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Frequently Asked Questions

This is our FAQ section. We have compiled a list of frequently asked questions, hoping that if you did not find an answer anywhere else, you may find it here. If not, however, feel free to contact us and let us know how we can be of further assistance.

Why should I buy a TC Blades custom kitchen knife?

1) Our Skill set: We are expert kitchen knife makers - and more.

Ours is a unique vocation, and takes years of study and practice to reach a high level of expertise. We have been making kitchen knives for a very long time. We have the knowledge, the experience, and the motivation to make your kitchen knife all it should be - and more. 

Kitchen knives must be first and foremost a formidable tool, possessing very specific attributes that endow them with the ability to process food properly i.e. to aid and assist a Chef in his craft of preparing great food - none of these attributes must be taken lightly or ignored by the knife maker. We are great listners, and place special emphasis on incorporating your wants and needs into the design wherever and whenever it is possible. 

A knife maker specializing in kitchen knives must first and foremost be an expert toolmaker, with an intimate knowledge of knife skills as used for cooking. We also specialize in woodworking, in metal etching,engraving, and polishing, in photography, and computer graphics. 
This makes us a rare commodity indeed. 

We are a team of two working in tandem, constantly striving to evolve and enhance our knives, while always retaining high standards of function and beauty in every new knife that we make.

2) Nothing is ever out-sourced:

Every single knife that we make begins it's life as raw materials which we then fashion by hand into a completed, high end, superior quality, refined kitchen knife. The blades are hand forged, heat treated, ground, polished, and at times etched and engraved - all by traditional means - 100% hand made. The wooden handles and sayas that start life as chunks of wood and expertly fashioned, mounted, and fitted on to the blades - all by hand. Each knife is guaranteed to be a product of our very own hands and issued a certificate of authenticity that is signed by both of us. 

3) Your purchase will literally put food on our table:

Buying from us guarantees that you know where your money is going. The money is going to the people who actually put in the effort to make your knife all it can and should be. Your purchase from us insures that the knife you buy was made with love, and attention to the smallest of details. We, the people that make your knife, are the ones that deserve your money the most for making it. When you buy our knives you know exactly who made them, and that your payment was used by us for our livelihood. In fact, in buying one of our knives you are actively contributing to a sustainable way of life that you can honestly and proudly be a part of. Can you say the same about mass produced kitchen knives? 

4) Old school materials : 

We use o1 carbon tool steel for all our blades. The steel used for our knives is an OLD steel type. Not only has it withstood the test of time, it excels in the properties sought after, where kitchen knife blades are concerned. Our Carbon steel knives will sharpen readily, retain their sharpness, and provide you with a long lasting service. 

5) Old school craftsmanship :
The materials by themselves are not the entire story. As craftsmen, we have been working with the same materials for a very long time and know them intimately. We have reached a skill level that allows us to replicate our results over and over again with a high level of accuracy. We can, in fact, guarantee the high quality of your knife - before making it. 

6) Old school service :
We are very service conscious. We are attentive, communicative, accommodating, and professional. We are always happy to receive questions and provide answers in a clear and efficient manner. Our terms of service are clear and unwavering. Above all, we are honest, positive minded people. You can be assured that buying a knife from us is not some gamble on an unknown quantity - the opposite is the truth. Buying a knife from us is probably one of the least risky transactions you can conduct on or off the internet.


7) Our knives are a far more sustainable choice:

A good kitchen knife should give you life-long service if you maintain it properly. Buying just one good kitchen knife and learning to maintain it properly on your own is cheaper in the long run, far less polluting to the environment, and far more gratifying in terms of food preparation and processing - even if you do pick up a few other knives along the way. Buying a knife from us is a more sustainable choice than buying a much cheaper but far shorter lasting mass produced knife that will most likely provide you with far less joy and far less service over time.

8) Our carbon foot print is considerably low:

Our carbon foot print is significantly lower than those registered by huge production plants that mass produce kitchen knives. Buying a knife from us, is not only a good sound choice from a consumer point of view - it also makes a whole lot of ecological sense too. When you buy a knife from us you are asserting your right for a cleaner planet, and a simpler more sustainable way of life.

How do I purchase a knife from you?

There are basically two ways of ordering a knife from us:

1) Go to our products section and use the checkout feature for any of the products listed.

2) Go to our online knife design wizard at the top of our home page, design the knife of your choice by choosing from the various options, and use the checkout feature to complete your order. 

What is the TC Blades online knife design wizard, and how do I use it?

The TC Blades online knife design Wizard is a knife assembly utility that allows you to design and assemble a customized version of any of the knives we have on offer. You can then order this knife and have it made and shipped to you. 

I'm new to this, what kind of knife should I get?

There is no cut and dry answer to this question. you should definately consider a custom knife, but we srongly recommend you do some perliminary research and find out more about kitchen knives before you make your decision. 

What kind of steel do you use in your knives?

 

All TC Blades knives are made of o1 oil quenching carbon tool steel also known as AISI o1 type. Here is the steel composition of this steel: C .90 Mn 1.30 Cr .50 W .50 V .10

Can I buy a handle from you and fit it on my knife by myself?

