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View Full Version : Fit and finish problems with Devin's ITK knives



RiffRaff
05-24-2012, 10:09 AM
I am posting this well-aware that Devin's custom knives are the ultimate in craftsmanship, and also grateful that we are getting properly heat-treated, AEB-L at a price much lower than custom in his mid-techs. Also aware that the whole idea of mid-tech is to lower costs by outsourcing one or two aspects of the production process. And I have no complaints about their performance "in the kitchen."

But when I received the pictured petty (bottom pic) and cleaver (first two) I was disappointed to find small gaps where the tang joins the ferrule, his name not fully etched/stamped. Has anyone else seen this?

NO ChoP!
05-24-2012, 10:15 AM
A.) Have you ever seen a Carter stamp?
B.) Have you ever seen a Takeda ferrule?

Lol...these look pretty acceptable to me....

heldentenor
05-24-2012, 10:20 AM
I'd tend to agree with NoChop that the ferrules--especially the top one--are well within what I would expect from a properly finished knife. Sure, the maker's mark is uneven. Up to you if that's important or not.

99Limited
05-24-2012, 10:39 AM
They look to me like "Hand Made" imperfections. As far as the maker's mark, you get one shot at it and it's either perfect or it's something south of that. The little gaps between the tang and the ferrule can easily be fixed with Zap-A-Gap or some super glue. Did you buy these knives new?

RiffRaff
05-24-2012, 10:54 AM
They look to me like "Hand Made" imperfections. As far as the maker's mark, you get one shot at it and it's either perfect or it's something south of that. The little gaps between the tang and the ferrule can easily be fixed with Zap-A-Gap or some super glue. Did you buy these knives new?

Yes, knives were bought new. And of course, I understand there's room for stuff like this in mostly hand made knives.

bprescot
05-24-2012, 10:57 AM
I had an ITK, and did notice some issues in a similar vein, but I don't think they were deal killers. In fact, mine had some minor grind and profile issues, which I think are far more serious. But I don't think I was appalled. These aren't his customs. They aren't even CLOSE to his customs. At that price, and given the sheer number of them, they can't be, there's just not enough time to do that. So I don't think I was very disappointed, or if I was it was only because I'd heard and seen some truly legendary DT customs, and thought that this was a more affordable avenue to get exactly that. But it was still a great knife, with great steel and geometry and quite good F+F. It was comfortable and very pretty and cut like the dickens. With that said, I should probably also note that I don't own that knife today...

Eamon Burke
05-24-2012, 11:08 AM
Those look ok to me. I assure you that when the stamp didn't take just right, he probably kicked himself a bit. But I think a slightly faded stamp is better than two stamps.

El Pescador
05-24-2012, 11:15 AM
Have you reached out to DT about your issues? I have always found Devin more than accommodating when it came to rectifying any problems I had with his knives.

tk59
05-24-2012, 11:17 AM
In my opinion, those imperfections are inconsequential. I wouldn't be super happy about them but I would just seal the holes and not worry too much about it. There's no way to fix the stamp and they are all different since he makes them with an actual stamp and a hammer and I think it has to be done prior to hardening.

The hekler
05-24-2012, 11:56 AM
I have seen worse on what were supposedly "higher quality knives" the stamp yes it would irk me but only because it was luck of the draw and could have been nicer. The ferrules I'd just get a dab of epoxy or some such and fill the slight gaps if I did anything which I probably wouldn't cause like I said I've seen bigger gaps on more expensive knives and while it bugged me it wasn't enough to make me regret my decision, nor to contact the maker about fixing it, it's just nature of the beast to me.

DevinT
05-24-2012, 12:06 PM
Thanks everyone for your support. There have been some issues with the ITK knives. Because of the expectations of my customers, I have had to work on fixing some things. Thank you for holding me to a higher standard.

@ RiffRaff, please let me try and fix these problems. I can't fix the name stamp though. One day it may have more value because it.

