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Thread: the value of "going custom"

  1. #1
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    the value of "going custom"

    I'm curious as to how the forum as a whole would put value on the components of a custom knife. I'm not even sure how to phrase the question so I'll just ask an ambiguous question and we can see what comes out. Let's say you have $500 (or whatever the amount may be) you must spend on a custom knife. Where would your money go? What percentage would go toward fancy materials? a painstakingly perfect grind? a perfect finish (whatever that might be)? amazing fit of the components? amazing comfort? All of these things take time and time is money right? What's most important to you? For me, I would put 50% or so into the blade function then 15% on materials, 15% on finish and 15% on comfort and then the other 5% wherever needed, maybe.

  2. #2
    In all honesty TK, if I'm going custom, I don't start out at a base price and try to fit everything I want into that. Instead, I look at each component you listed, pick everything I want in that respect, and worry about the cost later. In going custom, I don't have to try and figure out what percentage of my money I want going towards the grind, F&F, materials, and comfort. I can put an equal preference on each one of those aspects, and then let the maker put a price on what he's going to charge for that. At least that's the appeal of a custom to me, not having to make any trade-offs in searching for what I want.

  3. #3
    Senior Member EdipisReks's Avatar
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    your break down sounds about right to me. i really prefer wa handled knives, so comfort is a bit easier than with a Western knife.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Adagimp's Avatar
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    If I started with a limit I'd probably opt for 60% blade function, 10% materials, 10% fit and finish, 15% comfort and 5% for anything else. No spending limit would obviously be a different story, but the allure of custom for me is that I have a chance to get a grind and profile that is tailored to what I think makes for a great cutter and not that it will look super swanky or have be the most comfortable thing I've ever held.

  5. #5
    I would think I would second the "I would pay no matter what cost for what I want" part, but I would be most interested in metal used for the knife and wood and ferrule materials. The grind and all that other jazz I could pass up since I can pretty much fix all of it to my exacting standards.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Johnny.B.Good's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Edge View Post
    In all honesty TK, if I'm going custom, I don't start out at a base price and try to fit everything I want into that. Instead, I look at each component you listed, pick everything I want in that respect, and worry about the cost later. In going custom, I don't have to try and figure out what percentage of my money I want going towards the grind, F&F, materials, and comfort. I can put an equal preference on each one of those aspects, and then let the maker put a price on what he's going to charge for that. At least that's the appeal of a custom to me, not having to make any trade-offs in searching for what I want.
    +1

    On a full custom, I would expect everything to be done 100% to the best of the maker's abilities. There should be no compromises when it comes to the grind and/or fit and finish (assuming the maker and customer agree on the type of finish up front). Compromises (in an effort to keep costs in line) should only be made when it comes to the types of materials used, not how they are put together. Comfort is subjective (I don't know how makers attempt to ensure customer satisfaction in this area).

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Johnny.B.Good View Post
    +1

    On a full custom, I would expect everything to be done 100% to the best of the maker's abilities. There should be no compromises when it comes to the grind and/or fit and finish (assuming the maker and customer agree on the type of finish up front). Compromises (in an effort to keep costs in line) should only be made when it comes to the types of materials used, not how they are put together. Comfort is subjective (I don't know how makers attempt to ensure customer satisfaction in this area).
    + 1

  8. #8
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    I could see this dictating who you choose to make your custom, as some of the Japanese makers may alter a profile for you, etc. while keeping their stock handle. That's a good route to go if you are mainly looking for, say, a Blue #2 gyuto with a 255mm edge, 45mm heel, etc. as your goal, with little consideration due to handle and/ or maybe some of the finer finishing techniques on the blade and handle.

    Kind of a different approach then thinking "I really want a cool dammy suji from HHH, I wonder how much it will cost?"
    __________
    David (WildBoar's Kitchen)

  9. #9
    Senior Member Salty dog's Avatar
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    Oh boy. I have a million things to say on this subject and don't know where to start.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Salty dog View Post
    Oh boy. I have a million things to say on this subject and don't know where to start.
    I think we have time. Go have a drink or two, come back and let it all hang out.

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