The best way is here on the website and through various forms of social media. I have a long-running forum on the Usual Suspect Network where you can read about past projects and things I'm working on. I also post shop pics and finished knife pics on my Instagram feed at @burchtreeblades, and I have a very active group on Facebook: Burchtree Bladeworks group on Facebook
I have built custom knives in a variety of styles and sizes. I don't have a formal catalog of models or patterns, but I do have some designs that have been long-running and I always have new designs in the works. Best way is to follow my work online and if you see a model you like, just ask.
My customs are exactly that - knives that I've made, one at a time, in my own shop. Sometimes these are cut from raw materials using a bandsaw and shaped on a grinder, others are blanked out using waterjet or a milling machine and then shaped and formed on a grinder and finished by hand. Burchtree Midtechs are knives that are produced in large batches, where some portion of the work is farmed out. My midtechs are my own designs (usually prototyped as a custom first) and I do the quality control, cut the locks, assembly and sharpening. Sometimes there are small batches of special midtechs where I get to have some fun with finishes or features.
I design knives I like and that I'd want to carry and use. I've built fixed blades, swords, slipjoints, friction folders, thumb openers and flipper knives, as well as a hatchet or two.
I don't offer or perform modifications to my knives. They were built the way they were for a reason at the time that they were built. I no longer offer a refurbishment or “spa” service for my knives. The process is simply too time consuming and cost-ineffective for all involved. This includes refreshing a hamon, re-blasting handles, polishing or re-anodizing parts or other cosmetic refurbishment. I encourage my customers to use and enjoy their blades, please do so with yours!
Yes, making my work less expensive and more available is one of the primary goals of my midtech projects. The midtechs are priced significantly lower than their custom counterparts and they are available in much larger number. Join my mailing list or follow me on social media to stay updated on when new midtech projects come along.
Yes! I've had the opportunity to have a couple of my designs produced by Boker and by Spyderco. Check their websites or catalogs for information regarding pricing and availability.
Prices and Ordering
Sorry, my "order book" is closed at this time and will remain so for the foreseeable future. I have quite a backlog to work through, in addition to building knives for shows and special projects. I do sometimes build a knife for sale online, usually via lottery. Special knives are offered through a "bid" or auction type sale on occasion. I generally do three shows each year, and bring a small batch of lottery and bid knives for those shows: Tactical Knife Invitational (January), Blade Show (June) and The USN Gathering (September).
Yes, the knives are in very high demand and that demand far exceeds my ability to produce knives at the detail and quality level I require. Lotteries are the "most fair" way to make the knives available, giving the largest possible number of folks a chance to get one.
Yes, sometimes my knives are available via dealers. The dealers I work directly with are listed below. Often times, my knives are re-sold on the secondary market, so you may find them at various places around the web, in addition to the dealers I work directly with:
Arizona Custom Knives
Fort Henry Custom Knives
Steel Addiction Knives
Triple Aught Design (TAD)
If you are on my order list, you should know - you'll have a copy of an email reply from me, sent out the last time the list opened up. I do not give estimates or "numbers" out, as I cannot safely predict when your spot may come up for a variety of reasons. I'm doing my best to work through the backlog and will contact you directly when I am ready to work on your knife.
As a general rule, I prefer not to. Whether natural or synthetic, customer-provided material presents an opportunity for problems and drama, should a component or part need to be re-made due to a change or error. I have an extensive stash of materials and will work with you on the specifics of your order. Some materials, especially natural materials, can be unstable and problematic and I cannot accept those as customer-supplied. For difficult-to-source synthetic materials like Westinghouse antique ivory micarta or special steels, I may not have those available so we can discuss further at the time of your order.
My custom knife prices direct are $600 and up, depending on the materials used and the complexity of the build. Fancy materials or special construction can add significantly to the cost, easily doubling (or more) the base price. Because demand for my custom work is high, secondary market pricing tends to run quite a bit higher. Secondary market pricing is out of my control and is not reflective of the prices I charge directly for my work.
Best way is to join my mailing list and follow along on social media. I usually make it very clear when a midtech batch is ready for sale. Details regarding how those sales are handled will be announced at that time.
I have a pretty simple warranty – if something breaks or malfunctions because of mechanical issues or failure during normal use, I’ll fix it. If the knife has been modified, “pimped,” or if I determine upon inspection that the knife has been abused, the warranty is void. This policy regarding modifications, “pimping,” and abuse applies to both customs and midtechs. At the bottom line, I stand behind my work but can’t be held responsible for work done by others. If you have a knife that requires warranty work, please contact me regarding details on how to proceed.
As noted above and elsewhere on my site, my order book is currently closed. I also don't modify existing knives. My customs are built one at a time and I tend to not repeat an exact configuration, with rare exception. I like to work with my customers directly to create something that they will enjoy and use and most of these are personalized in some way for the individual customer.
I enjoy using carbon steel for my blades, and I often finish those with a differential hardening process that produces a temper line or "hamon." You can read in more detail about differential heat treatment on Wikipedia (LINK) and a nice article from both the collector and maker perspective in Blade Magazine (LINK).
I have done collaborations with a number of different makers and designers. Sometimes these are designs that are generated by someone else and produced by me, other times they are projects where I get together with another maker and work together in the same shop or on the same pieces to create knives that are a mesh of our capabilities. Sometimes these are in short runs, others are one-off knives. These are usually fun projects because both makers tend to learn some things along the way, generate new ideas and can break up the solitude of working on our own.
Yes. I am a one-man shop. My wife Abby is involved and supportive but I spend my days working solo in the shop for the most part. Occasionally I have a friend or maker who will visit to work on a special project but for the most part, if you have one of my knives, I built it myself.
I actually enjoy the solitude of my shop and it's a small spot, so I don't generally offer "tours" or visits. If you are planning to be in the area and would like to check with me regarding the possibility of a visit to the shop, please contact me in advance.
I did add a small computer controlled milling machine to my list of equipment in the shop. For some folks, this seems to carry some kind of stigma that suggests knives built using parts from that machine are "less custom." To me, the CNC is just another tool in the shop and although it does allow me to produce higher-quality base components more quickly, I still grind blades, contour handles and finish all of my knives in the same way I did previously. The machine has been a steep learning curve for someone like me who did not come from a machining background, but the parts are more consistent and I have already been able to do some new things that were previously impractical or impossible for me to do. I am using the machine to stretch my designs and the knives in ways that I had not previously considered and I'm excited at the possibilities and the doors it opens for me as a maker. Ultimately, my objective is to be able to offer art knife type features at tactical knife pricing.
Yes! Some of the damascus I use is forged with my friend and fellow maker Jody Muller. Most other damascus steel I use is stainless damascus made by Chad Nichols.
As noted above, I am a one-man shop. I continue to refine my capabilities and methods to produce custom knives more quickly and of the highest quality, but this truly is an evolutionary process. Regardless of the demand or opportunities, the one thing I will not compromise is the quality of my work. If it left my shop, you can rest assured that knife was the best piece I could produce at that time.