This oyster knife is made from 4130 Chromoly steel, heat-treated to Rockwell 40-43 (this is knife talk for: its tougher than it is sharp!). This steel creates a rugged blade ideally suited for shucking, but sharp enough to separate muscle from shell. The blade is clad in scales of solid brass, giving the knife good weight and lots of blade control.
*This shucker now features a curved, rather than square, bottom edge.
Kiran Chapman was born and raised in New York City, and moved to Maine in 2018 to learn wooden boat building. He became fascinated by blacksmithing after learning the trade from a local knife maker, and went on to work for Wick’s Forge, a third-generation blacksmith shop. Kiran strives to make long-lasting objects that channel the traditional blacksmithing techniques He's learned through a unified aesthetic, creating functional and accessible products.
Any object that needs to hold a sharp edge, such as Chef's and Oyster Knives, requires heat treating. This process changes the structural composition of the steel, resulting in a much harder material that can be sharpened and resist wear. The first stage of heat treating is normalization: heating the object to a critical temperature and letting it cool to room temperature. This creates a uniform micro-structure and prepares the knife for hardening. The next step is quenching: heating the blade to a bright red color and cooling it quickly in oil. After quenching, the knife is very hard, but also quite brittle and delicate. Tempering, the final step of heat treating, seeks to resolve this. By holding the knife at a low temperature for an extended period of time, the hardness and brittleness both decrease, resulting in a blade that is hard enough to stay sharp, but soft enough to be durable and resist cracking.