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jenikap

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I'm writing a blog series on building a 500-mile kitchen and am looking for US made knives. I'm building a database so all resources and leads are welcome.

Thanks,
Jennifer
 
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oivind_dahle

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Custom makers or massproduced knives?

I know Bill Burke lives in Boise

But I think he is not within you budget


Devin Thomas lives Panaca

I also think a custom from him is out of your budget.

BUT he makes a serie called the ITK. Its a mid-tech knife sold by CKTG
http://www.**************.com/dethfokn24ab.html
That should be within your budget :)

There are a lot of custom knifemakers, but then again we have no idea what you looking for :)
 

El Pescador

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I hate telling you this...Wildfire cutlery is in Oregon. You need to send them to Dave Martell to thin and sharpen them.

Pesky
 

JohnnyChance

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Michael Rader is in Washington. raderblade.com
Substrata makes cutting boards and counter tops and they are in Oregon. substrata.net
Jon Broida will soon have a store in L.A. that sells Japanese made knives. They aren't made in your 500 mile radius, but maybe he can sharpen whatever you come up with? japaneseknifeimports.com
 

Potato42

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If I'm understanding right, the goal of this endeavor is to piece together a kitchen in a "green" way by purchasing locally produced products that are energy efficient and environmentally sustainable. The "500-mile" concept is that less energy is used to transport the goods when compared to globally produced and mass marketed products.

Hmmm... it looks like you have your work cut out for you. I can tell you that many of the US based custom knifemakers would be more than happy to discuss with you where their materials come from and how they come together. Much depends on your needs and your budget, and you haven't provided that information yet.
 

Marko Tsourkan

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Michael Rader is in Washington. raderblade.com
Substrata makes cutting boards and counter tops and they are in Oregon. substrata.net
Jon Broida will soon have a store in L.A. that sells Japanese made knives. They aren't made in your 500 mile radius, but maybe he can sharpen whatever you come up with? japaneseknifeimports.com
Substrata makes mediocre boards. I wouldn't recommend them (from personal experience).

Wildfire Cutlery makes below par knives. Let's be a little more diligent in your referrals, folks. You have been on the forums for a while, you should know.

M
 

Craig

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Substrata makes mediocre boards. I wouldn't recommend them (from personal experience).

Wildfire Cutlery makes below par knives. Let's be a little more diligent in your referrals, folks. You have been on the forums for a while, you should know.

M
She's not looking for quality, she's looking for proximity.

The location of the knifemaker is irrelevant. It's where the steel comes from you should care about. Knives made close to their steel source in China, Japan, Europe or wherever then shipped to the US (or Canada, where I live) will be much more efficient emissions-wise than things made in the US with steel from far away.

Manufacturing process is also likely very important, but I don't know enough to talk intelligently about it. I would suspect that decent knives like we all have use more energy to be produced than cheap molded ones, but I don't really know. There's also something to be said for the longevity of a forged blade.
 

Noodle Soup

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Lamson, Dexter/Russell, Ontario (Old Hickory) and Cutco (Alcas) are all made in the U.S. but are they within 500 miles of her. I have a feeling if you put a distance limit on a manufactured product, you are going to be forced to take what ever you can find. The American kitchen cutlery industry is still mostly in the Northeast. That puts most of the country beyond the 500 mile limit.
 

mr drinky

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In the post she said that if the product isn't available within the 500-mile limit, it could be sourced elsewhere in the US.

QUOTE: If not locally produced, I will attempt to source goods that are purchased directly from independent manufacturers ELSEWHERE IN THE UNITED STATES and in a THIRD-PARTY VERIFIED SUSTAINABLE WAY (i.e. Energy Star, Green Seal, etc…) END QUOTE.

k.
 

Noodle Soup

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Then I would say the choice is between Lamson and Dexter Russell. No idea how energy efficient either is though. My wife is a civil engineer that redesigns industrial plants for energy efficiency but she works on the wrong side of the country for these companies.
 

Noodle Soup

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I could also probably add ChefsChoice to that list of knives but theirs are made on contract by one of the American companies already listed. Not sure which.
 

JohnnyChance

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She's not looking for quality, she's looking for proximity.

The location of the knifemaker is irrelevant. It's where the steel comes from you should care about. Knives made close to their steel source in China, Japan, Europe or wherever then shipped to the US (or Canada, where I live) will be much more efficient emissions-wise than things made in the US with steel from far away.

Manufacturing process is also likely very important, but I don't know enough to talk intelligently about it. I would suspect that decent knives like we all have use more energy to be produced than cheap molded ones, but I don't really know. There's also something to be said for the longevity of a forged blade.
Gotta find someone who will make their own tamahagane then! For the OP, this is basically an ancient steel making technique where a small batch of metal made by the smith out of sand.

Another interesting knife making technique is where the smith re-purposes old steel into the knife making process. A user here StephanFowler (from Georgia) uses iron from old shipyard chains in some of his San Mai knives. It isn't local to you, but a good story for reusing existing materials.
 

Craig

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Gotta find someone who will make their own tamahagane then! For the OP, this is basically an ancient steel making technique where a small batch of metal made by the smith out of sand.

Another interesting knife making technique is where the smith re-purposes old steel into the knife making process. A user here StephanFowler (from Georgia) uses iron from old shipyard chains in some of his San Mai knives. It isn't local to you, but a good story for reusing existing materials.
Tamahagane is likely very high in energy consumption though, so I'm not sure that's the best way to go. Get someone to do that powered by a solar panel or something and you're in business. It would probably take several months to produce one knife, but what a knife!

