Didn't you use to go by Wheelis Knives? Why the change?
Yes, I initially started this only making knives but grew to enjoy making other tools. My wife, Alaina, also started forging her own jewelry and doing leatherwork. With that in mind, the change to "Wheelis Forge" is more fitting and representative of us.
Do you take custom orders?
Yes, we do accept a very limited number of custom orders every year but it is not the majority of our work. Custom orders take time and can take 3-6 months depending on the wait list. Please contact us for further information.
What handle material do you use?
We use a variety of handle materials but we have streamlined our semi custom options to keep it simple. We offer 3 different materials;
1) Micarta- canvas, linen, or paper layered laminate. Great all around material as it is extremely durable and has good grip even when wet. Check product for available colors.
2) G10- a layered polymer material that is our most durable but can be slick unless the material is textured. Water proof and chemical resistant. Lacks grain so not a lot of character but available in many colors. Check products for available colors.
3) Kirinite- an acrylic molded handle material that offers multiplier color and design options. Many colors have metal flake that makes the material very attractive. Chemical resistant and water proof. Product is doesn't offer a lot of grip when wet.
4)Wood- adds a beautiful and unique touch to each knife. There are almost endless patterns and colors available. The woods we use are tough but still have the a slight possibility of splitting or cracking over time. Where needed the wood has been stabilized to reduce shrinkage and expansion when in humid or arid environments.
What are the different steel types listed?
The three basic steel types we use are high carbon, tool steel, and stain-less.
High carbon- tough, easily sharpened, more budget friendly. Will discolor with use if not kept dry and oiled. May rust if kept wet. Great user steel that requires a little more maintenance than a stain-less blade.
Tool Steel- higher alloy content than high carbon that adds some toughness and hardness. Have some basic corrosion resistance but not stain-less. Will discolor with use and may rust if not cleaned and oiled. Tough, high quality steel that offers great edge retention and durability.
Stain-less- steel with enough chromium to be highly resistant to staining or rusting. More expensive.
1084 is a simple, all around high carbon steel. It is the most budget friendly option. It will not get quite as sharp as some of the others and offers very little corrosion resistance but is durable and easy to resharpen in the field.
1095 is another high carbon steel with a little hardness than 1084. It has almost completely replaced 1084 as our more budget friendly steel. 1095 also is used when creating a hamon line on the blade when differentially heat treating. It shows up as a beautful wavy line going across the blade. The line seperates the hard edge and slightly softer spine.
A2 is a mid grade high carbon tool steel that makes a great all around knife. It will hold a finer edge than 1084. It has little corrosion resistance and is slightly harder to sharpen than 1084.
S35VN is our premium option for our small to midsize knives. It is a specially produced stainless steel designed for the knife industry. It is very hard and will take a very fine edge while still being as durable as A2. It has a high level of corrosion resistance but can still develop rust. It is difficult to sharpen due to the hardness.
80CrV2 is our choice for knives that need to be able to take stress. It focuses more on being tough rather than having a super fine, hard edge. It is a great all around steel that is also budget friendly.
CPM 3-V is the premium option for our large knives. It is also specifically designed for the knife industry. It can have a thinner, sharper edge then 80CrV2 but be just as tough. It is not a true stainless steel but has enough chromium to offer some stain resistance.
52100 is a high carbon steel that takes a very fine edge. We use it often in our thin skinners, Bird and Trout knives, and is our high carbon choice for our chef knives. It will discolor with use but we feel that trade off is well worth it for the cutting ability.
AEB-L is our favorite stain-less steel. It acts a lot like a high carbon blade with its toughness and ease of sharpening but has good corrosion resistance. It makes a great choice for a knife that may be exposed to moisture regularly, stored in a sheath for long periods, or for those who do not want to do as much knife maintenance. It works great for all types of knives.
Why are prices so different for similar looking knives? Why are smaller knives sometimes more expensive than bigger knives?
Prices for knives are calculated by multiple factors. Size, steel, handle material, finishes, and sheath style all factor into the final price of each knife.
Stainless steels are more expensive to purchase as well more difficult to heat treat and finish so are more expensive than high carbon. Mirror polished or coated blades are more labor intensive and therefore more expensive than satin or machine finishes. Wood scales are often multiple times more expensive for us to purchase than micarta or g10. Leather sheaths have more expensive materials as well as taking much longer to make than kydex ones.
With these variables in mind, we hope you can now see why two similar knives can have very different prices or why two very different sized knives can have comparable prices.
What are the differences in kydex vs leather?
We offer sheaths in both thermomolded kydex plastic and hand tooled leather. Some knives are offered in only one or the other. Kydex sheaths are molded to each knife and must be made with the knife. Leather can be shaped afterwards so it is somewhat universal.
Kydex sheaths can be mounted in multiple different configurations, both vertical, horizontal, and left or right sided. They feature a very secure "click fit". Due to close fit they can easily scratch the knife finish.
Leather is a premium option that offers a comfortable belt carry option. They offer a tight, moldable fit. They are also very comfortable to carry. The downside is that they are designed to be carried in one configuration only; right side or left side vertical carry. They are also more expensive to produce.
Do you offer a warranty?
We stand behind our work and will cover all defects in manufacturing. Issues like normal wear and tear, scratches, dull edges from use, and abuse/misuse are not covered. Examples of abuse include but are not limited to neglect resulting in rust, exposure to extreme heat (i.e. "sanitizing the blade"), using the knife as a pry bar or screw driver, or chopping with any knife not designed so. It is always best to contact us before making any modifications that may void the warranty. If you have any issues please contact us directly and we will do our best to help.
How do I care for my knife?
The majority of our knives are high carbon steel. They will rust or discolor if not kept dry and semi regularly oiled. Some chose to leave the discoloration or "patina" as it offers some rust protection and a unique character. The patina can be removed with steel wool or fine scotch bright easily.
Even stainless steel will rust over time and needs to stay dry. Make sure to wipe the blade before re-sheathing and do not store knives in a wet sheath. Keep a light coat of oil on the metal areas. Mineral oil is sufficient and is food safe. Application of wood protector such as Tru-Oil on wood handles will restore luster. G10 and Micarta simply need to be cleaned with mild soap and water then dried thoroughly. A detailed care and maintenance sheet is sent out with every knife.
Are your knives made in the U.S.A?
Yes, every knife and sheath is handmade in the U.S.A. in our shop in Central Pennsylvania. We do everything in house, including heat treatment. We do the best to source all materials in the US and pride ourselves in searching for the best quality and not the cheapest price.
Do you offer a Military or public service discount?
As a veteran owned business we proudly offer 5% off all non sale products to active duty military, reserves, law enforcement, Fire, and EMS personnel to show our support. Use code: CivilService5 for the discount. We thank you for your service!