By: Amanda Lucas
“When you’re buying a knife, you’re buying that person’s passion”- Mitchell Shaw
Mississippi is home to some of the best entrepreneurs this side of the Mississippi River. Olive Branch native Mitchell Shaw has taken his love for a well sharpen and finely honed knife and turned it into a thriving business. Mitchell yearned for a creative outlet where he could use his hands. His search led him to a grinder he found on Craigslist and tutorials on making high-end knives, and in 2011 Mitchell created Shaw Blades.
He then signed up for Blacksmithing I & II classes at the Metal Museum located in Memphis and, before he knew it, he was at his first knife show. Mitchell has created quite the name for Shaw Blades, as his knives are known for their distinctive look, personalized names and custom yet timeless appeal. He does his own heat treating and finds it to be one of the most magical parts of the process. All of his knives start as a piece of high-quality carbon or stainless steel. Most of his pieces are 52100, O1, W2, and AEB-L knives. The blades are shaped by both stock removal and forging methods and finished with a machined finish, hand sanded, acid washed, or parkerized. He then marks each of his knives with his symbol: Fibonacci spiral which he freed from its rectangular cage.
“It symbolizes the flow of balance whether it be spiritual, physical, or mental,” says Mitchell. Mitchell also explains how important it is to examine the handle and make sure it’s cemented to the blade for a tight fit. Also checking the balance on a knife is important as well.
“You never want anything that’s super heavy towards the handle and super light toward the front of the knife,” he explains.
Since Mitchell makes a wide array of knives it’s no surprise that he has trouble picking a favorite. Though, right now, one of his favorite knives right now is an Adventure Knife with a pakerized blade knife with a black linen micarta handle. One of his best knives, a 9.5 inch Gyuto with double Burl Wood, was sold to a chef in Jackson, MS. It was that was a kitchen knife. Mitchell explains that chefs are very specific when it comes to knives.
“They know exactly what they want,” says Mitchell, “The blade pattern they ask for is very specific, and they don’t ask for anything crazy.”
While Mitchell attends a variety of craft shows, gun shows and knife shows he also has plans to transition to a homestead and physical storefront. For more information about Shaw Blades you can contact Mitchell at firstname.lastname@example.org.