I have an answer. Let's throw 'em together and see if they match up! No guarantees, but it's worth a try. Welcome to the Terrio HandMade Knives subforum! I'll try to address the most commonly-asked questions here... -Why buy a Terrio Handmade Knife? Performance, quality and options. Factory knives are typically a compromise between good design, meeting a low price-point and ease of manufacture. I insist on only the finest steel and heat-treat, the most effective geometries, and the best handle materials available. Individual attention to detail helps me ensure the highest standards of quality and workmanship. By purchasing a Terrio knife, you're supporting an independent American craftsman, not a staff of marketing gurus or cheap labor overseas. -What's so special about a THK knife? An awful lot of factory knives and even handmade knives just don't cut very well, and are uncomfortable to use for long periods. Thick edges and blocky handles make for knives that are heavy, poorly-balanced and don't perform as they should. My basic philosophy is "Thin is In, and Light is Right". All my knives are designed and built from the edge up, with the greatest emphasis being placed on cutting performance, while not sacrificing strength. I strive to make my handles comfortable so they provide a secure grasp without needing to clamp your hand down on them, and I put a lot of time and effort into making sure my knives balance properly. Details like fully-tapered blades and tangs add a lot of work to a knife, but they really help it balance and cut well. Using the very best alloys, HT, and handle materials available ensures that your THK will last a lifetime and beyond. -What are your favorite steels? There are a whole lot of great steels available today! We're truly in the Golden Age of knifemaking. Working by the stock-removal method allows me to use any steel I want to. Currently I'm working mostly with O1 and 52100 carbon steels, CPM-3V tool steel, and CPM-154 and Elmax stainless steels. Each is selected for its characteristics of fine grain, ability to take and hold a very fine keen edge, high toughness and resistance to corrosion. If I could only work with one steel, it would be CPM-3V; it takes a wickedly sharp edge and has a nearly perfect blend of toughness, edge-retention and durability, with moderate corrosion-resistance. -What are your favorite handle materials? G10 is very hard to beat. It's strong, durable, looks good and provides a comfortable grip even when wet. Micarta, carbon fiber and stabilized woods are also fine choices. Occasionally I use hardwoods like maple, desert ironwood, cocobolo and walnut with a hand-rubbed oil finish. I very often use thin colored or contrasting G10 liners under my scales, just to add a custom touch. -Who does your heat-treating? Currently all my blades are HT'ed by Peters Heat Treat of Meadville, PA. They're the best in the business and provide outstanding quality, including full cryo treatment and Rockwell testing of every blade to ensure they're at the correct hardness. -Who makes your sheaths? I design and make all our leather sheaths, and my wife Angie hand-stitches them. On request I will send your knife to a craftsperson who can make a Kydex sheath for it; some time in 2014 we will be expanding to make our own Kydex sheaths. -Do you make folders? At this time I'm focusing strictly on fixed-blade knives, mostly of the full-tang variety. When I do start making folders, you'll hear it here first! -Where's the best place to get updates and see your work? Right here! -Do you do mods on other knives? I cut my teeth in this business making new handles and sheaths for factory knives, and sometimes doing re-grinds on them. I don't do a whole lot of that nowadays because I keep pretty busy with my own knives, but I will consider such projects on a case-by-case basis. If you have a handmade knife that requires attention, it's best to contact the original maker. -What if I want a truly custom order? I made a name for myself in large part by doing custom work that no other maker would attempt. Although I'm doing mostly my own original designs these days, I do accept custom orders from time to time. Send me an email ( [email protected] ) and let me know as much as possible about the design you want. Pictures of similar knives, drawings, detailed descriptions, the materials you require... all will help me work up a firm quote for you. -How can I place an order/check up on an order? It's best to email me at [email protected]. PM's here on the forum fill up quickly. If you prefer to speak on the phone, call me at 865-253-7378 during business hours and leave a message... I often don't hear the phone ring when I'm working in the shop. -Do you require a deposit for custom knives? I very rarely ask for a deposit, and only if an order requires exotic or costly materials that I don't normally keep on hand. Payment in full is due when your knife is complete. How much is shipping? USPS insured Priority shipping to anywhere in the US is included in all my prices. International orders may involve additional cost and paperwork; send me your address and I will work up a quote for you. Let me know if you have special requirements such as shipping to your workplace, specifying that your package requires a signature for delivery, etc. If you prefer a different carrier (UPS, FedEx, etc.), let me know and I'll get you a quote. -How do I make a payment? I prefer PayPal simply because it's so easy to deal with. My PP acc't is the same as my e-mail, [email protected]. Please be sure to send me your current correct shipping address! Sometimes it doesn't show up on the invoice. I will happily accept personal checks and money orders as well; orders paid by MO will ship on receipt, orders paid by check will ship when the check clears. There are no extra fees no matter which payment method you use. What's the Patriot Program? All Terrio Handmade Knives purchased by or for active duty military, law enforcement and fire/rescue personnel for their own use are eligible for a 10% discount. This is my way of thanking the men and women who keep us safe and free. -What's your warranty policy? All Terrio Handmade Knives are backed with a 100% guarantee against defects in materials and craftsmanship, when used in a reasonable manner, for as long as I'm able to work. Please note that a Terrio Handmade Knife is NOT a screwdriver, chisel or pry bar! Outright abuse voids all warranties, express or implied. I test them so you don't have to. -What if my THK needs a little TLC? Should your Terrio knife ever require sharpening, touch-ups or repair, or just a "fluff and buff", simply send it to me with return shipping and I will bring it back to as close to new condition as practical, at no charge. This includes knives that were not bought directly from me! Secondhand, dealer purchases, you found it in the woods... it doesn't matter. If my name is on it, I will honor my warranty.