Well, I'm proud to announce that not only is this the first week of fall but it's also another week that I think just may be of great interest to Atwood Fans...that's right, it's Sharp Week! Hehe, sorry could not resist the obvious pun... :D
OK, so this is a project that I have been working on for over two years, the EDK or Every Day Kitchen knife...
I started out with a simple idea. I noticed that even though I have a nice variety of knives in a block on the counter, most of the time I find myself reaching for a small utility blade for nearly every chore that I encounter. Whether it's slicing an onion, coring a tomato or opening a plastic package, 9 times out of 10 I don't end up using a big chef's knife. In fact, I have to admit, I've never really been a big fan of those honking 8 or 10 inch chef knives and I'm not good at the rapid cutting skills that you see the TV chefs doing. Maybe I'm just unsophisticated, but unless the task before me is slicing a turkey or something like that a smaller knife usually will suffice. So with that in mind I started thinking about smaller knife shapes.
Now it just so happened that one day I called my steel supplier looking for slightly thinner stock than my usual 5/32" tool steel and they jokingly told me they had some REALLY thin S30v sheets available. I immediately bought some of it. Then I contacted my local friends who run a kitchen knife factory and asked them about producing a small mid tech kitchen knife. The project didn't happen and things dragged on for some time. Finally I got them to make a sample knife for me but it wasn't quite what I was looking for. Nevertheless I took the sample home and I have used it for nearly two years. I have to say, even with a so-so heat treat on the blade I was surprised at how well it performed. I took that knife home and sharpened it once, and I have literally not sharpened it since. It really needs sharpening right now but amazingly it does still cut pretty well and that knife has been used and used and used. S30v is some remarkable steel, especially when ground thin. I have to say, I'm impressed.
So anyhow, this past June I made another trip over to the factory and brought up the kitchen knife project again. This time they said they would finally get going on it. And so they did. The blades were cut and then sent out for a premium heat treat this time including vacuum oven, cryo freezing and double temper. They returned with a high rockwell, I believe it was 59-60. Then the blades were carefully ground so as not to lose the fine temper. The grinds are full flat grinds that extend to the top of the spine. The broad blade shape with generous belly results in a wonderful geometry for slicing. They are very light and quick in the hand. These knives may be ground thin but they are still fairly stiff with only minimal flex so you can use them on hard cheeses or sausages with no fear of bending the tips.
Next, handle materials were selected. For this first round I chose a black recycled paper material very similar to paper Micarta. The rivets are solid nickel-silver and the handles are both epoxied and riveted in place for maximum durability. Because the blades were ground after hardening it was not possible use my normal steel marking stamp on them so we went with an old style logo etch which is larger than my current stamp size. This also differentiates the blades as being a mid tech item rather than from my own shop.
I really wanted these to be done right and I'm so happy to report that the end results are even better than I had hoped for. I can see a few very minor things that I'd like to tweak in the next batches but considering they are a factory produced item, I'm quite satisfied with what I see as truly STELLAR user blades. And yes, a special order has already been put in to Crucible for more thin stock S30v so you can expect a second and much larger run of these in the early winter. ;)
Specs: 4 inch blade, .85 inch wide, .064 spine, .012 cutting edge, 3.75 inch handle. For best cosmetic results: hand wash only, towel dry, do not put into dishwasher.
So since this is a relatively small exploratory run I ask that we keep this a one per customer sale. The mid tech EDK knives with basic black handles will be $110 plus $10 for insured Priority mail shipping. International orders will ship via Express Mail only for $26 and please pay attention to any country restrictions that could exist about knives. I will not be responsible for confiscated blades at customs. I would think that kitchen knives should be OK to import but I really don't know what some countries with restrictive knife laws like Australia or the UK might do so you are on your own.
So there you go...I'm happy to finally be able to tell the story of these little knives. It's been a rather long and frustrating process and at times I really wasn't sure if they would ever happen especially since the recent floods closed down the factory for the past three weeks. But they are a great way to kick off Sharp Week. :D
Folks, first wave is gone....HOWEVER, they are not done with the black handles so the bulk of them are coming late next week. In the meantime, there will be another much larger round of OTHER ones coming early next week so stay tuned. Remember, I did say Sharp WEEK! :D
I hear they are delicious fried up with some onions so this cat better watch himself! :p :D