By FLORENCE FABRICANT
Published: September 15, 2009
Gary L. Parker, left, is a management consultant in East Hampton, N.Y., with a sideline that is his passion: knives. He sells knives forged in Argentina, by an expert named Guillermo Mendoza. The finest are made with Damascus steel, which is melted then folded and refolded, usually hundreds of times, to give it more strength. The process gives the blade a distinctive rippled pattern.
THE CUTTING EDGE
Damascus blades can cost as much as $150 an inch, but by having the knives made in Argentina, Mr. Parker keeps the price down to about $50 an inch. His knives have a full tang, so the metal extends the length of the handle. Mr. Parker also sells sleek black ceramic paring knives, which he cautions not to use to smash garlic cloves, as they may break.
Damascus knives start at $300, from www.artisanalknives.com. Hand-forged stainless steel steak knives, not Damascus, are $300 for six. A five-inch ceramic knife with a maple handle is $35, and is sold only in the seasonal East Hampton Farmersâ€™ Market on Friday mornings through the end of September.
A version of this article appeared in print on September 16, 2009,
on page D3 of the New York edition .