Calton Cutlery

How to make a knife


Most knives are forged with low temp forging cycles. Although, I do use the stock removal method for smaller belt knives and quite a few of our kitchen knives.


Forged or stock removal knives are all heat treated with a multiple quench heat treat system. I believe that the multiple quench system produces the finest performing knives available today!


Almost, all of my knives are differentialy hardened, where the edge up to 1/3 to 1/2 of the blade is left as hard as possible, and the spine of the blade is left either in soft or spring temper. This allows me to produce a blade that has the best of both worlds, a knife with superior cutting ability, that is also tough.


I only work with 3 known steels: 1095, 5160 and 52100. All 3 are high carbon steels, and do require maintenance. By concentrating on such a few number of steels, I believe that I can get the most performance out of those steels.


I also will use recycled steels such as leaf springs, coil springs or old files. Knives made with recycled materials will not have the steel type marked on the side of the blade opposite my mark.


Occasionally, a customer will order a "Memory Knife". These are very special knives made from customer supplied materials. An example, might be a knife forged from a leaf spring from grandpa's favorite pickup truck and they are made with memories in mind. They are not strictly performance oriented blades.