Only the finest will do

Aside from the quality of our blades, the joy of the Savernake experience is the ability to suit your own style preference with a custom knife.

From traditional woods and colourful stripes, to contemporary materials such as Richlite, Corian or Durat – and not forgetting the infinite design options offered by our G.F Smith paper range – we have selected and tested every single material primarily for its longevity and durability.

Explore our materials in more depth here.

Steel

After extensive research and hours of testing, we now almost exclusively use Swedish Sandvik 14c28n, although on occasion we use RWL 34 powdered metallurgical steel and other exotics. For prototypes we use 420C, the steel used by most other knife manufacturers for their final product.

We chose Sandvik for a variety of reasons – not only is it a stainless steel with excellent strength properties, Sweden also has stated ambitions to remain at the forefront of technological and innovative development in a transformation to a sustainable society.

We are firm believers in the merit of buying once but buying the best you can afford – not only does a good knife stand the test of time but it’s also considerably better for the environment to buy products that are built to last. So using steel with strong sustainability credentials was an important choice for us.

In tests by CATRA (the Cutlery and Allied Trades Research Association) Savernake blades scored in the top 2.5% of knives tested and were rated ‘Excellent’ for both initial sharpness and durability.

Bespoke Handles

And if nothing you see quite does it for you? Then simply tell us what you’d like, and we’ll make it for you. We’ve not been stumped yet and always enjoy a challenge – we can work with materials you supply, your preferred colour schemes or pretty much anything you want. Just get in touch to find out what we’re capable of.

Inspire us

Liners

The liner sits between the visible steel part of the handle, and the handle material itself. As well as providing a good surface for bonding, it also provides a great opportunity for a flash of contrasting or complimentary colour to your handle.

Choose from our standard range of liner colours or get in touch if you’d like a specific shade or multiple liner colour option.

Woods

We’ve tested almost every wood you can think of for our handles and the ones offered are selected for their longevity and beauty. You’re also welcome to supply a favourite piece of wood if you prefer.

Stripes

Made from layers of wood, sandwiched together with resin, our striped handles range are extremely durable and are buffed to a high gloss.

Contemporary

Modern materials such as Richlite, Corian and Durat offer an almost infinite array of colours together with exceptional durability and first class sustainability credentials.

G . F Smith Paper

Our collaboration with G.F Smith Paper realises one of our finest dreams – infinite customisation. Whether layered alone or with wood veneer, our G.F Smith handles are a sight to behold.

Woods

We’ve tested almost every wood you can think of for our handles, and continue to do so. We keep a small, rotating stock of all of the woods shown here. However, if there’s another you would like, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. Just like all of our materials, these natural woods are selected primarily for their longevity. They also happen to look beautiful.

Stripes

Funk up your kitchen with our colourful striped wood composites – multiple layers of wood stabilised in resin to create a highly durable, playful handle material.

Contemporary

Our modern materials such as Richlite, Corian and Durat offer an almost infinite array of colours together with exceptional durability and first class sustainability credentials. We showcase a small selection of our favourite material colours here – but if you’re hankering after a specific hue please get in touch to discuss.

G . F Smith Colorplan

A Savernake Signature – our layered handles, created using G F Smith’s Colorplan paper and occasionally some veneer. From the outlandish to the subtle, choosing your own pattern is one way to make sure that your knives are distinctly your own.

Have a look at some of our work, and email us with your palette ideas and we’ll get directly back to you with some suggestions.

Let us know your thoughts

MATERIALS FAQs Top

For questions regarding the materials we use to make our knives.

WHAT STEEL DO YOU USE FOR YOUR KNIVES?

We almost exclusively use Sandvik 14c28n, although on occasion we use RWL 34 powdered metallurgical steel and other exotics. For prototypes we use 420C, the steel used by most other knife manufacturers for their final product.

WHY DO YOU ONLY USE STAINLESS STEELS?

One could possibly (just possibly) argue that 20 or 30 years ago carbon steels were still of better quality for high-end knives than stainless steel, but now that is simply not the case, and the top-end specialist steel manufacturers almost entirely concentrate on improving their stainless knife steels over others.

For us, choosing a metal type that corrodes as a knife blade makes little sense. Some will say that the ‘patina’ (i.e. rust) that invariably develops on a carbon blade tells a story, but we see this as an attempt to turn a bug into a feature. Also any knife that turns black when cutting onions – surely the mainstay of a kitchen knife – is of dubious utility.

Jay Fisher has quite a lot to say on the subject.

WILL YOU USE ANOTHER STEEL FOR A BESPOKE BLADE?

Yes, of course – it’s your knife! Although not particularly our cup of tea, it is possible to get (at great expense) Damascus-pattern stainless steel, so that’s always an option if you like that sort of thing but would like to continue to use corrosion-resistant steel. A rather better option might be Japanese layered steel. In short, we can create bespoke knives to suit every single customer.

WHAT DOES HARDNESS MEAN?

Each of our knives is tested for its hardness on the Rockwell C Scale, and we consistently hit 60. As always Wikipedia can explain this for you in detail, but roughly speaking the higher the Rockwell number, the stronger and more durable the edge. Of course, the harder the steel then the more difficult it can be to sharpen, but once it is sharp then it will stay that way for a long time. Some people prefer a slightly softer steel, in the region of 58, so that they can regularly top up the cutting edge on knives that are not doing heavy duty work. For this reason we can work to a range of hardnesses.

WHAT HANDLE MATERIALS DO YOU USE?

We use a wide variety of different materials to make the main part of our handles: natural wood, stabilised condensed wood, Richlite (paper stabilised in a phenolic resin), Corian, Durat (a composite material made from recycled, post industrial waste), epoxy resin, veneers and G. F Smith paper. All make wonderfully robust and attractive handles, so deciding which to have is very much a question of personal taste. All of our knives are made-to-order and as such, are all customisable exactly how you’d like them.

If you can’t find what you’re looking for in the options available on the website, or you’ve got something particular in mind, please don’t hesitate to get in touch and we can discuss the options. Where possible, we’ll always try our best to make the knife you want.

DO YOU USE WOOD FROM THE SAVERNAKE FOREST FOR YOUR HANDLES?

A question we are asked regularly! And the answer is no – we chose to name the company Savernake Knives because Laurie lives in it, spends a lot of time in it, we can see it from the amazing view afforded to us by our workshop and while we’re very, very good at many things, thinking up imaginative names doesn’t appear to be one of them.