For his latest batch James has taken inspiration from the Japanese Hankotsu knife, tough, thick spined knives, traditionally used for hanging butchery. We have tweaked the profile, added a forged integral bolster and a splash of colour to the handle.
These blades have been forged from our new core steel, an alloy made to our specific requirements and built up from the purest commercially available iron in the world. This hard, find gained steel has been heat treated to hold a great edge but will be tough enough for heavy cutting around bones. For handles James has chosen to use micarta, a composite of cotton cloth and resin. This is is an incredibly hardwearing material that remains grippy when wet and is easy to clean, something which is vital in a butchery setting.
These blades are designed to be held in various grips – it works well in either a conventional cutting style or Dagger style, with your thumb on the butt of the handle to prevent you hand sliding forwards. Although these blades are designed for tasks more likely to be required in a professional butchery, they are also well suited to smaller work such as jointing a chicken or French Trimming a rack of ribs.
*Blade – Mild clad, Blenheim Black core
*Handle – Black, blue or yellow micarta
*Blade length – 90mm
*Overall length – 225mm
*Blade depth – 25mm
*Thickness at the handle – 4.5mm
*Blade weight – 200g
Damascus chef knife
A long and deep Chef knife, with a spine that starts off thick near the handle and has significant taper towards the tip. The entire face of the blade is ground and polished with a very subtle convex that goes very thin behind the edge for excellent cutting performance. The Damascus ferrule is shaped for a pinch grip that will be comfortable all day long.
Over the years, our individual tastes and interests within blade-smithing have been developing. Jon in particular enjoys pattern welding Damascus steel blades. He has been drawn to patterns that on the one hand are organically created by the forging process while on the other hand have just the right amount of regularity to show the careful planning that goes into the steel.
This particular steel is made by crushing a very large billet on its end to introduce a wobble running through the alternating layers of carbon steel. These layers are then stacked on themselves around 70 times to create an oscillating “W” shaped pattern. The block is then forged on its corners to skew the pattern and then sliced on a horizontal saw (like a loaf of bread).
The steel is matched to a unique end grained stacked handle with a Damascus steel ferrule and end cap. The idea was to have the alternating growth rings in the wood match the pattern layout in the ferrule and blade.
*Blade – 15n20 and 1095
*Handle – Stacked end grain fumed oak, Damascus ferrule and end end cap
*Blade length – 230mm
*Overall length – 375mm
*Blade depth – 60mm
*Thickness at the handle – 3.5mm
*Blade weight – 280g