Would you be disappointed with this handle?

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recently purchased a knife with a handle with an annoying defect, at least what i consider a defect anyway. but after looking around i see it commented often "these are handmade products" to which some defects should be acceptable. so i figured id ask some fellow KKF'ers their opinion on it.



the part that bothers me is the gap between the horn ferrule and metal spacer. i have a couple knives (although vastly cheaper) that have bumps where a plastic ferrule is smaller than the exposed wood where it meets, which leaves a large bump but its rounded and never bothered me. but the silver spacer on this handle has a sort of sharp edge since its squared off that just grabs my finger right where my middle finger rests in a pinch grip.

so my question is, would this be something that bothers you? knife is a B1 kono fuji for those curious.
 
The challenge with these types of handles is that while horn and wood expands, metal does not. Over time, stuff like this is likely to happen. Perhaps not out of the box, but who knows with humidity/temp changes while shipping.
yeah and i understand that. but this was shipped to me like this, and after looking at the pictures on the vendors website the gap was present in the pictures as well, something i didnt notice originally.
 
Is it a gap or a lip? Can you fit a piece of paper in between it? A gap would bother me, if it meant that the two materials were not adhered together properly. If it was a lip, that's also annoying, but it can be sanded down and refinished. There's actually very few knives I've encountered that meet all my fit and finish standards out of the box. Sorry if this is not reassuring.
 
If the horn expanded that’s because they did not stabilize the horn and it’s a poor practice.

Both the horn and the wood have to be stabilized otherwise there’s going to be expansion and contraction along with heat and humidity

The big issue is that these are functional kitchen knives and they’re going to see a lot of heat and humidity

None of my handles from all over the world have this issue, because the horn and wood is stabilized
 
Assuming everything is sanded to a perfectly flat plane, even if the wood shrinks a fraction of a millimeter, you're going to feel the sharp edge of the metal spacer. This is why I dislike metal spacers. It doesn't happen all the time. But it happens enough.
The gap is a different problem--though with a similar symptom.
$0.02--get a horn and wood handle and be done with it.
 
That transition line you can barely feel with your finger is exactly the reason why I only like mono piece handles nowadays. Every horn + wood handle I have has the tiniest of gaps. Normally too small to catch a nail but enough to drive me crazy.
 
after examining it again i tried to slip a piece of paper in there and it wont go, so no gap. it just looks like a gap i guess. ive been sitting on it for a few weeks without touching it after getting it as i was somewhat frustrated. it certainly catches your fingernail though, with some sides of the spacer clearly protruding further than the others.

regardless i contacted the vendor shortly after asking them to fix it or a possible handle swap and the options i was given:

1. We can provide you a return label via DHL for your Fujiyama. Once we receive your blade, we can either sand down the handle for you ($45 service fee) or replace the handle with a handle of your choice on our website (Cost of the handle + $45 re-handling service fee).
2. When the handling is complete, we will send you an email invoice for the service cost, plus shipping.
3. Once the invoice is paid for, we will go ahead and ship it back out to you.

followed by a disclaimer that after its sanded to make the silver spacer flush that it can shift/move again when its in my climate and also while its being shipped to me.

none of these options seem all that great.

after reading through the replies im gathering that this is common with metal spacers. i have one other knife with a metal spacer though, a kns tanaka ginsan with a bubinga handle/brass spacer at the top that i bought from a member here. you cant feel anything around the spacer. seeing as this is somewhat common though, ill probably just avoid metal spacers like the plague going forward.
 
Horn is actually pretty easy to sand. You can tape off the wood part and leave some of the metal untaped. Then put sandpaper on a flat surface and work each of the facets of the horn portion of the handle until it's flush with the metal spacer. I'd start off around 400 grit, and you can progress up to 2000 or higher, depending on what level of shine you want. Then finish with some polishing compound or flitz.

This assumes the horn is protruding more than the metal/wood. If it's the other way around, same process but refinishing the wood is a bit more work.
 
