There are three options for ordering a knife from Ken Avery Knives.
1) Select One Of Our Ready Made Knives These Knives Are In Stock And Ready To Ship. Please Be Aware That We Try To Update The Status Of Ready Made Knives As Often As Possible. There Is A Possibility That Someone May Have Ordered The Knife You Want Before We Were Able To Update The Website. If This Happens, You Can Select Another Knife, Or We Can Make A Similar Knife For You.
2) Use The Knife Builder Form. If I Have The Knife Blade In The Profile That You Are Looking For In Stock We Can Provide A Semi Custom Knife In Just A Few Weeks. If The Knife Blade Is Not In Stock – Production Times Can Run Up To Several Months.
3) Join Out Mailing List. You Will Be Notified Whenever We Are About To Add New Knives To The Ready Made Listing On The Website. You Get A Chance To Get The Knife You Want Before We Open It Up To The Public. We Will Send You Updates Once A Month – So No Spam – No Junk – Just Amazing Knives Before Anyone Else Gets A Crack At Them.
Ken Avery Circa 1874 Carbon Steel Chefs Knives are handcrafted much in the same way they were at the turn of the nineteenth century. Heavier hand-forged knives with all the quality one would expect of a fine craftsman back in the 1800’s. Attention to detail, fine woods, and great steel make up these amazing knives. Circa 1874 Knives have a slightly rougher finish than our other knives as these knives are mostly hand finished as they were back in the day.
Each knife blade is made from 1084/1095 or 1075 high carbon steel and specially heat treated to produce an extremely sharp edge (HRC60+) with a tough, durable spine that will last for generations. This special heat treatment also produces a visible line (hamon) along the cutting edge that is unique to these simple high carbon steels. High carbon steel is usually much easier to sharpen than stainless steel knives, takes a super sharp edge, and stays sharp for quite some time with just a few passes on a simple steel. Many professional chefs still prefer carbon steel blades over stainless due to the extreme sharpness available from high carbon steel.
After heat treat, each blade is given a satin hand rubbed finish. With use, these blades take on an antique patina that is unique to each knife. Although these knives are not stainless steel, maintenance is relatively easy, just dry the knife after each use. Apply a good knife or board oil once a month or so to keep the handle and blade in tip top shape. As with any good kitchen knife – avoid the dishwasher! Dishwashers are exceptionally bad for carbon steel knives.
Handles can be ordered in hefty, standard, or small sizes and in a variety of traditional woods available Circa 1874. Woods like Hickory, Maple, Ash, and American Chestnut are available, much of it is reclaimed wood. The reclaimed wood handles and hand forged blades use less steel and new material making these blades better on the environment as well as strikingly beautiful.
Trim is usually traditional brass, but can be ordered in stainless, copper, or nickle-silver to complete your unique vision.
NOTE – The Circa 1874 Knives are not stainless steel and usually have wood handles and brass fittings. They are not NSF approved for use in commercial kitchens. I have used carbon steel knives for years with wood handles and prefer them over stainless steel knives, but carbon steel and wood needs to be cared for. They need to be cleaned properly, oiled properly, and sanitized. If you don’t have the time or desire to care for your knife, I would suggest a stainless version. See the Basic Series or Pro Series knives.
Each Pro Series, Art Series, and Circa 1874 knives comes with an a full lifetime warranty. If your knife is damaged or broken while using it for its intended purpose, we will repair or replace your knife free of charge.
Basic Series Knives have 1 year warranty against defects in manufacturing.
Your knife is hardened at/or above HRC60 to make sure the cutting edge is ultra sharp and stays that way. Super hard knives don’t bend very far without chipping or cracking. Unfortunately we can’t warranty kitchen knives that were used as pry bars. The tip of your knife should never be used to pry anything open!
We want you to be thrilled with your new knife! If your knife does not exceed your expectations within the first two weeks of use, we will remake it for you or offer a full refund.
We offer a sharpening service for each of our Pro Series knives. Just give us a heads up that your knife is coming our way using the Contact Form. The service is free, you pay only for the shipping.
So first things first, please do not put your knives in the dishwasher. Nothing good can come out of quality knives in a dishwasher. The correct thing to do is to wash them with a bit of soapy water and a soft brush then dry with a clean towel. This is the same process for both stainless and carbon steel knives. Commercial knives may need to be sanitized.
Knives should be stored in a block, sheath, or saya. Knives thrown in a drawer is a recipe for disaster. Knives and fingers both stand a pretty good chance of injury.
Sharpening is a bit different depending on what you knife is made of and its hardness. See the specific sharpening instructions for culinary or sport knives under the Frequently Asked Questions page.
We offer a sharpening service for each of our knives. Just give us a heads up that your knife is coming our way using the Contact Form. The service is free, you pay only for the shipping.
A chefs knife typically has a curved cutting edge. The curve is described as either a German Curve or a French Curve. The German Curve has a gentle curve from tip to heel. The French Curve has a gentle curve from the tip to around 50% of the blade. The remainder of the blade from the 50% mark to the heel is typically flat or almost flat. There is no “better or worse” here, just a matter of preference. I prefer a French Curve as I use my chefs knife for mincing herbs, onions, and other vegetables. The flat section of the knife works great for this task used in a straight “up – down” motion. French curves are considered more of a “pulling slicer” than a “rocker” A German Curve will do the same task but requires more of a rocking motion from tip to heel.
When a high carbon steel that is low in manganese is differentially hardened a line will form where the hardened steel meets the unhardened steel. This line is called the hamon. The line can be barely visible on some types of steel and very “active” and defined on other types of steel.
1084, 1095, 52100 steels show a faint hamon line. 1075, and W2 show a very pronounced line that can be made even more spectacular by using clay to differentially harden the blade. Most knives with a Hamon line are etched to make the line more pronounced.
Ken Avery Basic Series knives are made from AEB-L Stainless Steel. You may substitute 440C or 1095 if you have a specific preference. The AEB-L is a solid knife steel that resists corrosion, sharpens much like a carbon steel knife, is simple to maintain, and with proper care will last for generations. The major difference between AEB-L and the steel used in the Pro Series knives is edge holding. AEB-L will need sharpening more often than S35VN. The tradeoff is ease of sharpening, some of the Pro Series knives require a ceramic steel, ceramic sharpeners, and sometimes professional sharpening. The AEB-L used in the Basic Series Knives, is easily sharpened by the home chef using almost any quality sharpener.
The short answer… Pro Series Knives are made with the latest “Super Stainless” steels, they are hand finished, and have many more options available. Basic Series Knives are intended for the home chef or professionals looking for a great knife at a good price point. Basic Series Knives are machine finished and are available in the most common profiles. If you want a great knife at a great price, the Basic Series may be the best choice for you. If you want an outstanding knife, fully customized to your liking, hand finished to perfection, then the Pro Series Knife is for you.