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Carter Cutlery News
November 12, 2008

Info Column

To Serrate
Not to Serrate...

That is the question! Now let me tell you what I think is the best answer. See below.

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


New HG and SFGZ Knives Posted


New Products!We have posted some new High Grade and Stainless Fukugozai kitchen knives on our Products Page. Click on the image to take a look at these new postings -- great gift ideas here!

And remember, we are still offering our Christmas special of five knives for the price of four. We have had many customers take advantage of this special limited offer. See more details here (under Special Christmas Offer).

The next batch that Murray is working on includes more than 70 neck knives of all shapes, sizes, and handle materials, and several larger camp/survival knives as well. One series Murray is very excited about is our NEW "Hunter Series" neck knives that feature stunning high polished blaze orange G-10 handles. The prototype we made and displayed at the recent Blade Show West in Portland was the first knife to sell on opening day at the show.


Update Alerts

Since we do not have an RSS feed which notifies our customers when our website is updated, we'd like to give the opportunity to those of you who would like such an alert to subscribe to our "Product Update Alerts." Just click on this email link to make sure you get added to our Alerts category:

Once you've been added, whenever we post new additions to our Products Page, you'll be sent a short email telling you about the new postings, including a link to get you there quickly. Murray has over 100 new knives in the works and you'll want to be notified for sure when those are up for sale online.

Thank You for All the Referrals!

Response to our latest News Flash has been outstanding. Thank you again to those who did send us referrals, and a hearty "Welcome!" to those who are receiving our newsletter for the first time.

For the ones who sent us referrals, here are the steps on how to send in your knives for sharpening:

  1. Carefully wrap your knife tightly in several sheets of glossy newsprint (heavier grade paper).
  2. Tape the knife securely to a piece of heavy cardboard or thin wood a little larger than the knife's length and width.
  3. Place another piece of cardboard the same size over the knife and tape the two cardboard pieces together.
  4. Place this package into a suitable size box. Write your name, address, phone number and type of knife on a sheet of paper, as well as any other specific instructions for the knives (e.g. especially for serrated knives), and include that in the box. If you know how much the postage will be, include the same amount in stamps which will be used for returning the knife to you. Otherwise, wait until you are at the post office to get the correct postage before sealing the box.
  5. Address the box to:
     Carter Cutlery
     P.O.Box 307
     Vernonia, OR 97064
Survival Blog dot Com is known as "the Internet's most popular blog on survival, preparedness, and self-sufficiency." A little over a week ago we put up our Carter Cutlery ad on their homepage -- you can see it as it scrolls up on their website's right-side column. We are amazed at the number of visits to our website this one little ad has generated. We are even more amazed at how many hits this website receives in a single week -- over 100,000 unique visits!

As we mentioned in a previous newsletter (under In Their Own Words), these are times of uncertainty, and it is wise to be prepared by making sure we invest in hard tangible products that will not lose value.

Arizona Custom Knives

Arizona Custom Knives is one of our dealers who offers our knives, and, in fact, we are currently featured on their homepage. Owned and operated by Julie Hyman, it is "one of the largest custom handmade and production knife dealers on the Internet." They also carry knife care waxes and oils, knife cases and boxes, and a number of gift ideas. Take a look at what they have.

If you don't see the Carter knife you're looking for on our Products Page, hop on over to Arizona Custom Knives and you just might find what you've been hunting for.

To Serrate or Not to Serrate

Serrated knives are very common, and as such, are not given much thought. The cutlery industry has duped the consumer into believing that serrated knives are normal. In actuality, serrated knives are inferior in many ways to straight-edged knives, the details of which I'd like to discuss.

There are many criteria for good performing blades, such as edge-holding ability, edge sharpness and durability, but the most important criteria is "sharpenability," or articulated another way, how easy the knife is to sharpen. Even a blade forged from the best steel in the world will dull through use, and being able to quickly and efficiently sharpen the edge back to it's original sharpness is a great asset.

Serrations are typically added to knives of inferior metallurgy to make them cut more aggressively or are added to pocket knives to make them look "cool" or intimidating. However, they greatly complicate the sharpening process. Quick and efficient sharpening is no longer possible on a serrated knife.

As for the cutting applications of serrated knives, here are the only two tasks which serrated knives will out-perform a properly sharpened straight-edged blade:

  1. Cutting bread straight out of the oven (only if you bake bread at home because after 20-30 minutes all bread crust becomes softer, and is best cut with a non-serrated blade)
  2. Cutting steak or other meats on a ceramic plate

Despite what you have seen on "Ginsu" commercials or read or heard in urban legends, there are no other cutting tasks which are not performed better with a properly sharpened straight-edged knife.

So what is a properly sharpened blade? It is a blade that has appropriate edge geometry for the cutting task at hand, a blade that will shave hair from the arm AND have microteeth that will slice into either a tomato skin or fibrous material (like rope) with abandon.

So when you respond to our FREE KNIFE SHARPENING OFFER and send your knives in to be sharpened, be sure to indicate whether you want me to grind the serrations off your knife or whether you want to keep them. For more about what to do with serrations, see my Advanced Knife Sharpening DVD.

Until our next email news,

Stay Sharp and may God richly bless you!

Carter Cutlery

P.O.Box 307
Vernonia, OR 97064
Carter Cutlery ~ Home
Carter Cutlery Products
phone 503-429-0447

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