“If my wife says, “What? That is too weird and ugly. Nobody will want it.” I know it is a good Tinker product.” Shibata-san told me when he put the first Tank in my hand in July 2018.
Tinker is Shibata-san’s newest knife company/adventure. He enjoys exploring fun ideas and has experience making them a reality—as seen by the success of his previous ventures Masakage Knives and Kotetsu.
Shibata-san loves the name Tinker in the way that it means to make something in an amateurish or rustic fashion. He wants the knives to look like this—but with a certain grace as well. This is his brand for fun experiments, for tinkering.
Tinker will not make entire lines of knives but individual knives in new/experimental shapes previously unexplored. All of the knives will be limited edition. In the last 7 months they have made only 25 knives in three batches (10, 8 and 7 knives). He plans to make a few knives every month moving forward. They will always be hand hammered, hand finished, and hand sharpened like his other brands.
Tinker knives will always look rustic with engraving done by a rotary tool, not a refined chisel. Each blade engraved with the date it was completed and the number of the series from that day. The rustic/tinker concept even extends to the packaging. Each knife is wrapped in newspaper and packing tape with the date and number written on the outside with a sharpie. People will either love or hate this brand. I love it.
Learn more about Takayuki Shibata
In this interview from Springhammer, Shibata-san shows off his spectacular sharpening skills and explains his process in creating his razor-sharp line of knives, Kotetsu. Watch the full documentation here.
Read a profile on Takayuki Shibata
From the book, The Knifenerd Guide to Japanese Knives, read this except from Kevin Kent about Takayuki Shibata. Learn some of the history of Masakage and Koutetsu knives and what makes Shibata tick!