Hand made, bench made, custom made?

Mar 2, 1999
How do you define your hobby or business? Are there common definitions for the terms hand made, bench made or custom made with respect to knife making?

I've always interpreted them as follows:

hand made - constructed using muscle-powered tools only
bench made - constructed using power and muscle-powered tools
custom made - made to a customer's specification

Am I off base?

this one rages, 1) this inpilies that i designed and made the whole thing myself, power tools are allowed, but to what level? to me it means that i use belt grinder , drills. etc without a grinding jig to shape the blade or cnc machines,i do have some blade profilining cut by laser to save time on my culinary knives i buy the steel and handle material, bolts, epoxy, @2 benchmade, refers to a group of craftsmen that all do one or two tasks and the amount of precut parts and jigs involed go's up.3)custom made meams a client gives me a design and within my talents we work out something they desire. they are many people with differnt opions. to me the
most important thing is that i tell my customers.

hope this helps
Rhinoknives - I agree, how you deal with your customers is probably most important.

Peter, I like it! I may "borrow" that one!

Tim, I've seen your work and yours/Hoods Woods video. Great stuff!

this may not be exactly correct but i believe:
hand made - is made by a single craftsman one or a few a time
bench made - is kinda like assembly line, except they are making the parts and putting them together one an for each area of the knife
custom made - a craftsman will make the knife based on what the customer has asked for.
Mine are handmade customs i make them one at a time to my customers specs the only power tools i use are a 1by42 belt sander and a drill press the rest is done by file and sandpaper

what can i say im a glutton for pain
Thats the problem. There isn't an exact definition that we all agree on. There are makers who use milling machines with paid employees who call their work handmade. That leaves nothing left for the makers like myself who dont even use electricity.

You use a grinder and a drill press and you think you're a glutten for pain? That's funny! :)

Walked into that one!!! ;) I think the real definer as to a handmade knife is in the eyes of the customer; and what they think is handmade, benchmade, or custom. As Mr. Lively said, there are some makers out there who make knives with CNC, milling machines, lazer cutters, etc.. Then there are makers such as myself who use a very minumum of power tools. Then there are makers such as Mr. Lively who do forgeing and then do the finishing work by hand. Ex. Hand-turned grinding stones, and files-and a hell of alot of blood sweat and tears. I think what it really comes down to is that you the customer must decide what is best for you.

Have you ever tried to keep plunge lines straight using a 1/42" grinder. There are days when I think it would be easier with a file.:p
not a good day today, so a warning for strange responses using smilies. damn boss man!!!:mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :D well cya guys tomorrow.