All Knife questions answered.

High carbon steels are prone to staining and rusting if not properly taken care of. It is a good habit to keep a clean rag on hand to wipe the blade with after each use. A daily washing with soap and water is recommended.  Wipe the knife dry after washing do not leave water standing on the blade.  In addition, a light coating of mineral oil for both the blade and handle applied weekly will help to keep the knife looking its best. After a while your knife will develop a lovely patina.  This coating is actually protective and will help prevent rusting.  All knives were like this prior to Sheffield’s introduction of stainless steel in 1920.  Stainless does not hold an edge and require frequent sharpening.  This softness of the metal coupled with the high cost of good stainless and the extra time and expense and special equipment required to make stainless knives is why we make knives out of high carbon steel.

Recently we have begun to make knives out of AEB-L stainless.  AEB-L Is a relatively new stainless that is also high carbon.   It has the minimum amount of chromium to be considered Stainless.  This knife like all stainless knives is not rust proof.  You steel need to take care of them they will resist staining more than carbon steel but you should take care of them the same. This steel is more expensive because of the cost of manufacturing and the additional equipment and processes we have to go through to heat treat it.

Always use a cutting board. Never throw the knife into the bottom of a sink or dishwasher. Keep the knife in a stand, block or sheath if possible, rather than in a kitchen drawer.

If properly maintained a high carbon steel knife should hold and retain an edge far longer than its stainless counterpart. Cape Cod Cutlery will sharpen any of our knives free of charge.

Regardless of what your knife is made out of the actual cutting edge is a microscopically thin bit of metal.  You really can not see with the naked eye.   That being said taking care of your knife  by always using a cutting board and avoiding the aforementioned sink and drawer and dishwasher are of paramount importance to keeping the edge sharp.

Steeling a knife should be done properly so as not to dull the edge.  The purpose of a steel is not to sharpen a blade but to straighten that microscopic edge out when it gets folded over.  Misuse and even good regular use of a knife can cause that edge to get rolled over a bit. The steel is meant to straightness it out again.  Sharpening involves actual removal of steel from the blade.

Cleaning your knife with a green scrubby sponge and baking soda will neutralize any acids and keep the blade clean.   This will prevent any staining of vegetables from residue of continued etching to the blade caused by any acids left on the blade.

Custom Pricing

If you would like us to make you a custom knife we have a few rules. Rule One, no swords or katanas. Rule 2 we will not make an exact copy of anything. Now what will it cost.

Shop time 20 dollars and hour min time 8 hours base cost 160.00


1095 and any handle materials in stock no additional charge

D2, AEB-L, Nitro V, add 50.00

CMP add 75.00

Damascus add 200.00

Cape Cod Lobster Buoy or Multi Part handles add 20.00

Exotic handle materials Add Market Value. 20 to 400.00 depending on material how exotic do you want to get?

Knife Materials

Cape Cod Cutlery is made up of two guys making knives in their garage. We make knives that are meant to be used and we stand behind them with a 100% fix or replace guarantee. We sharpen them for free whenever they need it as well. This means the customer can take them out and use them with confidence. Please do not hesitate to call us with any issues or questions. 100% made in USA from 100% USA made or resourced materials with the exception of some of the hard woods that do not grow here, which we purchase from USA dealers. Thanks, Tom and Fred 508-560-1114

Knife Steels Rockwell Hardness- This is the scale of metal hardness which reflects the edge retention and sharpness characteristic a particular knife will have. A Rockwell hardness of 55-62 is an excellent cutting knife. Cheap stainless knives are often in the 50-52 range. Anything over 62 becomes very brittle and is prone to chipping breakage. Stainless vs rust resistant- There are very few metals that are rust proof, and those metals are too soft to make knives out of. We do use some metals that are highly rust resistant. Stainless knives resist staining and discoloration by acids found in vegetables and meats. Stainless does not mean rust proof.

Always wash, dry, and put away a knife regardless of what it is made from. Never store a knife in a leather sheath when not in use. Leather can hold moisture and corrode a blade.

1095 – The most basic of our steels. Most of our chef knives are made with this metal. It is what most knives were made of before the advent of stainless steel in 1920. It has excellent edge retention with a Rockwell of around 58. 1095 is a high carbon steel and will rust and develop a patina over time which acts like bluing and can help prevent corrosion. It is fire heated and oil quenched.

