I bought this knife because I wanted to learn more about some of the carbon steels I don't have in my collection like 1095. I had seen pictures of @JohnnyChance's knife which swayed me to get a knife by Randy. Upon receipt from Randy I gave it a close inspection. The fit and finish were good and I appreciated the slight rounding of the spine and more so on the choil. Since I wanted to see Randy's mindset I didn't interfere with his original design when ordering.
HANDLE: The John Deere Butchcarta handle was well executed in shape though I personally would prefer a slightly wider version. I feel at this blade length, a wider handle would be too heavy though so a lighter material would be more appropriate. The copper pins highlighted by the center mosaic really stand out. After hours of use, I can attest the this handle is comfortable and well thought out.
BLADE: The knife is well balanced at about the second inscribed H. I forced a patina with some scraps of beef for amusement with pleasing results. The knife is not highly reactive yet still unpleasant with some citrus fruits. The profile is good (especially the edo-style tip) but for me could be improved slightly for my cutting style. The blade does have a nice amount of flat length to it but because of the change of height from the heel forward I wasn't completing cuts. I know this can be remedied with changes to my technique but I would prefer a more consistent height all the way to the tip (think bunka). After a few sessions I figured it out.
PERFORMANCE: I used the knife to prep the typical veggies, e.g., tomatoes, onions, peppers, mushrooms, carrots, squash with great results. Here the lack of blade height shined by eliminating any food sticking issues. I wasn't sure but the sturdy nature of knife allowed me to cut winter squash and bone out chicken without chips, rolling, etc. I am very pleased overall. I do think I will thin out the blade at some point. The 1095 has held an production efficient edge for a descent amount of time. I have time to sharpen but mostly I just do touch up the edge on a 8000x stone and strop on newspaper. I'm looking forward to seeing if I can get improvement with balsa, felt, and leather strops. Hopefully Santa's reading this . Thanks again Randy for a great knife!
Thanks you. Im happy to hear that your pleased with the knife and its preforming up to your high standards. Great write up. I appreciate you taking the time to do it! I look forward to working with you again soon.
God Bless YA!
Inspired by God, Forged by Fire, Tempered by Water, Grounded by Earth, Guided by the spirit.
. Randy Haas