Services Offered What are your options on a David Mary custom knife?

Not open for further replies.

David Mary

pass the mustard - after you cut it
Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider
Jul 23, 2015
To make the ordering process as convenient as possible, here are options you can select when I make a knife for you. Anything in strikethrough is not an option (yet...?). Materials on the list are those I'll work with, but I don't necessarily have them all in stock at any given time. Any materials not in stock, or not mentioned can be requested on a case by case basis.

For those who like surprises, you are always welcome to give me creative license on anything from the whole knife, to specific aspects of it, whether it be just the finishing of the spine, or the color of the handle. I will always put something together with a focus on achieving good geometry, ergonomics, performance, and appeal. Otherwise, I will duplicate your design as closely as I can within the contraints of my shop and abilities. This can sometimes mean subtle alterations to blade and handle profiles in order to allow me to fit my tools into grooves and radii.

Ordering something from a run I have in progress is the most economical way, as I can spread the costs and overhead among a larger number of knives, and usually require either no deposit (ie ROFR, right of first refusal), or minimal deposits. I will take one-off orders as well, but these can be significantly more expensive if they require ordering materials I don't have in stock. Remember, I live and make knives in Canada, and import almost all of my materials from the USA, with the exception of a few things like dremel sanding drums, and some of my pin material which comes from China, Saudi Arabia, the UK, and a few other places, as the need arises.

The point is that I not only pay for materials, but shipping, import fees, and even double shipping and import sometimes when I shape steel by hand and send it away again for heat treatment. That is why your most economical option is to either watch for a run in the steel you desire, or get in touch with me to see about setting up a run specially for you, and maybe a few friends. A great option many have used, and it benefits us both. You get custom knives designed how you want (within my limitations as set out below) at competitive prices, and I can give those prices because more blades per run means more revenue to bring each knife's price down.


Carbon Steel

* 1084
* 15N20
* 8670

Stainless Steel
AEB-L is standard

Other alloys may be an option, case by case

Primary bevels

* Full height flatvex grind is standard. This is basically very close to full flat, with slight convexity inherent to my grinder set up and freehand technique.
* Sabervex is an option, which is as above, except the grind terminates before coming all the way up to the spine, leaving a portion of full stock thickness above the grind.
* Zero grind flatvex may be an option depending on the design.
*Chisel grind, right or left hand is an option.
* Satin finish
* Hollow grind
* Mirror finish

Edge bevels
* Freehand belt sharpened on 220 grit, followed by hand honing on fine ceramic sticks is standard, typically to between .004" and .012" behind the edge, depending on the design of the knife.
* Mirror finish

Extra Grinding
* Sharpening choils by request, no cost
* Serrations added for modest cost, relative to blade length.
* Swedges, sharpened or unsharpened, can be added for relatively little added cost
* Crowned/radiused/rounded spines can be added also for a small added cost
* Jimping can be added for a cost which is determined on a case by case basis, by the exact nature the jimping
* Filework on the spine and/or tang can be added to the knife for a cost determined by the type and complexity of the file work requested, as well as how much surface it is to cover.

I assume spines and tangs are to be left bare and square, with the exception of very thin stock where these would be too uncomfortable.


* G10
* Micarta
* Carbon Fiber
* Suretouch

Suretouch is an ingenious handle material, which consists of colored G10 laminated with durable and grippy black rubber, combining the best qualities of both materials. You will find that Suretouch has great grip, even when smooth. I find that even a smooth Suretouch handle feels like it is glued into place in my hand, even while wearing slippery gloves or mittens. Suretouch also has a very slight amount of give to it so that it does not feel as rock hard in the hand as straight G10, adding further to the handle's comfortable feel.

