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Thread: Seem's to be a stigma

  1. #1

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    Seem's to be a stigma

    Is it me or is there a stigma against american knife makers producing single bevel stuff? I understand that it is not "traditional" but nothing american makers create is. I am curious about this. I want to do a bunch more single bevel stuff, but honestly am a little worried about being able to sell them.

    P.S. i would like to see this turn into a discussion please

  2. #2
    Senior Member VoodooMajik's Avatar
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    If the price is right I can't see why they wouldn't sell. Once they are proven performers I would assume any "Stigma" will be shed. If I had extra cash I would buy one.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member Birnando's Avatar
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    I would think the market for it is out there.
    Why not single bevel, when double-bevels seems to be in some sort of demand?

    That said, I for one would probably be a bit cautious when selecting a non-Japanese single bevel.
    After all, some of those traditional Japanese smiths have been doing them for decades, and that must count for something..
    Anyways, that's my take on it.

  4. #4
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    Stigma is a strong word. I think that most people are wary of buying single bevel knives from US makers. If you want to start why not do a pass around with a yanagi or something?

  5. #5

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    Go for it Mike! I know Stephan Fowler recently did a batch of honesuki's which I believe he made single bevel. I don't know how well they are selling, but I would love it if more North American makers did single bevel. I posted about a US made kamagata usuba a few months ago and I think the only N. American maker whose name was mentioned as doing a single-bevel was Carter.
    Have you done anything single-bevel yet?
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  6. #6
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    I think the issue is a question of whether the US maker understands the traditional shapes, why each dimension of the blade is how it is, how the blade is designed to be used. I do not doubt that some of the western makers have the skill to do it, but I think some may not have a thorough understanding of the reasons for the blade like some of the traditional Japanese makers, that have generations of experience behind them.

    Murray Carter seems to know what he is doing, though he seems to name the blade types whatever he feels like.

    If any western makers do a single-bevel passaround, I would like to get in on that.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Deckhand's Avatar
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    I do think I would buy my single bevel knives from Japanese makers. This is odd since I have no problem at all buying what I consider incredible sujihikis and gyutos form US,Canadian, and British makers.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by GlassEye View Post
    Murray Carter seems to know what he is doing, though he seems to name the blade types whatever he feels like.
    Murray trained for years in Japan and learned how to make single bevel knives. I think that's one thing that sets him apart from other knifemakers - he learned from people who have done it for years. Granted, I've never used one of his single bevel knives, but I don't recall reading that his single bevel knives do not perform well.

    With respect to single bevel knives, if I recall correctly, he uses the traditional names for these knives.
    Michael
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  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Davis View Post
    Is it me or is there a stigma against american knife makers producing single bevel stuff? I understand that it is not "traditional" but nothing american makers create is. I am curious about this. I want to do a bunch more single bevel stuff, but honestly am a little worried about being able to sell them.

    P.S. i would like to see this turn into a discussion please
    I don't think there is a stigma by any means. Rather it is a fact that single-beveled knives are not applicable (by and large) to Western cuisine, and people realize it rather quickly.

    That doesn't mean there is no room for single-beveled knives. I think a yanagi or deba or garasuki made out of good steel, with a good heat treatment will be hell of a knife and will sell just as would a good double beveled knife. However, to compete with Japanese craftsmen's bread-and-butter product, one has to grind as well as they do (width of the bevel consistent along the whole edge, properly shaped ura, proper profile, weight, etc.) That would be the hardest, but if you succeed and knowledgeable users can attest it, sky is the limit. I suggest to copy a tried and true design rather than to "design" one's own.

    I for one, have plans for both single-beveled and double-beveled knives.

    M

    PS: Want to add that making a single-beveled knife (stock removal) is not that much harder than making a double-beveled knife if you put time in studying the original, and come up with technique that will produce the same result as on the original. The potential issues to deal with will be bending after a bevel is ground, and possible warpage. If you clay coat W2 you might see less of those.


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  10. #10
    Murray Carter does it. You could learn to--it'd be an enriching hobby, for sure. But it takes a horrendous amount of skill, practice, and education that is not available here. It doesn't hurt to have tools that you can't get here(like those big wheels). You couldn't grind a Yanagiba on belts and make a living selling them for $300 like a lot of Japanese makers do.

    I say there's no reason to do it commercially, since demand for it is nothing like what it is in Japan, and global trade is so easy these days. Just let the Japanese continue to kick ass at doing what they do.

    Not really a stigma, just a realistic expectation level of quality and style. I would never buy an American-Made Deba sight unseen, from any maker. I'd buy one from Shigefusa no problem, and I've never seen one in person.

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