BLADEs Best Custom Knives: The Best Custom Knives of BLADEs First 40 Years
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Whether you are making knives for your own kitchen, as unique gifts for friends and family, or as a business of your own, Jantz Supply has everything you need to design your first knife and refine your craft over time. Founder of Jantz Supply, working on a prototype for a new project. Learn more about us here. View or Download our Color Catalog Jantz catalog.
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Sheaths and Cases. Knifemaking Tools. Forging and Heat Treating. I've had the experience of doing this very thing; this is how I used to make and sell my tactical knives. When I did, the first thing that would happen would be the client contacting me and saying, "Gee, I really like the knife and sheath, but do you have a way to mount it lower on the belt? Another client would ask, "Can you make something to mount the knife over my sternum?
It's the only place I can wear the knife. And by the way, it has to be handle-down. A client submitted, "I do a lot of work where I might be in the field after dark, and sometimes, even in the daytime, I need a small light for examination or emergencies, or just finding my way. Then clients asked, "The little light is great, but can you actually give us a main or key flashlight.
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We need one that can be our main lamp, with super-bright illumination for nighttime operations. Oh, and we need it to be able to be aimed in a fixed position, in any direction from the sheath. Then, we need to be able to remove it, replace it, and depend on the holder to never rust, corrode, or bend. My counterterrorism clients claim that "Two lights are only one light, and one light is no light. Another was the fire starter for outdoorsmen, less often requested. I had knives with lanyard holes, but no lanyards; two types were added.
Lately, I've added real diamond sharpening pads with essential pad-bags to carry, store, and use them. When I noticed that some of the drawstring bags the knife kits were stored in were literally worn out, I looked for a durable duffle that could accommodate the entire kit. Consequently, the kits grew, and continue to grow to this day.
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My logic is this: I simply want my client to have everything associated with his knife. It's part of my service commitment to my career field. Let's just look at what happens if I don't include all these accessories in the kit. I can reveal this because it's happened before.
The client buys just the knife and sheath. He then notices that the sheath is a fixed form, and has a definite and universal mounting hole arrangement for straps and hardware. Since no one else in the world makes this, he then contacts me because he wants a different mounting or wearing arrangement.
It's just a few straps to create, and maybe I can match the color of the anodizing with the rest of his gear, but maybe not, since I anodize in batches. But in order to make his accessories, I would have to stop what I'm doing while five years in backorders to make the parts. More logically, he should take his place in the queue, and wait five years for his straps to mount his knife.
And then later, he wants a UBLX, but it's custom made for the knife they all are and I have to have the knife shipped back to me, so I can get the sizing and arrangement correct for the custom fit, and maybe he has to wait five years for that-. Another point is that sometimes, a potential client may think that if I just offer the simple knife and sheath combination, he'll get a big discount and get the knife for less money.
And then, he can add those accessories as time goes on, to spread out his investment. That doesn't work either. If a client is strapped to pay for the kit, he probably should not be buying the knife.
Burke, Bill, M.S.
Most other knifemakers won't say this, but the last thing I want to do is to impose any financial burden on my clients. I know what it is to live and work within a budget, and I also know what a tremendous amount of work it takes to make these knives; they are quite literally the finest, most complete tactical knife kits in the world.
If you don't think so, I challenge you to find any that compare, anywhere. The fact that they are so difficult to make is why you don't see them anywhere else. This means that the incredible amount of labor means a higher price. As I've stated before, I'm not interested in making budget knives; I've only got one life and one career, and I want to make the very best knives and kits I can possibly create in that time. Since nearly every single one of my knives is shipped to a destination, it's important to know that they will arrive in the condition they're sent, as soon as is reasonably possible, at a reasonable cost.
Shipping is no place to cut costs in the modern internet based business of making fine custom knives, and with today's technology, packing, tracking, and care are paramount to the completion of an order. A package from me doesn't only include a knife. It includes an engraved acrylic permanent description plate, a bio sheet, a care sheet, and a cover sheet.
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It includes the receipt, business card for your file, and any information or reference material you might need. I want the experience of opening this package to be the height of the entire knife ordering process; it should be! I don't rest easy until I've heard from the client upon delivery. What they think about their new knife, knives, or artwork upon delivery is my most important feedback.
Short answer: the best fine, modern, high quality, high alloy, high strength tool steels. These steels are modern, high tech tool steels made to the highest quality and purity that the foundry can produce. Most of them can not be hand-forged, because of their high alloy content, high critical temperatures, and high purity process requirements.
They must be treated in a clean, specific environment, with careful steps of stress relieving, annealing, heat treating, and tempering. Most are high alloy, hypereutectoid, and benefit from cryogenic processing that I do right here in my studio. My clients expect the best, and these steel types have a proven record in combat, rescue, professional use, kitchens, and in the counterterrorism field, and retain their investment value in collections. Here they are with some of their properties:.
I also use other specialty steels, like stainless damascus and powder technology steels. Pattern welded damascus is decorative and beautiful, but no matter how well it's made, those layers constitute welds, potential places of stress in the billet. Although most of pattern welded damascus is entirely usable, I don't use it in high strength tactical models, when a client requests "shove it in a rock and stand on it" tough.
The other specialty steels that I use are expensive, hard to work, and have definite applications, but each has specific characteristics and limitations. Custom knife blades deserve their own page, and mine is one of the most popular and detailed in the world. Click here for my Blades Page. Profiled blades seem to multiply around the shop. When a maker is tired, or has just a few minutes before lunch, or just wants to do something mindless, he can usually cut out a blade. It's slow, boring work, as cuts are made with a slow moving high cobalt band saw blade.
People have asked why I don't use a plasma cutter. Because the edge will be burned, or at the very least, the alloy properties and distribution may be compromised, and I won't take that chance particularly at the critical cutting edge. A water jet may be nice to use, but I have too much of a variety of patterns to justify it and I don't farm anything out. Long answer: Okay, I make a lot of gem handled knives.
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In fact, I make more gemstone handled knives than any other single maker in the world. That's rock, real stone, not the plastic stuff that is made to look like rock and then called "stabilized. I have a complete professional lapidary shop nested in the knife making studio. Lapidary is the art and skill of cutting, carving, sculpting, and polishing of precious and semi-precious gems, rocks, and minerals. I can start with a two foot in diameter boulder and cut it down to a beautiful handle, nicely shaped and carved, brilliantly polished, and luscious to hold in the hand.
Stone is cool, hard, and dense, and the balance is perfect. I love gem for many reasons. It's impervious to all chemicals that a knife might be exposed to.
Best Custom Knives of Blade`s First 40 Years
It has a similar density and coefficient of thermal expansion as steel steel is made of carbon, iron, chromium, magnesium, selenium, silicon, tungsten, molybdenum, phosphorus, and other elements, all found in rock and gemstone won't expand and contract and eventually loosen on the knife like horn, bone, wood, plastic, and ivory do. It doesn't absorb moisture, or oils, or corrosives. It's hard, so it doesn't scratch.