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New American-Made Kitchen Knife Company... Interested in a Pass-Around

Discussion in 'Kitchen Cutlery & Tools' started by ArtisanRevere, Apr 2, 2019.

  1. ArtisanRevere

    ArtisanRevere Dealer / Materials Provider Dealer / Materials Provider

    36
    Mar 26, 2018
    Hi! This is Dave Olkovetsky, the founder of Artisan Revere. New-ish to the forums. Had a personal membership last year and I just bought my Dealer Membership. Almost exactly a year ago, I asked a few questions on the forums seeking feedback about handle materials. We chose Richlite for our scales and G10 for our liners for those who might be curious. That thread can be found here: https://www.bladeforums.com/threads...ife-company-would-love-some-feedback.1565963/

    About me: Here's what I'm not. I'm not a knifemaker. I'm not a metallurgist. I'm not a chef. I have studied all of those things though. Here's what I am. Obsessed. I'm obsessed with making you an incredible product. I'm a former steel investor who reached out to dozens of experts including knife makers, metallurgists, and chefs for help in making a stellar American-made kitchen knife. I made these knives the same way I invested: I asked a lot of experts a lot of questions, including asking who is the best person for ABC, or XYZ. People who know, always seem willing to help. It worked very well for me in my old life, and I firmly believe in crowd sourcing information from as many intelligent and knowledgeable people as I can. That's not terribly different from the way the forums work. We then went to work and iterated over and over and over and kept asking for help. Each iteration was tested in professional NYC kitchens, and by me. The penultimate version was tested by all the other folks you see on our website.

    About Artisan Revere: We set out to do one thing: make the best kitchen knives we possibly could ever make, at a price point that lots of folks could afford. We have one North Star: Making the world's best kitchen knives. I dream big. We've been told countless times our goals (including volume goals) are incredibly aggressive, but we firmly believe American's should be able to choose incredible, American-made kitchen knives at fair prices. I'm a knife enthusiast who was frustrated about 1.5 years ago at the atrocious selection of knives available to me at: Bed Bath & Beyond, Williams Sonoma, and Sur La Table. That's how Artisan Revere was born: out of frustration. Sure, there are sites where I can buy Japanese knives from reputable makers, but I wanted to do better. I want to be THE midtech kitchen knife company. Much more info is available at artisanrevere.com

    What Makes An Incredible Kitchen Knife: After many many conversations, prototypes, trips to visit numerous knifemakers, hundreds of hours of conversations, books read, a few knives forged (quite badly), a 2 day visit to Blade Show, and on and on, here's where I settled for the things that make the best kitchen knife. Best in class: 1- Cutting Ability, 2- Edge Retention, 3- Toughness, 4- Corrosion Resistance, 5- Balance, 6- Ergonomics. 7- Sustainability of materials. Again, these are my top 7. I'm open to adding or subtracting.

    1- Cutting Ability. Our chef knife is thin, at .010" behind the cutting edge. We grind at 15 dps, and run on a slack platen for final sharpening. We're working on designing tests with CATRA to measure this better. We've got something in the works, so stay tuned.

    2- Edge Retention. Our knife averaged 933.7 TCC at CATRA, that's 2.3x better than Wusthof, and 1.9x better than Shun and Global. [If Cliff Stamp is still on here, you should feel free to add that to your CATRA list.] Not to say those companies should be the benchmarks, but they're the companies in the U.S. with the biggest distribution in terms of "premium" kitchen knife offerings and what most people view as the benchmarks. We’ve also seen the test results for companies like Miyabi, Yaxell, and many others, however, those aren't for us to publish. I will tell you we beat out all of them, from an edge retention perspective despite some of the Japanese companies being even thinner behind the edge than we are. Elmax + Geometry + great heat treat. Big thanks to the good people at Peters' HT.

    3- Toughness. You've all probably seen the charpy testing that folks like Crucible, CarTech, and Bohler-Uddeholm put out. I know it's not apples to apples given thinnness behind the edge, but Elmax is 60% tougher than S35VN and 240% tougher than 440C, based on standardized charpy testing (data from Uddeholm). Know this: we're working with CATRA on better, more realistic tests. We do know that Elmax is tougher than SG2, HAP40, ZDP189. Why? Because 3rd gen powder steel (like Elmax), has drastically more homogenous carbides, and far fewer non-metallic inclusions than any Japanese powder steel, and smaller carbide sizes. Again, best we can tell, the Japanese are still using a first generation PM process―technology that is over 40 years old.

