Our Custom Builds can offer up an array of options for those wanting to put together their dream knife. We work with many steels, finishes, handle materials and styles, so there are quite a lot of possibilities. Below we have laid out some of the options we offer, although this list is not exhaustive and other options are available if we can get them.

Blade Design & Options

Blade Design

We offer 4 Standard Blade Designs, although bespoke, from the ground up blade designs are also an option. We can also make any knife from our back catalogue – so if we have done it in the past, we can likely do it again. 

When it comes to bespoke designs, we of course specialise in the Defensive EDC, Pikal and Japanese Tanto niches, and while we are open to other types of knives, we may not feel its within our wheel house. If you have a bespoke design in mind, it’s best to check with us before making a booking. 

Steels

Our house steel is 80Crv2 which is what we produce most of our knives from. This is a great steel that isn’t too expensive, has good toughness properties and can be finished in a good variety of ways from the practical to the aesthetically pleasing. We typically use W2 for traditional Japanese blades or when a Hamon is desired. We also have access to a multitude of different steels, and can potentially source others if needed.

If you’re unsure which steel you need, please ask.

80Crv2 / W2 / Magnacut / Damascus / San-Mai / Aogami

Finishing

We offer a variety of blade finishing and coatings. Note, the steel used may determine what finishes are possible. This can be discussed with your knifemaker when you make a booking, but feel free to reach out too.

Cerakote / Satin Bluing / Polished Bluing / Sand Blasted / Hamon & Pattern Reveals / Antiqued Finishes / Hadori Polishing

Handle Types & Options

We offer two main handle types with many options within them, Scale Handles and Tsukamaki Handles.

Handle Scales

A Scale Handle can range from pure utility all the way up to exotic luxury depending on the material chosen. We offer an array of materials that we can typically accommodate. Materials can typically be finished from Satin to High Polished finishes, and can be textured in a variety of ways aesthetically with our in-house texture patterns. 

Handle Scale Material

We can source a variety of handle scale materials. If you have a particular material in mind please reach out to us and we can tell you if its possible.

Natural materials like Burl Wood, Mammoth Ivory, horn and bone differ greatly in terms of colours and  grains. Part of our process is to provide examples of these types of materials and allow you to pick which piece we will craft your handle from, if you want to.

G10 / Carbon Fiber / Micarta / Richlite / Altem 1000 / Exotic Wood Burl / Bone / Buffalo Horn / Mammoth Ivory

Scale Texture

We can texture all scales, although some materials benefit more from simple textures. 

Soft Contour / Tsuka / Tsunami / Dune / Tiger / Nagare / Kobayashi

TSUKAMAKI HANDLES

The style of handle making which we are renown for is our modern interpretation of the traditional Japanese sword handle. Our Tsukamaki handle combines traditional and modern materials and techniques to produce a uniquely beautiful and functional knife handle that is not only a comfortable and grippy interface, but is aesthetically pleasing to the should of a warrior.

These handles are typically built of multiple different materials starting with a Liner.

Liner Options

Liners can be made from modern synthetics like G10, or metals like Brass, Bronze, Copper and Titanium. They are lightened to reduce weight, and finished in a variety of ways in keeping with the overall aesthetics of the handle. They can be polished, sandblasted, antiqued or in some cases anodised to produce splashes of colour. 

Handle Fittings

The Fittings mimic the traditional Fuchi and Kashira on a sword handle, and serve to bookend the handle. These are more than aesthetic additions. In keeping with the Japanese tradition, everything has a function. The front fitting provides a hard surface which becomes an interface for the retention sheath, while the rear fitting provides a termination for the Tsukaito wrap, and rounds off the butt end of the handle for comfort. 

Fittings can be made from Carbon Fiber / Buffalo horn / Bone / Copper / Titanium / Mammoth Ivory / Damascus / Shibuichi and many other materials. They can also be finished in a variety of ways, depending on the type of material. 

Samegawa

The Samegawa referee to the ray-skin panel underneath the wrapping material. This is traditional raw-hide stingray skin, which is traditionally used in the Japanese Sword handle construction. We go through painstaking effort to source the real thing, from Japan, and treat it in house with lacquer to get the desired colour effect. 

The Samegawa adds a layer of beauty, but also a grippy texture for the cord layer to bind against. 

Samegawa panels are polished in the traditional way and lacquered to get the desired colour. Colours we offer include:

Natural (white) / Antiqued / Black / Crimson

Tsukaito

The cord, or Tsukaito we use is also sourced from our Japanese suppliers. The handle wrapping is a painstaking process which can take 2-3 hours to complete. We use a Hineri-maki style of handle wrapping as we find this to be the best for short knife handles. 

We wrap our handles tightly, using wash-paper hishigami underneath the knots in order to help create a tight wrap and to keep the ito smooth and aesthetically pleasing. 

We use both isilk and leather tsukaito in a variety of colours. 

Black Leather / Brown Leather / Black Silk / Brown Silk / Burgundy Silk / Dark Green Silk / Light Green Silk / Blue Silk / Navy Blue Silk / Wine Silk / Ivory Silk / White Silk

Additional Elements

Our Tsukamaki handles also offer some unique touches that can be incorporated. 

The Mekugi is a nod to traditional handles. It refers to the central pin which holds a traditional Sword handle fixed to the blade. In our handles this isn’t necessary but can add a tie to the traditional if you want it. 

We typically hand make Mekugi pins out of antique hardened Japanese bamboo or buffalo horn. 

Another element that we can incorporate are Menuki. These are the small emblems or symbols that are typically made from copper or brass which are bound onto the handle underneath the tsukaito. 

We typically only use 1 Menuki on short handles and our range of themes is limited as we can only use small menuki. Abstract Menuki are also possible which can be made from various materials. 

Stabilising Tsukaito

We go through a lot of effort to ensure our Tsukamaki is tight. We prefer the traditional feeling of handles that are left uncoated, or un-stabilized. Resin stabilising does secure the tsukaito in place, but can tarnish the colour on silk, and is also really not available for leather. 

While we can stabilise your Tsukaito if you really want to, we suggest leaving it and letting it age and weather naturally until the time comes to replace it. Even with every day carry, this can last years. The effect of stabilising tsukaito can make it less comfortable to wear against the body for some people. 

We suggest trying out out naturally first. Then if you wish to stabilise it there are ways you can do this yourself with little to no expense. 

Shrike

See our Custom Knife Gallery for more examples of our previous work.