View Full Version : Serenity Knives passaround

sachem allison
09-15-2012, 03:06 AM
A couple of weeks ago, someone posted an interest in Serenity Knives out of Texas. We for the most part agreed that the knife maker needed a little more experience and had potential. His grinds are a little rough if not rustic. Today, I received a knife in the mail from one of my Chef buddies. He purchased it a little while ago as a present to me and decided against it, because he wasn't happy with what he received. He used it once to cut some onions and tomatoes and put it away. This knife has never been sharpened and is in the exact condition it came in. This is the fit and finish as received.
The blade is an 8in wide chef knife in 440C at 60 HRC. It is incredibly thinly ground and has a Double distal taper. The blade tapers about and inch from the bolster area to the tip and from the heel to that same area there is a taper also, but it tapers toward the tip also. That one inch space at the spine above the heel is actually the thinnest part of the blade minus the tip. The blade is so, thinly ground that the whole thing flexes. The hell is over-ground for the first 1 1/2 of the heel edge and the it looks like he tried to blend multiple different types of grinds on the face without actually blending any of them on the right face and doing a much better job on the left face. There are divots all over the right face of the blade were it looked like the edge of the belt dug in. It appears that the blade faces were hand sanded smooth. but the alternating pattern of the scratch lines shows that he didn't get rid of the coarser scratches before he went onto the next grit.
It looks like it might take quite a decent edge if the right stones are found. 440C tends to be a bit gummy or sticky on the stones and clogs it nice and good if you don't have the right stone. trial and era well get you there.
The handle. I have to say this is one of the nicest finished handles I have seen for a new guy. There are a few issues, but they are more a result of the blade then the handle. The handle looks like Lignum Vitae and it is one of the woods he uses. there is a single 1/8 in mosaic pin and two nickle silver peened pins holding the handle down. The two issues I have with the handle other than I hate the Kramer design is the area where the bolster would be has some chips, they don't look like sharpening chips they look like the wood was two thin when he was fitting it to the blade and little pieces just broke off, not much mind you, but noticeable to us. The second major thing for me is the fact that he used green dyed epoxy to fill in the gap in the scales left over from that strange distal tang taper. other than that no issues on the handle.

Over all I would, say that for a knife this early in someones career it's not bad. It isn't up to the exacting standards that most people on this forum are used to.
Some people will like the rustic appearance of his work some won't. I have a feeling he isn't going for rustic though. I think he wants to make the best knife he can. Unfortunately he hasn't found his style yet. If you go and look at his site you will find that his works are all over the map and looks like twenty different makers made them. He is finding his way and when he finally hits it he will go far. This knife looks like a cross between a Kramer and Wildfire cutlery. It is too thin and quite flexible verging on dangerously so. The finish on the blade not so good. I don't know how old this one is, his newer ones maybe infinitely better.
This knife as best I can tell , by adding all the options together runs between $250 and $300 dollars. In that price range there are many , much better knives out there. In 5 years who knows you might have another Kramer. The potential is there, If Bill Burke is keeping and eye on him, he probably has potential. I wouldn't let this one example cloud your judgement. Let's wait and see.

Pass around same rules apply . 10-15 people one week, sharpen it if you want. insure it for $300. let's get some new blood in here. 50 posts or more or pm me

09-15-2012, 11:04 AM
At first glance I thought, "Why is everyone trying to make Kramer knives"? Then I looked again and said, "Still looks like a Kramer." :D

Marko Tsourkan
09-15-2012, 11:24 AM
At first glance I thought, "Why is everyone trying to make Kramer knives"? Then I looked again and said, "Still looks like a Kramer." :D

Hell, yeah.

09-16-2012, 12:33 AM
Ill go for it Son. Why not I may be surprised.(I hope I will be)

sachem allison
09-16-2012, 12:52 AM
1. crothcipt ( don't drop it):tooth:

Eamon Burke
09-16-2012, 09:51 AM
I'm in.

sachem allison
09-16-2012, 09:34 PM
hope there is some more interest!

09-16-2012, 09:54 PM
I'll give it a go, if you'll have me.

sachem allison
09-18-2012, 12:20 AM
i guess this will be the worlds shortest pass around.

09-18-2012, 01:18 AM
unlike the second longest one you had earlier this year. :cheeky:

Eamon Burke
09-18-2012, 02:13 AM
Seriously, who turns down a free knife? Especially from a passionate new maker??

09-18-2012, 02:36 AM
I appreciate the generous offer, but I need to spend more time with my own knives, not less.

09-18-2012, 08:35 AM
Yeah, what Johnny said. Very cool of you, though, Son!

sachem allison
09-19-2012, 07:56 PM
Looks like nobody wants in on the pass around except you two, I'll give it till Sunday and see what happens.

09-19-2012, 10:57 PM
i'll try it!