    4- Corrosion Resistance. Elmax = Stainless. We did 5% NaCl testing and passed. There is excess Chromium in Elmax which forms a passive Chromium layer that essentially coats the outside of the knife, making it stainless. Yes, it can patina if improperly cared for, so wash and dry your knives.

    5- Balance. See images of me balancing right in front of the handle (on our site ― artisanrevere.com). After working with dozens of chefs and home cooks in NYC, we decided this was the perfect spot for precision, power, and control.

    6- Ergonomics. I firmly believe there should be ONLY ONE sharp part of a kitchen knife, and that's the cutting edge. Not the spine, not the heel, and not parts of the handle. Few kitchen knife companies bother with finishes because there are no Chris Reeve's, or Spyderco's who focus on the kitchen knife. Yes, I'm aware that both companies I just mentioned make kitchen products, though it's clearly not a focus. The reality, is once you feel a chef knife that has a rounded spine, a rounded heel, you will NEVER go back. A handle should be firm, and comfortable. We iterated more times than I can remember on our handle with feedback from hundreds of people.

    7- Sustainability. You all know, probably better than I do, that our knife steel, Elmax, is made in Sweden and starts out in an Electric Arc Furnace (EAF). EAF's consume 9x less energy than Blast Furnaces (BF), the other primary steelmaking method. Sweden's energy grid is powered by 1% fossil fuels. Japan, on the other hand, is 100% blast furnace based, and is 82% fossil fuels. That means, our knives are 9 x 82 = 738x less CO2 intensive to make the raw steel. I would point out, that we do further processing beyond just the ingot steel ― that's the powder process. However, if we are comparing Apples to Apples, i.e. Japanese powder steels (ZPD-189, HAP40, SG-2, R2, etc) to Elmax, this holds true.

    Our knife has been tested in professional kitchens in NYC and by hundreds of home users. We're still a very new company, and would love to get feedback from the BF community. My team and I are extremely open to your feedback and criticism. Finally, I'd also like to ask if anyone on here, who is a big cook, would be interested in doing a pass-around? If so, please feel free to reach out to my directly at [email protected]. As I said earlier, we have One North Star: Making the world's best kitchen knives.

    I hope you'll give us a chance to impress you!

    Warmest Regards,

    Dave Olkovetsky, Founder of Artisan Revere


    P.S. we're now live on KICKSTARTER, so if you are interested in learning WAY more, I'd certainly appreciate you taking a look at our page, artisanrevere.com (and keeping in mind that this was largely written for non knife-experts).


    P.P.S. And by the way, the reason we’re on Kickstarter, is to kickstart our company with some capital to grow. I mentioned earlier this has been my sole focus for the last 1.5 years. Well over a year ago, I quit my job to start this company and have been funding it with my savings. I don’t have unlimited funds, and that’s why we’re crowdfunding, in the hopes that folks will see our products, think they're worth investing in, and trust us to deliver on our promises.
     
    Fixall likes this.
  2. Fixall

    Fixall Gold Member Gold Member

    987
    Mar 26, 2018
    Gonna re-post now that we're in a more appropriate area.

    I'm actually a bit intrigued by your knife. Thin ground Elmax with Peter's Heat Treat on a kitchen knife sounds great. I would have preferred stabilized wood over Richlite paper micarta, but that's ok.

    But the price? $270 if you pre-order, with an MSRP of $409? Come on man.

    You guys are brand new to the game. Why should I pre-order your knife for $270, or $410 after it releases when I can pick up something from a company with a strong reputation like the Zwilling/Kramer Carbon line?

    The MSRP on the Carbon line may be $399 (still under your msrp) with a street price of $299 (close to your pre-order price), but they can easily be found for $240. In fact I paid exactly $240 for my Zwilling/Kramer Carbon Santoku. That's $30 - $170 for a knife from a brand new, unheard of company... Is it safe to assume the street price will end up lower than the MSRP?