Hoss

kalaeb
05-24-2012, 12:07 PM
Lol, Getting a "perfect" tang hole fit it pretty hard to do and seldom accomplished in even in more expensive knives.

How do the knives cut?

GLE1952
05-24-2012, 12:11 PM
If you bought it from a retailer I'd contact them about trading it for another.
Glen

El Pescador
05-24-2012, 12:19 PM
I think the thing you're missing here is that these are working knives. I bought my ITK and was working in a kitchen 10-14 hours a day. I could care less about what it looked like. I wanted a pure cutting knife and this was it.

chinacats
05-24-2012, 12:55 PM
Thanks everyone for your support. There have been some issues with the ITK knives. Because of the expectations of my customers, I have had to work on fixing some things. Thank you for holding me to a higher standard.

@ RiffRaff, please let me try and fix these problems. I can't fix the name stamp though. One day it may have more value because it.

Hoss

That is the true mark of a professional! And unfortunately, yes DT is held to a much higher standard, but that only says how good he really is!

Cheers,

wenus2
05-24-2012, 01:07 PM
I just looked through a bunch of knives and I almost don't have any that look that good at the tang-hole. Several have big blobs of epoxy filled in around the tang, and a few of the Japanese made knives I filled with bees wax.
I realize you paid a lot for the knives and you obviously expected better, but the truth is, you GOT better.
If you want the best, then be prepared to pay double or triple what you just did.
An expectation of perfection shouldn't be expected until you get to a high-dollar custom, and even then... you are buying a hand-made item.
This isn't a factory knife; If one wants Shun F&F... buy one.

People keep asking "how does it cut?"
That's because, quite plainly, you bought a knife that promises performance.
If that is missing, then you have a real gripe.

Devin has generously offered to "do something" but, IMHO, it would be unreasonable to ask him to do so based on these minor cosmetic blemishes.

I hope you can get past these imperfections and still enjoy your new knives with the utmost confidence and joy.
If you don't think that will be the case you should talk to you retailer about a return, then you might consider a factory knife or a full custom order.

I realize F&F are highly important to some users (the Mrs. being one of them) but I am a utilitarian, so I apologize if my opinion here comes off a bit brusk.

mr drinky
05-24-2012, 01:15 PM
There have been some issues with the ITK knives. Because of the expectations of my customers...

I agree with that. Devin has upped the ante on quality standards, and as a group, we do have some pretty high -- and at times unreasonable -- standards. If we applied the same standards to our women and family, we would all be single and living in a hermit shack in the woods.

k.

tk59
05-24-2012, 01:19 PM
...This isn't a factory knife; If one wants Shun F&F... buy one...

Actually, I've been looking at my old Shun, lately. I'm less impressed now that I once was.


...Devin has generously offered to "do something" but, IMHO, it would be unreasonable to ask him to do so based on these minor cosmetic blemishes...
+1

WildBoar
05-24-2012, 01:27 PM
Shoot, maybe that stamp 'error' will make the knife go up in value like an upside-down postage stamp one day :cool2:

As far as the tang goes, that is not uncommon in this price range, and even in knives that are a bit more expensive. Go the DIY route to fix it, or take Devin up on his offer.

I'm lucky enough to have scored a 240 AEB-L gyuto and a 150 52100 petty from the DT ITK collection, and those or two of my most-used knives.

Devin's ITK line is, unfortunately, held to a higher standard, as many felt like F&F should be equal to his full customs. As bprescot said, the real issues are the ones that have some grind issues, and Devin has been very accomodating in correcting those problems when they have been brought to his attention.

EdipisReks
05-24-2012, 01:35 PM
Actually, I've been looking at my old Shun, lately. I'm less impressed now that I once was.


hah, i had the same reaction when i looked at the 6 inch Shun santoku i had given my fiancee. that knife was my first good knife, years ago, and i hadn't really looked at it in years. after looking at it, i looked at the other Shuns i still have kicking around, and also decided that the F&F wasn't what i remembered.

anyway, the issues with the knives in question aren't really issues.

dav
05-24-2012, 01:38 PM
It wouldn't change my mind as its really quite a small fix (re the gap in the handle/ferrule) although I disagree re price point both my hand made professional knives from Shinichi Watanabe (Deba and Yanagiba) are perfect when it comes to fit and finish and both come in at less that these "mass produced" knives.

