Browse All Knife Makers
Here are all our knifemaker’s stories. Read about who they are, what inspires them and view their products.
I was born in 1965 in Welkom, Free State. I am married to Hantie Vorster and have two beautiful children, Michelle and Jean. I am a Tool, Jig & Die maker by trade and qualified in this profession in 1986
I started making knives in 1995 as a hobby and made it a full time business in 2004. I stay on a small holding just north of Pretoria at Bultfontein from where I create my knives by Hand. I have been doing quite a few presentations at KMTS with their Knice friend’s events. I do give knife courses from time to time for people that are serious in perusing their passion. I love to help my fellow knife makers where I can.
I make anything out of the ordinary as I get bored easily. Most of my knives are for collecting purposes although I do cater for the hunting market as well. I love to make liner locks and just started to make an open assist folder.
I make knives out of 12c27, 14c28N, 19c27, N690, D2, 01, Panzer 36 and M390. I use all sorts of handle materials but like to work with Organic materials such as tusks, bone and indigenous wood, and Synthetic materials as Kirinite.
Ross Vosloo At Mhara Knives
I am a Zimbabwean bladesmith based in Harare, and have been in love with knives since I was a child. Not content to simply sharpen knives anymore, I dabbled in making knives several times in my teens, but only made my first real blade 3 years ago. Since then, it has consumed me like very few things can, and today I am a full-time maker.
I started with forging fixed bladed Bowies and other hidden tangs before including stock removal full tangs and kitchen knives to my repertoire. I then progressed to hand-forging Damascus steel, which was a long time goal of mine.
Recently, with the help of Willem O’kelly, I have poured most of my time and energy into making slip joint folding knives. I derive a great amount of joy from making these small folders.
My name is Robert Costall I live in Mthatha in the eastern cape. I have been making knives for almost 5 years. It all started by my attempt to fix the handle of one of our new kitchen knives. I saw how poorly it was made and I thought that I could do a much better job. I started off with a home built coal forge and a file and before I knew it things had progressed to where I am today making swords and various types of design and styles.
Corn Smit has been making knives for the past 36 years and his knives have reached most of the corners of the world.
Corn is carrying on the blacksmithing traditions set down by many generations of Smit’s before him. This shows through in the craftsmanship of each and every blade that gets made. Besides being an expert cutler, Corn also loves most outdoor pursuits such as fishing, hunting, camping in fact anything that allows him to be out of the house.
Corn also loves people and sharing ideas and stories. Many people have come into the Smit household as customers and left as friends. Because he has been making knives for so long he actually has multigenerational collectors where a grandpa bought the first Smit knife and now the grandchildren are ordering.
From a young age I have always wanted to be a blacksmith. However, as life happens, I became a BMW technician.
In 2017 I started playing around with a coal forge and forged out a few simple knives & of course I was hooked. I started to collect the most necessary & basic tools I can afford to make knives.
Two years later and I’m still making knives as a hobby but my goal is to one day do it full time as well as compete with professionals in the field of knife making. I love forging one of a kind, personalized knives.
I prefer forging over stock removal as it feels like I’m literally beating some of my essence into the knife I’m making. Giving it a soul, so to speak. I’m still perusing my goal of becoming a journeyman bladesmith.
My passion for all things weaponry started as a small boy, along with my curiosity to figure out how things work. So when I bought my first handmade knife in 2016, my interest was piqued, and I asked the maker to show me the basics.
I went on to build my own grinder, then a year later bought a second one. You could say I was hooked, and from that “I think I can do this myself” moment, Eagle Blades was born.
A love of wildlife, nature and the outdoors means I have a passion for working with natural materials –
bone, horn and indigenous wood – and my training as a polymer chemist sparked my interest in combining these with manmade materials like polyester resin, epoxy and urethanes.
