Process

Designing a Quality Blade

So many factors matter when considering the construction of a cooking knife: edge shape, spine thickness, spine angle, handle position, edge geometry, weight, balance, and more.  We’ve considered every point in designing our knives.

 

Variations

Every knife made at Snake River Forge is shaped and constructed by hand, meaning that each knife is unique, and hours are spent obsessing over the shape and details of the bevel, the tang, and every aspect.

  • Process
    The knives are forged into shape before heat treatment. We use a wide range of carbon steels for our knives including old files, rasps, ball-bearing steel, and saw blades.
  • Process
    The knives are heat cycled and annealed in the forge. Before tang preparation, the knives are heated to over 1000 degrees Fahrenheit and left to cool on their own, leaving the metal soft and workable.
  • Process
    A post drill, a crank operated blacksmith’s tool, is used to bore holes in the tang once it is annealed, providing stability in the handle construction.
  • Process
    After heat treating at critical temperature, the knives are tempered and then profiled and beveled on the grinder. This step is very satisfying as the shape of the knife begins to emerge.
  • Process
    Only a fraction of our handle materials supply is in the shop at any time. These woods allow us to experiment with handle arrangements and see what we prefer for each individual knife. We source these woods from a variety of places, including hardwood suppliers, lumber mills, the purchase of individual trees, and sometimes they are gifts from kindly people who know we will put them to good use.
  • snake river forge sharpening
    Japanese water stones are used to sharpen the knives.
  • Process
    The handle is sealed, hardened, and polished. If the customer has ordered a patina or a carved handle, those are incorporated. The finished knife is carefully packed and shipped out to its new home, where a lifetime of cooking awaits.