Custom handcrafted knives are significantly more expensive than mass-market knives you can get for a few bucks at any department store. So why spend the extra money to purchase a handmade knife? Are handmade knives worth the extra cost?
The short answer is YES, absolutely, … of course! But you probably want some more substance behind such a bold assertion, so here are 10 reasons why you should consider buying a handmade knife from an independent craftsman:
- Unique design: Custom handmade knives are often one-of-a-kind, with unique designs and details that can’t be found in mass-produced knives. These unique features will make a knife more personalized and special for the owner.
- Higher quality materials: I think I speak for all my brothers and sisters in the North American handmade knife-making business. We use only the best high-carbon steel and handle materials, resulting in superior knives that will last a life-time. Mass market bargain knives typically use cheap steel that won’t hold and edge, and inferior handle material. The foodie in your life deserves better!
- Attention to detail: Handmade knives are made by highly skilled craftsmen who pay close attention to detail, resulting in a finely crafted knife that is not only functional, but beautiful. Knifemakers like to refer to our knives as functional art – high performing knives that are also works of art.
- Customization: Custom handmade knives can be customized to meet the specific needs and preferences of the owner, such as blade shape, handle material, and overall design.
- Quality is actually cheaper in the long-run: This is true for anything, from knives to furniture to automobiles. You may think you’re saving a few bucks buying cheap, but then it breaks and it has to be repaired or replaced. That takes time and money, not to mention the frustration of an item breaking when you need it. By the time you replace it a few times, how much are you really saving? Is it worth the time and aggravation?
- Work directly with the maker: When you buy a handmade knife, you can work directly with the maker to discuss the particular design features and functional requirements you’d like to have.
- The cost of a handmade knife is reflecting a living wage. Handcrafted knives are labour intensive, and the price has to cover that. A living wage in North America is a lot higher than Asia, where most cheap mass market items are churned-out in factory sweat shops.
- They make great gifts for the foodie in your life: That special person in your life who loves to cook will appreciate the superior craftmanship and unique design of a handmade knife, and will think of you every time they pick it up to chop veggies.
- There is a strong, vibrant and growing cottage industry of custom knife makers all across Canada and the US. Most of these makers are individual craftsman who learned the trade over years of hard-work, sweat and blood. And I’m not kidding about the blood. I doubt there’s a single knife maker who hasn’t cut herself a few times in the process of making a blade. I’ve got two bandages on my fingers as I write this today from cuts I received yesterday working on a chef’s knife. Knife makers are highly committed to their craft. When you buy a handmade knife, you are supporting a local craftsman who is keeping alive the ancient art of blacksmithing. There is probably one not too far from you. Contact him or her next time you are trying to think of something special for the foodie in your life. You will be purchasing a knife that will last a lifetime, that will become a family heirloom that you can pass down to your grandchildren. Really, I’m not kidding.
- Okay, I’m drawing a blank here. If you can think if a 10th reason, please post a comment and let me know.
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