99Limited
05-24-2012, 03:17 PM
Tell you what Dav, I'd be happy to buy both of those DT knives from you. I'm not beat'n up on you over your issues, but I realize that for some people these kind of things just really bug the crap out of them.

dav
05-24-2012, 03:22 PM
Lol I'm sure they do we are all different I guess and have different standards/likes/preferences. I really don't have many knives to make comparisons so perhaps shouldn't be lol

kalaeb
05-24-2012, 03:26 PM
Tell you what Dav, I'd be happy to buy both of those DT knives from you. I'm not beat'n up on you over your issues, but I realize that for some people these kind of things just really bug the crap out of them.

No way, i have dibs on cleaver. Lol

Marko Tsourkan
05-24-2012, 03:43 PM
It wouldn't change my mind as its really quite a small fix (re the gap in the handle/ferrule) although I disagree re price point both my hand made professional knives from Shinichi Watanabe (Deba and Yanagiba) are perfect when it comes to fit and finish and both come in at less that these "mass produced" knives.

I have seen a good number of Watanabe (or are they?) knives, and single-beveled seem to be a little better in terms of grind, fit and finish than double-beveled under Watanabe brand name. However, I would not call them "perfect" - I could find minor flaws - overgrinds, dips in the edge, bends on the spine on most I have seen (most flaws didn't affect performance, but some did).

Maybe you just got lucky and got perfect ones but I suspect you haven't inspected them closely enough.

M

chazmtb
05-24-2012, 03:54 PM
I can say that even with Shigefusa, for what we collectively count as one of the pinnacle of blade making, have had some issues with forging separation (although very slight). Marko can attest to that because it was my yanagiba that he worked on and sold me, but I completely understood and am very OK with it.

I know it sucks because we all want a perfect blade and the price we pay isn't exactly cheap. However, take it in perspective. Even though it is not a full custom knife, it is still a hand made product. There are still going to be inconsistencies.

If that still bothers the OP, he can put it on the BST section, and I am sure someone will relieve him of the knife really quickly.

Marko Tsourkan
05-24-2012, 04:16 PM
Yes, even Shigefusa knives come with imperfections, thought much more minor than from other makers (seen dips in the edge, but no overgrinds, but their knives are ridiculously thin at the very edge).

M

NO ChoP!
05-24-2012, 05:01 PM
But seriously, has anyone ever had a Carter with a perfect stamp? Mine is closer to half a C, a space, and a "ter"....

obtuse
05-24-2012, 06:30 PM
But seriously, has anyone ever had a Carter with a perfect stamp? Mine is closer to half a C, a space, and a "ter"....

I guess I got lucky :)

EdipisReks
05-24-2012, 08:06 PM
But seriously, has anyone ever had a Carter with a perfect stamp? Mine is closer to half a C, a space, and a "ter"....

the Carter i owned had a good stamp, though it had other (cosmetic only) issues. good knife, just not quite to my tastes.

rsacco
05-24-2012, 08:22 PM
Yes, knives were bought new. And of course, I understand there's room for stuff like this in mostly hand made knives.

How long ago did you buy your knives? I haven't seen an ITK cleaver available in a while. It would seem more appropriate to take up any issues with Devin rather than post about your issues in a public forum. Devin is active in this forum so it would have been more appropriate to use the PM feature so that you could give him a fair chance to fix "your" issues. Considering the quality and performance for the price, I think you've got two outstanding knives that are far better than the majority of knives on the market. At any rate, I think this post is completely unnecessary and you should have taken it up with Devin directly instead of posting what is coming off as a negative post.

