View Full Version : McLean and Besch Design - A Gyuto-hiki

03-05-2013, 01:01 PM
Guys, I'd guess 99% of you guys had no idea that Heath and I have been working on a knife for a couple of months. Essentially, I designed a knife, Heath tweaked it, added his own little touches, such as random pattern damascus and a clipped tip, and then Heath built it.

The knife arrived today, and with all of the world-class knives I've been fortunate enough to own and use, this one had me checking my mailbox more often than most. I was nervous opening it up, and them I grabbed the knife, shook my head and laughed, saying to myself (and my omni-present beagle of a best bud), "Heath, you son of a *****, you nailed it!" Is the knife perfect? No, of course not. Is the handle as clean as Stefan Kellar, Mike Henry, or Pierre Rodrigue? No, not yet. But, it's nice, comfortable and is what we had drawn. It looks and feels very, very good.

I haven't had much of a chance to use it, because I have other things I need to do, believe it or not. I did, however, use it on a few items and this thing cuts like a Konosuke. I'm hoping it continues to impress me, and that the HT is on (how can I tell so early?). I have a very good feeling about this knife, and I already know, it's damned fun to use. :D




I have a feeling that this is similar to how Mark Farley felt when he first gave Mike Davis a shot and received those first knives.

Thanks, Heath. I have a feeling you might be onto something!

03-05-2013, 01:50 PM
Looks nice. I really like the clipped tip. Handle does look nice too. Is it just te camera angle, or is the spacer angled a little bit?

Heath Besch
03-06-2013, 03:42 AM
Looks nice. I really like the clipped tip. Handle does look nice too. Is it just te camera angle, or is the spacer angled a little bit?

The front spacer is slightly angled, I tried for a somewhat asymmetric look for the overall appearance (being an out of his mind lefty of course!).

Tom, thank you for the help, input, and driving force behind this one. You were/are an inspiration to work with! Without a doubt, couldn't have done it without you.

03-06-2013, 04:08 AM
Looks fast, somehow :) Nice lines, more hiki than gyuto. Is that copper for the spacers or M3?


03-06-2013, 06:13 AM
Svelte. I like it. What's the height at the heel?

03-06-2013, 08:36 AM
You're right, Stefan, it's more hiki than gyuto. :D Heath and I talked on the phone and one of the first things he asked was, "Do you want this to be a slicer only, or are you wanting to do more with it"? Since I rarely slice (making a roast tonight, so my timing is bad for that statement), I responded with something along the lines of:

I want it to be the only knife I need for dinner prep. It is a slicer, yes, but I want I to be like my Carter suji. Meaning, I want it to do board work and slicing duties. In my mind, there's no reason a knife can't do both beautifully. I've used some slicers on a board and felt they were clumsy - this knife needs to be as at home on a board as it is slicing up a ham, roast, salmon filet, sushi roll, etc.

So far, it seems to be doing what I asked, and is actually even more effortless through veg, etc, than I thought it would be.

To answer the questions, the handle is blackwood, copper, ironwood, copper, blackwood. The copper will age pretty nicely with the carbon steel, and I love warm, organic handles. A knife can look fast (I get you with that one), and still feel like sitting in a lazy boy, in your hand. The blade is 255mm on the edge with a heel height of 36.5mm.

I'm going to go find an excuse to use it now....

03-06-2013, 09:20 AM
Stunning knife! I'm really drawn to this type of knife style as of late, and it looks like you guys nailed it! Freaking love the handle design also. Is this a one time project, or are guys going further with this? I'll apologize if it was already mentioned and I missed it, but what's the steel used on this?

Heath Besch
03-06-2013, 10:34 AM
Thanks Marc, the steel is 1095 & 1018. It was the last of a run of dammy that I made with those two. Since then I've switched over to 1095/w2/15n20. I do like the more old world route with the 1018 but the high contrast of the 15n20 has better aesthetics as well as cutting characteristics.

03-06-2013, 02:15 PM
I'm really enamored with this knife you guys did!
feel free to um, eh-hem, (excuse me while I adjust my collar here), let me know if there's another to come. :biggrin:

Heath Besch
03-06-2013, 04:20 PM
Marc, PM me if you are interested. I would have to start one as I don't have any in the works at the moment.

03-06-2013, 04:38 PM
Love that cut back tip, always loves that design, makes it look so much more impressive lol

03-06-2013, 06:04 PM
Everything looks great except for Tom's hand!
Nice work Heath. Do you have anything else in the works you can share with us? We love us sum WIP's.

Heath Besch
03-06-2013, 10:18 PM
Ther could be one coming up, maybe a similar one in Turkish twist dammy (I think I need to make one for myself!!):lol2:

03-10-2013, 08:39 PM
For what it's worth, I just ordered a nakiri from Heath. Pure cutters!!!