D. Martell Help to Design a Forum Knife!

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Dave Martell

Forum Founder
Founding Member
Feb 27, 2011
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Airville, PA
Hi folks, I'm hoping that I can get some input on a knife design made from YOUR collective minds. As we've seen in the past, forum groups can come up with some great ideas that meet the demands of many.

So my questions (to start off with anyway) are what knife type, steel, handle configuration, and handle material would you go with for your perfect knife?

Drawings, pictures, etc are all welcome to help illustrate your ideas.

Let's see what you can come up with for me to make, it's an open slate so please speak up! :)

There have been several of these in the past, and personally I'd like something a little different. Maybe a go at a single bevel knife? I'd love to see a forum designed deba. I guess the problem is we'd be needing a stock removal as opposed to forged knife, and I don't know if you can get the kind of laminated steel you need for traditional knives via stock removal. It would be cool though.
I would like a classic french profile with a thin, concave grind. I would like the steel to be DC53. I would like a stabilized wood handle.
If I had my way, a carbon steel scimitar on Devin's pattern. :)
If I had my way, a carbon steel scimitar on Devin's pattern. :)

If Dave starts making knives in Devin's feather pattern damascus, I might just as well start a direct deposit to him.

Man are we all over the place or what? :D

Keep the ideas flowing though guys, I'm open to try almost anything.
Dave, is a single bevel traditional knife even possible? I've often wondered why we have a lot of solid steel options in the western knives (like konosuke, etc.), but not for traditional knives, other than the forged honyaki knives. Would it be possible to do say a mioroshi deba in solid white #2 or something like that, stock removal and normal heat treat, no mizu hamon line, etc., maybe keeping the hardness down a little to help with brittleness? I don't even know if I'd want a knife like that, but I have often wondered why the option isn't there. Surely if one can make a solid suji 300+ long and Konosuke thin then you could do the same thing with a deba or yanagi. Maybe not?
I think it's about the complexity of the grind?

Hmm. Don't know how that would cause a problem... unless you mean the ura side.... but that side is already steel in traditional knives, so I don't really like that either.... other than that you'd have the shinogi, but I can't see why a billet of white #2 can't work from stock removal, but can work for forged honyaki... I just wonder if no one has ever tried it before.
Yeah that's the issue, no one does it much. Butch has ground 2 yanagis to date, though both not in Japanese steel, they are mono steel knives non the less.
There seems to be some interest in the Tojiro boning knife at present, and with so few options something in that direction might be appealing.

another vote for a western style boning knife made with better steel . i would prefer it even longer than the tojiro boning knife. carbon and western handled is fine by me.
I would like a boning knife. Maybe out of a steel that's tough, dc53, a2, o1, aeb-l. Definitely something fun, I haven't used a knife made out of a2 and that's easy to acquire.
I would be on board for either a honesuki/garasuki or scimitar with 01 Steel and western handle.
Gyuto is the easy answer but perhaps with so many different ideas on the ideal gyuto, you may end up having something watered down.

A good effective parer or cleaver (Chinese) seem to be pretty well defined by most kitchen knife knuts.
It would seem the modern home cook may not bone that often (;)) anymore to justify interest.

Priorities from my experience:

1) Blade geometry (profile, cross sections, etc.) and design
2) Proper heat treat (and specifically hardness to type of steel to be used)

3) Steel type- junk aside (and a distant third in relation to the two above),
It would seem the modern home cook may not bone that often (;)) anymore to justify interest.

While that may be true for the general public, I don't think it is true for the knife nuts here. I think many of us de-bone and cut our own meat, making the choice of a honesuki/garasuki or scimitar viable.
I could definitely use a nice boner or butcher knife... I have 11 gyutos...
I'd suggest not doing anything single bevel except a honesuki-type knife. It seems like everybody and their mother is doing gyutos. It also seems like small blades are disproportionately expensive (I doubt we'll be seeing too many DTITK pettys.) Therefore, I would say it has to be 200+ mm suji or cleaver. I don't think a gyuto would necessarily be a bad idea but it will have to be "different." Think of a wierd profile that works and people will buy it. Of course, I'm assuming you want to sell a lot of them and make them semi-custom. Somebody on one of the forums posted a cleaver with a point cut into it like a really tall kiritsuke-type profile. I'm thinking about trying this out...
I think the gyuto market is pretty crowded at the moment - it'll be hard to make something truly unique. That, and many of us who would be the initial market already have many gyutos on hand for different times, uses, and moods. A cleaver would be nice indeed. I happen to like nakiri, but they're not widely popular so that's not a good start to the series.

If we're sticking with double-bevels, I think a full-size cleaver is about all that appeals to me at the moment.

I'd be interested in a honesuki or a deba, wa stabilized handle, and AEB-L steel. I'm running out of room for new knives but I have neither a honesuki nor a deba. I love AEB-L. Best wishes on Your new venture.

How about something different? What about a steak knife designed along the lines of a honesuki. I always loved the ones Joe bought. There's something sexy about how a really sharp knife cuts through a good steak (of course, not all the way to the plate).
How bout a super high end sujihuki / gyuto hybrid ... a true do it all knife....White #1 / W2 for carbon options or AEB-L / SRS-15 for a stainless option