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Starting a 100% Made in USA Production Cooking Knife Company - Would Love some Feedback

Discussion in 'Kitchen Cutlery & Tools' started by ArtisanRevere, Apr 2, 2018.

  1. Stabilized Wood

    8 vote(s)
  2. G10

    8 vote(s)
  3. Micarta (linen)

    3 vote(s)
  4. Micarta (paper)

    3 vote(s)
  5. Richlite

    0 vote(s)
  1. readheads


    Jun 29, 2009
    Good luck on your endeavor. To set yourself apart, a few thoughts:
    1. To me the feel in your hand is as important as the steel. It is like a good fitting shoe. Since you are using CNC you should strive for a method to semi-custom machine your handle to fit my hand.
    2. Handle warmth and fit are extremely important - I like non slippery wood
    3. Do not think that you can solve edge retention, consider shipping a ceramic edge tuner with every blade and offer free lifetime sharpening. Everyone loves a freebie and those customers will be repeats and your best marketeers.
    4. Consider non-serrated steak knives - I love them and 2 strokes per side on a ceramic rod cleans them up every time
    5. Do not underestimate the importance of high quality heat treatments incl. nitro - get a pro like Peters to do it, everyone says they can do it but environmental controls are everything
    6. Never send out a knife that has not been inspected under magnification - your best customers are picky yet loyal but its all about transparency, trust and confidence; Especially if I am going to buy a knife which I have never held in my hand
    7. Manage your own expectations on what is possible and how much $$ you are willing to lose upfront while you establish your customer base
    8. Find a mentor who has done this before and is willing to share knowledge, again do not underestimate what it is going to take to truly make a living out of doing this
    9. You are up against major competition, will need to find your nitch, determine who your customers are and make clear the value you bring them
    10. Get someone to handle the phones - custom makers are famous for never answering the phone
    11. Consider offering 2 steels - carbon 52100 and stainless AEB-L (or Nitro-V), call NJ Steel Baron and talk to Aldo about you needs and specs
    12. Read Verhoeven's works on Knife Metallurgy and Sharpening - great stuff on what works
    SanBerdoo likes this.
  2. JD Spydo

    JD Spydo Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 20, 2004
    Also the type of polymer that J.A. Henckel uses on their culinary knife handles I also find to be great for kitchen use. Now I don't quite like it as good as I do G-10 but it's one handle material I find that works great in food prep>> and it's easy to clean and maintain as well IMO.

    Also you might want to look into different blade steels as well. Spyderco uses one called MBS-26 in many of their culinary models and frankly I find it easy to keep sharp and it seems like it's got a high level of corrosion resistance too.
  3. jdm61

    jdm61 itinerant metal pounder Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Aug 12, 2005
    I would be interested in knowing which vendors you have found that have the excess capacity that you require and the willingness to work with you.

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