I use carbon steel because it gives my knives an unbeatable sharpness. Carbon steel is preferred by many knife users because it's easy to sharpen, it takes a fine edge and has a liveliness that stainless steel lacks. You do, however, need to give carbon steel knives just a little extra care to keep them in top shape. There are trade-offs in everything.
My knives are Japanese inspired. Japanese knives are built differently to Western knives. It is all about cutting performance, pure and simple. The edge of a Western knife will bend when damaged; a Japanese one will chip. The Japanese style allows for greater sharpness though, so to me this compromise is worth it. There are essentially three factors that make Japanese knives unique: they have thin blades, sharpened to a higher angle and hardened to a very high level.
The san-maï forge welding technique is used on all my knives. San-mai simply translates to “three layer”, the core is harden steel and the side or cladding is a softer metal.
The core steel (Hagane)
I use few different steel. This allow me a better understanding on it's qualities and to dial heat treat them to the best of my skills.
- 26C3 Uddeholm is a very high carbon (1.26%) steel with closely controlled alloy content and low impurities. Originally developed for making scalpels and razor blades, it has very fine grain structure and the highest potential for sharpness.
- 135Cr3 Bohler is a low alloyed, high carbon (1.35%) steel commonly used for the manufacture of rasps, files and, more broadly, all sharp tools requiring strength, reliability and hardness.
- 115CrV3 is a high carbon (1.15%), low alloyed steel. It has been widely used to make, engravers, screwdrivers. Sheffield silver steel is used in France for straight razors and in Finland for Puukko knives.
The cladding (Awase)
I use different cladding for my knives because it give to the blade differents qualities. As the core steel becomes harder the more fragile and brittle it can become. If you want your knife to stay sharp for a long time, you need to make it hard, and therefore, brittle. San-mai construction solves this problem elegantly. By forge-welding softer material onto either side of your hard steel, you give the blade a great deal more structural integrity without sacrificing its ability to hold an edge! If you look closely at the edge of my knives, you might see a line. This is where the hard core-steel meet the softer cladding.
- Pure iron
- Swedish iron
- Historic wrought iron
- Soft and mild steel
- Pattern welded iron and steel
My handle are made from local, natural, untreated wood. The handle is included in the price of the blade. I usually make hidden tang Wa handle, 125mm length for smaller blade, 145mm lentgth for medium blades and 160mm length for longer blades. The wood I usually use is :
- English oak (Quercus robur)
- White American Oak (Quercus alba)
- Red Amercian Oak (Quercus rubra)
- Bog Oak
- Beech (Fagus sylvatica)
- Maple (Acer Spp)
- Box wood (Buxus sempervirens)
- Elm (Ulmus procera)
- Black walnut (Juglan nigra)
- Walnut (Juglan regia)
- Ebonized oak (black dye)
I can have acces to others wood like, hawthorn, laburnum...or a different grades like spalted beech, poplar burr, brown oak. These will be in extremely limited quantities.
My standard saya or wooden sheath are hand carved to fit only your blade. A pin is provided to secure the knife or to release it. They are made from Tulip wood (Liriodendron tulipifera) which is a soft and straight grain wood and similar to the traditional magnolia wood used in Japan. The heartwood is light cream to yellowish brown, with occasional streaks of gray or green.