All Eagle Blades knives are unique, custom-made pieces designed and built around the owner’s interests and requirements in type of materials, design and ultimate use. I love rising to the challenge of customers’ requests for new and different materials and knife designs or restoring treasured old blades to their former glory.
My first knife, or filed My first knife when i was about 12, Made it after a knife Jean Claude van Damme used in one of his Movies, can’t remember which movie.
The library in Upington had a couple of knife books, that I would read. Then Knife making when away, and only returned when i met My first wife, at 37 years of age. I found an old farriers forge at a scrap metal, build My first belt sander out of wood, and would run it from My table saw, with pulleys and a v-belt. I took some classes at a Guy in bloem who told Me i should never swing a hammer, and rather try stock removal. So, I got in contact with Kevin and Heather Harvey, in Belfast, and did My two week ABS course with them.
The rest is History as They say. and Now im Making My own damascus. I still feel like a newbie, when I look at the local talent. and have a lot to learn.
Hylton Rutherford at rutherfordforge
I am a full time Bladesmith and Blacksmith. My interests lie in uncovering and learning the skills of the metal workers of old and applying this knowledge to my metal creations whether they be edged tools or metal art. I take commissions and create my own products which are shown below.
During weekdays I am a Teacher, but over weekends and in holidays I am a part time knife maker.I started making knives in the 90’s. My first knife was a Fairbairn and Sykes fighting knife.
In June 2014 I build a belt grinder from information from the internet and taught myself knife making from the internet and you tube. I started striving to make the perfect knife. My favorite knife to make is a Bowie knife.
In 2019 I joined the Cape Knife makers Guild.
Knife making is a challenging hobby for me and I enjoy it very much.
I have been creating knives for the last 10 years. I enjoy working with my hands and creating a knife from scratch. I have made a variety of knives; fix blades, hunters, friction folders, locking liners and my ultimate inspiration are the classic folders. My biggest influences are knife makers like Bob Loveless, Ken Erickson, and Todd Davison to name a few.
My family is very important to me and I have 3 lovely girls and a beautiful wife and she luckily understands why I spend so much time in the workshop or when I get frustrated by a process I am trying to perfect. My other hobbies are flying, hunting and spending time in the bush with family and my Landy!
Due to my Passion for Knives, I started collecting knives at the age of about 10 years old.
Then much later in life, about 3years ago did a knife course at Sarel Venter. Since then I started making knives as a hobby, and for the love of knives.
I am now on pension and this has become part of an income for me and my wife. Each knife I make is my pride and joy.
I am a part-time knife maker from Beestekraal situated in the North West Province of South Africa.
Since I can remember I have always had a passion for knives, but it was only when I started my own Professional Hunting Company in the early nineties’ and then later becoming an outfitter that the true value of a good reliable knife with a comfortable handle was emphasized (skinning a giraffe is no joke), and my search for that for that perfect knife started.
As a self-employed engineer, I know that precision and durability work hand in hand. With that in mind, I spend much of my free time in the knife-shop striving and challenging myself with every new design to create working knives of the highest quality.
Loving outdoor and hunting activities, I focus mainly on designing and making fixed blade utility, hunting and kitchen knives. I also make functional EDC equipment for the every day guy. Due to the diversity of South African’s fauna and flora, I favor natural handle materials like Indigenous woods, burls, ivories, horn and giraffe bone.
As passionate as I am about knives it does not displace my love for my LORD and Savior, Yeshua Messiah and of course I drive a Land Rover Defender!
I’ve been making knives on and off for the past 20 years and will be making for many years to come.
I like using natural and exotic materials on my knives and I am constantly evolving with my craft. I have a great passion for creating something out of raw materials and knife making has so many different fields of study that it is an on-going learning curve. Next on the horizon is submitting my knives for the South African Knife Makers Guild. Exiting Times
These razors are all 100% handmade by myself in my workshop Elegance, tradition, a timeless quality, style, the avant-garde, an eye for detail, form, function and excellent craftsmanship are my main objectives when working on any of my custom straight razors.
I, Andries Venter, am a manufacturer of custom handmade knives and I’m based in the Western Cape.
Since I was young I always had a fondness of looking for cool items to collect and knives were one of them. About 4 years ago I decided it was time for me to make my own.
I started making knives and decided that I’ll never stop.
So this year I started my business and I’m making and selling knives. Can’t wait to see where it goes..
Dries Van Dyk
Knifemaking became my passion about 20 years ago. After building my own equipment, I attended three courses with Gawie and Thinus Herbst.
I enjoy making fixed blade knives. In my designs, I love shape, texture and colour because of an Electrical and Mechanical background, I designed and built an electrical etching machine, a titanium anodizing unit to enhance the quality of my knives and to make life easier for my fellow knife makers in South Africa.
I see each knife as a project and dedicate myself to it in order to deliver a top-quality product. Every process in my knife-making I do personally as great enjoyment is derived from each step in the chain.
(Designing, building the knife, taper tang, heat treatment, finishing and leatherwork) My knives could be considered to be real hand made.
My name is Edward Louis Pretorius, I currently reside in Little Falls, Johannesburg. I started knife making three and a half years ago, as a side-line hobby, which ended up turning into a full-time business. I love making tactical fighters, bowies, and art knives. I ran and owned my own fish taxidermy company for 18 years, which gave me an upper hand in being creative, as well as I am a tool-maker by trade which lead to my interest in working with steel and ultimately the fine art of making knives. So, I decided to open my own company in producing knives.
This has become a big part of my life and a massive passion. My day to day inspiration comes from military and early pioneer days through history. I also take a lot of inspiration from famous knife makers-past and present-who have been in the trade longer than myself.
I attended my first knife making course back in 2001 with Andrè Thorburn. Some years later I was able to setup a workshop of my own. I have been making knives now for the past 5 year. I make mainly daggers, hunting knives and an Everyday Carry (EDC)
Gentleman’s Folder liner lock.The EDC Gentleman’s folder is one I particularly like. I find it is possible to carry this in any sort of attire from gym shorts to formal work trousers.
I was interested in knives from a very young age. I suppose it was because my Dad had a bowie/hunting type of knife that I used to play with and was quite fascinated by this knife wondering who made it, how was it made, etc.
In the 1980’s and 90’s I attended quite a few of the Knifemakers Guild shows but it was only in 1999 that I decided to also pursue this hobby. I contacted a Guild member that stayed the closest to me, which happened to be Gavin Dickerson, and asked him to teach me the trade and luckily he agreed. In April 2000 I sold my first two hunting knives to two of my colleagues at work who believed in my skills. From there on my hobby just took off.
In July 2006 I was accepted into the Knifemakers Guild and my hobby as a knife maker was truly on track.
From February 2020 I became a full time knife maker.
Hello, my name is Herman Venter. I am a hobby knife maker that lives in Pretoria South Africa. I am a Technical Advisor at a Refrigeration company and in my spare time I love knife
making. I went on a knife making course at Herbst Knife making Academy in September 2017.
So I have been making knives for just more than two years now. At the 2019 Boabab knife show I entered some competitions and won two awards. Best working fixed blade in the novice category for a hunting knife and best working folder in the novice category for a liner lock.
These awards really helped to boost my confidence as most novice knife makers often wonder if their work is up to scratch. I see the leather craft aspect of knife making as equally important and I love making sheaths to compliment my knives.
Reino De Kock
Skull Knives is based just north of Pretoria. Reino is a mostly self-taught knife maker that started knife making as a hobby 3 1/2 years ago. He decided to start making knives when his spouse said he may not buy any more.
Doing stock removal on various types of steel, with various natural and synthetic handle material and styles and have tried his hand at almost anything from fixed blades, folders, biltong slicers and most recently an arming sword. Although Reino is currently doing this part time he devotes hours of work on stock removal, hardening, fitting handles, bolsters, pins etc. in each knife he produces.
Each unique piece is done with care and attention to detail. For this knife maker the aesthetics is as important as the functionality, and he prides
himself in the cutting edges he obtains.
I developed the love for art at the age of seven, and I believe I inherited the gift from my mother whose hobby was sketching at the age of seven. In 1993 I had the opportunity of watching someone (neighbour artist ) making shona sculpture on black serpentine stone, I tried my hand making drawings on stone.
I am a full time scrimshaw artist who makes his own fixed blade knives . The making of scrimshaw began in whaling ships between 1817 to 1824 on the Pacific Ocean, and survived until the ban on commercial whaling. The practice survives as a hobby and as a trade for commercial artist. A maker of scrimshaw is a
In 2007 I was honoured to become a member of the Knife Maker’s Guild of Southern Africa as an associate member specialising in Scrimshaw. I am proud to be a member of this prestigious guild.
I normally use as my ivory as my canvas. Hippo tooth and Elephant ivory (if and when it can be legally obtained) and any animal bone.
Tim Brown, Blacksmith and Knifemaker. I am a part-time soon to be full time blacksmith and knifemaker. I am located in Benoni Gauteng.
I have been making knives and blacksmithing tools for the past 4 years. I am now in the process of becoming a full time maker.
I mainly do forged knives and I am currently in a dagger and sword phase. I also make blacksmith tongs and hammers.
Thank you for looking.
I started making knives at the end of last year(2019)under the leadership of my father Barend.
I only completed my first knive during the coronavirus lock down.
I am currently only working on hunting knives and Siberian chefs knives.
I still have a lot to learn, but I am enjoying every step of the way. .
Waldu Massyn is part time knife maker from Hartbeespoort. He started to pursue this hobby after the 2017 KGSA show. After setting up shop and manufacturing his own belt and disc sander, he completed his first knife in his workshop in 2018.
His greatest inspiration and mentor is his father, who is a KGSA member. His goal as an aspiring knife maker is to take first place in the Non-Guild competition and then followed by becoming a KGSA member as well.
One of his greatest lessons learned, is that the next should always be better than the last. Knife making is not just a hobby, it’s part of his life and he looks forward to being part of this community for many years to come.
The Custom in the Making – The ideal behind a custom knife is the creation of something superior in its design, choice of materials, and the execution of its construction. Where did it all start? Herucus J Blomerus was born in 1958 in Upington, Northern Cape, and grew up in Pretoria. He bought knives with his pocket money as a young boy. His interest grew to a knife collection of over 300 knives. He made his first knife in 1998 and it was not long before the interest in handcrafted knives developed.
He started to setup his workshop and even built some of his own
machinery. He started under the mentorship of a friend, Andre Thorburn, and slowly developed his hobby into
part time knife making. First he designed his own biltong knife and followed up making hunting knives. After completing his liner lock folding knife course, he started his well-known series of
He continues to design new models, of which the HB 17 Motswiri and HB 18 Phiri models are the latest thereof. He continues to develop his craft and he focuses on custom builds. This gives the
customer the opportunity to select their chosen materials to be used. That’s how knife dreams come true. .
André lives with his wife, Erika on a small farm outside Bela Bela, Limpopo, South Africa, making their living from handmade knives, biltong cutters and curios. His interest for making knives started in the early eighties, when he met an elderly man who taught him the basics of knife-making. He also attended a course presented by Owen Wood to get more skills.
He then started out on his own, creating beautiful working knives, hunting knives, folders, carving sets and steak knife & fork sets as well as true art pieces for the collector who is looking for that “something special”.
He loves to work with natural materials, such as horns, bones from
various animals and also warthog tusk and crocodile leather. He invented a lock on his folders, calling it the bolster lock which is quite unique and very popular. He also specializes in making custom knives on request and to the specifications of clients. His knives are well-known and popular, not just in South Africa, but globally.
We live in Vanderbijlpark. I started making knives in late 2017. First
knives, let’s call them practise, were made from concrete grinder wheels. (first knife) A few pressies to nearest and dearest later I went to visit KMTS shop in Pretoria and purchased my first 2 stainless steel blanks which was turned into kitchen utility knives.
From there on I purchased some 12C27 and 14C28N and started designing and making knives with basic hand tools (angle grinder, some files and wood working belt sander and plenty Elbow grease.
As time went on I refined the art of hand tools to the point of my first order in June 2018 In Dec 2018 my wife bought me a Ryobi Mini Belt and Disc Sander to assist in the making of knives.
And this is what I still use today (saving to buy proper belt sander)
In the meantime, I have also learned how to make my own sheaths and do scrimshaw.
So, ladies and gentlemen this is me. Striving to learn more each day. My late mother taught me the following lesson (in Afrikaans): “ ‘n mens is soos ‘n sykous… nooit te oud om te leer nie. “
Johann (Joe1 Knife & Tool). My knife making journey started over 30 years ago. I am an active part-time knifemaker. All my knives start with a sketch on paper the old school way.
My biggest influences is: to ratter to have a knife and not need it, then need a knife and not have it – no matter where you are and then making food over an open fire.
Since I have started making knives actively, I have made fixed blade hunting/utility knives, classic slip joint folders with a modern twist, as well as Japanese style chefs knives.
I was born and raised in the fresh air and sunshine of Kimberley in the Northern Cape in 1963 where I grew up on a farm and got to play with various guns, knives and motorcycles. Joining the corporate rat race after national service training was essential to keep these hobbies funded, even more so after we discovered the wonderful world of 4×4′s and quad bikes.
Over the years my knife collection kept on growing and includes a few pieces that are valuable for the material value, but more that are valuable to me simply for the sentiment attached to them either for being a gift from a special person, or for reminding me of a special occasion.
About 7 years ago I stumbled upon a well known SA website which sells knife parts and thought I should give it a try. That got me hooked on knifemaking and the hobby quickly grew to take up most of my spare time – and absorb a lot of hard earned savings spent on machines and materials.
Since the beginning of 2015 I have been making knives full time. The values “Creativity, Craftsmanship & Quality” best represent my approach to knifemaking and I am always looking to make the next knife better than the previous one.
I am a 15 years old scholar at Klerksdorp High School.
My knife making hobby started 2 years ago, when I collected knives with my grandfather.
After a while my grandfather asked me to make a knife for him. I am still learning how to make knives from friends, Google and YouTube.
I have not yet had any knifemaking training, but I love creating beautiful, sharp knives from raw materials.
Shaun Hugo Naude
My name is Shaun H Naude,born in the then highveld in Springs.
I am currently residing in bloemfontein and am married and have 3 children.
I started making knives in 2005 due to a friend requesting me to do so as a birthday gift to his father.
Following this I became aware of a knife making community and have been making since.
I am inspired by history and primarily forge my knives.
I am a 24 year old self-taught Bladesmith. As a two and half year old boy I had Meningitis. Because of the damage, I never could attend a normal school and finished my School Career at a Special School in Rustenburg.
I was fortunate to be employed directly after School. This however did not work out. I started working in my Dad’s Woodworking Factory where we manufactured Kitchens, Furniture, Bars etc. in Solid Wood.
I have always had a passion for knives and have been collecting knives for a long time. Then Forge in Fire happened on TV and I was instantly hooked. With the help of my Dad we build our 1 st Forge a few years ago. After forging my 1 st knife, I was totally hooked. With the help of various Bladesmiths and Knifemakers, I have educated myself in the art of forging knives. During August 2018, I attended a Damascus Coarse with Frik Kruger, producing my first Damascus billet and finally my first Damascus hunting knife.
Each Knife and Axe are unique as it is hand forged from 5160 Steel. I also stared doing Stock Removal knives from N690 steel.
