Any knife makers here? I got a question...


Old 05-22-18, 01:39 PM
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Location: Michigan USA
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Any knife makers here? I got a question...

I recently bought a chef's knife at a garage sale and I think it's a fairly high quality knife. The blade is 10" long and I've found that it's too long. I use my 8" chef's knife a lot and would like a second 8".

So my question is can I cut down the 10" a couple of inches?

I have very little experience working with metal. I have several tools that I would use if I take on this project: a bench grinder, a Dremel tool and a Work Sharp sharpener - one of those mini belt sander sharpeners.

My thought is to cut the knife to shape using my Dremel with a cutoff disk, basic shaping with the bench grinder and then final shaping and sharpening with the Work Sharp.

I'm not opposed to taking it to a professional knife smith, but thought I'd take a crack at it first.

I'd sure appreciate your advice or any tips.

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Old 05-22-18, 04:55 PM
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No, it really can't be "cut" down but it can be sanded or wet ground. The steel is hardened so a saw will be very difficult and you don't want to use a cutoff wheel or grinder as the heat will kill the temper of the steel. A belt sander or wet stone grinder can grind the blade down. You don't want to do anything that can make sparks as that indicates that you've gotten the steel too hot so use a medium speed on a sander or a wet carbide wheel.
Old 05-22-18, 06:12 PM
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You can shorten the length and re-create the taper back towards the handle but you can't re-create the taper from top down to the cutting edge. I don't make knives but for years I did sharpen them and as the blade thickness increases it becomes more like an axe, thick with a short taper, not a good way to have a knife.

Other than the shape what is it that makes you think this is a high grade knife? I've seen hundreds of knives that look like that and none were of any exceptional quality. Actually my sharpening ran into very few high quality knives.

And, if it is a special knife, perhaps you would do better selling it and use that money to buy exactly what you want.

Old 05-22-18, 06:38 PM
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Looking at the markings on the blade, it appears to be a Wusthof Dreizack Classic 4582 26cm. Online retail prices are popping up around the $150-$180 price point for one of them new. I don't know if that makes it a good knife, but at that price point, I certainly wouldn't be trying to make it a franken-knife.

I second the opinion of sell it, and buy something else you like more. Depending what you paid for it, it seems like there's a lot of room to price it aggressively and still pocket a nice chunk of change.
Old 05-22-18, 06:58 PM
Join Date: Oct 2008
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Thanks Squirrel for the better eyes. I did enlarge and enhance it just now and can see the name you posted, but still can't read it. But it does appear to be an above average knife and would be a shame to grind it away.

Old 05-22-18, 09:25 PM
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Location: Michigan USA
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Thanks for the good comments, guys. I paid $7 for it at a garage sale, so perhaps the best thing would be to sell it. I don't really NEED another 8" knife, but thought since I don't use this one much to make another 8". On the other hand, maybe I'll just keep it the way it is and use it when I need a longer blade.

Here's a close-up pic of the details on the knife. Any ideas what the boxes on the far right mean?

Old 05-22-18, 10:42 PM
Join Date: May 2015
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Wusthof's website says that "Some blades have a cross-hatch pattern on them instead of a run number." I would guess those boxes are what they call the cross-hatch. No idea how to actually translate the code, though.

That's a nice garage sale find. I only tend to use a 10" knife when all my 8" knives are dirty, but I don't think I'd try to cut it down to make it an 8". At least, not that one. If it were a cheap $10 value knife, I might give it a try. But I would be too afraid of screwing up and turning a nice knife into a piece of scrap that can neither be used as a knife nor sold.

You know as soon as you sell it, you would find a need for a 10" knife, right?
Old 05-22-18, 11:26 PM
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Most likely a date code or possibly a factory and run code. I saw that mentioned, but not well explained elsewhere.
Old 05-24-18, 02:37 PM
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I can do whatever I want to to my knives. With bench grinder. But I am surgical with it.

Surely, you can do two things:
1. Outline new trim line and give it rough trim with Dremel cut off wheel. Will be much easier and faster than grinding it down.
2. Now that you have your new desired shape, you need to sharpen it. Was interesting to hear about "sparks" remark. You CAN"T grind metal without sparks. No, you are not overheating it. You ARE though, when metal starts running colors. Those are called annealing colors and, at dark blue, your knife starts losing its hardness, annealing back to original softness. hence, when you grind the temper and cutting edge back in, you constantly need to dip blade into cold water.
As of how to put temper and cutting edge onto the new shape, I can't explain it. It's skill acquired through years. Be advise that, in factories like Zollingen, temper is hand ground into blades, on machined blanks. You actually can get real close to factory one with bench grinder, with time and persistence. In general, if you want to have VERY good cutting edge, take blade to grinding wheel cutting edge UP, against the wheel rotation. They all spin one way - towards you.
Thereafter, it's skill. If you got it to more or less sharpness you want, take it to fine sanding stone and prime edge. Till it starts shaving hair on the back of your hand. Then, take it to a leather belt, rubbed on with metal polishing paste. You will have razor sharp blade. In an hour or so.
Very soothing job, actually. Calming. Easy for me to say, as I had it done hundreds of times and my grandpa taught me how to.

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