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Dave Martell

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I've been asked to make serrated bread knives for years by many people and I always answer with a "sorry - not going to happen". I feel like this type of thing is a small market but maybe I'm wrong, what do you folks say?

If I was going to make them I would basically serrate a suji. That'd be a 300mm Martell style suji patterned no-flex serrated bread knife. Does that sound attractive to you?

Would my custom maker price point kill it?

On serration pattern, would you prefer the typical pointed tooth German style or the Japanese (wavy) reverse scallop like seen on MACs?

I'd love to get some feedback on this, any opinions welcome, thanks! :)
 

Bensbites

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if people appreciate custom high end chef knives, why not a bread knife? I just sent cad files out to be plasma cut for my own bread knife. The serrations will be plasma cut in, I assume a slight bevel, then sharpening with a chainsaw file should give me a pretty nice bread knife.
 

daveb

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Next up, a Martell / Moritaka collab.😎

Speaking only for myself, I would not drop custom or even off the shelf pro prices for a bread knife. Working with a MAC 2nite and liking it. Gude comes out 2morrow.
 

WildBoar

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A bread knife is one of our most used. The scalloped edge of the Tojiro is nice -- sharp points will kill a cutting board. $600 is probably the upper limit. I assume this would be stainless?
 

RockyBasel

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There is a Samurai Bread knife at Watanabe that I just looked at, but can’t justify the price- typical Watanabe style, it’s a beast 345 mm long, hand forged bread knife, white 2, but I need something that requires less maintenance.

There is also some German guy, forget his name, that sells sword like German bread knives at steep prices, but they look destructive- name will come to me eventually
 

daveb

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MAC Superior. I like it a little more than the Tojiro ITK.
 

dafox

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RockyBasel

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The daitoku aogami, forged bread knife is also interesting. Almost got it, but will also look at Tojiro

Here is a pic of the Daitoku - looks like the Jiro of bread knives

 

Chuckles

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I would love to hear more about this. I would say it should be in the Tojiro/Mac style. CPM154 would be my choice unless resharpening is doable at home. A serrated knife with a patina would be cool. I would prefer a western handle. Like this one but serrated:

7AD1782D-06FA-4082-B28B-1EC0843CD19B.jpeg


Pricing would obviously be a factor but I am highly interested.

The scallops would have to be added after heat treat right?
 

Dave Martell

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I would add the serrations/scallops after heat treat.

I'd use CPM154 as my choice for the steel although if someone wanted a 52100 bread knife I'd go there too. ;)
 

Jville

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Hmmm. Im interested maybe I would buy, maybe i wouldnt. I am due to replace my 20+ year old Mercer.
 

Jville

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I would want to be able to sharpen it confidently or if i could send it to you to sharpen for free as part of the deal, i might be down.
 

ejd53

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I would definitely be interested, depending on price etc. I would prefer a Japanese "wave" style serration pattern.
 

RockyBasel

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I would prefer stainless as everyone uses a bread knife in this family - right now we have aMiyabi birch wood, a Tamahagane, and some unknown. Also an Opinel!

but always looking for a really good bread knife - we buy fresh bread every day! Only lasts for a day or 2. Then we are at it again. I prefer the 270mm as some of the bread I buy from France and Germany (within 14 min drive) are quite large loaves
I looked at the Watnabe special and they have a couple of knives there

but stainless is best as whole family used zanthey get washed - never in dishwasher of course - but would require too much care of a carbon
 

Barmoley

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I think the market for it would be tiny. Even sujis of the same price sell much less than gyutos. Bread knife would be even less than that. Add to that that you can't easily sharpen these, nothing to polish, thin, etc and knife enthusiasts will loose interest very quickly and won't pay the high prices. I am sure there are a few that will pay $500-$600 for a bread knife, but when it really comes to it, I'd be really surprised if you could sell more than a couple.
 

RockyBasel

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There are some German teutonic bread knives selling for 500, I ran across them as I was looking for a 270 mm Tojiro btread knife
 

Barry's Knives

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to be honest, i hate flex in a bread knife and don't see the point in it - rigidity gives you more accuracy. For sure the Japanese reverse scallops work better, at least for me. The Daitoku knives are popular, but the blunt serrations have always put me off. The main issue would be sharpening, would be interesting to produce a knife like that that could be sharpened using an easily-available tool or undulated serration stone...or even a ceramic steel. I think a custom knife price would be too steep for most, but then it depends on how people actually find the knifes performance, if you're making the best bread knife out there, people will buy it.
 

Moooza

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As a lefty, it's hard to find a dual bevelled bread knife. My only real option is the Windmühlenmesser.

A Martell dual bevel would be seriously considered ;-)
 

Bodine

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It seems like you may be leaning towards making one. Why not do so and see how you like the process, and how much demand there is for one. I would consider buying one just because it would become a collectors item due to lack of demand. :)
 

Luftmensch

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If I was going to make them I would basically serrate a suji. That'd be a 300mm Martell style suji patterned no-flex serrated bread knife. Does that sound attractive to you?

Would my custom maker price point kill it?
Up until a year ago, I had very little use for a bread knife. Our bakery would slice our bread. I imagine that has become the norm? Supermarket bread is also sold pre-sliced. Those breads arent particularly crusty. If I needed to slice some bread I would just use the nearest gyuto...

Last year I started making sourdough. After several loafs it became clear a bread knife was a must! Fresh bread with a thick and hard crust is too punishing on kitchen knives. Perhaps you could target the home baker and knife connoisseur?

I might be interested in:
  • >300mm (more length for a nice cutting stroke)
  • Rigid spine
  • Either stainless or maybe a stain resistant carbon
  • Good wear resistance and toughness - for crusty bread and contact with a cheap cutting board.
    • Bread knives are quite damaging to surfaces so I have a dedicated (and now scratched up) cheap cutting board for bread.
    • Not actually sure what hardness is a good target... but I would happily trade off hardness for toughness. Carbide size doesnt really matter as much either!
  • Slightly curved design so it is easy to cut the bread right down to the cutting board (dead-straight bread knives suck)
  • Double bevelled (I am ambidextrous)

Here's the kicker though... I like handmade but there is a sweet spot somewhere between looking machine made and looking sloppy. Aesthetically, the teeth are a focal point of a bread knife. From an aesthetic point of view I would want this done well. A nice and even pattern to it. But time is money... this would be difficult for a craftsman to do quickly. So it would likely price me out of the knife... or make it uneconomic for a craftsman. Take Watanabe's Samurai bread knives as an example - *I* am not fan of the teeth... but others may be.
 
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