There are many options available to customize knives. It is my intent here to provide a majority of those to you, for your consideration while thinking and planning your custom knife. Before going into detail on custom knives I should explain what is included in a base knife production:
Base Knife: 52100 Complex High Carbon Steel blade, Handle material choice of various stabilized woods currently in stock, 3 pins brass or nickel silver 1/8" or 1/4". Under 6" blade $225, over 6" blade $275.
52100 steel is a complex high carbon steel, it will form a beautiful patina over time and with use, yet has some Chrome in it to reduce staining.
CPM154CM is a very high end, high carbon stainless steel. It is great for knives, takes and holds a great edge, good edge retention and good toughness. Its ease of maintenance makes it ideal for knives that get dirty and/or wet often. This is an excellent choice of steels for those who are not as consistent at washing knives after use. This steel adds $50 to small knives and $75 to large knives.
Hitachi White #1 - I no longer use this steel for custom knives. On occasion, I will make knives for stock from it.
This is the finest steel to come out of Japan. It is very particular while working with it, however, once finished it performs remarkably. Sharpens easier than any steel and holds that edge well. The stock I use is laminated with 410 Stainless Steel so only the cutting edge and about the 1/2" above it will patina. I have a very small quantity of this steel in stock again. It will add between $175 and $300 to the total price of the knife.
I mainly use 2 types of handle material:
Natural wood- Is dense or stable enough to not need stabilization. We now topically treat these woods with Birchwood Casey gun stock filler and oil.
Resin Stabilized Materials- Wood, bone, antler etc. that has enough grain space to accept heated and sometimes colored resin. These include maple, Black Ash Burl and other common burls and spalted woods (Pecan), and Camel Bone. I have stabilized woods in stock for my base knives as well as higher end more exotic woods, typically these wood handle cost $50.
These are, by far, what a majority of our handles are made of.
This is exotic dyed Resin Stabilized Camel bone, its cost is $100 per knife.
There are 3 materials I currently use for bolsters: Wood, horn or bone $65, Brass $75 and Steel (316 Stainless). $125.00
Interruptions- I use one piece of wood and separate it a piece of another material. In these cases it is olive wood interrupted with reconstituted Malachite. $125
This is now the only location I will use Malachite or Turquoise reconstituted stones.
Mosaic Pins- Available in 1/8" and 1/4" many choices. $15 each.