Budget custom knives

Discussion in 'The Kitchen Knife' started by minibatataman, Feb 9, 2019.

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  1. Feb 9, 2019 #1

    minibatataman

    minibatataman

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    I have something fairly simple but very specific I want, but I don't have a big budget, especially since this is my first custom. I'm sure at low budgets you're better off just getting a decent "production" knife but for someone who wants to dip their toes in the custom market and experiment a bit, what's the least expensive route I can take to make a knife to my specs?
    Thanks
     
  2. Feb 9, 2019 #2

    Noodle Soup

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    Just how low do you want? Having something made to your personal specs tends to raise the price a fair amount.
     
  3. Feb 9, 2019 #3

    Barashka

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    Hey, there some established custom knife makers that aren't terribly expensive and still do amazing work. You might want to browse Instagram or the like for new knifemakers as well, some might not even have websites yet and you'll only be able to message them personally. Consider posting on reddit as well, enough people hang out on /r/chefknives/
     
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  4. Feb 9, 2019 #4

    HRC_64

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    no description and no budget
    makes this a difficult thread

    "very specific"?
     
  5. Feb 9, 2019 #5

    milkbaby

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    Make a file jig like Aaron Gough shows in the video below. Then make your own knife.
     
  6. Feb 9, 2019 #6

    minibatataman

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    I left it vague on purpose, the point was just to ask which custom knife makers have asking prices that are below the average for what to expect usually. I'm not sure how much that is to begin with so I can't judge what is "less"
    I didn't mention my specifics because it's irrelevant mostly.
     
  7. Feb 9, 2019 #7

    Lars

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    Bill Burke..

    Lars
     
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  8. Feb 9, 2019 #8

    Anton

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    What's your budget?

    ...
     
  9. Feb 9, 2019 #9

    Chicagohawkie

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    Having looked into this and deciding if I wanted to undertake the challenges. I have many of the tools needed so there wouldn’t be a lot of cost outlay on initial tool expense. Mind you, these were retail costs and if you were to buy in bulk costs would be significantly cheaper. Looked at mono steel blanks of O1 and AEB-L for 25 bucks and heat treat 25 bucks, 10 bucks for a walnut and maple handle plus the costs of abrasives. Material cost of making knife - well under a hundred bucks........ Time to make knife...... another story.
     
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  10. Feb 9, 2019 #10

    minibatataman

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    Yea exactly, with school I barely have enough time to cook let alone work on knives
     
  11. Feb 9, 2019 #11

    minibatataman

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    Id like it if I don't go over 400 bucks
     
  12. Feb 10, 2019 #12

    ashy2classy

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    Kippington?
     
  13. Feb 10, 2019 #13

    dwalker

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    tim@blackstoneknife.com

    Can't recommend more highly for what you are after. I absolutely love the custom he did for me. I think you will find he is malicious in the details and reasonably priced.
     
  14. Feb 10, 2019 #14

    panda

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    kippington, mario ingoglia, and marko tsourkan all have reasonable prices as in not rip off. certainly not 'budget' but you dont want ghetto custom anyway.
     
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  15. Feb 10, 2019 #15

    egolan

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    Depending on length, I think the prices Robert Trimarchi of TheNine charges are quite reasonable. And, like others have said, you don’t want ghetto. Robert is top flight by all accounts.

    My understanding is all makers charge, at some level, on length, so it’s all relative.
     
  16. Feb 10, 2019 #16

    bahamaroot

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    I have a couple knives by Tim also and can't say enough good about him!
     
  17. Feb 10, 2019 #17

    Bensbites

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    I will vouch for Tim as well.

    You might want to look at Dakota Williston too. I don’t know his prices.
     
  18. Feb 10, 2019 #18

    Corradobrit1

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    Blenheim forge have reasonable prices. You can see some their work on Eating Tools.
     
  19. Feb 10, 2019 #19

    milkbaby

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    If you're talking about a full custom 200+ mm chef's or gyuto to your exact specifications for US$400, I doubt many of those mentioned already will be within your budget. Out of the makers mentioned already, most likely Dakota Willison (Willison Knives) then possibly Timothy Johnson and Kippington(?just guessing) could come in under $400.

    For full custom chef's or gyuto 200 mm or longer under $400, you may have to go with a less established, younger, and/or newer maker. Somebody like Lucas Baldwin who @crockerculinary turned me onto. DCB Customs for some reason is quite reasonable too, beautiful work. This is just from my seeing pics online, but hopefully crockerculinary will drop in with his expertise?

    What is so specific in your request? Particular profile, grind geometry, materials? That could play a role in pricing. Size and complexity also affect the pricing in general.

    Edited to add: A couple of issues with expense is the custom will probably be finished to much higher fit and finish than typical factory or small workshop knife. A one person operation also cannot take advantage of economies of scale or factory line efficiencies. Also any knife out there with your name on it can potentially help or hurt your reputation, so most custom makers don't want to send out into the world anything but the best.
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2019
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  20. Feb 10, 2019 #20

    minibatataman

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    Yea exactly, hence I asked here for suggestions about the younger/less experienced ones so they'd fit the bill.
     
  21. Feb 10, 2019 #21

    F-Flash

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    Tillman, leknives, lewgriffinknives.

    Worth checking out.
     
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  22. Feb 10, 2019 #22

    Kgp

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    Tony Laseur can do one for you in that range. Might be a 3 month wait, but worth it.

    Ken
     
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  23. Feb 10, 2019 #23

    Cashn

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    Depending on what your trying to have made Ordering direct from Heiji can be reasonably priced. I recently went through this trying to get larger gyutos from western craftsman and found that $500 was the price to get in the game.
     
  24. Feb 11, 2019 #24

    crockerculinary

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    not sure what expertise i can bring, but i can tell you a good way to find knife makers that are still affordable is to look on etsy. i am pretty sure that is where i first saw Lucas, and maybe even DCB. it seems like a good jumping off selling place before being fully in the thick of a full time career through the retailers and doing steady custom work. i am reluctant to make recommendations for the best cheap maker, but there are definitely people doing decent work there who are still selling for a reasonable cost. there are a few people doing great work on there that still sell there i guess because its just easy. probably a good tactic to get exposure too.

    also on the various sales and making forums you can see who is posting their work for sale at a inexpensive price who are obviously just getting started, and they are probably easier to work with, both price and availability wise, on a commission.
     
  25. Feb 11, 2019 #25

    Migraine

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    Can vouch for Lew Griffin, the petty he made me is class.
     
  26. Feb 13, 2019 #26

    BlueSteel

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    Another vote for Tony Laseur...he is great.

    Cheers,
    Blair
     
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