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View Full Version : Stainless Steel Painting Knives from Liquitex and Creative Mark, Side by Side


Nilesh
08-30-2008, 03:48 PM
Steel is more likely to rust when used with acrylics, in comparison with oils. Water and some of the other ingredients in acrylics promote rust -- so stainless steel painting knives seem appropriate when using acrylics.

The short version of the comparison is this: If you are thinking of buying one or the other, the Liquitex knives are better made, but the Creative Mark knives also have their own strong points, and they come in some styles that are not found in the Liquitex line.

The more detailed version:

The blades on the Liquitex knives are not welded onto the stems; there are not two pieces welded together -- the stem and the blade are one continuous piece of stainless steel. So there is no chance that the blade will break off or separate from the stem, due to poor, weak, or defective welds, or from repeated stresses.

In contrast, the blades on most of the CM knives are welded to the stems. The welds may be fine, but it is certainly something that can potentially go wrong. Also, welding can cause some stainless steels to lose their resistance to corrosion, so these welds are a weak spot from that point of view as well. And there is a chance of internal corrosion. One single piece seems like a better idea -- no weld, no problems possible at the weld.

The handles are not of the same quality:

The holes that are drilled into the ends of the handles are better made on the Liquitex knives. They are beveled or chamfered (some people might call it a tapered-hole effect), and it is done nicely and consistently on the Liquitex knives.

In contrast, the CM holes are simply drilled -- and in some cases it looks like quick and dirty, somewhat sloppy drilling as well, with some splintering around the holes. In addition, the holes are much smaller on the CM knives, making it more difficult to hang the knives (the larger holes on the Liquitex knives, along with the chamfered ends, make it more convenient to slip them on or off nails, pegs, hooks, hangers, etc., and the larger diameter means more options -- they will fit over larger-diameter hangers).

The finish on the wood is better on the Liquitex knives. The wood itself is more consistent. Some of the CM knives have wood that is slightly dented or gouged. The stain or colorant sometimes has globs here and there, and it does not extend very far into the holes that are drilled in the handles. The Liquitex knives have neither of these problems.

The two things I do like a bit better about the CM knives are (1) the colors (warmish wood stain along with brass ferrules and gold lettering on the handles -- all of which works well together)(vs. black handles, stainless steel ferrules, and silver lettering on the handles of the Liquitex knives -- the color scheme for all parts of the Liquitex knives is in black and silver, in other words), and (2) the shapes of the handles on the CM knives are a bit smoother and better, for me. Both of these are relatively minor points for some of us; others might value them more highly, though.

The stainless steel has a brushed or satin finish on the Liquitex knives. On the CM knives it is mirror-like or chrome-like, and much more reflective.

Some of the CM knives are not welded, but are made from a single piece of stainless steel. These are the ones with straight blades, such as the "flats' and "scrapers" (series S knives and series F knives).

Some of the CM Series S knives are different from anything in the Liquitex line. I like these knives very much: 59S, 60S, and 61S.

I don't want to overstate the irregularities in the wood or the roughness of the finish or the holes on the CM knives -- they aren't really that bad. They are reasonably nice, acceptable or even quite good painting knives, just not as finely finished. And the ones with welds may not (or may only rarely) give any problems. They are reasonably well made, just not quite as well made as the Liquitex knives.

Here are some pictures and other information:

Liquitex:

http://www.jerrysartarama.com/discount-art-supplies/Brushes-and-Palette-Knives/Palette-Knives/Liquitex-Painting-Knives/Liquitex-Small-Painting-Knives.htm

http://www.jerrysartarama.com/discount-art-supplies/Brushes-and-Palette-Knives/Palette-Knives/Liquitex-Painting-Knives.htm

Creative Mark:

http://www.jerrysartarama.com/discount-art-supplies/Brushes-and-Palette-Knives/Palette-Knives/Creative-Mark-Painters-Edge-Painting-Knives-and-Sets.htm

http://www.jerrysartarama.com/discount-art-supplies/Brushes-and-Palette-Knives/Palette-Knives/Creative-Mark-Painters-Edge-Painting-Knives-and-Sets/Creative-Mark-Painters-Edge-Knives.htm

*******
If anyone else has experiences with these knives, or observations about them (or other painting knives), please feel free to post.

howyadoin
08-30-2008, 04:31 PM
I've got two of the big Liquitex (http://www.jerrysartarama.com/discount-art-supplies/Brushes-and-Palette-Knives/Palette-Knives/Liquitex-Painting-Knives/Liquitex-Large-Painting-Knives.htm) ones - a number 3, and I think a number 7 (flat end with a serrated edge). Great knives - very sturdy construction, and this is coming from a guy who's snapped the blades off 2 or 3 different palette knives.