EdipisReks
05-24-2012, 08:25 PM
How long ago did you buy your knives? I haven't seen an ITK cleaver available in a while. It would seem more appropriate to take up any issues with Devin rather than post about your issues in a public forum. Devin is active in this forum so it would have been more appropriate to use the PM feature so that you could give him a fair chance to fix "your" issues. Considering the quality and performance for the price, I think you've got two outstanding knives that are far better than the majority of knives on the market. At any rate, I think this post is completely unnecessary and you should have taken it up with Devin directly instead of posting what is coming off as a negative post - kind of a dick move if you ask me.

i disagree completely: it was perfectly appropriate for him to bring this up. he wanted the opinions of others, and shared experience is what this forum is about. given the response that was given, i don't think anybody was poorly served by this thread.

99Limited
05-24-2012, 08:28 PM
Down rsacco, down boy, down. Woof, woof

tk59
05-24-2012, 08:38 PM
How long ago did you buy your knives? I haven't seen an ITK cleaver available in a while. It would seem more appropriate to take up any issues with Devin rather than post about your issues in a public forum. Devin is active in this forum so it would have been more appropriate to use the PM feature so that you could give him a fair chance to fix "your" issues. Considering the quality and performance for the price, I think you've got two outstanding knives that are far better than the majority of knives on the market. At any rate, I think this post is completely unnecessary and you should have taken it up with Devin directly instead of posting what is coming off as a negative post - kind of a dick move if you ask me.I think it's fair to inquire about other's experiences with particular knives. Unfortunately, someone surfing the net for info on Devin's knives might not look at the substance of the thread and inaccurately judge the quality of Devin's work based only upon the key words in the title.

rsacco
05-24-2012, 08:49 PM
I think it's fair to inquire about other's experiences with particular knives. Unfortunately, someone surfing the net for info on Devin's knives might not look at the substance of the thread and inaccurately judge the quality of Devin's work based only upon the key words in the title.

I agree. I think it's fair to inquire about other's experiences - no question there. My experience with Devin is that he goes the extra mile to see to it that his customers are satisfied with their knives so I don't have any doubt he would fix it.

EdipisReks
05-24-2012, 09:07 PM
i don't think anybody doubts Hoss' customer service. i've never used one of his knives, but i really, really want to.

sudsy9977
05-24-2012, 10:57 PM
i know none will probably like my opinion but i think a lot of this has to do with devin's reputation here.....ALOT of people here worship him....not to say that is wrong but the same thing is not true about say carter....if the same exact thread was brought up but about murray i think there would have been a lot different response......ryan

p.s.-i have owned knives from one dollar to over 5 grand and i have seen flaws on almost every single one of them......very very few are what i would call perfect....and those i would-noone would really be familiar with their knives here

mr drinky
05-24-2012, 11:28 PM
Though I agree with Ryan (to a degree), I think any vendor who contributes in the way Devin has in present and past forums and has the skills to match deserves that respect and deference. Prefect knives can be hit or miss no matter the maker. If you push a maker to do something new, it likely won't be perfect. If you buy a knife when a maker just starts making kitchen knives, it also probably won't be perfect. I have more imperfect knives than semi-perfect, and almost no perfect ones -- but my Devin petty is as close to perfect as I have.

k.

99Limited
05-24-2012, 11:46 PM
.....ALOT of people here worship him...

Well I for one certainly don't worship Devin. I thought him walking on water was just some kind of parlor trick. As far as any hand-made item being perfect, it ain't gonna happen.

sudsy9977
05-25-2012, 12:10 AM
worship is probably the wrong word....couldnt think of a better one but those who know me know what i mean........ryan

Pensacola Tiger
05-25-2012, 12:15 AM
i don't think anybody doubts Hoss' customer service. i've never used one of his knives, but i really, really want to.

You have a PM in your inbox.

unkajonet
05-25-2012, 12:16 AM
How long ago did you buy your knives? I haven't seen an ITK cleaver available in a while.

You know, that's an excellent question, RiffRaff. How long have you had the knives if you bought them new?

