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Bill Burke
09-20-2013, 07:48 PM
I have been thinking about handles and am wondering what you guys/gals thought are on custom pre-made handles for Japanese style wa handled knives VS.three four piece custom made handles (think Murry Carter) by the artisan/knife maker

Von blewitt
09-20-2013, 08:07 PM
I don't particularly like Murrays handles, but I think that's more due to execution than design.

Chefu
09-20-2013, 09:17 PM
I like wa handles that don't get overly busy. Great woods, a spacer or 2 and nice options for ferrules. I've got one of Murray's knives with a custom handle. I love the blade, BUT no so much the handle. I like the wood used in the handle, but I'm not a fan of multiple pieces and the aesthetic.

Anton
09-20-2013, 10:04 PM
Less is mostly always better, from an aesthetic perspective.
D-shape is very nice too

Bill Burke
09-20-2013, 10:40 PM
so do you guys think that nicely done ready made handles are ok?

cclin
09-20-2013, 10:47 PM
much prefer the traditional way custom WA handle for high-end or custom J-knife. However, I don't mind to use three/four piece custom WA handle if it will keeping cost down.....

mkriggen
09-21-2013, 06:34 AM
I've got to confess that I'm a little confused about what you're asking. When you say pre/ready made do you mean ones that you have made in advance or maintaining a small inventory of handles made by others? If made by others are we talking exotic woods or more traditional materials? :scratchhead:

Be well,
Mikey

danielomalley
09-21-2013, 09:33 AM
What many folks may not realize is that virtually no kitchen knife maker in Japan makes their own handles. There are four-ish handle makers in Japan that produce 99% of the knife handles that we encounter. These makers do an exceptional job and produce handles that are particularly stable and well made. The construction is often significantly more complex than the construction that we are doing when we make Japanese inspired handles, making them stronger and a bit more reliable. One of the reason why Japanese-made wa handled kitchen knives are remarkably inexpensive considering the quality is that the makers save a lot of time by purchasing handles made by other folks. This specialization of tasks is very Japanese.

-daniel


I've got to confess that I'm a little confused about what you're asking. When you say pre/ready made do you mean ones that you have made in advance or maintaining a small inventory of handles made by others? If made by others are we talking exotic woods or more traditional materials? :scratchhead:

Be well,
Mikey

WildBoar
09-21-2013, 10:08 AM
Plenty had rehandled j-knives with Stefan's top-notch 'premade handles'; something like that is very complimentary to a top of the line j-knife in my opinion. But if we are talking a simple chestnut wa handle, etc., I think that is best limited to less expensive knives. If I were paying $2k+ for a custom kitchen knife, I'd either want the maker to make the handle, or go with a premade of the quality/ materials level that Stefan produces.

NO ChoP!
09-21-2013, 11:21 AM
Murrays custom handles are very hit or miss. Every now and again, I'll see a real stunner, but more often than not his choice of materials are a bit odd. Too many man made materials mixed with woods that don't necessarily compliment each other. I have one, that's currently off getting a new handle, that had a very crooked spacer in between micarta scales...it drove me nuts!

Pre-made customs, like what Matt Stephens has been offering, and occasionally Mike Henry and Stefan Keller are awesome for that instant gratification, but nothing beats working with these guys, hand in hand to develop your vision; waiting for it to be completed, and when you finally receive it, it's like Christmas morning.

I think there's a place for both.

chinacats
09-21-2013, 12:09 PM
I like simple but highly figured burl handles with simple ferrule (blackwood/ebony or horn) and maybe a nice metal spacer. Murray's handles have too much going on for my tastes.

CPD
09-21-2013, 03:01 PM
Murrays custom handles are very hit or miss. Every now and again, I'll see a real stunner, but more often than not his choice of materials are a bit odd. Too many man made materials mixed with woods that don't necessarily compliment each other. .

+1

I also prefer more traditional construction, whether D or Octagon. But what really matters to me besides liking the look is that it feels good in the hand. I started making my own for the knives I've bought so that I could tailor the handle (look, size and weight) to each knife specifically.

mkriggen
09-21-2013, 09:45 PM
Plenty had rehandled j-knives with Stefan's top-notch 'premade handles'; something like that is very complimentary to a top of the line j-knife in my opinion. But if we are talking a simple chestnut wa handle, etc., I think that is best limited to less expensive knives. If I were paying $2k+ for a custom kitchen knife, I'd either want the maker to make the handle, or go with a premade of the quality/ materials level that Stefan produces.
:plus1: This is actually where I was trying to go with my last question. I would have no problem with a high end knife from Bill with a high end handle made by someone else, or selecting one from an inventory that he had already made. The exception to this would be if I had a specific handle design in mind when I ordered the knife, but even then I wouldn't mind if he farmed out the work to a quality maker. hell, I've gotten the impression that a lot of people would rejoice if Carter would farm out his handle work.

Be well,
Mikey

Crothcipt
09-21-2013, 10:00 PM
lol maybe he does already...

I think that some Japanese handles should have never left the trash pile. I have had 3 knives rehandled because the original was split, swollen, and beat up. I honestly don't think ho-handles are all that they should be. (craftsman making the most with what is used)

NO ChoP!
09-21-2013, 11:11 PM
I've seen some spectacular ho wood handles, as well as some horrendous ho wood handles.

Lefty
09-22-2013, 02:05 AM
I'm with you on that one, NoChop. Shigefusa and Itinomonn are two examples of knives with very nice, yet plain, ho wood handles. I have two of these handles going strong, and I actually like the simplicity of them. However, I'd like to see burnt chestnut and horn more regularly, and further more, for a full custom from a North American maker, I'd like to see a handle made by the knifemaker. In my mind, it's one little perk of going with a North American maker.

Chefu
09-22-2013, 02:19 AM
I'm with mkriggen on Carter farming out his handles. If I could choose a handle from the likes of Stefan / MH / Matt S I would be thrilled.

:plus1: This is actually where I was trying to go with my last question. I would have no problem with a high end knife from Bill with a high end handle made by someone else, or selecting one from an inventory that he had already made. The exception to this would be if I had a specific handle design in mind when I ordered the knife, but even then I wouldn't mind if he farmed out the work to a quality maker. hell, I've gotten the impression that a lot of people would rejoice if Carter would farm out his handle work.

Be well,
Mikey