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Thread: thoughts on handles

  1. #1


    Bill Burke's Avatar
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    thoughts on handles

    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

  2. #2
    I don't particularly like Murrays handles, but I think that's more due to execution than design.
    Huw
    In order to make delicious food, you must eat delicious food. Jiro Ono

  3. #3
    Senior Member Chefu's Avatar
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    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.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Anton's Avatar
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    Less is mostly always better, from an aesthetic perspective.
    D-shape is very nice too

  5. #5


    Bill Burke's Avatar
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    so do you guys think that nicely done ready made handles are ok?

  6. #6
    Senior Member cclin's Avatar
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    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.....
    Charles ***[All statements I made here only my personal opinion and nothing more!]*** & Please bare with me for my crappy English!!

  7. #7
    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?

    Be well,
    Mikey
    Available handles- http://s64.photobucket.com/user/mkri...able%20handles

    Rule #1- Don't sweat the small s%&t, rule #2- It's ALL small s%&t
    Mikey

  8. #8
    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

    Quote Originally Posted by mkriggen View Post
    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?

    Be well,
    Mikey

  9. #9
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    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.
    __________
    David (WildBoar's Kitchen)

  10. #10
    Senior Member NO ChoP!'s Avatar
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    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.
    The difference between try and triumph is a little "umph"! NO EXCUSES!!!!!!!
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