RiffRaff
05-25-2012, 09:22 AM
I’m surprised at the number of responses to my post. I asked the question put the pics up because the minor flaws bugged me and because I noticed that a couple other craftsmen/artists on our site were thinking of putting out their own mid-tech knife. I figured that my own, and your own, experience with DT’s work might give them a hand and stand as one more way users and craftsmen collaborate on this site. I’ve learned even more from your posts and I want to thank Hoss for reaching out to me, which I would take him up on if the flaws were more important.

I do want to say that these posts raise a larger issue of what’s “good enough” and what’s “just right,” and whether you should ever shoot for perfection when the spirit of the thing (what the Japanese wabi-sabi) is what’s really hard to find, not just a smooth, error-free product.

JohnnyChance
05-25-2012, 03:00 PM
I’m surprised at the number of responses to my post. I asked the question put the pics up because the minor flaws bugged me and because I noticed that a couple other craftsmen/artists on our site were thinking of putting out their own mid-tech knife. I figured that my own, and your own, experience with DT’s work might give them a hand and stand as one more way users and craftsmen collaborate on this site. I’ve learned even more from your posts and I want to thank Hoss for reaching out to me, which I would take him up on if the flaws were more important.

I do want to say that these posts raise a larger issue of what’s “good enough” and what’s “just right,” and whether you should ever shoot for perfection when the spirit of the thing (what the Japanese wabi-sabi) is what’s really hard to find, not just a smooth, error-free product.

Well, I think the thread title set a different mood than what your intentions listed here are. Perhaps if you had gone with something like "expectations from a mid tech line?" you would have more correctly addressed your concern over current and future mid tech lines.

The issue with what is "good enough/just right" is a tricky one, because it does vary for each person. I feel bad when people post something and say "I'm not happy with X, Y and Z" and people respond with "suck it up, that's how it is". For some people $300-500 for a knife isn't a lot, for others it is a ton of money. So each person is going to feel differently when they pick up a factory knife, or a mid tech, or a custom and evaluate if the cost was worth it to them. It comes down to each individual person to vote with their dollars, if you get something and it isn't up to your standards, it is your responsibility to bring it to the attention of the retailer or the maker and return it or have it fixed.

labor of love
05-25-2012, 03:41 PM
This thread has me very curious about mid techs. given the choice, I'll save money for mediocre F&F every day of the week as long as performance isn't compromised.

rsacco
05-25-2012, 04:01 PM
This thread has me very curious about mid techs. given the choice, I'll save money for mediocre F&F every day of the week as long as performance isn't compromised.
I've got a number of Devin's knives including a couple of mid-tech's or ITK's. The fit and finish on both mid-tech's are just as nice if not the same as the other knives that I have that are made by him. They are great knives. I wouldn't let this thread leave you to believe that you are sacrificing F&F...at least that is my experience when buying knives from Devin.

tk59
05-25-2012, 06:22 PM
Yeah. If this is really about mid-techs, in general. The title of the thread should read: "standards in mid-tech knives," or something to that effect. That wouldn't be a dick move, would it? Frankly, I would welcome such a thread.

Dave Martell
05-25-2012, 08:31 PM
I'd like to take a minute to address some issues that have been brought up within this post....

This thread/post was started well within the rules of what can be posted here at KKF.

*Note - Members are welcome to post reviews on any kitchen knife made or sold by any vendor, even those vendors who pay for forums here on this site. All objective respectful opinions are welcome although axe grinding will not be tolerated.


Even though this was OK to post a less harsh title would have been welcomed as it doesn't accurately reflect the tone of the original poster's explanation. It reminds me of a situation where a person starts off a thread saying "so and so is bad to deal with" and then within the context of the message they say "not" and have a smilie. If just casual searching a person could/may only see the "bad to deal with" comment and never know that it was a joke unless they read the comments to follow. In this case it's not the same at all but I hope you can get my point that we should be more clear on our titles when they are of a sensitive nature.

On contacting the maker, yes this would have been a better idea IF the original poster was looking for a repair however in this case he appears to simply want to discuss the flaws and again that's within his rights to do.

