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Preference? Looks or function? New maker questions

Discussion in 'General Knife Discussion' started by rodriguez7, Aug 10, 2018.

  1. rodriguez7

    rodriguez7 KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Feb 1, 2009
    So, Ive been into knives for quite a few years, I’m a hunter and outdoorsman. Like a lot of people, I got tired of buying knives that never were quite right for what I was looking for. So I bought some equipment, and started making my own. I’ve been dialing in my grinds and handles, started making kydex sheaths!
    I have been keeping my designs rather simple, similar to what bark river does, convex grinds, with mainly micarta handles and corby bolts. I like a rather stout blade with a thinly ground convex Edge, I find it cuts very well, even with thick stock steel. Most everything I do is heat treated by me in my evenheat oven, and cryo treated. Steels I’m mainly using are 3v,4v, vanadis 4e, 8670, M2 and Aeb-l. What I’m wanting to gauge, is what the current market is, what people are wanting. My blades are geared more towards hunting, skinning and general camp and outdoor chores. Just looking for general discussion and interest in designs. I hand make everything, I have no access to mills, or water jet, or anything like that. I’m in a small town with very limited resources. But I love making knives when I have the time!!
  2. rodriguez7

    rodriguez7 KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Feb 1, 2009
    upload_2018-8-10_11-17-58.jpeg 1DD64C57-BC5E-4349-AB24-1E30D37026B2.jpeg a couple blades I’ve done recently, next to a hunter Martin custom. The big knife is V4e, the smaller one is 3v.
  3. b00n

    b00n Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 15, 2016
    To me both should be cohesive. The design draws me in initially, the function needs to be there.
    If a knife looks uninteresting to me I don't take a close enough look to see how well it might function (unless people keep raving about it).
    theJman, mistwalker and stonproject like this.
  4. danbot

    danbot Gold Member Gold Member

    Oct 31, 2009
    Unless its made expressly for art, then form should always follow function. Like any other tool.
    Lapedog likes this.
  5. KAEDC

    KAEDC Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 25, 2013
    It’s always a balancing act but for me that balance skews in favor of aesthetics(65-35 i’d guess). All of my knives are 4” blade length or smaller with light duty EDC as their use. So I can afford to sacrifice a little practicality in favor of looking good. If I was a big outdoorsman I suspect my opinion would be different...
  6. rodriguez7

    rodriguez7 KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Feb 1, 2009
    Looking for more feedback! Thanks to those that gave replied
  7. Lapedog

    Lapedog Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 7, 2016
    A knife that function well will become beautiful in its user’s eyes even if it isn’t apparent at first.

    A knife that looks first will become ugly in my eyes if if it functions poorly.
    danbot likes this.
  8. danbot

    danbot Gold Member Gold Member

    Oct 31, 2009
    Well, thank goodness there are a lot of beautiful and functional knives out there!:)
    b00n and Lapedog like this.
  9. Lapedog

    Lapedog Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 7, 2016
    Well for example earlier in my knife career I used to think the Strider SnG was a cooler looking than the Sebenza.

    Upon owning some CRKs for abit they now are way cooler to me.

    Many people think Spyderco is ugly until they use them.
    danbot likes this.
  10. Kbrasmodeler

    Kbrasmodeler Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 18, 2008
    I've always preferred function over form. Of course, form typically follows function, and a good performing knife will usually look good too. It's a balance.
  11. Gravy


    Dec 16, 2014
    For me they are equal. I carry knives as both an accessory and as a tool, much like a nice wrist watch. A $30 digital Timex will give the exact same time as my Citizen EcoDrive Chronograph, but I'm going to choose the EcoDrive every single time, because it's a beautiful watch.

    The same goes for knives. I purchased a Spyderco Tenacious about 4 years ago, and there's no real reason why I should have anything else in my collection. I could've been carrying and using the Tenacious the whole time, and it would have no doubt functioned perfectly the whole time.

    However as an enthusiast, the combination of design and function is what excites me.

    Yes, the tenacious is a fine cutting tool, however the aesthetics leave me cold. On the flip side the WE Knives Eschaton Is a beautiful knife in terms of machining prowess, however functionally? yea.... It's no purpose built cutting tool.

    It's not about performance or design, however its the skillful combination of the two that draws me to a knife. Anyone can make a knife that looks cool and anyone can make a knife that cuts well. Making a knife that does both is something else.

    Just my two cents
  12. theJman


    Sep 2, 2015
    ^ This.

    What is the first measure of attraction? Appearance. Whether it's a car, house, clothes - even our spouse - how something looks is our first judgement criteria. Once beyond that then things like function come into play. If something doesn't appeal visually almost no one will go further.
    b00n likes this.

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