by TJ AndersonWe work on new-construction and renovation projects in Nashville all the time, so home design concerns — paint colors, tile choices, kitchen finishes — are a big part of my life
BootHill Blades Kitchen Knives Are Middle Tennessee Made Works Of Art
by TJ Anderson
There’s a reason why the Top Chef producers chose “pack your knives and go” as their contestant kiss-off line — for people who love to cook, professionally or just as a passion, few tools are as personal and prized as knives.
Lots of large companies mass produce really solid cutlery, but small-run, custom knife makers are really where the kitchen-obsessed folks go. Or so I’m told by my culinarily talented friends.
That was on my mind when I recently stumbled on BootHill Blades, whose custom knives and kitchen tools are made right here in Middle Tennessee, and are absolute works of art.
Based just northwest of Nashville in Clarksville, Tennessee, the company is a husband/wife-run effort — Jared Thatcher is the metal master, and wife Kylee Thatcher heads up all things wooden, from hand-carved spoons to cutting boards.
Since I tend to get obsessed with a) handmade things b) things made locally, BootHill Blades is right up my alley. And while all of BootHill’s creations are impressive, I find myself really drawn to the knives, which Jared hand-forges using recycled materials.
In their Clarksville shop, he’ll heat and hammer blades that might’ve started their story decades ago as a saw blade or bike chain, then hand-hone and sharpen them, hand-attach them to handmade handles… These get tons of personal attention, and it shows.
The BootHill Blades intent, the video up top notes, was to create affordable custom knives for line cooks and other kitchen pros. If you’ve done any high-end knife shopping at places like Williams Sonoma, you’ll see that the affordability claim is legit — these knives don’t come cheap, but they’re in line with lots of mass-produced high-end knives, and in comparison to many custom options, much, much more approachable.
Example: a custom 8-inch BootHill Blades chef knife runs about $400. A 7-inch butcher knife, closer to $350.
Since BootHill Blades are non-stainless, carbon steel knives, they take a little more attention than your everyday kitchen knife — you’ll need to hand-wash and hand-dry, occasionally oil the blade. But when you upgrade from knives that come in a block and a box to the real deal, a lot more love is put into them, so a little more love is required to keep them up.
The one catch here: Getting custom craftsmanship like this via a two-maker team can take a little time. If you want a particular BootHill Blades knife, you can place a custom order, but their lead time is about 15 months. Other option: The first Wednesday of each month, they send out a newsletter with 10-20 knives that are already done and available for purchase. You’ll just have to jump quickly. (Sign up for the BootHill Blades newsletter here.)
For a little more insight into why I’m so impressed with these Nashville-area artisans, check out the BootHill Blades Instagram. (You’ll also get early tips about what’s coming up in the newsletter there.)
For more info: boothillblades.com.
Are you looking for a new Middle Tennessee kitchen, before you start looking around for Middle Tennessee-made kitchen knives? I’d love to help. Call or email TJ Anderson Homes here, and let me know what’s on your new-home must-have list.
TJ Anderson is a Nashville Realtor with Benchmark Realty who's helped countless clients both buy a home and sell a home in Nashville, Tennessee. He blogs about Nashville regularly, from Nashville-area....
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