• Smith Knifeworks
    Great job on this subject, guys! I enjoyed hearing your thoughts on blade design and shape.

    It's interesting how the maker's opinions of what's important can vary from the customer. I agree with Mareko 100%. I'm not considering food release when I make a knife because it's never mattered to me when I was using a knife. I've ALWAYS prioritized ease of moving through material above everything when using a knife, looking at a knife to purchase, and making a knife.

    I've also found, personally, that where the tip falls on a kitchen knife makes a HUGE difference, personally, in how intuitive the knife feels. If I have something in my hand where the tip falls in the bottom 1/2 of the blade I "know" where the tip is without looking. If the tip falls in the top 1/2 of the blade it feels very foreign to me.

    From my perspective, an elephant in the room is interacting with customers regarding this subject. How do you tiptoe towards making the right knife for a customer when they don't know what they want. Or they think they want a particular attribute when they maybe don't truly understand what they're asking for. I can only imagine this is further exacerbated when you move into knives that command what most folks would consider to be a very high price tag. How do you tell someone that wants to buy a $4000 knife that 1) they're asking for something that's pretty pointless and 2) they maybe don't fully understand what they're asking for. Do you just make the man a $4000 knife and hope it works out, or do you tell them, gently, that they're a little misguided and you need to help bring them around to what they actually want?
  • Matt Brookes
    What a brilliant episode! What I took from it was: Mareko doesn't give a shit about food release and @Geoff Feder is friggin hilarious! #caniaksyouaquestion Great job guys!
  • Mareko Maumasi
    What's up! Thanks for the love! I just wanted to take a second to follow up and add a little clarity. When I say that "I don't give a shit about food release" that is just for myself personally. When I use a knife for the first time the only things I'm judging the knife on is how comfortable the handle is, how it feels when I'm cutting through stuff (aka resistance), and how well does it feel like its keeping it edge?

    While I don't give a shit about food release, a large number of my customers do and it would be a huge mistake for me to not take that into consideration when building a knife.

    A lot of customers do come to me with misconceptions about certain grinds, steel types, and a myriad other things. I've found that the best practice is to share a dialogue with the customer to figure out what their planning to use the knife for. What kinds of foods will they most commonly be cutting? What is their personal experience with custom knives? What kind of steel are the knives they're using now made from?

    The answers to these questions work to inform me on how to grind the knife so that it is suitable for the user. Also, by having this conversation, if the customer still insists on a particular kind of grind, then it is on them if it doesn't actually perform the way they were hoping.

    Also, if they persist and you disagree then all you have to say is, "I'm sorry but I don't think I'm the maker for you on this build." I've had to say this more than a few times. If I know a maker who is better suited, then I refer the customer, otherwise I say no thank you and move on with my life.

    Mareko "I don't give a shit about food release" Maumasi
  • Matt Brookes
    hey Mareko,

    Hope I didn't cause offence by being flippant. Of course I took more from the episode than what I stated. I really admire both yourself and Geoff, I for one really appreciate the time and effort that you put into not only the podcasts but your Instagram posts and stories too.

    Thank you!

  • Chop Knives
    “I really admire both yourself and Geoff”…

    I’m right here Matt, RIGHT HERE! :joke:
  • Matt Brookes
    holy moly! I've done it again. Friggin hell sorry Craig! Love you dude! :blush: :lol:
  • Mareko Maumasi
    You're all good my man. I didn't think you were being flippant. I thought it was funny. I just wanted to follow up and add some clarity.
  • Matt Brookes
    phew! Thanks dude! Thanks for the clarity btw.
  • Smith Knifeworks

    Thanks for elaborating, man! That was a great response. Very clear. For what it's worth, I definitely assumed you were referencing your personal opinion and not your approach towards a customer. It'd be pretty short sighted to essentially tell a customer " I don't care what you care about" and I definitely assumed that WAS NOT your approach. I just liked the candid, funny response of " food release? I don't care about food release" cause it's exactly how I feel, personally, for knives that I will be using.

    Thanks for the info and elaboration. Great thoughts on how to deal with a potentially awkward conversation with a customer.
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