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]



    *Edit
    Looks like I misread that part. Excellent to see you stuck with Peter's Heat Treat!
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2019
    Justin Schmidt likes this.
  3. ArtisanRevere

    ArtisanRevere Dealer / Materials Provider Dealer / Materials Provider

    36
    Mar 26, 2018
    Correct. We wouldn't ever leave PETERS'. Michigan = Berger/Siepmann grinding. Couple steps down the chain.
     
    Fixall likes this.
  4. Fixall

    Fixall Gold Member Gold Member

    987
    Mar 26, 2018
    I wouldn't call myself a big cook, but I've spent ten years working in restaurants, a couple years cutting meat commercially, and have been known to throw together some decent meals. I wouldn't mind seeing how it compared to my Zwilling/Kramer and Wusthof's once you got the passaround up and going. The official passaround forum can be found here. I'd post about the passaround there as there are pre-designated rules already in place there to help protect you.

    Other than that, this is the perfect place to post this. This particular part of the forum can be a little bit slower than other parts, so it might not be a bad idea to post a little blurb in the General Knife Discussion forum introducing yourself and letting people know you started this discussion by linking to it (I would suggest holding off on posting the whole post there).

    Also... I would have liked to see a tapered tang on the knife. Believe it or not, that can be a big selling point on a mass produced kitchen knife.
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2019
  5. Fixall

    Fixall Gold Member Gold Member

    987
    Mar 26, 2018
    It's cool to see high purity, powdered metals showing up in kitchen knives, but I'm curious as to why you choose to go with Elmax, rather than a powdered steel like SG2?

    Out of all the PMs, Elmax runs away with the toughness crown. This is something I would really value in something like a boning knife or cleaver, but why would I need something so tough for a chef's knife? It seems like a powdered steel that trades off some of that toughness for edge holding would be more suitable... Which I imagine is why we have been seeing Super Gold 2 showing up in so many really high-end kitchen knives lately.


    *edit
    I suppose when you use powdered steel it's still considered forging when they are hot rolled.
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2019
  6. FOG2

    FOG2 Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 1, 2007
    Maybe I missed it but what are the dimensions of the knife?
     
  7. chumaman

    chumaman

    356
    Nov 13, 2012
    [​IMG]
     
  8. herisson

    herisson Knuckle dragging and mean minded Neanderthal Platinum Member

    Mar 11, 2013
    I will just add my two pences. I'm a leisure cook and I've been buying mostly kitchen knives (over EDCs...) during the past two years. My opinion is :
    1) At over 200 $, you are catering to knife educated people (so forget the bloviating marketing blurb, Mecha summed it up quite nicely)... No Joe Schmoe will be anywhere interested in a kitchen knife at such a price level. So much for bringing quality to the masses... Nice try, I like it, but it will very certainly not work out.
    2) At this price (200 to 400+ $), I can buy a lot of very exotic, original, even custom kitchen knives !
    OK... Elmax is the biz, plus heat treat by Peter's sounds good. But there are a lot of kitchen knives available out there, with high end steel and forged by revered bladesmithes at the same (more or less) price point.
    And well, to deliver the death blow, and I hate that : the professional cooks (except some select members) just cut along until the knife could be thrown away. Then, they request "new knives". Oh, the industry...
     
  9. milkbaby

    milkbaby

    525
    Aug 1, 2016
    At the pricing of $250-400, it sounds like the demographic is both the Williams Sonoma/Sur La Table crowd and some knife nuts who want an Elmax kitchen knife? I think it is an attractive knife.
     
  10. ArtisanRevere

    ArtisanRevere Dealer / Materials Provider Dealer / Materials Provider

    36
    Mar 26, 2018
    @herisson Thank you for your thoughts! All interesting points and I certainly appreciate them. Obviously I wouldn't have quit my job to start this company if I agreed, so I'll tell you how I think about it. There are several hundred thousand knives sold in the U.S. each year by top-tier mid-tech tactical, hunting, bushcrafting, etc. companies. Many of those folks, and their wives are natural buyers.