We do not sell parts of any kind.

Where in the world are you located? Do you have a store front I can come in to?

We are an internet based business. We do not have a store front.

Can you explain the difference between "standard", "Upgraded", and "custom made" items?

Obviously, this is about quality, fit & finish. These terms are closely associated with the price of the item in question, but also with the waiting period for it's completion. There are several aspects that influence this:

 

standard (Our Kurouchi and / or Rustik finish - A basic, rustic fit and finish. The blade is provided extremely sharp "out of the box", but grinder marks, hammer marks, fire scale, and other "imperfections" are left on. The more these blades are used and maintained, the nicer and smoother they become. If you want to "force it" you can send the knife out to be professionaly polished - or leave it as is, and enjoy its rustic look that will no doubt build more and more character as time goes by. This fit and finish is PERFECT for those who are heavily involved with sharpening and maintaining their own knives, and also engage in re-handeling projects with various artisans who are handle and saya makers. 

The handle is made of light wood and a synthetic collar. From a consumer's point of view, this is a lower priced knife, but dictates a certain style that you must be prepared to live with. If you are not too concerned with the "look" of your knife, or if you are deliberatly looking for a rural, rustic look - this option is for you.

Upgraded fit and finish- A higher grade of fit & finish. The blade is provided extremely sharp out of the box, and the bevel is hand finished on whetstones to a fine finish. The handle provided with this grade is rosewood with an ebony collar seperated with a copper spacer. A matching rosewood saya is provided as well. These knives are more expensive than our standard knives because they are more labor intensive and contain more expensive materials for the handle and saya. If you are looking for simple, yet elegant beauty combined with outstanding performance, this is the option for you.

Custom, hand made, premium quality - This is the highest level of fit and finish in our product. It is also the most personalized. You can either use our online knife design wizard right here on our site (it will allow you to choose from many different categories of materials, options, fit and finish etc. Send in any special requests and ideas with images to explain what it is you would like to have made. Once you recieve a price quote for your special request you can go ahead and pay for your order - and we will incorporate your project into the current work scheduel. 

What is the waiting list? how can I get on the waiting list?

When you pay for your order, it is automatically assigned a place in the queue depending on various factors such as the complexity of your order, the volume of your order, the shop's workload at the time of your order, availability of materials needed to complete your etc. Your place in the queue is made abundently clear to you at any given time and you can check on your order's progress and status as often as you wish. You can stay up to date on the status of your order by loging into your account on our site and choosing "status reports" from the main menu. 

What if the shipping deadline for my knife has passed and I still have not received it?

In the rare event that the estimated shipping date of an order is not met, or if for any other reason an order cannot be completed by us on time, your money will be refunded as soon as the estimated shipping date has passed. In fact, we will initiate an offer for full refund on instances such as this, prior to the arrival of the deadline. You can accept a full refund - or opt to prolong the deadline. If you choose to ignore this contact message from us, we will refund your payment by default. 

I have a knife I did not buy from you, and I would like to have you rehandle it for me - is this possible?

No, sorry. We do not rehandle knives other than our own.

I have a knife I did not buy from you and would like you to fit it with a Saya - Is this possible?

No, sorry. We do not make sayas for knives other than our own.

I have a knife I did not buy from you and would like to have it etched and/or engraved by you - is this possible?

No, sorry. We do not offer any kind of embellishment on knives other than our own.

How worried should I be about corrosion (rust and/or spotting) of my blade?

Good question! As a rule, o1 tool steel is not a stainless steel, so you may very well expect it to grow a patina. However, Patina is not corrosive and does not cause rust - neglect however does. If you fail to maintain your knife properly and consistantly over time, or if you abuse your knife, by leaving it unwashed and undried in the sink over night, for example, expect it to rust.

I forgot my knife in the dishwasher and now it's all rusted out - can I have it serviced by you?

Absolutely! You can send your knife over at any time and we will service it for you and return it to you. In most cases it will be as good as new. However, please note that it is at our discretion to decide if the state of your knife upon it's arrival constitutes "abuse" as defined in our TOS. In other words, if its regular wear and tear we are discussing, you will not be charged for the work. However, if it's abuse and the whole knife needs to practically be redone - you may be required to pay us to get the job done. For more on this, please refer to our Terms of Service here. 

Why are your knives so expensive?

well, to begin with, if you take the time and do your research you will find that they are not expensive at all when compared to fine kitchen knives made by fellow artisans. Our knives are certainly not cheap run of the mill mass produced knives, and as such command a higher price.

 

What is the difference between "A" series and "B" series knives?

"A series" knives have a uniform spine thickness along their back, while "B series" knives have a shamfer - the spine is thickest at the connection point to the handle and shamfers down towards the tip of the blade. "B series" knives are usually thinner, lighter and possess a higher shinogi line. They are more agile and have more flex, while "A series" knives are heavier, more rigid, and could generally be described as very heavy duty knives for heavy duty tasks.

I do not have bags. Can you make some bags for me?

No, we do not sell any part of a knife seperately - only whole products.