Why would you want to invest in a handmade neck knife or a hammer forged EDC blade when you could get a box cutter/pair of scissors/small utility knife/$20 fixed blade from the local sporting goods store?
Here are five reasons why someone would prefer a handmade knife over factory made...
1. Longer Lasting - Factory-made knives are quickly and lightly ground, then sent right out the door. Less expensive factory blades are rarely expected to last more than a couple seasons, which encourages repeat business if you're only interested in dropping $40 at a time. Replace your $40 blade every three years for another at the same price, and before 20 years, you've spent $240 on knives that lack the durability and dependability you could have had the past two decades with one really great blade.
2. Transparency - If you buy a hand crafted knife from a knifesmith, you can find out how your knife was heat treated so you know what your blade can endure. Factories don’t often disclose how they heat treat so you're unable to determine the hardness unless your blade is properly tested.
3. Customizable - Looking for a skinning blade with a swedge, hidden tang, zombie green scale inserts, and mosiac pins to fit your idea of the perfect knife for you? Try asking a factory. They have so many assembly-line people and so many machines that make knives, there's no way you'd be able to pay for all those wages and equipment to create your one knife. A skilled knife maker, however, knows how to achieve your customizations in their own workshop for a much more decent cost.
4. Multi Uses - This is related to number 3. For example, you can go to a skilled knife maker and ask for a hunting knife or neck knife with a grind thin enough so you can also use your blade for skinning if the needs pops up.
5. Artistry and Exclusivity - Most factories employ assemblymen to work on a run of knives. The assembly workers are not involved in the creative brainstorming process so unlike handmade knife makers, they don’t have to be artistically invested in their portion of the mass assembly. Encouraging a knifesmith to invoke creative license will also add to the exclusivity of your knife. There's a good chance everyone on your next fishing trip will be admiring your handmade knife rather than revealing that they have the exact same factory blade.
There's nothing wrong with most factory-made knives, but please don't think that they can take the place of handmade knives. Factories offer impressive machinery like CNCs and laser cutters that can make you a decent tactical style blade. Yet unlike a factory made blade, there's a higher chance you'll be passing your cherished handcrafted knife on to the next generations.
Shop my handmade knives here.