“Are these knives real knives?”
Yes. All my knives must first excel at their functions as tools and weapons, then I work on the asthetics. All of them will take a razor edge and hold it far longer than commercial knives. I construct my knives to last for generations of real use, not just to sit on a shelf or hang on the wall.
“Aren’t hidden tang knives weak?”
There are a lot of crappy knives made with hidden tangs that are waaay too thin. Someone buys one of these big knives, goes out and hits a stump with it and it snaps off. This is probably how that judgement came into the popular consciousness.
My hidden tang knives have very robust tangs – you will not break them. On the larger knives they are at least 1/2″ by 1/4″. Think about how much force it would take to snap or bend a piece of carbon steel that size. The knife will be ripped from your hand long before you can snap it.
To get an idea of the strength of hidden tang construction in general, think about swords. Almost every historical sword I have seen in hidden tang. The people who used them had their lives depending on them. If hidden tangs were inherently weak would they have been used for the blades that take the most stress?
“How long does it take you to make these knives?”
A long time. I try to do things efficiently, but results & quality always come first. The vast majority of work is done with hand tools. Construction times range from 12 to 50 hours for the knife, and sheaths can run 40 hours by themselves.
“Doesn’t carbon steel rust?”
Yes. Plain carbon steel and tool steels will stain, and will rust if not taken care of. “Care of” is not that big a deal: Wipe the water, blood, goo, etc off the blade and put it back in the sheath. You’re done. Knife makers who promote stainless blades will often exagerate the amount of care needed in order to make their knives seem like the only sane choice. It’s not, and they are doing just that–exagerating. Take a look at my pageThe Color of Steel.
Why don’t you use stainless?”
The question of stainless steel vs non-stainless has become a bit of a religious war amoung knife geeks. I use non-stainless steels because a majority of the best knife steels are not stainless. There are some good stainless steels for knives, but not many. Stainless steels also don’t forge very well, and being a smith that is important to me