy to make them
waterproof, then two coats of polyurethane. A final coat of wax is buffed on.
The look, feel, and performance of these knives is meant to be the favorite of the kitchen - the knife that stands out in your
knife block. If it is not, it shouldn't be there, and I ask that you return it, fully refunded. That is my guarantee.
Some of these knives look like cleavers, but they are not. They all have the same fine edges which are not meant for chopping through bone.
Don't compare their sizes by the pictures, they are not to scale. Read the dimensions given for each knife.
Dimensions given for blades are maximum dimensions to help you determine whether they will fit in your knife block.
The following knives had their patina colors buffed off - 45, 46, 48, 53, 54, 58, 70, 74.
Numbers 44 through 65 are W-1 tool steel (best for edge holding), 66 through 83 are O-1 tool steel (slightly better for rust prevention).
These knives are "one-offs". Each one is different, from the size and shape of the blade, to the details of the handle. When someone buys one, it is gone.
I offer them in this way so my customers can choose a truly individual and unique knife for their kitchen.
The pictures below are all right off the camera. None of them were touched up with any software (like Photoshop), except for resizing. These are what the knives look like.
click to enlarge
sold Blade: W-1, 5 1/2" long, 1 3/4" wide, 3/16" thick Handle: Madrona, 4 1/4" long, medium thickness
sold Blade: W-1, 6 1/2" long, 1 1/2" wide, 3/16" thick Handle: Mesquite, 4 1/4" long, medium thickness
sold Blade: W-1, 6 1/4" long, 1 1/2" wide, 3/16" thick Handle: Yew, 3 7/8" long, medium thickness