09-19-2012, 11:52 PM
LOL, I think you might have biased a few against it in the description. Most people here seem to be either trying to find the style that fits them well, or know what they like and are looking for either perfection, or the gem in the rough that fits their style.

Eamon Burke
09-20-2012, 12:18 AM
I wanna see an early offering from another Texas knife guy with every chance of making kick ass knives down the road. I like to see the progress of a craftsman (or lack thereof).

sachem allison
09-20-2012, 01:29 AM
LOL, I think you might have biased a few against it in the description. Most people here seem to be either trying to find the style that fits them well, or know what they like and are looking for either perfection, or the gem in the rough that fits their style.

Oh, I understand my review is rough, but it's honest. I'm not beating him up. I think he has potential and if he is willing to learn and except advice and knowledge from people who use and know knives on and intimate level, i think he'll go far. The passion is there, now he needs the experience and that comes with well experience.
You know starting from the age of 15 to 25 I made over 300 knives with a 4 inch angle grinder, files, a railroad track anvil and a forge made out of a semi truck break drum. I would say the first 10 or so were knife like objects and each blade I got a little better and people started buying my stuff towards the end there I was getting a couple hundred bucks for a blade. I listened to every knife maker and hunter I could find and every one had an opinion and some of them were just plain wrong, but I listened and learned. I never took it to the next step, because it wasn't a passion for me, I just did it to see if I could. I wish I had the resources that we have now and forums like this were I could do a pass around and get instant feed back. I think he has the passion I never did and I hope more people can help him along ,by giving him some good honest criticism.

09-20-2012, 02:13 AM
Good story! Unfortunately I do not think I could offer the critisism that he needs to improve his craft. I was not trying to belittle the up and comers, just rationalizing the lack of response.

sachem allison
09-20-2012, 02:25 AM
oh, I know. no worries.

09-20-2012, 08:23 AM
My excuse is that I have no time to give it a fair shake. It would take time away from my Forgecraft, Carter and Rodrigue, and I already know I love them. Not to mention, I test blades for other makers who interest me, to see about their products.

Based on the picture, I could already give two points of criticism (constructive), if you want to add them to the review you might send him (i'm assuming):

The blade profile is bulbous, and puts the tip in an annoying place, and the handle to blade "joint" looks too much like a Forschner. A handmade knife needs a personality, and how the handle meets up with the blade takes any of it away.

With that being said, it could be a great cutter, but it's not my preferred style. His work actually looks pretty clean....

09-20-2012, 12:31 PM
I will participate.

sachem allison
09-22-2012, 02:44 AM
looks like it's going to be a five person pass around

09-23-2012, 01:27 AM
Jones is right around the corner from me, in the grand scheme of things... But I just don't see myself enjoying this knife. I far prefer flatter blade geometry in general...

10-12-2012, 09:19 AM
just an update, as of this morning i have the knife.

10-12-2012, 09:48 AM
Did it make you pull out a few carrots, a pepper, some mushrooms and other veg, so you could make a salad for your wife's lunch, at 10pm? Then, did it make you fast chop a crap load of other stuff, because you didn't want to put it down? Wait, that was me, last night....

Seriously, though, I'd love to hear more about it and I hope it's a good knife.

10-18-2012, 10:08 PM
i didn't think the knife was bad. it wasn't good, but it wasn't bad.

sachem allison
10-18-2012, 10:58 PM
i forgot all about this thing.

sachem allison
10-18-2012, 11:00 PM
hope your finger feels better.

10-18-2012, 11:25 PM
I think I'm next up....excited about getting a new toy in the house! Seems I'll have it at the same time as the Togiharu from Mari!

10-28-2012, 08:08 PM
I spent 2 days with this...it was an interesting experience. I spent a good while examining the knife before re-reading Son's critique, mostly as a test to see how my ability in this regard has improved. I was able to identify almost all of the things Son did.

I used it to make some chicken soup, a fruit salad, and to slice some crusty baugette. I thought it was a respectable cutter, though I could definitely feel it flexing and some slight steering when cutting through a very large onion. it did a fair job on the baugette, though not as good as my masamoto VG gyuto which seemed to deform the loaf less.

It did a really good job cutting chicken breasts into a 1/4" dice, very clean cuts, with not much effort.

the spine really needs a bit of rounding, I think I've become quite spoiled about this.

Son, thanks for letting me check this out...it was a really good experience. I think this guy will be making some nice knives with a bit more experience and refinement.

I'm travelling for work tomorrow but will try to get this in the post to Crothcipt upon arrival at my destination.

11-05-2012, 06:54 PM
Just got it today. It was my fault I didn't get my address to him in time. First impression is "not bad."

sachem allison
12-21-2012, 06:43 PM
who has this thing now?

12-22-2012, 01:32 AM
Sorry I hadn't said anything but I sent it off to Eamon quite some time ago. Before he posted about what is going on.

Looking at pm's that was over a month ago.

sachem allison
12-22-2012, 01:40 AM
ok just checking, thanks.