Making Kitchen Knives – Interlude 3 – Knifemakers Do Not Make Mistakes…

…they just make smaller, thinner knives

When polishing the blades, I run with one of them accidentally across the edge of the platen. Literally, in a blink of an eye, I ground it paper-thin in a spot, almost through, and I overheated that tiny spot too.

Instead of simply tossing it, I have decided to re-grind it into a prototype of a small knife for peeling veggies and fruits, like garlic, onions, oranges and similar, and also for cutting small things like radishes. For these tasks, the universal kitchen knife that I was aiming for can be a bit unwieldy and I need to test various knife shapes and sizes anyways, so why waste a perfectly good hardened steel, amirite?

This is the resulting knife. The handle is from black elder (Sambucus nigra), artificially infused with silica. That makes the wood a bit harder and it also changes the color a bit in places, making the grain stand out a little more and with a greenish tint. It looks and works actually a bit like an untreated black locust – go figure.

© Charly, all rights reserved. Click for full size.

It is a nifty little blade that goes well in pair with the one I gave my mother two years ago. ~19 cm overall length, 9 cm blade. So far it works well for intended purposes, we will see if my main tester (my dad) is going to have some remarks or complaints. I think that with a sheath it would be a good pocket knife for mushroom hunting too.


  1. says

    I’ve found that my little knife (which is a sort of large paring knife) is the one I always reach for, even though I have bigger, grander, specimens. Great little slicing knives are the most important ones in most of our knife blocks.

    That’s a lovely polish and I really dig your logo. Are you acid etching that, or punching it?

  2. says

    @Marcus, I wrote about how and why I have designed my logo and about my etching process previously, here and here. I have improved the process this time for crisper etching, a post about that is in the works.

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