The old shipyard chains, provided the energy costs in manipulating them aren't ridiculous, sounds like about as good a deal as you're likely to find.

I really want to reiterate that the location of the maker matters substantially less than the location of the source materials. Given the OP's starting location of California, what she's likely going to be looking for is a maker that sources from... I don't know actually. Are there any active steel mills on the West Coast? If not, probably as far away as Illinois, Ohio or Michigan.
 

SpikeC

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Then there is Master Wu and his bomb shell knives!
 

WildBoar

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Mine ore in US, ship to China for making into steel, back to US for making into knives... Kinda makes the whole 500-mile radius thing look better on paper then in reality. But that is true for a lot of building materials as well. LEEDs is a nice idea, but in many instances can result in inferior products with shorter life spans. Thankfully these aspects are being taken into account a little more now.
 

Bill Burke

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Tamahagane is likely very high in energy consumption though, so I'm not sure that's the best way to go. Get someone to do that powered by a solar panel or something and you're in business. It would probably take several months to produce one knife, but what a knife!

The old shipyard chains, provided the energy costs in manipulating them aren't ridiculous, sounds like about as good a deal as you're likely to find.

I really want to reiterate that the location of the maker matters substantially less than the location of the source materials. Given the OP's starting location of California, what she's likely going to be looking for is a maker that sources from... I don't know actually. Are there any active steel mills on the West Coast? If not, probably as far away as Illinois, Ohio or Michigan.
I make my own tamahagane from local magnetite and I am pretty sure that the energy I use is somewhat less than what is used in the bessemer process for Factory steel.
 

Eamon Burke

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Bill Burke is just barely outside the 500 mile mark(unless he lives south/west of Boise), and I think Murray Carter JUST moved out of your range, up to near Portland a year ago. Both would have been a light years away from a Dexter Russell. You want a local knife, and I respect the hell out of that! That is just how I live my life, and I think you are in the right place with this forum.

There are makers(like Murray Carter) who source their steel from Japan, and then there are makers(like Butch Harner) who use a lot of Crucible branded powder steel, which is American Steel, though not within 500 miles. You can't always get THAT local, because it isn't feasible to have a Crucible plant in every county.

Not to mention, if you get a Bill Burke knife, you will be transported into another cutlery dimension. Prepare for new horizons, because assuming you have standard home cutlery(Chicago Cutlery, Cutco, etc), you are skipping straight to the top of the line, do not pass GO, do not collect $200. C'mon! The dude is suggesting he make you a tamahagane knife from local rocks! He's turning rocks and trees into a kitchen knife of legendary quality--how you anyone resist that?
 

RRLOVER

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OK.....Am I the only one who thinks it funny that half of the 500 miles is in the ocean:happy2: Unless aquaman is doing remodeling you are really cutting yourself short.
 

l r harner

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i do try to sorce all my stuff from the good ol USA and for the most part i can between carpenter and crucible . tho the wood i use for scales might be out of the US. i have no problem using nice walnut or maple tho
 

Noodle Soup

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Chicago Cutlery is only a brand name like Schrade, made in China. Before that is was made by Lamson.

I don't believe for a minute that the average "it has to come from with in 500 miles" (I thought food had to come from within 100 miles?) Californian is going to jump for $500 plus kitchen knives. More like it should all be hand forged with recycled something (not sure what) handled in wood logged by horses and sold down at the farmer's market you can easily walk to in your birkenstocks and buy for $20 from the guy with a leather apron on. The same guy that will resharpen it for you with his foot powered wheel every weekend for 50 cents per blade.
 

JohnnyChance

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i do try to sorce all my stuff from the good ol USA and for the most part i can between carpenter and crucible . tho the wood i use for scales might be out of the US. i have no problem using nice walnut or maple tho
What about your micarta? What goes into that and how is that made?
 

l r harner

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bluejeans and stary night are mostly old jeans Sith an epoxy binder

other colors are mostly new fabrics tho if I had a sourse to get the fabric I needed uses o would do so
 

DevinT

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Good news,

Panaca is within the 500 mile radius, and I make a mid tech line. There is also an iron mine about 75 miles from me.

Hoss
 

Craig

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I make my own tamahagane from local magnetite and I am pretty sure that the energy I use is somewhat less than what is used in the bessemer process for Factory steel.
I guess I learned something today. I just assumed the mass-production would produce energy efficiencies over small traditional methods.
 

Bill Burke

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I guess I learned something today. I just assumed the mass-production would produce energy efficiencies over small traditional methods.
It is possible that mass produced steel ends up greener per pound than mine to make. I was thinking about all the support and machines and transportation and the waste impact on the earth from the mineing of the ore to the finished bar.
 

Marko Tsourkan

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Good news,

Panaca is within the 500 mile radius, and I make a mid tech line. There is also an iron mine about 75 miles from me.

Hoss
On the other hand, I am well within 500mile radius on East Cost. Not that I making knives yet, but in the future this might be an option. :)
 

Eamon Burke

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It is possible that mass produced steel ends up greener per pound than mine to make. I was thinking about all the support and machines and transportation and the waste impact on the earth from the mineing of the ore to the finished bar.
This.
 
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