I am a 75-year-old Quaker raised in a family where simplicity, durability, and concern for the environment were highly valued whereas fashions and trends were not. My knives reflect those same values. They are highly functional by design; made to be used daily; and reminiscent of the knives you might have found in your great-grandmother’s kitchen 100+ years ago.

I make each knife one at a time in my Richmond, Indiana shop.

Two Ways to Purchase My Knives:

Website: On-line orders are handled on a first-come, first-served basis. Please allow 4-6 weeks for delivery. (Note: If your purchase is for a birthday, anniversary, or other special occasion please contact me via email or write a note in the comment section when placing your order. With advance notice, I can usually accomodate special occasion requests.)

In-Person (May-October, 2024) First Saturday each month 9:00am-Noon at the Richmond (Indiana) Farmers Market. I will also be at the Market on additional Saturdays when time permits and I am not offering Knife Making Classes.

1095 High Carbon Steel Blades: What You Need to Know

High carbon steel knives have long had a reputation for being the “blade of choice” by professional chefs, hunters and outdoor enthusiasts. The reason is simple. First, they “maintain their edge” better and longer than stainless steel blades. Second, a high carbon steel knife is easier to sharpen to a razor-sharp edge.

Caring for Your High Carbon Steel Knife: Three Simple Steps

Like your grandmother’s cast iron skillet, a high carbon steel knife requires more care and attention than a stainless steel blade. If, however, you take the following three steps to care for your knife it will serve you and your family well for many generations to come.

Step 1: Store your knife in a safe and dry location.

Step 2: Clean your knife by hand and dry thoroughly following use.

Step 3: Periodically place 1 or 2 drops of oil on each side of the blade then lightly rub the oil into the blade with a dry cloth. (My personal preference is canola oil.)

With your order you will receive a letter and gift envelope with details about your new knife including how it was crafted and a history of the wood selected for the handle.

Quaker kitchen knife with chopped vegetables.

Quaker Kitchen Knife

My traditional style kitchen knives would feel very much at home in your great-grandmother’s kitchen.

In a world where mass-produced products dominate the market, H. Freeman Knives stands as a beacon of craftsmanship and tradition.” (YouTube Channel: Cindy and Jan on the Backroads)

Professor Brent Smith with rare piece of rough-cut Colonial Era (1700s) American Chestnut

The practice of using treenails/hardwood pins for commercial production has largely been abandoned due to the convenience of modern-day nails and screws. This 7,000 year-old technology is, however, still used today by skilled woodworkers and craftsmen around the world

Handle Construction: 

I craft each knife handle from “scratch” starting with a large beam of 100+ year-old reclaimed timber. Rather than cover up or discard signs of each beam’s rich legacy–such as patterns left on the wood by a burrowing beetle or marks from a square nail crafted by a local blacksmith–I incorporate whenever possible these rich “bits of history” into each of my knives.  Three wood options are available.

Reclaimed Barnwood: Walnut and Cherry

Mid-1800s Reclaimed Walnut:    This beautiful walnut is an unusually dark burgundy/purplish color which makes for a unique and interesting handle. The wood was salvaged from an old structure located in Montgomery County, Ohio near Dayton.

Civil War Era (1850s) Reclaimed Cherry:  After months of searching I recently came across a 8′ long 8″ by 8″ beam of cherry salvaged from a barn built in the 1850s “just up the road” in Randolph County Indiana.  This Civil War Era find is rare given that few barns of that era were constructed with cherry beams.  I am excited to be able to offer this option.

American Chestnut: A Rare Piece of History

100+ Year-Old “Wormy” American Chestnut: “Wormy Chestnut” is the term used for wood salvaged from the more than four billion American Chestnuts killed off by a blight fungus which brought America’s “King of the Hardwoods” to the brink of extinction in the late 1800 and early 1900s. The small holes that are a defining characteristic of this difficult-to-find wood are the work of beetles and other insects that attacked the dead and dying trees 100+ years ago.

Why I Construct My Knives With Treenails (Rather Than Brass Pins)

With rare exceptions virtually all knifemakers use some form of metal pin in the construction of their knife handles. After seeing that the barns from which I secure my wood where often constructed with very large wooden pegs, I did extensive research on the history of treenails (more commonly known today as handcrafted hardwood pegs) and decided to make the use of treenails a signature feature of my knives.

I made the decision to construct my knife handles using treenails rather than brass pins for two very practical reasons. First, as experienced woodworkers will tell you, hardwood joinery results in a stronger and longer-lasting seal than screws and brass pins. Second, I like the unique look of treenail pins and the fact that they enable me to make a one-of-a-kind knife that can be used daily and also handed down to future generations.

I handcraft each treenail one-at-a-time from a block of Brazilian Cherry: a wood I find provides a strong seal (which is critical) and is a joy to work with. While the use of treenails in construction of my knife handles is a signature feature of my work, I also offer the option of standard brass pins if requested.

Forged Finish (Drop Points and Kitchen Cleavers)

My 100+ year old Fisher-Norris anvil and decades old hammer proudly display the many hairline cracks, pot-marks and worn edges accumulated over time.  Each imperfection is the result of a former owner pursuing their craft as a blacksmith shoeing a neighbor’s mule; making a tool for the family farm; or repairing a wagon wheel for a stranger passing through town.

The lost memories and life experiences embedded in my tools over the past 100+ years are passed on through the markings which I intentionally leave on each of my rustic-style hammered blades.  Like a human fingerprint, they are a unique feature of each individual knife that can only be formed with my vintage hammer and anvil.

100% Life-Time Warranty:

If, for any reason, you are not completely satisfied with the knife when it is received please feel free to return it within 90 days for a full “no questions asked” refund. Each knife you purchase is also backed by a 100% Life-Time Warranty that covers any breakage or damage due to a defect in material or workmanship.