Looking to commission someone to make some chef knife blanks

I’m looking to make four chefs knives. I know how to make the scales and assemble the handles but I need someone to forge the blanks. The four chefs knives would be in two different styles.
Would I be able to commission someone to make me four, full tang chefs knives blanks? I can provide the steel (I’m thinking Nitro-V stainless steel), designs for blanks, and measurements.
I literally just need the forging, polishing, and finishing of the actual blade itself.

Examples of the two designs can be seen below…

Just wondering,
What would be a market rate for converting a billet to a knife blank?

I’m not 100% sure. If you look around online, one can buy knife blanks for anywhere from $30-$60 on average.
But that’s also buying the steel. I’ll be providing the steel and the design so I’m not sure how much that’ll affect someone’s pricing :confused:

based on the link that you sent, i would actually recommend getting the bars in, then grinding them down into the shape, rather than forging it. Only use the forge for tempering in this case

I would recommend my self but a) i know that there a WAY better knife makers here than i, and b) my experience is in making pocket sized knives

If it’s actually forging or grinding it down, I’m not really concerned with the process haha
As long as the blanks are shaped like the designs I’ve got, are finished/polished, are sharp, and are heat treated it doesn’t really matter to me. I have almost zero experience/knowledge in the metal shop so that’s why I’m looking for someone to aid me in this.

well if you can’t get someone, PM me. (but seriously, thee are people here who make anything that i’ve done look like a child working with play-doh)

I work in production and know that comparing mass produced to custom is almost always a increase in price even when providing the material. If the Material is expensive many will estimate labor price as a function of the material cost, like 1x, 2x, or 3x the material cost. But, if the material is cheap, then they typically go by estimated time often in cost ranges of $50 to $200+ an hour.

Given your material runs $108.15 for a 3" x 48" x 0.187", which I would estimate would make 3 blanks with ample margin for error. By material cost I would estimate $72 or $108 per blank with the material supplied and work from a pro. If it is by hour of labor, I would estimate, I’m uneducated on the market, a professional could likely produce a one off blank in 3 or 4 hours labor, and billing by labor that would be $150 per on the low end and possibly $300 per on the higher end. But, I’m considering custom non-standard shapes. If your sticking with standard shapes and a professional that already has tooling setup, that could drop to as low as $30 to $60 with material supplied given the market pricing.

My two cents from estimating production of different items. Thanks for sharing your project, it sounds like a cool one. I hope I shed some light on estimating costs to help you with your project. I also hope a pro pops in confirms or corrects my thought process. I developed my ideas for experience and am always wanting to learn more.

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I’m very ignorant when it comes to blacksmithing so I’m not sure how much metal would be required to forge the designs I’m looking for. All I know is the final shaping of everything. I don’t have the measurements on hand but I think the final blade’s thickest point would be .091" so I was looking at getting what you’ve measured out there at .094" thickness which drops the price a good bit. Again, not sure if that’s enough to work with or not. If I find someone to help me out then I’d need to discuss with them.
From what I was looking at for cost on blanks, mass-produced yields more towards the $30-$40 range (depending on the material) and hand made was more in the $50-$60 on average.
Thanks for your input! It’s really enlightening and gives me some things to think about as I continue to look for someone to work on this with me.

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I don’t know the shape or design you were wanting. Might be smart to post that, as you might find someone particularly adept at that form. I figured FAT because those are harder to find on the market, thus cooler to make on your own. .091 is a great thickness for a chef knife though.

Plus, in estimating the largest error I find is not planning for spoilage or waste. Everyone when they start, think everything will always run perfect with no loss. Plus, I didn’t want to run anyone off that might take your, but would expect well more than a friend $20 and a 12 pack of beer to do it. As I’ve walked away from helping others when I noticed outlandishly low price quotes from people that don’t understand what they are doing, or are promising some crazy off the back of a truck pricing.

Excited to see how this turns out. Glad you didn’t run away when the ball parking may of been higher than you first expected. I hope that means you really want these and that excites others to try and help!

I will definitely post the design when I get home, I did some sketches but hadn’t saved the file on this computer… curse my lack of forethought.
I’ve sold my stuff before so I’m well aware of pricing for commissions for things, as these are also for a commission that I’m working on, I’m just looking for some fair pricing :slight_smile:

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Updated original post with the knife designs I’m looking to have made.

You do realize that this is basically the whole job right?

Have you looked at the heat treat process for Nitro-V? This is not something you are going to do without going to a heat treat company or someone who has a real computer controlled heat treat oven.

A realistic cost for this is in the neighborhood of $250 to $350 per blade.

A reasonable knifesmith could spend north of 5 hours a blade doing what you asked.

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Can confirm this. I got a custom chef knife off a maker a couple of years ago. He had a deal that if it was the first knife you got from him, he knocked $100 off the price (to get people in the door so to speak). So I got a fantastic knife for $200, and that’s after I supplied the scales.

also, not to nit pick, but why does a chef knife need a tanto-style point?

Because Tanto Points are SICK!!!

well yes, they are very effective at slicing up people. less so for slicing up food