A knife has been the man’s companion for centuries: first items similar to knives are dating to pre-historic times, making the knife one of the most ancient tools. It took centuries before humans had modified primitive eating and survival utensils into dainty artworks serving to indicate owner’s status rather than be a mere cutting tool. Thus, the custom knife came: during the Middle Ages, knives began to be crafted to the order of noblemen and men of wealth, quickly becoming the symbol of eminence.
The evolution of the knife was treading alongside with the technologic progress. The invention of the automatic grinder in 1903 and of stainless steel in around 1914 boosted the mass-production knife industry. Concurrently, the introduction of the modern concept of the “hunting knife” around 1900 opened up a new prospect for customized knives. It didn’t take long for knifemakers to start crafting really distinct knives. These cutting tools, lavishly adorned or thoughtfully tight-fitted for a particular purpose, were not just functional utensils, but an epitome of owner’s uniqueness and passion. And so it is today.
A custom knife is a high-end knife entirely hand-made from quality materials, often in a unique copy and to customer’s order. A premium custom knife features a way higher standard of quality than an ordinary mass-produced knife. Only excellent materials – superior quality steels, rare woods, bone or precious metals – are used.
TODAY’S ART OF CUSTOM KNIFEMAKING
Nowadays, a number of top knife manufacturers are offering excellent knives, but some of them stand out. You can recognize a prominent knifemaker if premium materials are used, the entire knife, from butt to tip, is hand-made, the quality of steel is thoroughly controlled by an expert, and every stage of the process is supervised by an experienced bladesmith. Fed-up with the today’s mass-production industry, a genuine knifemaker wants to see his trade as the noble art.
A high-end craftsman treats a custom knife not as an ordinary cutting tool, but as a piece of art. Such knife is crafted by hand, often one at a time, with all factors involved thoroughly weighed – design details, type of steel, heat treating, geometry, balance, and ornamentation. Such a delicate attention to detail is quite rare in today’s mass-production world.
Often, a custom knife is produced by a number of craftsmen: a designer drafts the knife design, according to customer’s minutest particulars; a smith forges the blade using highest quality steel; an inlay master creates an exclusive handle, out of precious wood or bone; a decorator adds enamel coating or other ornate elements; a carver adds engraving.
Sometimes, a designer might be carried away by a sudden vogue twist and create a freakishly shaped blade that has no significant function and serves merely aesthetic purposes: radical proportions or bizarre blade angles may indicate such an approach. Operational capability of such knife will often only allow it to serve as a decoration piece hanging on a wall, but not be exposed to real operating abuse. However, this is not the case with serious high-class bladesmiths. For them, the word “custom” never means a knife that is a museum exhibit or brittle. Premium materials and careful techniques used in crafting handmade custom knives make them way tougher and more durable than mass-produced knives. Such knives are infallible in performing their routine tasks of cutting various materials – either at home or at a hunting trip, no matter how exquisite, ornate or bizarre they may be.
CUSTOM KNIVES – COSTLY BUT NOBLE AFFAIR
It is easy to see that a premium custom knife – unlike an ordinary off-the-shelf edge tool – requires much effort and multiple processes to be produced and honed to the utmost level of artistic perfection. No wonder custom knives are priced much higher than mass-produced knives. However, even if a knife seems to be too expensive, it doesn’t mean the knife’s price is unfair. Seasoned knifemakers that have been in the industry for years usually know what their work is worth.
Custom knives are costly, but they come with higher quality material, more labor-intensive processes, and meticulous attention to incredible detail. Handicraft means exclusivity, a long time to produce an item, and an individual approach to each product. Premium alloys used in custom knife blades have increased strength, toughness, anti-corrosion, and wear resistance properties. In decoration, expensive types of wood, gemstones, and other precious materials are used. The high artistic level of a handmade knife, together with excellent service properties, make it a superior cutting tool and a magnificent showpiece at once. Such knives are definitely worth the money for a true connoisseur of knife art.
High-end knifemakers, such as Noblie online knife store, offer a huge variety of unique custom knives, knife blades and knife accessories. The combination of refinement, devotion and forgetive skills makes each premium knife genuinely unique.
Manufacturing custom knives is a sophisticated art that requires huge efforts and creative energy of bladesmiths and artists. This time-consuming enterprise gives you a multi-purpose instrument that looks great and is indispensable in many routine tasks.