Tiasa
08-30-2008, 06:39 PM
I have a couple of the big Liquitex knives which I really like. I like the fact that they don't rust--and they are sturdy. My wish: I wish Dick Blick (and others) carried the smaller knives.

asnowfall
08-30-2008, 07:20 PM
I too had rust problems with knives with those that resembled CW knives and returned them back. Then one day i saw knives that had "Made in Japan" on them so I purchased them, and they resembled CW but for some reason did not rust. Till now, I did not know about these Liquitex knives because I have not come across them stores.
Recently I have fallen back on the plastic knives because they are soft on stay-wet porous paper, may be I will continue to use plastic ones.

Ramesh

Nilesh
08-30-2008, 08:00 PM
I've got two of the big Liquitex (http://www.jerrysartarama.com/discount-art-supplies/Brushes-and-Palette-Knives/Palette-Knives/Liquitex-Painting-Knives/Liquitex-Large-Painting-Knives.htm) ones - a number 3, and I think a number 7 (flat end with a serrated edge). Great knives - very sturdy construction, and this is coming from a guy who's snapped the blades off 2 or 3 different palette knives.
That's interesting to hear -- the weld does seem like a potential problem spot. Without it, there is one less thing to go wrong.

I bought a few of the large Liquitex knives too, and like them. They do seem very sturdy and trustworthy -- a good feeling. You don't have to worry about the blade separation.

*******
I meant to mention in the original post that the reflective stainless steel on the CM knives can be a bit distracting at times, especially out in the sun. It's like a mirror. The much-mellower, less reflective satin finish on the Liquitex knives is better this way.

But it may also be worth mentioning that it's very easy to put a satin finish on the polished stainless steel that comes on the Creative Mark knives.

All it takes is a Scotchbrite pad, or something similar. Vigorously rubbing the surface of the stainless steel with one of these pads will do the trick. You can get a nice satin finish this way. The coarser Scotchbrite pads will tend to leave more of a brushed stainless steel look. (These pads also work with titanium -- you can get a beautiful brushed finish, and if you rub in some Lemon Pledge afterwards, it adds a nice warmth. But I have yet to see titanium painting knives. It would be a good material, though -- it's extremely corrosion resistant and damage resistant. And it is also more flexible, if the thickness is the same, than stainless steel.)

One of my knives is the Liquitex #6, diamond shape, and I like it. It is large, though, and the similar but smaller #5 might be more suitable for some people.

I like the Liquitex knives a lot.

I just now realized that I can sand the handles to get a slightly improved shape (for me), or wrap them with some bar tape or something similar. Or both. Glad this came to mind. I just realized that I can also change the color. Fairly minor points, but they make me happy. I think I can get a great fit and feel this way. :)

Nilesh
08-30-2008, 08:11 PM
I have a couple of the big Liquitex knives which I really like. I like the fact that they don't rust--and they are sturdy. My wish: I wish Dick Blick (and others) carried the smaller knives.
I got mine at Jerry's.

I agree -- it's great not to have to worry about the rust, and to have knives that won't break.

I also like the fact that you don't need to baby them, in relation to dried acrylic paint, or even wet acrylic paint and cleaning it off. Brushes are more of a worry and a chore. With the knives, it's easier to clean them (just wipe them off on a rag or paper towel, or scrape them against a hard flat edge), and it's much quicker.

You don't have to worry about or protect the bristles, or maintain their shape, or deal with acrylic drying in the ferrule, or abrasive gesso wearing out the bristles, or replacing brushes.

And if paint dries on the knives, no problemo.

For some reason, I love that aspect.

Nilesh
08-30-2008, 08:14 PM
I too had rust problems with knives with those that resembled CW knives and returned them back. Then one day i saw knives that had "Made in Japan" on them so I purchased them, and they resembled CW but for some reason did not rust. Till now, I did not know about these Liquitex knives because I have not come across them stores.
Recently I have fallen back on the plastic knives because they are soft on stay-wet porous paper, may be I will continue to use plastic ones.

Ramesh

Interesting to hear about the rust problem. I think it makes great sense, especially with acrylics, to go with rust-free knives. Japan seems to make a lot of quality stainless steel products.

Good to hear about the plastic knives also. They do seem as if they would be quite a bit easier or gentler on plastic palettes. And they are also rust-free.

Maybe I'll keep a couple of those on board too.

Nilesh
08-30-2008, 08:16 PM
Susan,

In God's good time. :)

Adriantmax
08-30-2008, 09:51 PM
I used to have problems with metal knives too. They never got as far as red rust, but they did develop a permanent matt black stain very quickly (I guess this might have been the first stages of rust)

I used the plastic knives for a long time, but didn't like the weak flexibility and thickness of them.

Recently bought Liquitex knives when I saw how cheap they were for stainless steel.

