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 Post subject: Black Stone Knife Works 165mm utility knife
PostPosted: Thu Nov 05, 2015 2:23 pm 

Joined: Mon May 26, 2014 8:24 pm
Posts: 2920
Location: Texas
Up for review is a Tim Blackstone custom 165mm utility knife. I say utility knife instead of petty because this thing feels about as American as eating apple pie in a Shelby Mustang. Tim, many thanks for giving us hungry forumites the chance at a custom made right here in the land of the free.


First thing I noticed out of the box, aside from a few coupons and the funnys, was the handle height. For a utility knife this thing has some serious altitude to it. It's also on the thinner side than what I'm used to. Still, its beautifully finished and has an inviting, homey appeal to it, like that log cabin in the woods you visited as a kiddo. As oddly shaped as it is, it actually complimented all of the grips I used and left very minor fatigue even after long sessions with her. Tim, many thanks for the lack of carpel tunnel.

Prep sessions felt very natural, almost too much so. Pair this with the fact that the knife doesn't have the booming presence of a TF or a Kato and during use I almost always floated off into space daydreaming. It never struggled through anything but I'm still having difficulty personifying this nano-ninja. I'd go up to the board ready to take down some thoughts, fly through my session lost in my head like I'd used the same knife since childhood, look down at my notebook afterwards and realize I hadn't written a thing. But hey, no notes are better than bad notes. While I thought at first it was just a lack of focus, this same scenario repeated itself more times than I can count. Either she's sneaky as the secret service or she just made herself right at home in my hands. I will say that she must've chopped better than I thought she would; my knuckles never once grazed the board (somehow).

I love this edge profile by the way; it's just too cooperative not to like. The gentle curve throughout has a streamlined feel to it and doesn't argue much about anything. The obvious limitations of a shorter knife apply here, but more often than not I forgot how short she is. I did notice I processed almost all produce close to the edge of the board and utilized the handle off the board/blade on the board pretty much exclusively.

Tip draws were impressive. It was more like writing or sketching with that one pen you love rather than actually cutting. The way this thing pierces in general is downright spooky. Even through tough apple skins it sinks right in without any inkling of hesitation. As the blade got further into the product and progressed up the grind it began become less anxious and gradually more governable, but if I put any more pressure than absolutely necessary she flipped right through. There were ups and downs to this for me. It was very easily to manipulate mid-cut and made in hand work a cakewalk, but if I got impatient with her she'd fly right through whatever I was peeling and damn near knick my thumb. If I was to give any advice to the owner of this knife it would be not to get overzealous for off the board processing. You've really gotta let this knife do what it does and do it for you.

The distal taper is very well done, but a curse and a blessing for a utility. It's got about the same range of taper as my KS but only over the course of ~165mm. It appears a bit cramped, but is entirely functional and doesn't feel as such. My only quip with it is that she feels incredibly confident in hand, but I'm not so sure about the durability of the tip. Still, the tip is something magical. There's about a cm at the point of the knife were you can't even feel the blade make contact with or pass through product, and cutting only with said section of the knife left some of the glossiest cuts I've ever seen. I could have almost shaved or fixed my hair in some of the carrot sticks I sliced up.

On a positive note Tim sir, I must commend you. The aggressive taper you've produced equates to the slayer of all things tenderloin. The tip is so scary thin and has just the right amount of minimal flex as to slither it's way under silver skin, and the heel has enough oomph to keep it intact for a clean, singular slice for removal. I had zero issues getting the tip into those tricky curvatures of a loin for detailing, and there is just barely enough length there to effectively slice a Texas sized filet.

Processing rainbow trout was exemplary. If this were marketed as the Troutinator I think you'd make enough to live comfortably Tim.

Chickens were where I found her to be the weakest unfortunately, at least in my hands. I had no real problems breaking them down, in fact I'd say she was quite good at it, but I got terribly nervous around bones, especially the ribcage. I only broke down a few before I just got too nervous and called it quits. Since this isn't my knife I didn't actually put my theory to test, but the foreboding angst was enough for me to set her aside and pick up a house knife.

Line use gave me a good grin though; she's plenty more gifted more than I expected. Even with as disgustingly thin as she is, she's got this groovy, three little birds air about her that makes you feel like everything's gonna be A-OK, and she never let me down. While I was fairly delicate with her, I saw no edge failure whatsoever in our time together. Cooked proteins are no match for her. She's also got a quick and steady balance about her that never slows you down, and she never takes up enough room to be a hinderance or an eyesore. I knew she was going to fail on the line, but to my surprise she was top notch.

Overall, she's a trout and loin knife extrordinaire, a samurai on the line, and a nervous little chicken knife. It's not one I'd let the graceless front of the house use, but it's certainly one that I'd purchase for myself and keep beside me at all times. Too many pettys end up as board ornaments for me, but this one has so much bounce to it that it made my poor gyuto a bit jealous.

Damn well done Timos. I know beyond a doubt that my next utility knife will be made right here in the good ol' US of A.

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PS: will someone send me a bad knife already? I'm itching for a mock review.

...speaking of....


Ladies and gentlemen...!

...Boys and girls...!

...Children of all ages...!

Feast your eyes upon the eighth, ninth, and tenth wonders of the world! Put your hands together for the almighty, the Black Stone magnum opus, the hallowed blessing from the culinary gods that is the Amazing Timos Signature Saya!!!

