For the last 2 weeks we have been looking a replacement blades for silver knives. The first week examined replacement blade composition e.g. carbon, silver-plate, or stainless. Last week Joseph Grenon of Awesome Metals was kind enough to provide a detailed look at how the replacement blades are set into handles. Today let’s have a look the shapes and styles available for replacement blades.
Replacement Blades for Silver Knives
The two most important considerations are shape and size.
Generally speaking, dinner size replacement blades are 5 1/2 inches long and luncheon size are 4 1/2 inches long. Make sure you are having the correct size fitted! If you are not sure what size to get, ask your silversmith. S/he will almost certainly want to know what size your forks are. Of course, don’t feel compelled to get the ‘correct’ size. If you want a mix and match look go for it. Just make a conscious choice instead of being handed a fait accompli!
The other main consideration is blade shape.
- Blunt blades were the most traditional shape, but are not found very often anymore. A blunt blade is straight on both the upper and lower edges with a round tip.
- French blades have a curved edge.
- The Old French Blade has a curve on one edge.
- The New French Blade is curved on the top and bottom edge.
- Modern blades are very similar in style to the New French blade but they lack the distinctive indent on the bottom edge near the handle that the other three blades have.
If you are lucky enough to be in possession of a ‘spare’ set of knife handles you could always have them fitted with fruit blades or serrated steak blades. Just make sure if you sell them, that you let the dealer/new owner know that those are not the original blades. Connecting the circle back to the first post in this series…altered wares are fine if everyone understands what they are buying!
My personal preference is for Blunt or Old French blades, depending on the age and pattern of the knives I am restoring. I would not put a Blunt blade on a French inspired pattern like Louis XV, equally I think an Old French blade looks odd on a Fiddle inspired pattern.
I have yet to find a pattern that cries out for New French and I think Modern blades are boring. I like the indent. 🙂