View Full Version : Maker's mark - right or left side?

Dave Martell
06-13-2011, 11:08 AM
When I first started seeing Japanese knives it struck me as weird that they mark on the right side of the blade since I knew the left side as how we westerners normally mark our knives. After 6-7 years now I'm starting to feel like I prefer the mark to be on the right side, like it's grown on me to the point of it being a preference of mine.

So now the big question comes up for me, what side should I mark my knives on? I prefer the right but I'm American. Most people in this community wouldn't think twice about it marked on either side probably but if I took them to a knife show I'll get funny looks and questions for sure.

What do you think?

06-13-2011, 11:11 AM
Get your ABS MS title and mark it on both sides, untill then; Left
(Devin put it on the left side)

06-13-2011, 11:13 AM
Both sides! Seriously though, when I think about it most knives are made for right handed people. When we're talking about a kitchen knife, I'll have product in my left hand, and the blade will come in from the right meaning that the right side of the blade is facing the world. It makes sense to me then to have that makers mark also facing the world for all to see. Lefties of course might feel differently.

06-13-2011, 11:22 AM
Left side.

06-13-2011, 11:26 AM
When we are talking left side or right side, how is the knife being oriented. Is the spine up with the tip away from you?

06-13-2011, 11:28 AM
For me, I made the assumption spine up, tip away.

Dave Martell
06-13-2011, 11:31 AM
Yeah spine up - tip away.

06-13-2011, 11:34 AM
Most of my traditional Japanese blades are marked on the left side ......... they're left-handed though:razz:

06-13-2011, 11:35 AM
Right side, in my opinion. That side is the "front side" to me, and it's the side that faces upwards when I put a knife down on the table or board.

06-13-2011, 11:53 AM
I think the mark should on the right side, so the whole world can see.

06-13-2011, 12:18 PM
Right side for people who cut facing an audience (open kitchens?), and left side for those of us who cut facing a wall/ backsplash :)

And for pics, I like to place the knife with the edge parallel to the counter edge, and the handle on the right, so the mark would need to be on the left to show up in the pic. (it's not that big a deal to flip the knife so the handle is on the left and the mark on the right faces up. But being a 'rightie', that just feels a bit weird :ovg:)

06-13-2011, 12:44 PM
Make your knives stand out from the rest! I think you already know what side. :ovg:

06-13-2011, 12:53 PM
As a user, the side the mark is on matters to be approximately 0.00.

I think the whole notion of what side is facing up, or facing out while cutting is important is also a bit silly. Most of use could tell what the knife is, or narrow it down, from the profile alone, and then want to pick it up and check it out. People who are not knife nuts are not going to recognize the name, or be able to see it from that far away. If they think it looks cool enough while it is on your board or while you are using it, they will ask to look at it and you can tell them who made it.

One thing to note, I currently have a Fowler passaround, his mark is on the left side. But it is a little low and close to the bolster, and etched with acid. So it is right under my thumb when I pinch grip, and the acid from everyone's hands have kinda washed out part of the mark. So make sure the placement isnt under the thumb, or use a deep etch/forged mark.

Pensacola Tiger
06-13-2011, 01:12 PM
For a Western double-bevel knife, I'd say the left side; when you start making single-bevel knives, then the right side of a right-handed knife, or the left side of a left-handed knife.

Wherever you decide to put it, use Butch's method to get a nice deep etch. Don't "cheap out" like what was done on the Richmond Addict. When you get around to making a 270, I want mine to display the maker's mark even after the blade's been polished. :)

Also, if it's not too much time and expense, etch the type of steel that was used for the blade.

One last thing. Have you considered serializing them?


06-13-2011, 01:17 PM
The mark isn't a big deal, but it's a nice detail I think. The Hattori forum knife logo on the left annoys me, for example, because I gotta put it into the case the "wrong way" :)

I think the main consideration business-wise is this: do more of the customers prefer to see knives with the tip going left or going right with the edge down? Or edge left or right with the tip pointing up? Subtle things like that, especially when considering the online environment, can subconsciously influence comfort levels and thus likelihood of clicking that Buy button.

Not likely to deter a buyer set on the knives in question, but it could nudge someone who's browsing around trying to decide. A subconscious feeling of discomfort can tip the decision, I think.

I don't have any scientific backing here, just a thought based on how images of knives going one way or another "feel" when I see them.

06-13-2011, 01:17 PM
Get with the times Dave...names, kanji...those are all ancient! Just put a QR code on the blade, that way anyone who takes a picture of it with their cellphone get's it's browser directed right to your website!


06-13-2011, 01:18 PM
Both sides. The markings on knives can really enhance their look. I also love the proper engraved markings like on Masamotos for example

l r harner
06-13-2011, 01:48 PM
for me its left side for double bevels , Right for single bevels and LRH for just blades

El Pescador
06-13-2011, 01:50 PM
+1 on both sides, stamped!

06-13-2011, 02:57 PM
Lol Dave looks like you shoulda made a poll!

06-13-2011, 03:12 PM
If only we had the poll feature turned on.:D

06-13-2011, 04:19 PM
You got me confused there for a moment - I read maker's mark and thought 'Is it time for a drink already?' :D

Otherwise, I am indifferent.


Pensacola Tiger
06-13-2011, 04:34 PM
You got me confused there for a moment - I read maker's mark and thought 'Is it time for a drink already?' :D


A little early for you, but it's almost time for me.


06-13-2011, 06:28 PM
The left side is the presentation side here in America.

Sometimes after a maker has died and they continue making his knives, they mark it on the right side to differentiate between them.

Jimmy Lyle is one example.


06-13-2011, 06:31 PM
i have knives with marks on both sides, but most of mine are on the left. it's all the same to me.