View Full Version : Ebony saya for precious???

03-25-2013, 09:15 PM
I'm still new in this forum, my name is kinko. I just want share a little discussion about ebony saya cover for our precious one. I see a lot of good knives with ebony handle even with silver spacer but the saya covers come with them are mostly just magnolia or ho wood sayas, so looks so unbalanced (cheap). Otherwise if we want to upgrade those magnolias to ebonies for $250-400 a piece. Do you guys think it's worth?

03-25-2013, 09:58 PM
Otherwise if we want to upgrade those magnolias to ebonies for $250-400 a piece. Do you guys think it's worth?

I guess it depends on how much money you have and how you like to spend it. I've never spent that much on a saya (and probably never will), but I won't completely rule out the possibility.

Welcome to the forum, Kinko.

03-25-2013, 10:04 PM
Depends on the sentimental/real value of your knife.... If you are calling it precious, then it must mean a lot to you.... What kind of knife is it?
Do you already have a magnolia for it?
Are you planning on keeping it for a long time?
What kind of use does it get?
Do you travel with it? A knife bag?

Some Pictures would help the diagnosis!


03-25-2013, 10:09 PM
Do I think a three hundred dollar matching saya for a $2K honyaki knife is worth it? Sure. Do I think that a three hundred dollar saya for a four hundred dollar knife is worth it? No. Definitely not. A saya which hits that price point really should only be matched up with an equally expensive, one of a kind knife. A saya is there to keep the blade and the user safe. I don't demand anything more of it than it perform the function for which it is intended. I don't want or need it to be pretty. I want it to protect the knife. Anything more than that is just flash. Do I appreciate a beautiful custom handle? No question. I definitely appreciate it, but does it enhance the function of the knife? Not in the least. Does it enhance the owner's enjoyment of the knife? Absolutely it does, otherwise, custom handles wouldn't be so common. Does a saya which may cost as much as the knife to which it's fitted enhance the owner's enjoyment of the knife? It certainly might, but I suppose the decision about that is really up to the guy throwing down the credit card.

Welcome aboard!

03-25-2013, 10:17 PM
I've thought about this, I don't own any ebony handle knives but I have always thought the saya handle mismatch seemed a little off. But for the price you mentioned I would just deal. I wonder if you could stain a saya to match at least color wise.

03-25-2013, 10:18 PM
Some Pictures would help the diagnosis!



And Welcome!

03-25-2013, 10:32 PM
KC makes a great point. A bit of stain can make a big difference. I have a knife that came to me from the previous owner with a stained saya which matches the stained handle. It does have a more uniform cohesive appearance and makes it very easy to figure out which saya belongs to that knife. LOL

03-25-2013, 10:38 PM
Speaking of staining, and sorry to hijack, but does anyone know how well ho wood takes stain? I would love to stain my nakiri handle but have wondered if it would come off on my hands/gloves and then potentially get in the food

03-25-2013, 11:16 PM
For that kind of money, I'd rather buy another knife than a pretty saya.

03-26-2013, 12:21 AM
you could easily make your own for less than 85$ -all tools and equipment included. It takes a lot of elbow grease, but it's easier than spending that much coin.

03-26-2013, 12:28 AM
Wow guys, thanks for welcoming me, and thanks again for the responds. Actually the knives and sayas that I have is for suisin suminagashi yanagiba and also for my hayate kiritsuke yanagiba. Since those ebony sayas so so so expensive, I have it made by myself. But i just done only for suminagashi, Maybe later on, I will try to post some pictures if I can, once I got home. Needs your opinions. Thanks

03-26-2013, 12:35 AM
Is that the one made by Keijiro Doi?

03-26-2013, 12:47 AM
I have sanded down and stained alot of my sayas, looks alot better than the finish of some factory sayas. Stained a couple ebony, they don't get super dark if you sand them really smooth, but if you keep the finish low, I would say it would stain almost as dark as ebony. It's funny, I have a Hayate, and of my ebony handled knives it's the only one I haven't stained the saya. Welcome to the forum Kinkoz.

03-26-2013, 12:49 AM
Yup, made by Keijiro Doi.

03-26-2013, 12:54 AM
Oh, I am no woodworker, so don't take my word on it if it is the grit that helps it take stain. My non ebony stained sayas all take the stain alot deeper, and have been sanded to the same grit, I stopped at 1500 because that was the highest grit piece I had. I will say, don't give up on your magnolia sayas. If you sand them down in the direction of the grain, and move up in grits they will reveal their figure alot more, I have had some pleasant surprises under some of the rough factory sand jobs, figure movement and colour changing lines in ho sayas, even after staining will showup.

03-26-2013, 01:20 AM
Oh, can't wait to go home to take pics, still at work.... Grrrrr...

03-26-2013, 01:59 AM
Does anyone know how to input the pictures?

03-26-2013, 03:41 AM
Miles, that first post of yours is great.

Kinkoz, nobody can tell you what to spend, money is relative. Are you in the US?
For such fancy knives I might keep the saya original, instead of staining, and buy an additional custom saya in a dark wood - if it suited me.

03-26-2013, 04:31 AM
Thanks Wenus, yes i'm in US (california). Actually I'm not gonna stain my saya. No offense for all the suggestion to stain it. I made few my own sayas. I tried to attach my pictures, but I can't do it, maybe I'm still new member so my post is limited.

03-26-2013, 04:42 AM
For a darker finish: After sanding to whatever grit you like, dampen the surface of the item to be stained or finished and allow to dry. A peper towel that has been wrung out will work. The moisture will raise the wood grain slightly allowing the stain or finish to penetrate deeper and more evenly. This will produce a more even color.

03-26-2013, 04:49 AM
Thanks Dave. I'll try.

03-26-2013, 04:51 AM
Does tung oil works well for finishing?

Marko Tsourkan
03-27-2013, 10:33 PM
A little late to this thread.

I have made sayas in all kinds of woods,including ebony. The last time I checked, a custom saya in ebony with finger cutouts and without a pin, was like $650 at Korin three years ago. Now it is probably higher.

Black stained wood looks cheap. I would rather find a figured wood that creates a nice contrast to ebony and use it, or would paint saya black, not stain it.

I use tung oil or truoil for finishing highly figured woods. It brings the figure up.


03-27-2013, 11:04 PM
Oh, thanks marko.

sachem allison
03-28-2013, 01:39 AM
cocobolo and ebony looks good together.

03-28-2013, 08:15 AM
damn that's a lot for a saya, would be pretty impressive tho

Keith Sinclair
03-29-2013, 04:19 PM
Thank's Dave I will try that next time.I have used a Minwax Golden Pecan on handles & Saya.Then some coats of Tung Oil mix & Buff.

03-29-2013, 05:29 PM
Does tung oil works well for finishing?

FYI ... http://www.woodcentral.com/russ/finish6.shtml

hv fun

03-30-2013, 03:28 AM
Thanks d