Ray Rogers Handcrafted Knives

The Materials I Use

For me, one of the most interesting things about making knives is learning how to work all the different materials. Some materials are for durability, some for beauty, maybe some for snob appeal, and some for ease of maintenance but all of them are interesting.

Popular stainless blade steels these days are 440C, ATS-34, D2 (not technically stainless but close enough), S30V, and BG-42. I use all of those with a preference for S30V for most pocket knives and 440C or zone treated O1 tool steel for kitchen knives. Other steels are available but I find these offer the best combo of price/performance/ease of maintenance for my knives.

For fancy blades stainless damascus is a favorite of mine. It offers interesting patterns in the steel and good stain resistance. High contrast carbon steel damascus offers even more extreme looking patterns but it can rust so a little more care is required.I am making my own carbon damascus now so some out of the ordinary knife patterns are becoming possible.

As for handles, I've tried just about every thing. The natural materials look best to me and I enjoy working with them but the synthetics are more durable. When people find out you make knives they start giving you stuff to use for handles. So far I've gotten white tail deer antler, some slats from a wooden fence, a complete set of caribou antlers, some kitchen countertop material, and a pork chop bone. The antlers and countertop material will make knives, the fence slat leveled a table, and the pork chop bone made soup.

Aside from this bounty of freebees I also like stabilized wood, reconstituted stone, buffalo horn, fossil ivory, and various bone material. In the synthetics, you may find Micarta(R), G10 (fiberglass laminate), neoprene rubber, and woven graphite.

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Ray Rogers Handcrafted Knives