One thing I wasn't certain about with the small trowel like knives is the tips not being snipped very cleanly or turning at the end or sides they do seem to be ground at the back so this isn't a problem. But you have to look at them carefully in person at the store because they are not all finished to the same quality at the tip.

I use mine to smooth over gesso mixed with modeling paste and had some concerns because of the ends, but overall the liquitex knives are nice and the small ones at less than $3 a piece are a steal.

I like the satin sheen over the mirror finish, its easier to guage values of the paint when mixing, strong reflections and light on the mirror finish make it hard to judge against.

deadsam
08-30-2008, 10:34 PM
I just have one knife (metal) I use to part the paper from my watercolor paper pads and for mixing paints (very rare I use it for even mixing paints) just usually use it for parting the paper.
I never had rust on mine but then I guess paper doesn't make metal rust lol.
I'm strickly a brush fan.
Oh ya I do it for mixing pigments into egg yoke when I do egg temperas but I still never expreienced rust, who knows maybe I just don't use it enough because I had the same knife for about 20 years or more now.
Never checked it mine was stainless steel or who made it. Maybe thats why it never rust it just might be stainless steel :)
and its packed so I can't check lol

deadsam
08-30-2008, 10:55 PM
Sorry Nilish, I refuse to accept any of your words anymore.
As we all are posting our works here, and you seem to be above doing so, I will listen to someone who puts their money where their Mouth is any day.

Your "Discussions" are irrelevant to me now. I cannot understand how you have been here a whole year, and never posted one picture of anything you have painted.
This is an artists forum, you would be better going to the Cafe where discussions are encouraged.
Here we post art-work and ask for advise from people that can show us that they actually know something about producing art.
~~Kathleen
(My opinion only)

lol :thumbsup: come on Nilish lets see a painting I'm sure ya done one in a year lol

Bright Eyes
08-31-2008, 03:25 AM
I have the blick multi-colored painting knife set. They work really well for me! I don't have any finished big paintings with me to show at the moment but here is my current WIP 16 x 17 and a small 4 x 6 of my son


http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/30-Aug-2008/139098-R--G-3.jpg


http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/30-Aug-2008/139098-Frankie-1.jpg

Now come on Nilesh, I showed mine!;)

timelady
08-31-2008, 06:35 AM
I'm sorry but posting artworks is not a requirement of sharing our experiences here. That attitude saddens me. I very rarely post my work here for various reasons - one main one being that the image is then permanently on WC and beyond my control - yet there are people who would not want info I'd share from my experience because of that?

I'm sure it took Nilesh quite some time to type up this information, and taking the time to make all the comparisons, and generously sharing it with folk here. And he's judged for that with ingratitude because he chooses not to put his art images on the website?

Shame. Nilesh, thank you for taking the time.

I personally like the teflon coated palette/painting knives! But can't seem to find a link online. I can leave them in water forever. ;)

Tina.

Lady Carol
08-31-2008, 09:31 AM
Guys, keep this on the topic of knives. Just because Nelish doesn't post any of his art does not make what he has to say invalid in any way. You do not have to participate in these discussions.

WetCan.vas does not make it a requirement for membership to post art

Antony Burt
08-31-2008, 11:27 AM
I have some of the Creative Mark knives (branded as DeSerres). One knive has the electroplated mirror finish beginning to peeling off. I will likely have to replace it at some point, but I have yet to see Liquitex knives in the stores. (I may just have to special order some...) I have seen a minor bit of rust at the weld point, but nothing major that would indicate a weak joint... (fingers crossed.)

Thanks for the side by side comparison Nilesh. :)

deadsam
08-31-2008, 03:44 PM
Guys, keep this on the topic of knives. Just because Nelish doesn't post any of his art does not make what he has to say invalid in any way. You do not have to participate in these discussions.

WetCan.vas does not make it a requirement for membership to post art

lol It's ok if he don't show them, just bugging him lol.
I actually like his information.

Tiasa
08-31-2008, 08:18 PM
I'm sorry but posting artworks is not a requirement of sharing our experiences here. That attitude saddens me. I very rarely post my work here for various reasons - one main one being that the image is then permanently on WC and beyond my control - yet there are people who would not want info I'd share from my experience because of that?
Tina.

I value the information Tina and others share, even thought they do not post very often. I was very excited when she gave us a rare peek at her work. I am still thinking about her statement that she uses mostly water, not blending fluid, to create her paintings.

I like seeing the works of people who post, but those who don't are still making a very valuable contribution, which I very much appreciate.
I found Nilesh's post informative, and I am glad to read others thoughts on the subject.

I know that Dick Blick does carry the small Liquitex knives in their catalogue, but I have also noticed that some of the tips are not snipped cleanly. What I meant to say was I wish Dick Blick carried them in the store. They have a ton of acrylics, gels, pastes, etc., but they don't carry the Liquitex small knives.:confused: