The Story Behind Kaufmann Mercantile's Exclusive Black Walnut and White-Tailed Antler Carving Set


For many, the holiday season means turkey and lots of it. Sorry to all the vegetarians out there, but this one isn't for you — not unless you have a massive Tofurkey to cut into. Kaufmann Mercantile's exclusive Black Walnut and Stainless Steel Carving Set will surely do the trick, no matter what you're slicing and dicing.

The $559 two-piece set (a 15-inch steel knife with an upswept blade and a 13-inch tined fork) was created by Chris Williams, a South Carolina knifemaker. He inherited the craft from his grandfather and at first only made knives as a hobby. Once orders started flooding in though, Williams decided to make them full-time. He now, with the help of some talented knife artisans, creates each one out of a warehouse in Charleston.

For Williams' custom set for Kaufmann Mercantile, he chose black walnut wood that is native to the Midwest and the central Eastern part of the United States for the handles. He won't be able to make this specific set forever though, because the wood was given to him by a friend, whose great-grandfather passed away with a garage full of this 250-year-old black walnut.

The handles feature an accent of naturally shed White-Tailed deer antler that he finds on his friend's farm in Georgia. Apparently, the deer like to visit the farm in late winter and early spring, and often jump over the fence to feast upon plants. The landing impact causes the antlers to drop and Williams visits often to scour the fence line for the sheds.  

Kaufmann Mercantile promises that the knife will "cut right through your Thanksgiving turkey, Christmas ham or any other roast you are carving up with its grade 440C stainless steel blade." The blade is also one of the hardest and strongest metals out there for cutlery and due to its high edge retention, it will stay sharper for longer. The fork is made with the same steel and has prongs that are one inch longer than standard carving utensils.

All you have to do in terms of care is wash them by hand and don't let the handles soak in water. They may be coated and sealed, but water is tricky and if you let it, it will make the wood bloat. Considering shipping takes two to three weeks, you won't be getting the set in time for Thanksgiving, but there's plenty of other holidays coming up. Plus, this set is really made to last, so you can bet you'll be using it for years to come.