If the spacer is just proud and you end up keeping it, soak the handle in mineral oil. Should help the wood swell some and prevent it from happening in the future, with the occasional oiling (like how you maintain a wood cutting board).
 
Horn is actually pretty easy to sand. You can tape off the wood part and leave some of the metal untaped. Then put sandpaper on a flat surface and work each of the facets of the horn portion of the handle until it's flush with the metal spacer. I'd start off around 400 grit, and you can progress up to 2000 or higher, depending on what level of shine you want. Then finish with some polishing compound or flitz.

This assumes the horn is protruding more than the metal/wood. If it's the other way around, same process but refinishing the wood is a bit more work.
the silver spacer sits proud of the horn, the fit with the spacer/wood is fine.
 
after examining it again i tried to slip a piece of paper in there and it wont go, so no gap. it just looks like a gap i guess. ive been sitting on it for a few weeks without touching it after getting it as i was somewhat frustrated. it certainly catches your fingernail though, with some sides of the spacer clearly protruding further than the others.

regardless i contacted the vendor shortly after asking them to fix it or a possible handle swap and the options i was given:

1. We can provide you a return label via DHL for your Fujiyama. Once we receive your blade, we can either sand down the handle for you ($45 service fee) or replace the handle with a handle of your choice on our website (Cost of the handle + $45 re-handling service fee).
2. When the handling is complete, we will send you an email invoice for the service cost, plus shipping.
3. Once the invoice is paid for, we will go ahead and ship it back out to you.

followed by a disclaimer that after its sanded to make the silver spacer flush that it can shift/move again when its in my climate and also while its being shipped to me.

none of these options seem all that great.

after reading through the replies im gathering that this is common with metal spacers. i have one other knife with a metal spacer though, a kns tanaka ginsan with a bubinga handle/brass spacer at the top that i bought from a member here. you cant feel anything around the spacer. seeing as this is somewhat common though, ill probably just avoid metal spacers like the plague going forward.
If indeed there's a problem with the handle as-is, I wouldn't be happy with either of their proposed solutions.
(1) If it requires sanding, then this would indicate there's a problem. Why should fixing it be on your dime and not the vendor's?
(2) The price of the knife includes the current handle. So, if you buy a new handle, this only makes sense if they let you keep the old one. If they keep the old one, they make out.
 
I would be disappointed but unfortunately it is common and really not the fault of the retailer. Sell the knife, fix the handle or have it rehandled, those are really your only options. It's a lesson learned the hard way and I too have a couple handles with metal spacers that now have steps. I won't buy them anymore, they look good but are a problem waiting to happen.
 
I would be disappointed but unfortunately it is common and really not the fault of the retailer. Sell the knife, fix the handle or have it rehandled, those are really your only options. It's a lesson learned the hard way and I too have a couple handles with metal spacers that now have steps. I won't buy them anymore, they look good but are a problem waiting to happen.
If this is considered a defect by most, how come its not a fault of the retailer? This sort of things should either be explicitly stated or be sold at discount.
 
The handle may have been fine when in the possession of the retailer. The movement of the wood may have occurred after the knife left the retailer, they have no control over how the materials used in the handle react to different environments. Handles with metal spacers are very popular and very common and not everyone considers what you are experiencing a defect. Any handle can develop a step, and many do, rather it has a metal spacer or not. Several of my knives with horn ferrules have developed steps. The retailer can not reasonably replace every handle that ever develops a step at the ferrule.
 
The handle may have been fine when in the possession of the retailer. The movement of the wood may have occurred after the knife left the retailer, they have no control over how the materials used in the handle react to different environments. Handles with metal spacers are very popular and very common and not everyone considers what you are experiencing a defect. Any handle can develop a step, and many do, rather it has a metal spacer or not. Several of my knives with horn ferrules have developed steps. The retailer can not reasonably replace every handle that ever develops a step at the ferrule.
Most likely the handle already was how it is before it was shipped. The retailer decided to offload the knife as is. And now they are offering a paied service to fix something that according to you will most likely happen again.
In anyway its clear that the retailer failed the customer with either sub-par product or with customer expectations.
It is possible that OP did no read the fine print, or the retailer has a clear policy for such things. However, since we do not know the who the retailer is this is a realm of unknown.
Offering a full refund and pre-paid return label would be fair IMHO.
 
