Why purchase a handmade knife? Part 2

Combination chef and steak knife set in custom matching block with sharpening rod by Salter Fine Cutlery

In case you haven't read Part 1 in this blog series, we started our discussion about the differences between a handmade knife vs a production made knife by saying...

So what is it about a handmade knife? Easy! Three answers:

  • Quality
  • Feel
  • Artistry

Quality: The difference is instantly noticed. So much handwork, so much care to detail. Sharp, definitely! Easy to maintain the edge. Simply performs better!

Today, we will talk more about quality. 

We offer hand-forged chef knives made by some of Japan's best traditional blacksmiths using traditional old-fashioned forging methods. Each knife is signed in kanji by the blade maker. He has put his name on it. That also means his reputation as a maker of fine hand-forged blades is also in that signature. He has taken the utmost care in every aspect of his creation.

Normally, it starts with a bar of one of the highest stainless steels available anywhere, either VG10 or R2. Some of our bladesmiths make their blades from the highest quality carbon steels in Japan, shirogami, also known as YSS White paper steel. One of our bladesmiths makes his own shirogami damascus steel using methods passed to him over eight generations of sword-makers.

As a rule, I have found that our Japanese blades, although still lighter in weight than most European blades, are thicker than production made mass-produced blades.

If you are purchasing one of our 'western style' knives, which simply means a knife with a full tang (you can see steel along the sides of your handle), your knife will be hand-cut from a single solid piece of steel.

Most mass-produced knives, even knives with famous names you have heard of, cut costs by making handles separately from the blades, then welding the handles to the blades, effectively creating a weak link that might fail over time. 

To our horror recently, we were asked to put a new handle on a brand new 'high quality' mass produced knife. The customer simply wanted a pretty handle. When we removed the stock handle which had what appeared to be a full tang knife with a metal bolster and end cap, we found that there was no metal at all in the handle save for decorative side pieces and a piece of wire connecting the bolster and end cap. No wonder that knife was so light! 

You never have to worry about a Salter Fine Cutlery knife handle breaking or falling off! Besides, it has a lifetime warranty to back it up.

....and we will continue our discussion next time when we talk about partial tang knives.

Combination chef knife set and 12-piece steak knife set with sharpening rod by Salter Fine Cutlery

An example of 'full-tang' also known as 'western-style' knives. Note the steel visible along the sides of the handle.


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