New Year, Carter Cutlery friends and patrons!
pray that you would all be blessed
beyond your expectations in 2010. Our year here at Carter Cutlery is
already off to a fantastic start.
us on the Web!
have questions about steels, knife-making, or just cutlery in
general? Send us an email and Murray will be happy to answer them for
to know when new products are added to our online store? Just click on
this email link:
Yes, send me Product Alerts!
Our Customers Are Saying...
an enlisted member of the U.S. Navy working on nuclear submarines. My
job is very demanding and stressful, so, to clear my mind, I enjoy
cooking as a hobby.
I have always been disappointed
with the quality of the knives I can find. Thanks to your knife
sharpening and maintenance techniques, I am now able to turn any blade
into a useful tool.
have also helped me to better understand what
to look for when buying a quality knife.
has brought me much joy while cooking and
provided me with a new wonderful hobby to be passionate about. I
tremendously appreciate your commitment to quality and service. Thank
you for sharing your wealth of knowledge and bringing the
joy of scary sharp blades into my home." --- Nicholas Smith, U.S. Navy
of tips on knife maintenance is easily the best, most useful
toolbox I own. I've copied all seven articles, reformatted them for
framing, printed, framed and hung them on the walls of my workshop for
easy, one-glance reference.
series is invaluable, covering the gamut of what one needs to
maintain and properly use one's blades. From sharpening to storing to
evaluating, it's all there. And I got it all for free, simply for
what the Internet used to be all about: fast, useful information
free for public use. I salute you, sir." --- John Fogarty
|Trip to Japan|
made a voyage to Japan for the first time in
four years since I moved to the US. The purpose of the trip was to
visit family and to pursue some new business ventures. In last
month's newsletter, I asked you all if there were any
specific requests for me to procure top quality Japanese products. The
overwhelming responses were requests for high-end scissors and
traditional axes and forestry tools.
do I have good news for you!
both areas I was extremely successful. Just
look at some of the pieces I was able to bring back with me and read
about the wonderful
business relationships I was lucky to forge while there.
|The World's Best Forged Scissors|
When I lived and worked as a village bladesmith in
Japan for 18 years, I had occasion to sharpen and repair several
hundred pairs of scissors of all kinds, shapes and sizes. Over the
years, one brand of scissors left a lasting impression on me as being
of the very finest quality. No matter what condition they were in when
the customer brought them to me for refurbishing, they always cleaned
up the best, and always got "scary sharp" when I
was finished working on them. The brand that cut and performed better
than all the others was and remains to this day, TOKYO
Before heading to Japan in December, I made a
"cold" sales phone call to Shozaburo and introduced
myself in my best Japanese. After a few tense moments,
not knowing whether they would take me seriously or not (it is not
Japanese custom to call on a company with no prior introduction from
someone who personally knows the staff), the conversation became very
friendly. They were open to the idea that I come visit their factory
office while I was in Japan. I was encouraged that, so far, things
seemed to be going very well indeed.
When the day came to pay them a visit, I summoned
my best formal Japanese language skills and mentally reviewed business
etiquette, so as to not ruin a fantastic business opportunity by being
too casual on the first meeting. I met with the president's
son, who manages operations. He interviewed me for about 30 minutes,
while his father, the president, sat at his desk within earshot. After
talking about specific smithing processes and metallurgy, and about my
specific techniques for disassembling and sharpening scissors, the
president finally came over and introduced himself to me. That was a
very good sign, and at this point, I gathered they realized I was very
serious about responsibly representing their prestigious product.
The rest of the two-hour long meeting was very
friendly and both the president and his son gladly accepted
to be Shozaburo's main dealer and repair technician for all
of North America. I purchased a quantity of their finest
brought them back to Oregon, where now you all will get to see them
before everyone else. We parted on the understanding that as I gain a
strong foothold in the high-end scissor market, they will have me back
to their factory to spend a full day with their best craftsman to study
their refurbishing process from start to finish, just to be sure I have
mastered all the tricks there is to know about sharpening and repairing
Watch for our scheduled YouTube release
highlight the extraordinary features of these spectacular scissors.