And that is your opinion, many would agree with you and many wouldn't.


A very strong accusation to make.
the handle was sent to me like this, and after looking at the pics on the website. its quite clear the handle was like this before sending it. also, since im probably unlikely to buy from them again, i might as well just link it.

https://www.toshoknifearts.com/collections/konosuke-fujiyama/products/aaa-ad181004ebslv-fa240
you can see clearly in the pics it was shipped like this.
 
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Assuming the handle was "as is" when shipped to you, that doesn't mean that they "decided to offload the knife as is." That insinuates that they did something unethical like determining that the knife had a flaw but then decided to sell it anyway knowingly taking advantage of the customer. They may have determined that the handle was not flawed because that the majority of the knives they sell with this type of handle have some kind of step at the spacer. That was a baseless offensive remark made regardless of who the retailer was/is. If you are so disappointed in the knife I'm sure someone wanting a Fujiyama would happily buy it even knowing about the handle.
 
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Assuming the handle was "as is" when shipped to you, that doesn't mean that they "decided to offload the knife as is." That insinuates that they did something unethical like determining that the knife had a flaw but they decided to sell it anyway knowingly taking advantage of the customer. They may have determined that the handle was not flawed because that the majority of the knives they sell with this type of handle have some kind of step at the spacer. That was an offensive remark made with no bases regardless of who the dealer was/is. If you are so disappointed in the knife I'm sure someone wanting a Fujiyama would happily buy it even knowing about the handle.
but they did offload the knife as is. which isnt to mean anything malicious on their part. it could be viewed by them as a common occurance for this type of handle construction and par for the course. i have no clue.

" If you are so disappointed in the knife I'm sure someone wanting a Fujiyama would happily buy it even knowing about the handle." ive already had a few people message me asking to buy the knife as is. im not interested in selling it. i will probably attempt to fix it myself or possibly rehandle it since i didnt buy a kono fuji just to sell it, i wanted to use it.
 
Seems liked Sanding(DIY) can solve the discomfort issue but it’s only temporary fix? It probably might come back again after long term use. If this really bothers you long term, you might consider just sell it, Fujiyama can sell fast in B/S/T especially there’s lots other brands are increasing prices.

I don’t think it’s worth it sending it back for them to sanding it down for you for more cost. I might just do it my self with mini file+ sandpaper.
 
No matter what the horn and wood must be stabilized, it’s a kitchen knife so it’s going to be exposed to heat and water, the metal spacer is not the issue

The knife must remain 100% functional or there is no point in it existing in the first place

These knives are incredibly expensive so quality control should be the #1 priority at all times by all parties involved

Retailers need to check and examine their knives before shipping so that no one receives a lemon like this

When something like this happens the retailer must send constructive feedback to the manufacturer ie black smith or handle maker

The purchaser should not be paying for anything that was outside the original purchase agreement that was made

WE NEED TO ADDRESS QUALITY CONTROL FOR OVERPRICED KNIVES
 
In addition to local temp/humidity differences, It could be also related to construction as well. Horn expands and contracts quite a bit, so it's very possible that it expanded during sanding. And if it was sanded flush in its expanded state, then it would shrink more than surrounding material when it returns to ambient conditions. If this work is done fast such as with a sanding belt, it would leave a significant lip.
 
I would personally smooth it out by myself, that way you will save yourself some money and the hassle of sending it back for service.

You can also swap the handle and sell the stock one instead.

Nowadays I'm preferring single-wood handles.

Another thing you can do is to return it, get a refund and buy something else. If it is still under "open buy" time...
 
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