I had a robust knife I gave away. Edge had two recurves I had to sharpen out. New owner loves it.
Heard good things, but mine didn't agree with me. But I like very thin edges and didn't like the Kato I tried. Full disclosure.
I've got a damascus honesuki of his. Thing feels exceptionally high quality and I love it. Can take a real beating without chipping or losing its edge. That said, it was a little chunky, even for a honesuki, behind the edge out of the box and required some careful thinning (and then a re-etch to restore the finish) to get where I thought it should be.
I have two line knives from Ealy, one aeb-l, the other O1, and i love them.
The stainless is used to cut lemons and limes, while the carbon to portion small pieces of meat.
His handles are my favorites.
They are not the thinnest behind the edge, but they feel wonderful for some tasks that don't require the thinnest behind the edge blades.
I've owned 2 240's. Both were nicely ground and not too heavy. I've seen a few line knives and thought them too thick. A coworker sent one back and Del reground it thinner. I've owned several parers and prefer the newer profile over the older, but both are nice. I do agree that Harner edges Ealy out here, though. I've only handled his damascus knives and never actually used one, but they appeared nice. Interesting patterns. His handle work is a bit simple to me. I sent one of my 240's back as the wood was separating from the tang, and Del replaced it, albeit not very happily.
Ealy was the flavor of the month many years back. Salty gave good recommendation of his 240 dammy. It's good to see a US maker still paying the bills doing the knife thing, after all these years. Kudos to Del.
Del followed the prodding of this forum in the early days and made some knives that were experimental in grind. A few of these knives have made the rounds through BST many times and I think this has actually led to a misunderstanding of his ability.
I got a 240 mono steel gyuto off BST (I think from NoChoP! actually). When I brought it to a forum get together Salty said he was the previous owner and had been talking with Mario about missing it on the drive over. Anyway, he ended up trading me a Mizuno honyaki for it by the end of the night.
Just an example of how highly Del’s work is regarded and valued by a small, albeit pretty well informed, subsection of the Knife Knut community. Del is also a great guy and well worth supporting.
When I clicked the link I almost bought the knife in question FWIW.
Yeah, Del's original gyutos were so thin behind the edge the edge would roll over when cutting garlic. That was because everyone wanted thin, thin, thin, and by Dog Del knew he could make a supermodel thin knife. I think it was an initial batch of 5-6 knives.
This thread made my little chef parts feel warm and fuzzy inside.
The Ealy Knives I had were just plain awesome. In fact I’d probably give my left big toe to get two specific ones back.
Del is a gentleman. My first custom knife was from him. I’d happily trade a dalman to get it back
x2 on Del being a gentleman. And a great family man. Some of us here down east got to meet him at an ECG 10 or so years back when he drove down to PA and put on a nice forging demo for us attendees.
I think making damascus for others is a better living for him than making knives, so we don't get to see a lot of knife production out of him. And another interesting thing is he has a lot of very, very cool damascus patterns he can make that he has never put towards kitchen knives. But he can make some stunning stuff out of both carbon and stainless. His damascus abilities definitely fly under the radar on knife forums.