A story on any day of a knife maker, a knife craftsman, or as he is now also called with the widespread international term knife maker, who in addition to creating knives is also playing the part of the seller on the hunt for interested customers and negotiating the price when he has to sell a knife.
This story that I am about to tell you does not happen in every country in the world but certainly in many countries where by culture, by “tradition”, you always have the perception that the craftsman is expensive, that he wants to “rip off” you by making you pay dearly for his product, in this case the knife.
An almost always wrong perception, dictated by a lack of knowledge, not to say real ignorance of what it means to do things well, quality and unique!
If a person had the desire to do some research on quality industrial knives , then not unique knives but mass-produced and quality knives he would find that they cost as much as a craftsman’s knives if not even more.
I’m not talking about collecting where people attend exhibitions, they have culture and education regarding the knowledge of listed makers, knowledge of materials and the quality of the artifact.
They also include the research of the design and style of the knifemaker that leads them to invest in that knife and consequently on the maker who created that knife.
A story on any day of a knife craftsman that I want to tell you.
A customer asked me how much it cost to make a knife like this, he shows me a picture.
I replied: “300 €” but it can also cost more depending on the materials but done so (as in the photo) the price is 300 € including leather scabbard.
He said, ”For this job? It’s so much!”
I asked, ”How much did you think it would cost you?”
”At most 100 € or even less, it’s a quick job”
”For 100 € I invite you to do it yourself”
”It’s that I don’t know how to do it”
”For 100 € or rather free I teach you and I explain how to build a knife, so in addition to saving you 300 €, you will have the knowledge for the next time you want to make yourself a knife.”
It seemed right to him and he accepted.
“Below, I tell you what you need to know and what you will need to get started: do you need tools, at least a couple of machines such as a column drill, a ribbon sander, lime, work table with a vice, tape, then the scabbard, leather or kydex? etc etc…” (now I don’t want to list the things you need in a knife workshop).
“But I don’t have all these elements and I don’t buy all this for a single job.”
”Well, then for 100 € I rent you my things, so you can do it”
′′Okay ′′ — tells me
All right! Friday I wait for you to start doing it.
”I can’t do it on Friday, I only have time today.’
“But today I don’t have time to teach you and lend you my things. In addition you have to buy steel, make the drawing in 1:1 scale, the material for the handle, the pins and the glue I give it to you, etc. in short, the things you need to build the knife you like …
”Oops, no… I do not know where to buy the material and go to make tremendous lines to buy these things seems exaggerated I have to go by car up there to buy it and I will lose at least two or three hours of time. You have these materials. Can you sell me your materials?
”Okay. Just because I want you to see things as they are, I will sell you my material in stock. But you have to be very punctual that day because I have more jobs to deliver. I wait for you tomorrow at 7 am to start with all the work.
_ Do you know? It’s too early. Better that I give you the 300 € I have already done my accounts and it will cost me more.
A knife craftsman doesn’t get paid just to do a job.
A knife maker charges for:
- Tools & Equipment
- Direct materials
- Indirect materials
- Services offered
No one can denigrate anyone’s work by pricing as he pleases, nor by belittling his work.
For this reason, even if used in a different context, I also use here the slogan used on the blog expertfighting.com “Knife is not a game!”
′′ That story is an example of what many knife makers and makers experience!”
Like any art, it is born for a passion, an interest and over time it is transformed into a real job or a way to earn some extra money but basically a great passion is needed.
Building knives is not an economic hobby because to do so you need different equipment and materials that require investments especially if you want to bring it to certain levels.
The knife is an apparently simple object and that is why despite having and continues to go through the history of humanity it continues to be at the center of everyday life and support many other human activities.
It is a tool in continuous evolution thanks to the research and experience of many knife makers.
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