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Thread: Custom or not?

  1. #1

    Custom or not?

    A while ago, I bought a most amazing carbon steel petty knife that everyone was saying is the best bang for the buck and "semi-stainless" and thin and sharp. I also bought a King combination sharpening stone that I'm still a little scared to use. Anyway, lately, I've been thinking about spending a little more on a chef knife to get something special from one of these custom knife makers. I can't seem to decide. I don't want to spend a fortune but I do want it to be as good as the Carbonext that I already have. Maybe I should just stick with what I know is good.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Benuser's Avatar
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    Please forgive me if I'm wrong but I got the impression you haven't got yet a large experience with advanced knives. It might be relevant because therefore you can't know what you want and what you expect from a custom regarding profile, edge, weight, balance, steel, handle. You still have to find out for yourself. And sharpening experience will help a lot in understanding the maker's options.

    About the gyuto you were looking for: depending on your wishes - steel, handle type - expect to pay between EUR 80 and EUR 250 to get a great non custom performer.

  3. #3
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    Benuser has a point. You either have to know what you want or you may have to be willing to modify what you do to get the most out of your knife. I'm assuming you've been around but customs even for smaller knives are going to run you a few hundred bucks or more, depending on what you mean by "nice." What's your budget?

  4. #4
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    It sounds like you have gotten bit by the knife bug.

    A common fallacy is that a $300 knife is twice the performer of a $150 knife. They are actually much closer in performance. I'd say maybe a ten percent difference. Above $300, the emphasis is on fit and finish, and upgraded handles. Custom knives $500 and up, will be the makers ideal vision of that type of knife, with excellent fit and finish, and a great handle.

    While much of the conversation on the forum is about different brands, the important thing is to learn how to sharpen and develop good knife skills. A person who knows how to sharpen and has good knife skills will out perform a person with an expensive knife but little skills. The person with the best knife skills, that I've seen, used a cheap Chinese cleaver, and sharpened it on a coffee cup.

    Jay

  5. #5
    Senior Member Cadillac J's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jaybett View Post
    the important thing is to learn how to sharpen and develop good knife skills. A person who knows how to sharpen and has good knife skills will out perform a person with an expensive knife but little skills.
    +1 Boo-ya

  6. #6
    If you can afford a custom I would say get one.Jay is correct as they really don't work that much better,but if I could afford a BMW instead of a honda I would go BMW.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Cadillac J's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RRLOVER View Post
    if I could afford a BMW instead of a honda I would go BMW.
    I don't think a BMW vs Honda comparison makes sense in this case, as the general performance factor is much different between these brands.

    Maybe more like a Corvette ZR-1 vs any exotic Italian sports car...the raw performance is very comparable, but the interior refinement on Ferraris/Lambos/etc is on another level.

  8. #8
    If you can afford it, go custom.

    The performance is like a ferry line vs a Formula 1 race

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by oivind_dahle View Post

    The performance is like a ferry line vs a Formula 1 race
    hyperbole much?

  10. #10
    I have to side with those saying get to know what you like and what works best for you first. I know it took me a while and a number of good-but-not-super-expensive knives to figure it out. There's no substitute for your own hands-on experience with different knives to get to know what works for you. I think it makes much more sense to go custom once you know yourself, your style, and your preferences well. That's when you'll get the most enjoyment and the greatest thrills from custom pieces.
    Len

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