After years of performance testing of production, custom and indeed, my own knives I have developed a unique Manifesto that sets out what Wellington Bladeworks believe to be the defining characteristics of a high quality custom knife.
Design: First and foremost a knife is a tool, it must perform as a cutting tool and be inclined to excel in the tasks it will be most commonly used for.
Blade steel: Only steels that are proven to perform in cutting/chopping applications should be used. A steel must be professionally heat treated in order to act as required; there is no substitute for a scientific approach.
Blade edge thickness: A knife blade should taper to a fine edge to achieve refined cutting performance. Excess material at the blade edge is for Axes!
Fit: A knife should be assembled in such a way as to ensure that all materials and components marry together with the tightest tolerances.
Finish: A knife must be finished in a manner that is beautiful, durable and maintainable.
Handle materials: Handle materials should have subtle beauty but ultimately also be serviceable.
Fixings and adhesives: Every knife should be assembled with the best quality fixings and adhesives to ensure longevity.
Sheaths: A sheath must make the knife safe, be made from high quality materials and should never cause damage to any part of the knife.
The customer experience: Procuring a custom knife should be a memorable experience based on trust and respect. The knife maker must respect the practical requirements and aesthetic sensibilities of the customer. The customer must respect the creative process of the maker.