    Price is a big part of what makes a market. My family are immigrants and I was raised never buying anything expensive. Ever. Several years after graduating college, I paid off my debt and started making good money and eventually my friends convinced me to try some pricier items -- ex. ski jackets, backpacks, etc. What a difference a few hundred $$ makes to the quality of product. My Arc'teryx jacket is so bomb-proof that when I flipped my bike and fell onto the pavement on Monday night and suffered a concussion, badly bruised elbow and wrist, my jacket came away without even a scratch. 100% likelihood I'd have to throw away a jacket from just about any other brand. I don't need to extol the virtues of PM steels and American craftsmanship here. People will pay for quality craftsmanship, like they do in jackets, bags, cars, watches, and hundreds of other items.

    As mentioned, we definitely weren't targeting knife aficionados with our marketing language. I know the group here would much rather see technical info, and we give it all throughout our page. This is going to be a long process, educating consumers, and we have to start somewhere. @Sal Glesser didn't start out with millions of customers. That takes time. That said, all of the technical specs of our knives can be found in the FAQ page of our site, artisanrevere.com or https://www.kickstarter.com/project...an-revere-chef-knife-made-with-industrial-sup
     
  11. ArtisanRevere

    ArtisanRevere Dealer / Materials Provider Dealer / Materials Provider

    36
    Mar 26, 2018
  12. ArtisanRevere

    ArtisanRevere Dealer / Materials Provider Dealer / Materials Provider

    36
    Mar 26, 2018

    Some great questions/comments.

    We went down to 0.010" behind the edge. Spent a lot of time tweaking RC, edge geometry, edge finish, etc. At that thickness, you need a tough steel to avoid microchipping and chipping. Folks like Takamura (which I own) that use SG2, grind down to .006" behind the edge, and that is extremely chippy. SG2 is used because it's Japanese and that's what's available in Japan.

    We'll do a boning knife and cleaver before the close of 2020. Boning actually likely in 2019.

    Regards,

    -Dave
     
    Fixall likes this.
  13. ArtisanRevere

    ArtisanRevere Dealer / Materials Provider Dealer / Materials Provider

    36
    Mar 26, 2018
    @milkbaby Thank you. You're exactly right re: demo. We're hoping to replace the higher price point Shun and Miyabi knives.
     
  14. ArtisanRevere

    ArtisanRevere Dealer / Materials Provider Dealer / Materials Provider

    36
    Mar 26, 2018
    P.S. thank you. I need an Obi Wan -- I'm completely inexperienced in the forums.
     
  15. herisson

    herisson Knuckle dragging and mean minded Neanderthal Platinum Member

    Mar 11, 2013
    I wish you good luck and your knife definitely looks nice, with (very) nice materials, so I wish you also success !
     
  16. Shimonko

    Shimonko

    1
    Apr 10, 2019
    Hi Dave,

    I set out on the same journey to find nearly all off the qualities you list in a knife, and I actually did find something I'm extremely satisfied with at $139 - the Yaxell Dragon Fire. BD1N steel, excellent edge retention, balance and beauty. Zero chips yet after about a year of daily use. It's my everyday kitchen knife and apart from maybe a fortnightly few strokes on an oxided strop, only need to put it on the stones every 6-8 weeks to get it back to shaving sharpness. Plus I like its shallower curve as I don't have to lift the handle so much off the board.

    Did you manage to compare your knives against these, or at least BD1N?

    Also I live right next to the beach and even my stainless steel cutlery rusts - but so far so good here.
     
  17. jdm61

    jdm61 itinerant metal pounder Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Aug 12, 2005
    I like the blade profile. Personally, I would have gone for a sexier handle shape and fewer bolts/pins.
     
  18. Fixall

    Fixall Gold Member Gold Member

    987
    Mar 26, 2018
    You know, the more I look at this and compare it to the offerings currently available... The more interested in it I become. The only thing holding me back is it's size, as I'm looking for a 10" chef knife to compliment my 7" santoku.

    As it stands, I'll be a day one purchaser of the boning knife if the price is reasonable.
     
    FOG2 likes this.
  19. herisson

    herisson Knuckle dragging and mean minded Neanderthal Platinum Member

    Mar 11, 2013
    It's a very serviceable knife, no doubt. Great materials to boot. I would be happy to use it. It just doesn't make that big a difference with the current market offering that it could blast its own hole. Especially with professionals. Sadly.
     
  20. HwangJino

    HwangJino

    Dec 2, 2012
    I'd be interested in using this knife at work, I'm in a sushi bar in Huntington beach.
     

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