At SWS Cutlery, we hand make every knife we sell, which means that each knife is a unique work of art. We perform every step in the knifemaking process ourselves, from hand forging the blade, to heat treat, to sheathing. This not only allows us to maintain quality, but it also ensures that every part of the knife is custom made to suit the individual knife.
We also strive to ensure that every knife is a high quality, fully functional tool, regardless of whether it is a historical reproduction or a more modern tool. To this end, we use high quality materials, from the steel we use to forge the blades, to the adhesive used in the handles. We also test our process to ensure it is consistent, performing simple hardness and shock tests on each blade, as well as periodic destructive tests on blades which have undergone the same processes as the blades we sell.
Care, Maintenance, and Rust
Currently, we make our blades from low alloy, high carbon steels. They are tough and hold an edge well, but can still be sharpened with relative ease on traditional sharpening stones. However, they must be properly cared for to prevent rust.
We recommend that you handwash each knife, dry it with a towel and lightly coat the blade and handle with food safe mineral oil or coconut oil after every use.
From what are your knives made?
Our knives are made from low alloy, high carbon steels, meaning the alloys we use are mostly made of iron, with comparatively small amounts of other metals, but have enough carbon to ensure a hardened blade which will hold it's edge well. Currently we use primarily 1084 and 52100, but we have also been known to use O1, and are looking into 80CRV2.
Are "hand forged" knives actually better than other knives?
We don't know. There are a lot of explanations out there about why forging a blade to shape is better than grinding a blade to shape from pre-forged bar stock. Some are more plausible than others, but none are well proven, so we make no claims either way.
What do you mean when you say "stabilized" wood?
We mean that we have taken natural wood and embedded it with a synthetic polymer in order to get a material that has the best properties of both, namely the toughness of wood and the water resistance of plastic. It looks like wood, because it is, but it is less prone to shrink or expand when exposed to water - in other words, it's dimensions are stable.