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View Full Version : Serial numbers, your thoughts



WillC
10-17-2011, 04:30 PM
There seems to be many different approaches to serial numbers, from an exact and unique code for every single knife, to just numbering special editions and runs.
I have ordered some serial stencils, starting 001. I was thinking at first to number each knife. Now i'm thinking marking the year it is made would perhaps be more useful and practical for all knives made.
I think it might be nice to mark serial numbers for full damascus knives and give a small batch of special edition knives, (not necessarily the same type, but made together of similar pattern type and theme), the same number.
So for full damascus knives, for examples sake, there could be 3 knives with the serial 001 of different types or sizes but produced at the same time in matching materials. 002 maybe just one knife that someone has ordered, 003 could be another matching set etc Each would also be marked with the year. What do you think? too complicated?
The idea is not very humble and assumes that someone out there will be interested in what I produced X years ago, but i've found optimism essential in my lines of work.:D

Eamon Burke
10-17-2011, 05:19 PM
I don't think they're necessary

Marko Tsourkan
10-17-2011, 05:20 PM
+1

WillC
10-17-2011, 06:14 PM
Mmm it has been hurting my head ever since I ordered them. Its been hard enough working out a logo design.
So the name, changes in design, subtle developments in style, should be enough to place a knife in a timezone for a certain maker if desired. Kitchen knife collectors buy knives that work and keep and use them, not as collectors pieces. I know there are exceptions but collecting by set and serial is not something that is generally done with kitchen knives?
With razors I have been asked to use serial numbers but there is a much firmer association with antiquity in that market.
But then none of my bought razors are serial numbered either. I could estimate when they were made by the factory in which they were produced, style and steel used, I have to admit though i'm more concerned with how they shave :D

Marko Tsourkan
10-17-2011, 06:25 PM
I have not seen a single Bob Kramer knife (a hot collector's item) with a serial number :)

Kitchen knives are more likely to be used by the owners, than fighters, folders and whatnot collectors buy and never use.

Quality of knife (materials, workmanship, HT) and the its value (or how well value holds over time) is what going to make a knife appealing to a buyer (or not) in the long run.

M

WillC
10-17-2011, 06:29 PM
Kramer was the main exception I was thinking about. Well that puts an end to the brain ache. I should be able to sell them to someone over here as no one seems to make good stencils in the uk.
Cheers Fellas.

tk59
10-17-2011, 06:39 PM
As far as I'm concerned, Devin and Murray are the best US knifemakers. Neither puts numbers on their blades and at least Murray seems to have a very high opinion of himself, lol. That said, I wouldn't mind seeing a number on a high-end blade I bought.

Eamon Burke
10-17-2011, 06:39 PM
I have not seen a single Bob Kramer knife (a hot collector's item) with a serial number :)

Kitchen knives are more likely to be used by the owners, than fighters, folders and whatnot collectors buy and never use.

Quality of knife (materials, workmanship, HT) and the its value (or how well value holds over time) is what going to make a knife appealing to a buyer (or not) in the long run.

M

:plus1:
Collecting kitchen knives isn't like collecting guns or cars, its more like collecting paintbrushes.

Lefty
10-17-2011, 06:42 PM
True to all of the above. However, Pierre numbers his knives, and I like knowing that my knife is number 117 (I think hahaha). I'd say it's all up to the maker.

Marko Tsourkan
10-17-2011, 06:48 PM
I have one request for #13 knife, thought no marking was OK.

M

mr drinky
10-17-2011, 06:50 PM
True to all of the above. However, Pierre numbers his knives, and I like knowing that my knife is number 117 (I think hahaha). I'd say it's all up to the maker.

I don't think numbers are necessary unless it is something really special like a maker's first knives. If someone wants to document a blade, Pierre also gives certificates with his knives. I kind of like that for custom work, like a title that can be passed on and lists the steel, hardness, handle wood, size etc.

k.

Lefty
10-17-2011, 06:52 PM
Great point, K!

ecchef
10-17-2011, 06:58 PM
As far as I'm concerned, Devin and Murray are the best US knifemakers. Neither puts numbers on their blades...

Not quite accurate. My DT is numbered.

WillC
10-17-2011, 07:04 PM
I might just grind something cryptic on the tang in case one of my knives is ever discovered in the tomb of a kitchen warrior:laugh:
It does seem Kitchen knives are more about what current makers are producing and the extremes they can go to with modern materials.
What about old Kitchen knives, were they all truly awful? I suppose the steels that would interest us were more reserved for razors.

WillC
10-17-2011, 07:11 PM
Good point, I think a little documentation is important. Even if its just a bit about what the knife is made of, some basic care instructions and your guarantee's of quality. Peace of mind to both parties. It would be much more subtle and practical to keep track of the knife number by certificate.

I don't think numbers are necessary unless it is something really special like a maker's first knives. If someone wants to document a blade, Pierre also gives certificates with his knives. I kind of like that for custom work, like a title that can be passed on and lists the steel, hardness, handle wood, size etc.

k.

tk59
10-17-2011, 09:18 PM
Good point, I think a little documentation is important. Even if its just a bit about what the knife is made of, some basic care instructions and your guarantee's of quality. Peace of mind to both parties. It would be much more subtle and practical to keep track of the knife number by certificate.That would be cool. Maybe put something on there that can be read through the handle spectroscopically. :groucho:
:groucho:

echerub
10-17-2011, 09:31 PM
I find that a certificate is a nice touch, particularly when there are elements hand-written in. It just makes the whole experience a little more personal. As for the serial number... it doesn't add anything for me, even on a limited-run knife. Something unique about the run or the knife in particular might be appealing though, but that's likely to be something that pushes me over the edge rather than actually piques my interest in the first place.

Overall it seems like serials aren't a biggie for kitchen knife folks.

DwarvenChef
10-17-2011, 11:16 PM
I like the Yr of manufacture idea personally but not so much a serial number unless it's a special run or new design.

JohnnyChance
10-17-2011, 11:29 PM
+1 to the Birth/Authenticity Certificate instead of serial number. There you can give a serial number plus more info: steel, materials, construction date, etc.

Usually, with collectible items, the lower serial number, the more desirable it is. But in knife making, the more knives you make, the better you get at it, until you really dialed in, then you would plateau I imagine. But I would rather have knife #78 (or #131 or #492, etc) than knife #1. They are almost guaranteed to perform better, be finished better, made better. So the low number isn't that valuable to me. If after you had a reputation and wanted to do a limited run of some type of knife or construction or whatever, then the serial number would work better I think.

Plus I think too much text on a blade is unnecessary and clutters an otherwise clean look of just a name or logo.

WillC
10-18-2011, 03:40 AM
Thanks Guys, certificate and just logo on the knives is what i'll do I think. i suppose most knives I would want to produce would be very limited or unique in any case and distinct by their materials. Nice engraving on the end cap could be worth a thought too.

stevenStefano
10-18-2011, 07:39 AM
Engraving the end cap is pretty uncommon and looks nice. Masamoto is the only maker I've seen do it

TB_London
10-18-2011, 04:34 PM
I remember seeing a knife with an engraved endcap, it was one of the first Dave put up for sale in his pre owned certified section, think it was a butch harner suji, just looked for pics but cant find any, looked really good though