Ernest “Mooney” Warther was an American wood carver famous for creating train models and producing kitchen knives. He made his own carving knives, a unique design where different shaped blades were stored in the handle, as well as fighting (he called them “commando”) knives for members of the armed services. Here, I’ll be talking a bit about two of his carving knives that I have.
Place of Manufacture: USA
Blade Steel: 440c
Price: $37.50 (direct from Warther Cutlery)
The knives come in these card stock boxes. The #1 model was purchased before the logo change as seen on the box.
Fit and Finish
It is evident that the knives are hand-finished. There are small issues with the knives such as handle curves that are uneven, blade grinds that are unsymmetrical among others. However, since the knives are hand-finished, they were able to remove sharp edges that might dig into the hand and ensure that the knife has no structural defects.
This is where the knife shines. Although the steel is 440C, a relatively inexpensive steel, they have heat treated it to where it holds a decent edge. Furthermore, the blade shapes are well designed for what they are described to do:
#1 wood carving knife – Straight edge carving knife with 1.5″ blade. Used for scoring, lettering, and cutting straight lines.
#10 wood carving knife – A small straight blade approx. 1″ long. This knife has a fine point for intricate detail work.
The #1 and #10 are similar in shape although the #10 has a finer point. I have the feeling that the #1 has a thicker blade nearer the tip than the #10 does as well. This is the biggest strength of these knives. Since they were designed by a master carver, they work great for what they are meant to do.
These knives, with their straight blades, work very well for pencil sharpening. I prefer to use the #1 as the #10 dulls too quickly. The handle allows for a comfortable grip and for the thumb to be placed on the spine of the blade. This makes accurate cuts easy.
While these knives may seem plain and simple to most, they are in fact well designed tools. The fit and finish could be improved, but for a handmade knife by a well-known American company at this price point, I have little complaint.