That will coincide with the posting of Shozaburo scissors for sale
directly on our site (it will take us a few days to photograph and post
|The World's Best Forged Axes,
Hatchets and Forestry Tools|
years ago, while living in Japan, I made a
week-long road trip to the Island of Shikoku, which is the eastern-most
of the four main islands of Japan. Within the island of Shikoku is
Kochi Prefecture, and therein is a small town well known
of Japan for the highest performance forestry tools: Tosa Yamada.
today, after all the modernization that has overwhelmed Japan, the
bladesmiths in Tosa Yamada still honor the time-proven traditions and
techniques used for several hundred years to forge the best quality
attracted to the bladesmiths of this area because of their legendary
axes, hatchets and other unique forestry tools. Even though I
competent bladesmith, the axesmith is as specialized from the kitchen
bladesmith as the orthopedic surgeon is from the neurosurgeon. Despite
a good understanding of what the axesmith does, it would literally take
me thousands of axes before I could forge even one half as decent as
the best axesmiths in Tosa Yamada. So I investigated the
representing their best work as their North American dealer.
this past trip to Japan, I flew to Kochi
and then drove to Tosa Yamada to specifically meet with the best
axesmiths, and with their encouragement, purchased and brought back
some of the best of the best blades they had to offer. I personally
inspected each blade and only chose the best examples of the lot.
Folks, these are, bar none, the sharpest blades of this kind you will
ever encounter. Keep tuned for several new YouTube clips
where I will
share with you many of the attributes of these wonderful blades.
best news of all is that just as with the Shozaburo scissors, I am very
experienced at servicing, sharpening and refurbishing these Tosa Yamada
blades. Customers will never have to worry about complete after-sales
servicing with these tools.
Forget about "The Last Samurai" -- THIS IS FOR
Tosa Yamada, after several hours of
talking and consulting over a cup of Japanese tea, the president of the
axesmith's association suddenly asked me if I wanted to
see "katana" (samurai sword). Now, let me tell you that
in the Japanese language, there is no distinction between singular and
plural. So my thought was, "OK, he is going to show me one
sword, and it will take five minutes." As a matter of fact,
as I was there for serious business that had nothing to do with swords,
and with time constraints, I wasn't too interested in the
offer. However, it would have been rude to say "No,"
so I followed him a short distance away to his house. As we entered his
house, I was taking notice of how ornate the construction was, and that
is obviously a very expensive house by Japanese standards. The details
of the woodwork were fascinating.
one corner of the tatami room we entered was a
vaguely familiar sight. There appeared to be a steel gun safe, but it
was on its side. I quickly realized that it was a sword safe. I
couldn't have prepared myself for what was to
come -- a two-hour showing of some of the most rare and
exquisite swords in the entire world. We looked at swords as old as 750
years, with steel textures and colors rarely seen today.
one's knees, the only appropriate posture for the
occasion), I was invited to comment on each sword. I couldn't
critique credibly as an official "appraiser," but
did pass my honest comments from the perspective of one who has forged
more than 14,000 Japanese blades. I was surprised to get an
overwhelmingly favorable reaction. The president said,
"Carter-san, you know more about these swords than any of the
members of the Nihonto Bijitsu Hozon Kyokai
(Japanese Art Sword
Preservation Society). Those guys are well studied and can pass
intellectual assessment, but really don't know about
metallurgy the way a bladesmith understands it."
highly honored by this guy, I was truly embarrassed. We just lost
ourselves in the moment, looking at one beautiful sword after another.
Time seemed to stand still, until there were no more swords to pull out
of the safe. What I originally thought was going to be an inconvenience
to my tight schedule turned out to be the highlight of the whole trip
|Traditional Japanese Bladesmithing School
have just one spot left in the scheduled April
5~10, 2010, 500-level Intensive class and two spots open in a newly
scheduled "Skills Builder, Three-day Class," March
12~14, 2010. This new "Skills Builder" class is for
those of you who have some basic knife-making experience, but want to
spend three intense days learning Japanese methods which will expand
your knife-making skills.
Carter's Bladesmithing School
|Inner Circle Lifetime Membership|
Due to a
very high volume of inquiries that I
couldn't fully answer while I was in Japan, I have decided to
extend the deadline for this awesome offer for just one last week. See
the details here:
Carter Cutlery Inner Circle Lifetime
final deadline for
the Carter Cutlery Inner Circle Lifetime Membership will be January
our next email news,
Stay Sharp and may God richly
Carter Cutlery, 981 Fairway Lane, PO Box 307, Vernonia, OR 97064, USA
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