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I don't know about impossible to buy from but the two guys I'm watching (and buying from) are KKF's own Matt Sicard Cutlery (@MSicardCutlery) and Ryan D. Geiger (@Illyria).

Matt is currently making my second knife of a trilogy I planned out.

The thicc workhorse MSicard posted the other day has been tempting me actually… I haven’t been following Ryan’s work closely but I’ve heard good things from other forum members!
 

Delat

Dazed & Confused
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Britton Steele, aka Steeleworks66 on Instagram. I love my custom from him.

Skye Eilers is on my list to try and score next year.

Frederick Spare is already well known but his popularity seems to really have taken off with the MCX collab with Modern Cooking.
 
Joined
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Britton Steele, aka Steeleworks66 on Instagram. I love my custom from him.

Skye Eilers is on my list to try and score next year.

Frederick Spare is already well known but his popularity seems to really have taken off with the MCX collab with Modern Cooking.
I’ll check them out! I’m a big Spåre fan and he is definitely getting to the hard to buy from point. Customs are slowing down and those MCXs sell fast.
 

Hockey3081

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Britton Steele, aka Steeleworks66 on Instagram. I love my custom from him.

Skye Eilers is on my list to try and score next year.

Frederick Spare is already well known but his popularity seems to really have taken off with the MCX collab with Modern Cooking.

Second Steeleworks. Guy’s attention to detail is on point and he knows how to make a knife that can cut.
 
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Miyazaki







Mazaki and Manaka are underrated, but that’s for a different post

Talking about him, seems like CKC is running pretty decent sales on him, it might been a while but I just noticed.
 
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Manaka x Zahocho collabration are really attractive to me, they got all the right element and a surprisingly good price point, I just want to try one and compare it to Watoyamas. Mazaki is one of the knives I originally don't care that much but kind want one now.
Also not exactly up and coming, Abe Yhuki and Kanatsu Gaku did just started their own shop, kind curious how their blades stack up to their teacher.
 

Fellax

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I bought a knife from Filipekknives, fantastic knife and very well finished. You can see his work on his instagram channel.
 
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I think even many of the newer makers can keep busy enough with selling what they want to make that taking custom orders with the accompanying aggravations isn't that appealing. @lotfong and Radiona Breg IMO both show great promise. Merion Forge, @Illyria/ROG, @Troopah_Knives and @MSicardCutlery are other good options. @HSC /// Knives isn't a new guy, although new to France, and as far as I know he is taking orders.
Personally, these days I'm mostly interested in makers working with ApexUltra, MagnaCut, Z-Wear/CruWear, or CPM M4 and maybe CruForgeV. That narrows the list considerably.
 

Matt Jacobs

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Take a look at Bryan Hanson. I have a nakiri from him that is the best I have used, I also have a wrought clad Damascus core gyuto he is working on for me now. Prices are fantastic and he knows how to grind a knife. Very thin behind the edge. Most of his stuff is sold through Epic Edge but he will gladly work with you as well. Login • Instagram
 
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And his books are open! I didn't say anything though because mine is still en route but the price and process was nice. (and the open books)
I spoke too soon it seems. He just told me my order was the last one he took and he'll just be posting knives now as he makes them, unless I misunderstood the translation and he just meant I was the last order received.
 
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