Custom Handmade Knives - are they really handmade? October 07 2014, 0 Comments

Is a ‘custom-made‘ knife also a ‘handmade’ knife?

Generally yes, but an increasing number of "custom" knives are produced via CNC production methods, so the answer is no it may not be a handmade knife. 

In addition there are an growing number of small, one man knife making companies who use production methods to make knives.

Production made knife

  • CNC technology is generally used even for the small scale company.
  • Table top milling machines like the Micro Mill and bigger versions like Tormach are used in garages and basements to build customer knives.
  • Manual work during the knife making process is eliminated as much as possible.
  • Knives are made in batches or small lot sizes for economy of scale. 
  • Knife Folder makers are prone to use this type of construction.

Identify a handmade knife vs production Knife - 

Custom Handmade knife vs Production blade

  • Uniform in the shape, mass produced 
  • Often with scalloped or grooved blades in perfect geometry
  • The most obvious of all is that you will see the knife is advertised exactly the same everywhere!   

Custom/Handmade Knife

  • Most of the work is done by the maker in a manual fashion using machinery or in a very old fashion using hand tools only like black smith or forging.
  • Stock removal is the most preferred method where out of a flat bar the blank is cut out and then shaped by hand on a belt sander.
  • A very uniform knife blade is made using jigs to achieve the most consistency and avoiding irregularities. Even so some very experienced and talented knifemakers grind their blades freehand with a consistency close to using a jig.                                          

A handmade knife where the maker uses only his manual skill usually shows some kind of a small irregularity within the similar models, none is really the same or identical.

Small irregularities are a sign of a truly handmade knife so accept them and do not regard them as flaws.  

With a handmade knife you acquire a unique knife of very high quality made with the art and skill of its maker.