A skilled mastersmith can forge a variety of exquisite knives that are of the highest quality and craftsmanship. Every knife has in its design a purpose, a specific use or a mechanical feature that give it some utility—such as folding knives being compact and able to be tucked away with ease. However, while most knives can offer some utility or another, many people would agree there is a huge aesthetic component to knife collecting. The craftsmanship of the design and quality of parts used are one thing, but the finish you choose to have on a blade is also a big part of the user experience. Let’s take a look at some of the most popular blade finishes!
A hand satin finish is when the bladesmith sands the blade in a single direction with escalating degrees of sandpaper (though other abrasives can be used). The purpose is to create a surface which is lacking in reflective glare but is excellent at showcasing the bevels on the blade. Many high-end knives go for this approach as it fits in with many minimalistic or sleek designs. Due to the effort it requires to create a hand satin finish, it is often seen on many luxurious knives. It provides an average amount of corrosion resistance.
A mirror polish is exactly as it sounds—it is a finish which provides a highly reflective surface and sheen to the knife. Due to the level of skill required to attain this polish, it also requires an equal level of maintenance to maintain that polish. This finish is easily scuffed and so this finish is typically seen on knives strictly made for presentation. Use at your own peril!
A coated finish brings to mind many rugged looking knives. Coatings are usually seen in black, grey or other dark colors. Coatings are excellent at providing corrosion resistance and they effectively reduce wear and tear as well as glare. The caveat to this—much like any sort of utility coating, is that the coating can eventually be scratched off. The uneven wear on the coating creates a very undesirable look. Fortunately these knives can be recoated. A huge benefit to having a coated knife is that it can significantly prolong the life of the blade. Expensive coatings such as DLC (Diamond-Like Carbon) can be pricey but are worth their salt when you factor in that they add more corrosion resistance to the blade and ultimately reduce the workload when maintaining the knife.
Lastly, a stonewashed finish is a highly variable finish in which a blade is tumbled in an abrasive material. The finish excels at hiding scratches and dings while maintaining a fairly sheenless appearance. The finish is variable because depending on the shape of the abrasive used, the way it is tumbled and the type of finish the blade had prior to being tumbled can open up a lot of options for diversity with this finish. Sometimes knives are acid washed to create oxidation (which improves rust resistance) and then the blade is given a stonewash.
Custom Knives For Sale
Exquisite Knives proudly touts a curated list of custom high-end knives from some of the most renowned names in the collector’s world. Names such as Bill Moran, Bob Loveless, Ron Lake, Buster Warenski and Jim Schmidt are all common names in our rotation of for sale knives. Many of our superb knives feature finishes that we discussed in this article. If you have any questions about the finishes of our knives or are looking to order a custom knife, feel free to visit our contact page or drop us a line at (760)-945-7177!