Why So Few Custom Reviews?

Feb 8, 2000
Is it because of the individual cost involved in the purhcase of custom knives? Are most customs for collections rather than 'users'? Sure, some knives are highly decorative 'art' and aren't likely to be used. On the other hand, knives from makers like Dozier, Lightfoot, and Polkowski must be intended for function, as well as form. Are those of us who actually carry our custom blades really so rare?
I think there are a number of reasons for the paucity of custom reviews. First, they are expensive and many customs are essentially collector pieces, second, many customs are high end users, but who wants to really abuse a custom knife in a test the way someone abuse an easily replaceable factory knife (even a fairly expensive like an LCC). If you destroy a custom, you may not be able to replace it or you may have to prepared to wait a long time.
I've got several customs and while all were intended as users, I'm not sure about doing abusive tests on them the way I beat up my production folders. Plus for those of us who live outside the States, sending the knife back for service anjd repair is an expensive (and sometimes risky) undertaking.

This is just me talking though. I'm pretty sure there are guys who think nothing about chopping down a tree with a Bill Moran damascus bowie

I have done a short review about the Crawford Shark, though. This is the link: http://www.bladeforums.com/ubb/Forum3/HTML/002454.html


"Praise not the day until evening has come;a sword until it is tried; ice until it has been crossed; beer until it has been drunk" - Viking proverb
There are reviews on customs though obviously not as much as the productions knives. Try the search on a particular maker.

I have actually made attempts at "reviews" of some of my customs putting them through what I expect in terms of their "purpose." It's a lot of work. Frankly, I suspect custom reviews won't get as much response because most folks are looking at and acquiring production knives more than customs. However, if like me, they get more and more into acquiring knifes, they start to move towards customs of certain designs and makers. Then every word posted and related to these will be sought out.

AKTI A000356

Cos they cost so much?


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Seems that a lot of guys do not use their customs - certainly not ALL of the customs they purchase. This is something that seems a shame to many makers who put their heart and soul into heat treat and design only to not have the end customer cut anything with their knife
Ultimately that is up to the buyer however.

On the other hand I certainly have many customers who DO use their customs and in fact am continually working on them to make short review write-ups for my site. I hope to add reviews links to my maker pages as they arrive. Unbiased knife reviews are invaluable to knife buyers - both custom and production and I am striving to make them available.

A very good topic.

Kevin Pensinger
The EDGE Equipment

Contact The EDGE for your custom cutlery needs!
I'd have to agree with all of you so far. I still buy production knives but I also collect (and use) custom made knives more and more as time goes by. Personally, I will do my part in the future and review some of my favorite custom-users. I hope everyone else feels the same!
When I get a custom, I generally will handle and play with up bit, without cutting anything, just to see if I like the feel of it. If not, I get rid of it. It's easier to do this when one hasn't used the knife.

However, if it passes my initial assessment of like, then I go ahead and put it through the paces that the knife was intended for. For me, the joy of any knife -- production and custom -- is in the functionality of the design as well as the look. Having used the knife actually enhances its value for me.

AKTI #A000356
I suspect some people are hesitant to post any critical comments about a custom knife if they suspect the knifemaker might be on the forums. It's kind of awkward complaining about seemingly little things in public when you know the guy who just spent a lot of time and effort making it is going to read the review. Major complaints are probably dealt with by returning the knife, or just selling it. If you're about to sell an expensive knife, you might think twice about posting criticism of it.

I have owned a few customs, and still own one, but so far they're just collecters that I never use. I plan to acquire a couple user customs over the coming months, so maybe I'll be able to post a mini-review or two. Don't expect any destructive testing, though.

I find that knifemakers who I will work with actually appreciate users and their feedback if it is done in a constructive manner (knifemakers are artistic people with true concern for the appreciation of their work if they are worth their salt! If the knife has flaws (versus design factor limitations for instance) it is sometimes best to communicate with your dealer or maker to ensure that this is not something that happened post production (surface rust for instance) but was indeed released from the makers shop in that condition before making a public remark about it. If the knife does not perform up to your expectations due to design factors it is beneficial for the knifemaker to know the details so that he or she can evaluate if the knife was designed for the intended use where it is lacking or not optimal and, if so, what can be done to improve performance.

A large percentage of the makers I know test every knife they make to a certain extent performance wise but user feedback after extended use can be an invaluable tool for them and a chance for you the buyer to interact with the maker and have something of mutual benefit result.

So, use away!

Kevin Pensinger
The EDGE Equipment

Contact The EDGE for your custom cutlery needs!