W2 Steel is a similar steel we use from time to time because of the really good Hamon lines it displays. Damascus – The Damascus, or pattern welded, steel we use is made up of 1095, 5160 and 15n20. They are all good, high carbon cutlery steels. 5160 is a spring steel they make leaf springs for trucks out of. 15N20 has a high nickle content and is stain resistant. This means during the final process of acid dipping the other two steels etch black and it stays shiny. The layer count is 416 layers of steel. It, too, is fire heated and oil quenched. Damascus is a high carbon steel and will rust if not taken care of.

​D2 is an air hardening, high-carbon, high-chromium tool steel . It has high wear and abrasion resistant properties. It will offer a hardness in the range 55-62 Rockwell. It tends to be stain resistant but not stainless and it will rust if neglected. It tends to be one of the hottest knife steels in the bush crafting market because of its durability and edge retention.

AEB-L offers some of the finest, most evenly distributed carbide structure available outside powdered metallurgy or spray form steels. Originally designed for razor blades, we use it exclusively in our oyster knives because its superior structure and tempering lets us make a very strong and consistent shucker. This steel is heat treated in a vacuum in a kiln and air cooled between two pieces of aluminum. It is stain resistant but will still rust if not taken care of.

Nitro V- is a steel developed for the cutlery marker. It is a stainless steel with a chromium based chemistry. Nitro-V is a derivative of AEB-L with Nitrogen and Vanadium added. This helps create a fine grained alloy with great edge holding and high corrosion resistance. This steel has a hardness around 60 and is very rust resistant. We use it in some of our higher end kitchen knives. It is also heat treated in vacuum and air quenched.

CPM S 35 VN- CPM S 35 VN is the new and improved super-steel that is tough and has excellent edge retention, as well as being rust resistant. It is reserved for the most high end outdoor and chef knives because it is extremely expensive.

Handle Materials Hard Wood- Woods like Wengue, Bacote, Lacewood and Paduk are woods we use very often and they are so tough we do nothing other that apply a good coat of butchers block mineral oil and beeswax to the finish .

Stabilized woods- Most often burls and spalted woods are not ideal for handles but they are beautiful, so we stabilize them in resin. This makes them resistant and impervious to water, rot, and small dings.

Micarta- Micarta is made up of layers of material laid down in a resin much like fiberglass or carbon fiber. Most often items like linen, canvas and paper are used. We use a lot of canvas micarta on our outdoor knives as it is resistant, rugged and has a bit of texture for wet hands.

G10- G10 is a straight up resin that can be layered in different colors

.​Acrylic Resin- Similar to bowling ball material, it is often very colorful and swirly.​

Cape Cod Cutlery Oyster Knife Sales Help Sheet

1. The knives are hand made here in Marstons Mills by two guys in a garage. Fred and Tom.

2. They are made of AEB-L Which is a high carbon stainless steel. It is a good compromise between strength and stain resistance. The knives are heat treated in a vacuum and tempered to be very strong and resilient. Some makers send this out to be done we do it all in house. It will rust if you leave it wet . Always rinse and dry after use.

3. The handles are made of hard woods, stabilized woods in resin and some synthetic materials or Canvas Micarta made with canvas and resin. Hard woods could benefit from occasional coat of mineral oil.

4. Every bit of the knife is 100% guaranteed. If anything goes wrong send it to Cape Cod Cutlery and we will fix or replace it. You can also give the customer a new one and call me I will bring you a replacement.

5. There are two types of tips The straight Cape Cod Stabber tip and the bent New Haven Tip. The New Haven in more popular the Stabber traditional local design.

6. The knifes come in two lengths. Long is traditional and good for large wild caught oysters. Short gives better control without choking up and works well on farmed oysters. The short bent is what is preferred by the majority of local farmers and pro shuckers.

7. The handles come is 2 types smaller and rounded and chunkier and flatter. Everyone is different and it is hard to make everyone happy. We try.

8. We worked for 2 years with the shuckers of Wellfleet , Barnstable and Onset/Buzzards Bay to develop a knife that works exceptionaly well, is beautiful and comfortable.

9. Always wear a good glove or stab proof towel when schucking.