A knife’s only function is to cut, but that doesn’t mean that it should be just a sharpened piece of flat steel. When you look at a knife the first thing you will notice is the shape of its profile. Many of them have a triangular shape, and the most important part is the cutting edge. It’s an individual thing and depends on the cutting style of the user. My knives are shaped so the cutting edge has a flat spot that gently transitions into a curve giving the possibility for a push cut or a rocking chop. While knives traditionally have a sharp point, there are types that are rectangular. For example, Nakiri is a Japanese style knife for vegetable cutting where that sharp point is not so important. The main thing is that you don’t have to be a professional cook with a developed knife cutting skill and you can choose a knife purely for its looks, and that is ok. By using it every day your skill will evolve with the tool you have chosen and you will develop a cutting style that is your own.
While there are hundreds of types of steel it would be difficult to pick one as the ultimate knife steel because every one of them has its pros and cons. My taste in steel has always been toward the high carbon tool steel. A simple mix of iron and carbon with a pinch of alloys as tungsten, vanadium, chrome, and manganese always gave me the best results.
But the most important thing about steel is his heat treatment. You can take great steel and make it mediocre with bad heat treatment, so naturally, the big part of learning the craft of knife making is understanding steel properties and bringing the best out of it.
Good heat treatment is essential for edge holding and edge retention, but the part that makes the cutting is the geometry or cross section of a knife. A knife that is ground with a very thin edge will go through food as a laser but will need some attention with handling and maintaining that edge, while a more robust edge will not fall through food but will cut with no problem and keep performing like a workhorse of your kitchen.
When the steel has been heat treated and ground to its final dimensions and geometry, sometimes I leave hammer marks or fine grind lines so every knife is unique and tells a story of how it was made.
A knife is very hard to use without its handle. The connection between the user and the working end is embedded with many possibilities and styles. From material selection, which could be natural or artificial, to styles that could range from Japanese minimalism to western ergonomics. I like to make my handles somewhere in between and using wood that is locally sourced, but I’m always open to something unconventional. The important thing is that when you pick up a knife you know that its handle will make your job easier and pleasant, and of course also be pretty.
CARE AND WARRANTY
If you decide to invest your money in a custom handmade knife and choose my work, I think it is very important you know how to take care of it. Don’t worry, you don’t have to spend a lot of time caring for your knife to make it last. Because it is made of high carbon steel that has only small amount of chrome or none it is not stainless and will rust. The reason why I choose this steel is that in my opinion and experience it will perform better than stainless steel and will take a finer edge that will be easier to maintain. If you use it regularly it will form a patina that will guard it against rust and tell a story of your past meals. The color of patina will range from gray to blue and is something that gives character to your knife. The main important thing is to keep it dry, which means after you are finished cutting simply wash it under running water and wipe it dry with a kitchen towel. Store it on a magnetic knife rack or a knife block, if you put it in a drawer you can damage it or cut yourself when you are reaching in. Keeping your knife sharp is easy with carbon steel, just strop it on leather or ceramic sharpening rod and it will freshen up. When this stops being effective, it is time for sharpening. I recommend sharpening stones to bring your edge up and if you send your knife to me, I will sharpen it without any charge, but I recommend that you invest in a stone because that deepens your relationship with this tool. The warranty on my knives is lifetime. When you receive your knife please work with it for a week and then contact me if you are pleased with it or it’s not your thing, send it back and I will give you a refund or we can make something that is more for you. If you are happy with your knife, I’m happy too, but if in some circumstance something happens that can be attributed to a mistake made by me I will also refund you or fix it with no charge. I’m human and I can make errors, but I’m a good person so you will not be screwed.
Please enjoy your knife, keep it for your children and don’t put it in dishwasher!!