LaClaire's Knife Shoppe
Frequently Asked Questions
What is Damascus Steel?
Our Damascus steel is a layering of 1095 Spring Steel and 15N20 Swedish Bandsaw Steel. They are high-carbon content and are both designed for Edge Retention. These steels are layered and hammer-forged together and then folded over on itself. This folding, heating, and hammer-forging is repeated until a minimum of 250 layers are reached.
Who makes our steel?
Currently we are designing and purchasing our knife blanks from a few different blade smiths. Our main supplier is located in Idaho Falls, ID, and is owned by a 3rd generation blacksmith family.
Where do you get your handle material?
We obtain some of our wood from local shops, plus from woodmakers that have scrap pieces that are knife handle size. We trade with hunters for antler and horn. Plus we have local butchers where we purchase cow bone, and knife supply shops for camel bone and micarta. There are two types of material that we make in-house, Fleurinite (F-lure-i-nite) which is a type of epoxy, and some of the micarta, such as our recycled 'coffee bean burlap bag' micarta.
Are these knives difficult to sharpen?
No, you can sharpen them like you would any of your knives. The Rockwell hardness of our knives are between 58-60, easy to sharpen and holds an edge. Because we are using Damascus steel you have multiple cutting edges due to the layer of the steel. We have had Guides take our hunters out and clean 2 Elk before they have to touch the blade up.
Are the Woods, Horn and Bone Stabilized?
Yes, all of our woods, horn, and bone are stabilized with a resin which helps keep them from splitting and cracking, and they are sealed so one does not need to keep the woods oiled,. You can if you want to, but it is not necessary.
How to Hone and Sharpen your Knife Blade
To Hone Blade: Once a week if the knife is used daily
Fill up the reservoir under the ceramic wheel and get the knife wet. Place the sharpener on a flat surface and set the knife in the slot on the knife guard.
Using the weight of the blade only, draw the whole knife blade straight towards you through the gap between the ceramic wheel. Do not bear down hard, three or four pulls is usually sufficient.
Lift the knife after each pull and repeat. Do not push the blade back through the ceramic wheel. Unclip the knife guard and dump out the water.
To Sharpen Blade: Once a year
Fill up the reservoir under the ceramic wheel and then get the knife wet. Place the sharpener on a flat surface and set the knife in the slot on the knife guard.
Apply enough pressure until you hear a friction sound, so that it feels like the blade is being gripped. Draw the whole knife blade straight towards you through the gap between the ceramic wheel and then push the blade back through.
Doing this five to six times is usually sufficient. Then follow the directions on honing the blade.