What's the difference between production-made and hand-made cutlery?
Boy, that's a question that could take several blog posts to answer. I think that is like asking someone what's the difference between one watch and another, when one costs $40 and the other $4000 or more. The outward appearance, even the name may be somewhat the same, but the $40 variety probably won't last as long, run as well, look as good or give you the service of the more expensive variety.
I'll try to explain by breaking it down to three major differences. Let's start with 'Form'.
A completely hand-crafted knife has been made to higher standards of care and quality. The name of the bladesmith is proudly emblazoned on the blade. His reputation as a master of his trade is at stake with the writing of his name. He has put years and years of training into learning to make a blade of outstanding quality while standing over a hot forge. There are no fancy instruments; he knows the exact temperature needed by each type of steel by the color of the flame burning in his forge. He takes care to grind each blade to a precision edge. Every process is done by hand and continually inspected by the craftsman for quality.
The same is true of the handle. Gregg will sit for hours hand-shaping and sanding each handle through many incremental stages from a starting point of 50 grit to a final sanding of 3000 grit for an incredibly smooth finish. There are no 'pre-made' handles. Every one is made individually to fit and complement each individual blade. He will alter the size of the handle upon request to accommodate petite or larger hands and personal preferences in order to make the knife comfortable, especially important if being used for long periods. Care is also taken to be sure the knife is balanced, and we accept special requests by collectors and professional chefs who have a preferred balance point.
It is precisely because of the care, attention and quality of each knife that the costs are many times that of store bought knives, even those found in most 'gourmet' kitchen shops.
We always welcome your questions or comments. Also send me your ideas for future blog posts, share your own stories, or perhaps a recipe. We always like new recipes!