We, the KKF mod team, will not modify or change this post or any other post that follows our guidelines. Many of the members of KKF recall the old regime of KF that would delete these types of things from being discussed but that's not what we're about here, we're about open discussion regardless of what knife is being discussed.

I believe that Devin handled this well and made an offer to correct what is being mentioned as flaws even if they aren't such to him. He's trying his best to make his customer as happy as he can and that's commendable.

In a nutshell we want our members to feel open to discuss what they feel is worthy of the community's time and attention yet we will not tolerate axe grinding. Members who feel the need to "make things right" in public are best served to think again and address the matter in private before escalating it to that level. It's been my impression that given a chance the vendors here will bend over backwards to make things right even if they may already be.

I hope that everyone reading this can understand our position on this type of matter.


Dave

labor of love
05-25-2012, 08:48 PM
Yeah. If this is really about mid-techs, in general. The title of the thread should read: "standards in mid-tech knives," or something to that effect. That wouldn't be a dick move, would it? Frankly, I would welcome such a thread.

Sounds like a great idea. I think it would be great if you got the ball rolling.

chinacats
05-26-2012, 12:39 AM
I'd like to take a minute to address some issues that have been brought up within this post....

This thread/post was started well within the rules of what can be posted here at KKF.

*Note - Members are welcome to post reviews on any kitchen knife made or sold by any vendor, even those vendors who pay for forums here on this site. All objective respectful opinions are welcome although axe grinding will not be tolerated.


Even though this was OK to post a less harsh title would have been welcomed as it doesn't accurately reflect the tone of the original poster's explanation. It reminds me of a situation where a person starts off a thread saying "so and so is bad to deal with" and then within the context of the message they say "not" and have a smilie. If just casual searching a person could/may only see the "bad to deal with" comment and never know that it was a joke unless they read the comments to follow. In this case it's not the same at all but I hope you can get my point that we should be more clear on our titles when they are of a sensitive nature.

On contacting the maker, yes this would have been a better idea IF the original poster was looking for a repair however in this case he appears to simply want to discuss the flaws and again that's within his rights to do.

We, the KKF mod team, will not modify or change this post or any other post that follows our guidelines. Many of the members of KKF recall the old regime of KF that would delete these types of things from being discussed but that's not what we're about here, we're about open discussion regardless of what knife is being discussed.

I believe that Devin handled this well and made an offer to correct what is being mentioned as flaws even if they aren't such to him. He's trying his best to make his customer as happy as he can and that's commendable.

In a nutshell we want our members to feel open to discuss what they feel is worthy of the community's time and attention yet we will not tolerate axe grinding. Members who feel the need to "make things right" in public are best served to think again and address the matter in private before escalating it to that level. It's been my impression that given a chance the vendors here will bend over backwards to make things right even if they may already be.

I hope that everyone reading this can understand our position on this type of matter.


Dave




This is why I love this place!!!

wsfarrell
05-26-2012, 06:56 PM
...All objective respectful opinions are welcome although axe grinding will not be tolerated...

I'm confused. I believe Dave started an axe-grinding thread against Moritaka that's now 17 pages long, making comments like "I'm so friggin sick of this sh*t!" and "As for the maker - they just suck ass".

The rules don't apply if you own the forum?

Dave Martell
05-26-2012, 07:25 PM
....All objective respectful opinions are welcome although axe grinding will not be tolerated....


I'm confused. I believe Dave started an axe-grinding thread against Moritaka that's now 17 pages long, making comments like "I'm so friggin sick of this sh*t!" and "As for the maker - they just suck ass".

The rules don't apply if you own the forum?


One thing that can always be counted on in a forum is someone to see things shortsighted when it comes to policies and leadership decisions. :)

For the record my views and actions regarding Moritaka is way more than axe grinding (that's how it started 4 years ago), now it's become a mission to fix a wrong that's being played against this community. A wrong that's IMO both moral and financial in nature. I find it difficult to sit on the sidelines and watch people get screwed - if that's axe grinding then yup I'm breaking my own rules.