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cschoedler
02-16-2013, 02:27 PM
Every year Charleston hosts the Southeastern Wildlife Expo and I finally decided to check it out. Ended up running into local knife maker Quintin Middleton selling a few knives. Talked with him a little bit and think I might be ordering a 10" chef from him after I get my tax refund :scared4: Any body out there in knifeland using or used a Middleton blade? (also might pick up one of his kurouchi oyster shuckers)

wenus2
02-16-2013, 04:45 PM
Shape looks ok, the grind is the question that is hard to answer in a picture.
If I really wanted a knife from him I would most likely order a petty or maybe a slicer.
IMO there is less risk with one of those because the grind isn't AS important.
I really believe people should be buying their 10" chef knife from a proven maker.
You can get an excellent 10" gyuto for the $420 he is asking.

If he's a cool guy and you have the money, I think it's great to spend it locally.
I just wouldn't hold my breath hoping for performance.
Perhaps, buy it for the art or the story and look at its potential functionality as a bonus.

Justin0505
02-16-2013, 07:05 PM
http://middletonmadeknives.com/index.htm

There's a vimeo video on his site that someone posted here awhile ago too. It's really difficult to judge a knife from pictures, but it looks like he's still in the learning phase interns of profile and proportion. Also, I know that some people like handles like that, but looking at them just makes my wrist ache. It's a carry-over from bowie and bush-craft knives: a good design for hammer-grip, generating lots of force, and for a blade that's never needs to come into contact with a flat cutting board. To me, its a sign of a maker that hasn't spent a lot of time actually using different kitchen knives. What LOOKS ergonomic and what IS ergonomic are often 2 different things.

He seems like a great guy and that he has the right attitude and passion to learn / get really good, but from what I've seen I don't think he's there yet. Question is: do you want to spend most of what it would cost to get a top-quality, really awesome knife (like a Martell) just to support a enthusiastic local guy who is still learning?

I'd say talk to him and get him to join the forums and do a pass-around :)

EdipisReks
02-16-2013, 07:37 PM
$420 buys a lot of knives that are known performers. the handles definitely scream "hey, i know how to make bush knives," to me too. the honing steel in the pic isn't a great sign, either.

ecchef
02-16-2013, 10:55 PM
He uses the word "paradigm" on his home page. An immediate red flag for me. :eyebrow:
Might be a good idea to start with the oyster shucker.

mhlee
02-16-2013, 11:08 PM
Is the oyster shucker the "beer shucker"? I know that you have some big oysters in South Carolina, but that knife, to me, is just wrong in concept, design and manufacture.

Lefty
02-16-2013, 11:23 PM
The guy seems cool, but I contacted him, heard back, told him he should check out the forum, etc and I never heard back from him. Too bad, because I see lots of potential there. Maybe he'll join one day.

knyfeknerd
02-16-2013, 11:48 PM
I first became aware of him from an article in Garden and Gun magazine. It was a nice writeup. I love how he was inspired as a child by the Conan the Barbarian movie and "The Riddle of Steel". He said he would play with shower curtain rods and try to forge them while playing blacksmith. His knives look good on his site, but I have yet to handle one in person. I would love the opportunity.
Nothing would make me happier than to support our local economy by buying a knife from a local guy, but for those prices you've gotta test drive it first.
There is another guy in Columbia I think, Williams made knives. There was also a Garden and Gun article on him. He charges a whopping $275 for his Edisto oyster knife! His knives look decent and I contacted the company for more info 6 months ago, but have received nothing.
Would love to do a passaround with a Carolina guy's knife!

cschoedler
02-17-2013, 12:35 AM
Today at the expo he had a few knives with him, a petty, boning, nikiri, slicer and a yanagi along with the oyster shucker (and his beer shucker). Wasn't too impressed with the yanagi, seemed like he just saw a picture and thought he would give one a shot. Maybe Ill just pick up a petty and play around with it.

I also walked away from his tent proud to have given out my redneck of the day award. Some guy and a girl are talking to Quintin, asking about different knives, guy picks up the boning knife and comments on how flexible it is. Turns to girl and says "Ya never know when a flexible boners gonna come in handy if ya know what I mean". Girl walks away shaking her head. Quintin says "Guess your girl wasn't feelin that", To which he replies "Its alright she's my daughter". Gotta love South Carolina.

knyfeknerd
02-17-2013, 12:44 AM
Gotta love South Carolina.
+1
Instead of fixing a road, they put up a Rough Road sign.
I always tell people it's illegal to use a turn signal in S.C.
I've got a lot of 'em........
....I actually was born there, so I shouldn't talk too much smack.

theLawlCat
02-17-2013, 01:09 AM
There is another guy in Columbia I think, Williams made knives. There was also a Garden and Gun article on him. He charges a whopping $275 for his Edisto oyster knife! His knives look decent and I contacted the company for more info 6 months ago, but have received nothing.
Would love to do a passaround with a Carolina guy's knife!

I actually have one of the Williams fillet knives (the "wando") that someone gave me several years ago as a christmas present. The strangest thing is I received the blade dull, with a note saying he doesn't like to send out blades sharp and just a few passes over a stone would have it sharp as anything. Not ideal to say the least, I still haven't put enough work into it to get it all that sharp. Very nice handle, but pretty thick behind the edge. Even after only a few months of getting into all this high end kitchen knife knowledge I already feel like a snob about any knife I'd buy in the future. But I'm sure any dedicated maker gets better and better over time.