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Carter Cutlery News
October 14, 2008

Info Column

Here is a question a customer recently asked Murray, and his response:

Q. In Samurai sword making, they form the hard edge steel into a u-shaped channel into which they put a softer piece of steel to give the sword toughness and to prevent breakage. With your laminated steel knives, is it more important to have an edge that can be more easily sharpened? Is that why the softer steel is on the outside?

A: The construction of a high performance blade differs from a common Samurai sword. As you mentioned, many swords were constructed from a soft core and a harder carbon steel outer covering. A major drawback of this style of construction is that only the edge (about a third) of the blade is hardened, and after several repeated sharpenings, the blade runs out of steel that will cut. A sword in this shape is called "tsukareta" in Japanese, meaning tired or worn out.

By including a hard core of carbon steel in a Carter laminated knife that goes completely through the blade, the blade remains functional even after several hundred sharpenings. If there is a blade left, it will cut. Incidentally, many swordsmiths constructed their blades this way as well, but that fact is not widely known.

Do you have questions about steels, knifemaking, or just cutlery in general? Send us an email and Murray will be happy to answer them for you.

Visit Us Online!

Carter Cutlery
Slide Show

Report on Clearance Sale

Our Clearance and Seconds Sale of last week was a great success. Fourteen of the 18 items offered sold in the first 24 hours. Many recipients of the knives contacted me to to express their satisfaction with the knives they bought. In the case of the "seconds" knives, the customers had to really play detective to see the faults that I had found with them. All in all it was a great event, and if we end up with some more 'seconds' in the future, we may do it again. Congratulations to all who scored one of the great bargains!

Carter Cutlery in the Magazines

There have been several articles on Murray Carter and his work that have been published recently in well-known knife magazines. The articles do contain some factual errors, but they are mostly minor. Though copyright prevents us from displaying the articles in entirety, we encourage you to obtain copies via the website links below.

The August 2008 issue of Blade magazine has a good review of Murray's "Advanced Blade Sharpening Techniques" on page 96. There has been such a good response to this article, as well as from what we've posted on YouTube, that Murray is considering filming another DVD to explain more questions on knife sharpening that have come up.

Also from the publisher of Blade magazine is the 29th Annual Knives 2009, known as "the most respected knife book in the world." On pages 36-40 is an article by our good friend, Hovey Smith, entitled, "Schooled in the Ways of the Samurai," in which Hovey takes the reader on a brief journey through a 5-day bladesmithing course that Murray taught earlier this year. You can read the entire article by clicking on the image below and ordering this excellent annual.

Hovey Smith more recently wrote an article on Carter Cutlery which appeared in the October 2008 issue of Knife World (pages 22-27), entitled "Japanese vs. Western Blademaking." It is filled with interesting comments and observations on the various processes of knifemaking which came out of Hovey's conversations with Murray, and more specifically, Hovey's own hands-on experience in making a neck knife.

In Their Own Words

We are always thrilled when our readers and customers send us their comments and reactions to our products. Chuck Gollnick has sent us his thoughts on value and quality products, and we thought we'd share them with you.

"Lately, all we hear is that the dollar is losing value. It's losing value against the yen. It's losing value against the pound. Yes, yes. But, it's also losing value against a gallon of gas, a pound of sugar, and even the common kitchen knife. It's called inflation, and it's a powerful reason to buy good quality products that will last.

"A cheap, imported kitchen knife bought today at a big-box retailer for fifteen dollars will cost over twenty dollars ten years from now, assuming just three percent annual inflation. Similarly, a Murray Carter knife that sells for $150 today will be over $200 ten years from now. But, rising fuel prices mean that it's costing more and more to bring imported goods to American markets, and rising standards of living all over the world are causing prices on imported goods to rise faster than inflation. As for Murray Carter knives, they're gaining such a great reputation that their prices will also rise faster than inflation.

"So, how can one profit off of this? A cheap knife will probably have to be replaced in just a few years, and every few years thereafter. Each time it has to be replaced -- every few years -- the next one will cost more than the last one did. But, a Murray Carter knife in household use will last for decades. The Murray Carter knife bought today in 2008-dollars will still be serving you in 2038. Yes, in 2038 you'll be using a knife bought for 2008 dollars! Quality costs more initially, but it actually returns a profit over the long run.

"Buy quality and you'll only cry once.

"Chuck Gollnick, Engineer"

Thanks, Chuck, for those very practical remarks. We agree heartily that investing in a quality product is never a bad idea. We also feel that it is important in this floundering economy to change deflating dollars into hard tangible products that can be used or bartered when the need arises. High performance cutlery is a great tangible asset that everybody needs for day-to-day living.

Special Christmas Offer

Every fall, we get customers calling who buy several knives from us, usually kitchen knives, to give to their friends and relatives for Christmas. We are always happy for this business. We feel that this year, especially given the current economic challenges, we should offer something back to our loyal patrons. For this year's Special Christmas Offer, to each customer who buys four knives at one time, we'll include one extra knife for free, equal in value to the least expensive of the four purchased. This is essentially a "Buy Five for the price of Four" offer. Offer valid until December 1, 2008.

Until our next email news,

Stay Sharp and may God richly bless you!

Carter Cutlery

P.O.Box 307
Vernonia, OR 97064
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phone 503-429-0447

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