FAQ

Frequently asked questions

Do you take custom knife orders?


We currently offer only the knife designs shown on the home page; however, each knife is unique in the handle materials used for that knife. If you have specific handle materials that you would like for your knife that you don't see available in current stock, send us a message through our "Contact" form on the home page, or send an email directly to mark@utahknifeworks.com. We will do our best to accommodate your request, if the materials you want are available, but please keep in mind that this may delay your order. We are constantly adding new knife designs to our lineup, so keep checking back to see if we have something new to offer that may interest you.




What kind of steel do you use for your knives?


All of our knives are made from 1095 carbon steel. 1095 steel has a carbon content of .95%, which gives our knives a high-performance combination of strength, durability and ease of sharpening. 1095 is NOT stainless steel, so a special treatment called "bluing" is applied to the blades, the same way that carbon steel gun frames are treated. This helps to prevent corrosion and rust, but does not make the knife completely "stainless". Your knife will still require care to keep the blade looking good. Always hand wash the blade, and do not use any kind of scouring pad that can scratch the blued finish off. With time, the knife will naturally continue to naturally darken and take on a patina that helps to keep it rust-free, much like the seasoning on a dutch oven. It is a good idea to occasionally apply a thin coating of edible oil to the blade, especially if it will be sitting unused for a long period of time. This will keep it from rusting just from the moisture in the air. If you do store you knife for long periods of time, it helps to keep it out of the sheath and just wrapped in a cloth. Sometimes the tanning chemicals used in the leather can cause small bits of corrosion to appear on the blade if the knife is left in the sheath for a long time.




Do you make kitchen knives?


In the past we have produced a wide variety of handmade kitchen cutlery. We are not currently offering any dedicated kitchen knife designs; however, several of our current styles are well-suited for use in the kitchen. For example, the Skinning Knife makes a great little chopper, much like the Alaskan Ulu knife with its curved edge. The Utility Knife doubles as a nice paring knife or steak knife. We have plans to add kitchen knives to the design lineup in the future, so please keep checking the site, and please subscribe to our newsletter on the bottom of the home page if you want to be notified when new products are offered.




What is the best way to sharpen your knives?


Knife sharpening can be an art in itself, but basic maintenance of your knife's edge is not difficult. It just takes a little practice. We recommend that you get a couple of standard knife sharpening tools such as a classic flat sharpening stone or a diamond sharpening rod. There are countless sharpening devices available on the market that can make it confusing as to which is the best for your needs. The 1095 steel used in our knives is not as hard at the edge as many stainless steel knives, which makes it relatively easy to sharpen. The key is to keep a constant angle on the blade as you run it over the surface of the sharpening device. We recommend that you look on places like YouTube to find tips on knife sharpening, as well as examples of the different kinds of sharpening tools available. If your knife has seen a lot of use and is getting extremely dull, or if it has gotten chips or dings in the edge from hitting something hard, it will take a little more work to restore the proper edge geometry to the blade, but in most cases you just need a quick tune-up of the edge, which can be done in a few minutes with simple tools. In extreme cases where you want to get a new "factory edge" put back on the knife, you can send it back to us for re-sharpening. We only ask that you pay return shipping charges.




How do I maintain the finish on my wood handle?


If your knife has wood as part of the handle materials, it has been specially treated so that the pores of the wood are sealed, and several top coats of finish have been applied to help keep it weather-resistant and looking good. If it starts to lose its shine or gets scratched and worn as wood can do, there are several courses of action you can take. First of all, try to keep the knife dry at all times. This helps to preserve both the blade and the handle materials, even though they are treated to resist the ravages of heat, cold, moisture and time. NEVER put your knife in a dishwasher! Believe it or not, several customers have done this over the years, and they have had to send their knives back to us for re-conditioning. Most often, the death sentence of the dishwasher's heat and moisture can completely ruin the handle and the blade, and it may need intense restoration or even replacement. The knife is not warranted against this kind of abuse. Keeping a light coat of oil on the wood handle as well as the blade when it's stored is a good idea. This prevents moisture from getting into and under the wood. Also keeping it out of direct sunlight as much as possible will help to keep the natural color of the wood. Some woods can darken over time just from light exposure. Keep you knife away from hot places like the dashboard of your vehicle, and don't ever let it soak in water. Hand-rubbing a liquid or paste finishing wax to your knife if it starts to look weathered can do a lot to restore the original finish. I always remember my Mother rubbing "furniture polish" onto our wooden dining table with a cloth until you could see your face in it! I still remember the smell fondly. It's that kind of thing. If the wood in your knife's handle becomes irreparably dull or becomes dented or cracked, we can refinish the handle for you. Simply send it back to us for repairs, and we only ask that you pay return shipping. Common sense is the best measure in caring for a knife with wood handles. We use woods that are typically hard and well-sealed against moisture and temperature, but wood is not impervious to damage.





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