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The experience of owning, or giving, a truly tailor-made chef’s knife is an unforgettable one. Whether you’re looking for a tool to use for 12 hours a day for many years to come, or an exceedingly special present for someone who enjoys cooking, you’ll be delighted by the end result – a knife designed by all of us just for you.
Chef knife ideas can come from anywhere – although we would say that there are mainly three sources for inspiration: a kitchen knife you’ve always been looking for but can’t find, a re-make or remix of an old favourite, or just mix and match from our vast range of designs or cooking knives you have. Stick all this down on a bit of paper and you have a starting point.
Once we have a good idea of the general direction we want to head in we tidy up some of the details (such as the blade’s thickness, your handle material choices, the layout of the pins) and do a final sketch bringing it all together. From this moment forward everything’s to scale and everything’s precise.
We will send you through a mock up of the kitchen knife design from our 3D CAD programme, which is the most appropriate time to correct anything you quickly realise you’d like to change. We always say, however, that it’s all too possible to chase a design around the computer in ever-decreasing circles, but what we want to do is get on and make something you can hold.
We feel very strongly that it’s simply not possible to make a bespoke knife without a working prototype – what looks good might feel otherwise. Our prototypes go through the same manufacturing process as our main knives, the only difference being that we use a simple wooden handle and don’t worry too much about the finish. The idea is for you to use the knife for up to a fortnight and then return it to us so we can make the final changes.
We offer a very wide variety of handle options, from stabilised and normal wood through to a range of synthetics. Durability, look and feel are all factors, and the handle is made using a 3-axis router allowing for us to very precisely work on not just the profile but also the lateral contours of your grip. You can choose from a range of pin materials and sizes and have them placed almost any way you can think of.
With the prototype back to us, most usefully with your comments written and marked in permanent pen, we can very, very precisely make any changes you’d like. If you are unsure, or undecided, we can always go back to the prototype stage and have a look at another idea.
The finished chef knife will, we believe, be a tool that you’ll use and treasure for decades. We can design a series of knives to be a bespoke kitchen knife set, make your design again as a gift for someone else (at a much reduced price) and of course we are open to making holders, blocks and sheaths if you’d like a tailored ancillary to go along with your knife.
Each knife comes accompanied by a roll, a case or a sheath. Made by saddlers in nearby Lambourn, the sheath in particular is designed and made to handle anything you can throw at it.
No one else will make you a stainless steel chef’s knife with such precision in such a timeframe and for a one-off. If you were to use a series of specialist companies for each stage of the process we estimate your cost would be in the region of £6000: we will do it for an eighth of that.