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Cody Paul??? Pfffffft.

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Competitive rates, unmatched levels of professionalism, top notch duct tape, and the finest quality plastic scrap all in the same package!!! Don't hesitate- supplies are completely unlimited but no collection is complete without one!! Now stock with square page in a round hole.


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 Post subject: Re: Black Stone Knife Works 165mm utility knife
PostPosted: Thu Nov 05, 2015 8:48 pm 

Joined: Thu Feb 05, 2015 12:25 pm
Posts: 502
Yep, officially annoyed that I passed on this one. Nicely done, Stephen and Tim!


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 Post subject: Re: Black Stone Knife Works 165mm utility knife
PostPosted: Thu Nov 05, 2015 9:47 pm 
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Joined: Wed Nov 21, 2012 10:17 pm
Posts: 7740
Location: Derby City, Kentucky
Always a pleasure Stephen! I'm getting really tired of saying that. You suck. :D That's better!
Sounds like this is going to be a fun knife to play with, can't wait. Love the outdoorsy utilities that Tim Made for me!
He's got it going on and only getting better!

And I need to remember to order some of those best in class sayas too!



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 Post subject: Re: Black Stone Knife Works 165mm utility knife
PostPosted: Fri Nov 06, 2015 1:38 pm 

Joined: Mon May 26, 2014 8:24 pm
Posts: 2920
Location: Texas
Cj, just take my review for what it's worth and get one. You won't be disappointed, unless of course you're a poor chicken butcher :roll: :D I usually keep a petty around as a "here and there" kinda knife, but I'm having trouble letting this one go. It's as tactical as it is fun to use.

Jeff, you suck too buddy. And in all reality, I really like these sayas. They give me a good chuckle every time I open my roll, and it's hard to be mad about anything afterwards. My stepdad about busted a gut when he saw the pin installment.


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 Post subject: Re: Black Stone Knife Works 165mm utility knife
PostPosted: Fri Nov 06, 2015 4:49 pm 

Joined: Wed Sep 04, 2013 9:16 am
Posts: 630
Location: Oxford,MA
ive got a fair amount of swedish lineage; now i dont know if any of my ancestors ever made a saya or a knife for that matter but lets just say the square peg in a round hole comes pretty natural ... listen J, I really appreciate the thought you put into this, thank you. The drifting/day dreaming while "working" really resonates with me and let me tell you, a lot of that went on while I was grinding this blade. That is how it got so thin ;)
I love to know that my blades are used. This type of connection with you all is what really makes this craft worthwhile.

CJ, I capped this pass around so quickly only because I wanted it back quickly, I need to take measurements as points of reference, I am still really in the process of figuring out how I am going to finish off the last 3 blades of this run I've got. I am open to extending the pass around after I get it back, so feel free to post in the pass around thread...we can call it a round 2 :)



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 Post subject: Re: Black Stone Knife Works 165mm utility knife
PostPosted: Fri Nov 06, 2015 10:04 pm 

Joined: Mon May 26, 2014 8:24 pm
Posts: 2920
Location: Texas
Tim, dude, this is hands down the best utility knife I've ever used. Yea I keep one in arms reach for loins and whatever saves the edge on my gyuto a bit longer, but God damn this thing is excellent. If I had one of my own I'd probably have no pheasanteal fear, and, if anything, it makes me happy that I can drift off to la-la land and see no edge failure when I return. Excellent job sir. It takes some serious sack to grind a knife this thin and still stand by it.

Cj, heed my advice. Take advantage of this one, serious sack and all.


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 Post subject: Re: Black Stone Knife Works 165mm utility knife
PostPosted: Sat Nov 07, 2015 9:06 am 

Joined: Thu Feb 05, 2015 12:25 pm
Posts: 502
Jsgillis86 wrote: ...serious sack and all.


Lol...

Tim: Thanks very much for the offer and I would love to take you up on it. I'll post on the pass around thread and you let me know when you're ready for round two!


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 Post subject: Re: Black Stone Knife Works 165mm utility knife
PostPosted: Mon Nov 09, 2015 9:12 am 

Joined: Wed Sep 04, 2013 9:16 am
Posts: 630
Location: Oxford,MA
a little off topic but I am betting a cpm3V version of this would really kill it against chickens, I just not sure how much a detriment the lack of "fine" edge would be.



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 Post subject: Re: Black Stone Knife Works 165mm utility knife
PostPosted: Mon Nov 09, 2015 9:40 am 

Joined: Mon Dec 22, 2014 1:56 pm
Posts: 1403
Location: Geneva, Ohio
man, I'm almost sorry I have commissioned Cody to craft my saya's!
That thing is a beast. LOL

Beautiful knife Tim!



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 Post subject: Re: Black Stone Knife Works 165mm utility knife
PostPosted: Mon Nov 09, 2015 10:20 am 

Joined: Mon May 26, 2014 8:24 pm
Posts: 2920
Location: Texas
In retrospect, I think my fear of chickens with her comes from the fact that I use an old TI Sab utility knife as my primary for birds. I can be brutal with her and she just laughs at it. I bet I could get used to yours over time, I'd just have to learn to stay focused and be more precise. You know, now that i think about it that actually doesn't sound so bad.


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