* Wood - I typically work with natural woods generally between the range of 1200 and 2200 on the janka hardness scale, but recently stabilized as well
* Bone
* Antler
* Leather
* Brass or other metal fittings/pommels/guards
* Stone/gemstone

* Scales of a single material are standard
* Hidden tang is an option, using a three layered approach where the tang is enveloped in a piece of handle material of equal stock thickness to the steel, and scales are added.
* Composite handles are an option, using scales constructed of multiple handle materials, including liners and spacers. Cost will reflect the materials and complexity of the build.
* Stacked handles
* Proud tangs
* Wa handles

* 1/4" Stainless steel tubes
* 1/4" Brass tubes
* 1/4" Brass solid pins
* 1/4" Black carbon fiber tubes
* 1/4" Colored G10 pins and tubes may be available on a case by case basis or by request with some added cost.

I select pin materials based on what I have in stock, and what, in my judgment, is appropriate to the overall look of the knife

* Gorilla Glue Cyanoacrylate (CA) is extremely impact and shear resistant and fast curing. It is used in the preparation of composite handles that require multiple materials on the face of the scales due to its fast curing time, allowing me to line up all the handle parts and prevent them shifting during curing. It is water resistant, not waterproof, and not recommended for dive knives, or any knives that are expected to be fully submerged in water for periods of a minute or more at a time.
* Gorilla Glue White is almost as impact and shear resistant as Gorilla Glue CA, but is completely waterproof. If you want to wear your knife while swimming, then it must be constructed using this glue (and an extremely corrosion resistant steel like MagnaCut, or LC200N, of course). Though I do not use it for the initial preparation of composite handles, I do use it to adhere the composite scale to its base liner. Therefore, in theory, you could put a composite and non-wood handled knife to limited use while submerged in water without causing the handle to fail, as the CA glue between the handle parts and spacers would not be essential for the integrity of the scale, because perpendicular to that there is the waterproof Gorilla Glue White holding them down onto the liner. That being said, I strongly advise against the prolonged submergence of my composite handled knives.

* Flat scales with chamfering
* Contoured scales
* "Coke bottle" scales, where the middle is the thickest, and tapers to thinner towards the front and rear, but swells out again before the butt terminates. This creates a recess in the scales where the pinky finger wraps around the handle to help lock in the grip.

I select handle shape that I believe is suitable the knife's ergonomics and balance, taking into account the handle scale material properties. But that may end up being different on two knives of the same model. For example, I may make a thin handled Prevail with flat and chamfered G10 scales, but a wood handled Prevail with thicker coke bottle scales.

* Smooth
* Textured (such as Anzo texture, checkering, vertical or diagonal ribs, and more) Texture may or may not add cost to the knife, depending on the type and complexity of the texture, and the size of the handle.
* Buffed/mirror polished finish

I assume handle finish is to be smooth.


* Boltaron is standard
* Kydex
* Holstex is available for a slight added cost
* Leather

Boltaron is a thermoplastic like Kydex, similar in price, but with a molding temperature about 30° higher than Kydex. This means that it is functionally identical to Kydex in all climates except that in high temperature climates it is a far superior choice, as it is much less likely to lose its shape if left in a hot car, for example. The only drawback to Boltaron over Kydex is it is available in fewer colors.

Holstex is a thermoplastic like Kydex, but with an artistic design molded into the outer surface. It has the same durability and resistance to the elements as Kydex.

If a leather sheath is desired, "no sheath" can be selected as an option that will reduce the cost slightly, and I can ship the knife to a leather craftsman of your choice upon completion.

I recommend Coleman.

His books are closed, but he is willing to take custom order referred to him by me on a case by case basis-

* Taco sheath is standard
* Pancake is available for slight additional cost
* "drain" hole by request, no cost for drill hole, slight cost for molded channel

Further questions, PM me or send an email to:

Thank you.
Just in today, these mosaic pins are available for future orders or existing ones that have not yet had the handle built. They are 5 mm, smaller than my standard pin size of 1/4”, which means that if you want one I will either use it in a central pin hole with 1/4” pins/tubes at the front and rear pin hole, or I will use it in a spot where the tang has material cut out for lightening purposes. At the time of this post these pins add $5 each to a knife’s base price, unless it’s an unusually thick handle. To request one, consider them numbered 1 to 4 from left to right in the pic below.

Not open for further replies.