Looking at the Rocamora Reed Knife.
I have owned a Rocamora reed knife for six years or so, and it is very nice, yet has never been my go to knife for reed making. I have recently been experimenting with it to find a way of sharpening that suites my needs better. I tend to like to develop a rather pronounced bur on the edge of my reed knives to allow cane to be “pushed off” vs a surgical edge for cutting. The Rocamora knife is certainly able to be sharpened to be razor sharp, however I have trouble establishing the type of burr that I prefer when getting close to the tips of reeds. I attribute this to the thickness of the blade, which is wider than the hollow ground knives I tend to prefer. These knives are double hollow ground but not to the same dimensions as a Landwell, Chudnow or Pfeiffer knife which have more curve to the grind. I would say the blade has less steel removed from the hollow grind which leaves significantly more mass and heft. The spine of the blade is wider than many reed knives and the taper from spine to edge is close to a wedge knife. It has been suggested to sharpen these knives flat on a sharpening stone like you might do with a beveled knife or wedge knife. While this knife is a double hollow ground knife sharpening it this way creates more of a “wedge” style at the tip and than other double hollow ground knives.
The handles are made from a heavy hard wood laminate which I find very appealing visually. The handle is round where it meets the heel but is flattened as it flairs. This flattening prevents the handle from turning in the hand but the roundness near the blade allows decent control. The balance point of the whole knife is about an inch behind heel of the blade which is similar to other reed knives.
The hefty blade and handle together provide Rocamora knives have more weight than any of these formerly mentioned double hollow ground knives. The mass provides the feel of a beveled or wedge knife more than a double hollow ground knife.
This is likely the perfect knife for someone wanting a lot of heft in the blade and handle, a thick spine and blade with a sharp edge. This may be a wonderful knife for bassoon reeds, or oboists looking for a sharp knife with some heft.
I love that these knives are handmade using classic metal working techniques. There is a great video of them being made on YouTube below. I will say that if I were to be trapped on a deserted island with only one reed knife, this would be my choice. It is well made, with high quality steel, has enough heft to hack away at trees. The handle and blade connected very tightly to stand up to a lot of wear and tear. These knives can be purchased from my friends over at Argendonax