Case Stuart Mitchell’s knives

Daniel Allen

Challenge

Sheffield-based artisan Stuart Mitchell needed a hard, high quality, weather-resistant stainless steel with an attractive appearance for his handcrafted knives.

Solution

Outokumpu martensitic stainless steel is corrosion resistant, with beautiful graining. It is hard enough to make high quality knives which can still be easily sharpened by end users.

Delivery

Steel grade: Outokumpu Dura

A cut above knives

In these days of mass production, Sheffield born and bred knife maker Stuart Mitchell is a rare find. Continuing a family tradition, this highly skilled artisan handcrafts the finest knives using stainless steel. But 46-year-old Mitchell builds on more than just a family legacy.

His small workshop in the Portland Works – a historical hotbed of creativity in the city centre – is the very same place where stainless steel cutlery was first manufactured over a century ago.

 

Perfect imperfection

Created with passion and attention to detail, Stuart Mitchell’s knives are more than just precision tools – they are works of art. Each is designed and manufactured after careful consultation; clients frequently visit Mitchell’s workshop several times to discuss their thoughts and requirements.

As Mitchell explains, his bespoke production process is all about low volume and unrivalled quality. “Each knife is as close to perfection as I can make it, but obviously being handmade, these blades are unique,” says the master craftsman. "I like to think of it as perfect imperfection."

Thanks to the power of the internet, his blades are ordered by people from all around the globe. “My customer base is incredibly wide,” says Mitchell. “Everyone from explorers and expedition guides through to chefs and airline pilots. These are people who are prepared to spend a little more in exchange for higher quality.”

 

A knife for life

All knives supplied by Stuart Mitchell come with a lifetime guarantee. But beyond its enduring beauty, each blade is crafted to do a job of work. “While some end up in display cases, all of my knives are fit for purpose,” says Mitchell. “Whether it’s out in the field on a hunting trip or in the kitchen, they’re designed to be used on a daily basis.”

As a material for the handcrafted knives, Stuart Mitchell uses Outokumpu's martensitic stainless steel – a far superior quality steel to that typically used in everyday cutlery. He has trusted the same grade for over 20 years.

The composition of the stainless grade provides the ideal level of hardness and guarantees that the blade will never rust. “This is a ‘real world’ stainless steel,” says Mitchell. “Knife users can still sharpen their blades easily, without specialist equipment. It also has a beautiful, finely grained aesthetic. In short, it is the perfect stainless for knife making.”

 

Recommended products and insight

Appliances

When it comes to appliances, today’s consumer insists on full functionality wrapped in effortless beauty. Corrosion-resistant, easy to clean, strong and formable: Stainless steel delivers durable, timeless perfection.

Cooking

When it comes to cookware, today’s consumer has a taste for quality – and that means corrosion-resistant stainless steel. In Core for pots and pans, cutlery and grills, and Dura for knives, stainless steel is strong, durable and attractive. Formed from coil, strip, sheet and precision strip, it’s also versatile.

Dura

The Dura range contains Outokumpu's high hardness and precipitation hardening (PH) stainless steel products.

Semi-finished long products

Outokumpu’s high-quality production range includes billets, blooms, slabs, and ingots. Our outstanding product catalogue entails a variety of sizes and grades for further processing based on your needs. 

Sheffield - SSRB, UK

Outokumpu’s Rod and Bar mill in Sheffield, UK is a global wire rod and bar supplier in a broad range of stainless steel grades, sizes, and shapes. The offering consists of round, hexagon and square wire rod and bars as well as Prodec superior machinability bars in small diameters.

Sustainability

Outokumpu's four value propositions: recycling maximized, nothing to hide, pays for itself and indispensability showcase Outokumpu's strengths, which answer to key sustainability needs. By selecting Outokumpu's stainless steel, our customers also benefit from these in their own sustainability efforts.