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Thread: Why Custom Knives?

  1. #1

    Why Custom Knives?

    I managed the first 40 years of my stalking and field sports with cheap, serviceable, off the shelf knives, from makers like Mora and Opinel. I've actually got a wee Opinel that I've had for nearly 20 years already and though it's been chewed by various pups and the blade is wearing down I still always make sure it's in my pocket before I set off out with a gun or even into the garden. I keep it scalpel sharp and I've long since lost count of the number of animals it has sent toward our table, and mushrooms and veg from the garden and even the occasional flower for the missus------ No cost too small.

    However: They say confession is good for the soul. So, I confess. I recently bought my first custom made knife. It didn't cost a fortune but it did cost 175... which will buy an awful lot of Moras and Opinels. I have learned something in the process. The new knife is made of fine Bohler steel, holds a fantastic edge and the handle fits my hand like nothing I've ever owned or used before, that much is good, but the surprise is; it just plain pleases me. In the past knives were either poor and got passed along or good enough and just got used. Now I find actual pleasure in ownership and use. Is this normal?

    ps. The maker has asked me not to name him on here. Not quite sure why, but I will honour his wish. Frankly, this isn't about makes it's about asking why people buy custom made stuff.

  2. #2
    Since 1979 I,ve used a 9 dollar knife that i bought in the US. That knife has done hundreds of deer. I also have a hand made Swedish knife thats worth about 700 that sits in my gun safe and never a drop of blood will touch the blade.
    Today i picked up my new Stuart Mitchell Knife that is my 65 birthday present to me. Can't wait till the weather is a bit cooler to start shooting boar again so i can field test the knife.

    I buy custom knives because i can. Simple.

  3. #3
    ...and that is exactly the reason that there is a bespoke sector for almost everything you could imagine. Suits to shotguns, shoes to skateboards. It's about getting exactly what is right for you and taking a disproportionate delight in its ownership.

    Until you've been there, you tend to wonder what all the fuss is about. Once you're there you understand.

    FN

  4. #4
    An admirable thread and hope you have many years of pleasure out of it.
    I liked the confession bit almost like Radio 2 I thought?
    Funny peculiar that the maker was shy.
    As my mate on here Kershaw was quoted "You can't have too many knives!" but he did talk some sense into me when I threatened to buy a huge Bowie Knife, describing it as good only for chopping wood! Cheers, K

  5. #5
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    I don't actually have a custom knife (yet) but your question is interesting. Call me boring but to me often the beauty of a thing is simply in its ability to fulfil its principal function. I've always just thought of knives as tools and tried not to place too much sentimental value on them on the basis that I may lose them. For that reason I particulalry like and use Mora and Opinel knives. However, my recent experience of trying to make a new knife handle http://www.thestalkingdirectory.co.u...-quot-my-knife has only illustrated to me how much skill, experience and craft goes into a custom knife. I'm particularly "toolish" about my rifles but contrastingly not some of my shotguns. Using my 1903, English made, side by side, used by my family before me, I can't help but appreciate and enjoy the skill and craftsmanship that went into it which defintely adds enjoyment to my experince of using it. Now I'm beginning to apprecaite that in custom knives and am planning on having one made which I will use in the field. Incidentally, I think I'm beginning to think the same about rifles now darn it.

  6. #6
    Jagare; Not blooding it just seems wrong to me, but still I respect someone taking that much care over something they consider so special. As to price, I wouldn't pay a penny over 535.43 ... Or €680, at todays exchange rate. The price of my next and hopefully last, custom forged, bespoke handled and sheathed knife. This one will get blooded (even if I have to leave instructions in my will to that effect ) and I've been told that if I manage to break it, the smith will forge a new and even stronger one to replace it F.O.C. in exchange for the story, the broken blade and any photos. Don't know how he'll take it if the photos include my gravestone, but I'll see that he's held to it, if at all possible.

    Krabryn; Having shared your curiosity I emailed him and I just got a response from the guy, nothing too odd about it really, he's already snowed under with orders and would hate to get publicity then have to disappoint by giving an estimated delivery time in excess of a year.

  7. #7
    The truest answer ( for me ) was in your opening words.

    'It pleases me' - more than good enough 'excuse'.

    It circles back to the old need and want cliche. Sometimes, perhaps often, a more expensive item will perform measurably better than a cheaper one - but for the parts that matter, it's really a very subjective thing. Trying to put a value on the incremental actual real benefit of something is the path to madness - QED just look at the state of many SD members ( and admin ).

    Through all my waffle above, you come back to that elegant phrase - because it pleases me; exactly! ( edited - Sorry 6.5 )

    As for a maker not wishing to enter the maelstrom of unpredictability that is SD; who - seriously guys - can really blame them!
    Last edited by Moray Outfitting; 23-07-2014 at 10:28.
    Stalking, Courses, Gear - Moray Outfiiting Website here - Welcome
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  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Moray Outfitting View Post
    The truest answer ( for me ) was in your opening words.

    'It pleases me' - more than good enough 'excuse'.

    It circles back to the old need and want cliche. Sometimes, perhaps often, a more expensive item will perform measurably better than a cheaper one - but for the parts that matter, it's really a very subjective thing. Trying to put a value on the incremental actual real benefit of something is the path to madness - QED just look at the state of many SD members ( and admin ).

    Through all that waffle, you come back to that elegant phrase - because it pleases me; exactly!

    As for a maker not wishing to enter the maelstrom of unpredictability that is SD; who - seriously guys - can really blame them!
    Sorry!

    My custom knife pleases me <------------ No "waffle", but not much of a thread starter, is it? Geez man! it's tough to catch anything but a clip in the lug here.

  9. #9
    Sorry?

    I was referring to all MY waffle Go get your own waffle
    Last edited by Moray Outfitting; 23-07-2014 at 10:52.
    Stalking, Courses, Gear - Moray Outfiiting Website here - Welcome
    BASC Approved Trainer & Assessor. Cairngorm National Park Authority Approved Supplier. Supported by Sauer Arms
    See you at the Stalking Fair, Scone & Moy 2017




  10. #10
    I like hand made - the skill of workmanship, quality of fit and finish, often (but not always) a better choice of raw materials and/or heat treatment.

    I really like custom, where the buyer gets the option of full control over all elements of the build, from design through materials selection to finish etc,.

    Hand made does not = custom IMHO

    Can anyone really justify 50 times the price of a Mora ?

    Yes, thanks - easily

    Pleasure of ownership is hard to explain and even harder to quantify in terms of 's

    I don't pretend to understand why collectors buy expensive knives and never use them, but I respect their decision to do so whether I understand it or not.

    Others don't understand why people buy what they want, rather than what they need. The two are often polar opposites after all.

    The same people might have no problem spending a small fortune on a scope, but that's different, apparently...

    The moment we feel empowered to criticise others for spending what they earn on what they like is right about when we should be sticking our heads in a bucket of water and standing in a corner to have a word with ourselves...

    It doesn't have to make sense - some might argue that it shouldn't, at least at some level.

    The slightly irrational is always a great escape from the more normal (?!?) rational.

    Like the song says, "If it makes you happy, it can't be that bad"

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