Best shape and length for a pu erh knife?

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Best shape and length for a pu erh knife?

Postby jayinhk » Oct 4th, '12, 12:51

I'm going to have some pu erh knives handmade for me soon and I was wondering which shape and length the esteemed members of TeaChat have found to be best. :D

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Re: Best shape and length for a pu erh knife?

Postby MarshalN » Oct 4th, '12, 13:15

Don't get a knife, get a pick instead.

http://www.yunnansourcing.com/store/pro ... roduct=265

These, thinner the better. If it breaks buy a new one. Knives destroy leaves

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Re: Best shape and length for a pu erh knife?

Postby jayinhk » Oct 4th, '12, 13:20

Thanks, my guys should be able to grind very nice folding stainless picks with rounded tips!

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Re: Best shape and length for a pu erh knife?

Postby MarshalN » Oct 4th, '12, 13:21

Not sure how rounded you want your tips be, sometimes pointy is good, although sometimes pointy means bloody fingers

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Re: Best shape and length for a pu erh knife?

Postby jayinhk » Oct 4th, '12, 13:24

I'll show them some pictures and explain what they're for. I'll have a few made to test different styles. As for bloody fingers, it happens--being that I work with knives, I cut my fingers all the time. The trick is to try and keep your fingers out of the way. :D

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Re: Best shape and length for a pu erh knife?

Postby theredbaron » Oct 4th, '12, 13:32

MarshalN wrote:Don't get a knife, get a pick instead.

http://www.yunnansourcing.com/store/pro ... roduct=265

These, thinner the better. If it breaks buy a new one. Knives destroy leaves



here's another one from the same seller:

http://www.yunnansourcing.com/store/pro ... oduct=2186

I bought it recently, and it works really good - lovely wood on the handle as well. I have seen the same style offered usually for 4 times the price Scott sells it for.

But yes - a pick works much better than a knife, much less leaf breakage.

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Re: Best shape and length for a pu erh knife?

Postby jayinhk » Oct 4th, '12, 13:42

Thanks Red, that's exactly the kind of input I needed. That's a nice pick, and the wood looks good. Is it really sandalwood?

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Re: Best shape and length for a pu erh knife?

Postby theredbaron » Oct 4th, '12, 15:09

jayinhk wrote:Thanks Red, that's exactly the kind of input I needed. That's a nice pick, and the wood looks good. Is it really sandalwood?


I had my doubts as well, but it looks and smells the real thing. It's not top quality Indian sandalwood, naturally unobtainable for that price. But it's very nicely made and solid.
I have been looking for a nice pick for quite a while, and this is the nicest i have seen so far.

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Re: Best shape and length for a pu erh knife?

Postby jayinhk » Oct 4th, '12, 21:09

It does look good for sure--I considered buying a similar one for a little more on DealExtreme, but I think having my craftsmen make me one will be much more special.

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Re: Best shape and length for a pu erh knife?

Postby gingkoseto » Oct 4th, '12, 21:35

It looks like some nice hard wood to me. Why would you have doubt anyway, it's quite common in China to use sandalwood for various things. The Indian small-leaf purple sandalwood (?) is the most expensive. Other types of sandalwood (black, red, green, white...) are all nice and not that expensive.

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Re: Best shape and length for a pu erh knife?

Postby jayinhk » Oct 4th, '12, 22:07

gingkoseto wrote:It looks like some nice hard wood to me. Why would you have doubt anyway, it's quite common in China to use sandalwood for various things. The Indian small-leaf purple sandalwood (?) is the most expensive. Other types of sandalwood (black, red, green, white...) are all nice and not that expensive.


For $4, I don't think you'll get anything too fancy! It does appear to have some nice chatoyancy though, so it's attractive nonetheless.

As an addendum: don't buy any rare African or South American wood products from dealers in China. The Chinese govt. does not enforce CITES regulations and China is full of illegally exported timber from species that are gravely threatened. All the 'chicken wing' (wenge) and African blackwood I find available on Chinese sites is very disturbing.

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Re: Best shape and length for a pu erh knife?

Postby gingkoseto » Oct 4th, '12, 22:45

jayinhk wrote:
gingkoseto wrote:It looks like some nice hard wood to me. Why would you have doubt anyway, it's quite common in China to use sandalwood for various things. The Indian small-leaf purple sandalwood (?) is the most expensive. Other types of sandalwood (black, red, green, white...) are all nice and not that expensive.


For $4, I don't think you'll get anything too fancy! It does appear to have some nice chatoyancy though, so it's attractive nonetheless.

As an addendum: don't buy any rare African or South American wood products from dealers in China. The Chinese govt. does not enforce CITES regulations and China is full of illegally exported timber from species that are gravely threatened. All the 'chicken wing' (wenge) and African blackwood I find available on Chinese sites is very disturbing.


I don't know what kind of "chicken wing" or other types of wood you have seen. I collect wood and stone jewelries and my collections are all basically very cheap and not from any rare species at all. The African "chicken wing" is not considered the best type and usually Myanmar's is favored. The reason I love wood and stone jewelries is many of them gain beauty after being used (sort of like yixing being aged by tea) and aren't worth much when new.

Some woods are not rare or expensive at all, and probably are advertised by western dealers to make people feel they are very upscale ( :mrgreen: just like some tea?)

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Re: Best shape and length for a pu erh knife?

Postby jayinhk » Oct 4th, '12, 22:51

gingkoseto wrote:
I don't know what kind of "chicken wing" or other types of wood you have seen. I collect wood and stone jewelries and my collections are all basically very cheap and not from any rare species at all. The African "chicken wing" is not considered the best type and usually Myanmar's is favored. The reason I love wood and stone jewelries is many of them gain beauty after being used (sort of like yixing being aged by tea) and aren't worth much when new.

Some woods are not rare or expensive at all, and probably are advertised by western dealers to make people feel they are very upscale ( :mrgreen: just like some tea?)


'Chicken wing' is used to describe wenge, an African hardwood species that is in grave danger of extinction. The warning wasn't for you, but for anyone reading this thread. I use wood in my line of work and have around fifty types in stock, some of which are pretty expensive. I do have some wenge, but mine was procured through legal sources in the US.

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Re: Best shape and length for a pu erh knife?

Postby TIM » Oct 4th, '12, 23:36

Chicken wing is a grade lower then zitan in the family of purple sandalwood. They are mainly from Southeast asia. Not Africa, that will be ebony.

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Re: Best shape and length for a pu erh knife?

Postby jayinhk » Oct 5th, '12, 00:47

Search for chicken wing on Taobao and see what comes up: wenge. There's a lot more than ebony coming out of Africa.

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