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Thread: Filework on a chef's knife?

  1. #1

    Filework on a chef's knife?

    So is filework OK on a chef's knife?

    Well it sure is pretty and I like the look myself, I can appreciate the skill it takes to do this work. The kitchen knife world is different on many levels and this is one example that a maker needs to consider.

    I say it's OK to offer filework if it's done between handle scales ONLY IF the voids are filled in with epoxy. Leaving voids at the tang on a kitchen handle is asking for trouble on a couple of different levels.

    I say it's NOT OK if done to the spine forward of the handle. Filework on the spine of a chef's knife would be found in the exact place where a chef pinches the blade while using the pinch grip. We would not want to unnecessarily expose a chef's hand to a finger grater - not good.

    I hope new kitchen knife makers converting over from bowie knifemaking, as well as new kitchen knife modifiers, can learn something from this.

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2011
    South Carolina
    On top of that, for filework to look good, there needs to be a certain thickness of the spine. Most of the good kitchen knives are thin enough that filework wouldn't look right anyway.

  3. #3
    daveb's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Just outside Tampa
    You mean there's something else wrong with this one?
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    Older and wider.

  4. #4
    Senior Member WildBoar's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Randy does some very nice filework on his custom kitchen knives. I've handled a few (and we have a 180 petty) and have not found the filework in the pinch grip area to be an issue. And the seal between handle and tang has never jumped out as being an issue. Our petty is ss , so if water did get in at the handle it would not be nearly as big of an issue as on a carbon steel knife. But with that being said, the carbon Damascus knives I've seen have not had any obvious signs of issues from moisture penetration (although only long-term use can really tell the story). I think it's good that you have opened this dialog, because this type of work definitely can lead to knife problems down the road.
    David (WildBoar's Kitchen)

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by daveb View Post
    You mean there's something else wrong with this one?
    Rule #1- Don't sweat the small s%&t, rule #2- It's ALL small s%&t

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by daveb View Post
    You mean there's something else wrong with this one?
    Taciticool cutlery

  7. #7

    ecchef's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    In the Village.
    Filework is nice when done at the skill level illustrated in the photo. I wouldn't want it on an everyday user, but if you're going balls out custom with steel, handle material, mosaic pins, etc., then sure, why not?
    Though I could not caution all I still might warn a few; Don't raise your hand to raise no flag atop no ship of fools. - Robert Hunter

  8. #8
    Senior Member Castalia's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Anyone have pictures of filework filled with epoxy on a kitchen knife?

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