Louis De Jager
Retiring at the age of 68 ,4 years ago, I was able to take up the art of knife making.
After attending a course of knife making with Vincent French in George I could start my life long passion at the age of 68 ,4 years ago.
Since then we have moved to Die Dam in Cape Agulhas National park. This is situated 40 km from Gansbaai.
We market our products at Hermanus country market on Saturdays.
I am Corné Koekemoer. Custom Knifemaker. Make knives under the name Cor-
I Live in Hennenman Free state S.A.
My first knife was made in 1993. I was inspired by knife a fellow knifemaker who
made a beautiful knife.
First as a hobby and then full time maker from 2000. Still enjoying what I do.
I am Fritz Boshoff. Growing up in Namibia I went hunting with my dad, so knives were always a part of me.
I started fooling around in my garage, making knives for friends and family.
Bossie Knives was established in 2005 and I have never looked back. Knife making is my passion..
Eric Van Zyl
Eric’s passion for knives started at a young age, when he started collecting and making knives. As a qualified fitter and turner he started creating handmade knives with only a file and a grinder – flattening and curving the steel to precision.
In 2019 Eric took advice from Theuns Prinsloo and completed a knife-making course by Andre Erasmus. Within a day and a half, Eric crafted his first professionally handmade custom knife.
Ericwolfknives was founded in September 2019. He then built his own electric oven, by which he creates precision temperatures for accurate tempering, thus perfecting the steel.
Ericwolf custom handcrafted knife is unique – no replicas! Only top-quality materials are used for the handles and each knife is branded with an Ericwolf logo. Special design and engraving requests are welcome. Ericwolf knives are one of a kind and never seizes to amaze. Each knife also comes with a unique handmade sheath
Kobus Steyn At JFS Knives
I am a hobby-ist knifemaker, making knives for more than 20 years.
All the work is done by myself, sheaths included.
I attend 2-3 knife shows a year; Baobab, Brooklyn and Huntex..
I was born in 1960 in East European, Bulgaria. I have been cutting, sanding, gluing, etc since the age of 9.
I have been in SA about for 30 years. In 2000 I seriously started making knives as a hobby.
My trade qualification is tool and die maker. Since 2008, I am making knives as a one of my base income I also do other exclusive item such as clocks, writing
instruments, carvings e c t.
Barend Zaayman, from Richards Bay, KZN, South Africa. Growing up on a farm in the Eastern Cape a knife in your pocket was part of life. I Always admired a good looking knife and in 1993 while working at the then Iscor in Newcastle I saw one of my colleges making a knife and that was the start of my knife making journey.1 st couple knife were horrendous as I didn’t have anyone to guide me. I then got introduced to the late Boekoe van Rensburg and Basie Jordaan and they helped me onto the right way with their vast knowledge and experience.
Was a part time maker till around 2000 when I got transferred for work, that was also the end of my knife making for 18 years, at the end of 2018 slowly got back into it again. With the lockdown I got full steam into it again and got a big liking in the making of slippies.
At beginning of the year my son also started making knives and nothing better than spending time in the workshop working on knives with him. I prefer making practical knifes, user knives and folders. Mainly using N690 and natural products for handles like wood and animal products.Huntex..
I am Stephen Henry Sutherland making knives for nearly 10 years now. After a vehicle accident and a back operation my Construction Business has to close down. I have decided with my knowledge of instrument maker to start with the knives.
My love for the nature I like to use natural products like wood, giraffe bone ect. I also cater mostly for the Hunters as I am a Hunter as well and know what is needed in the bush.
I also do personalized knifes, as per request by clients. We also do folders knifes as part of our work.
It is also important for me to keep my products True South African – Proudly South African Product
I am a novice knifemaker from the cape flats.
I do mostly stock removal but have on occasion forged some knives.
I use new as well as recycled materials.
I have no formal training wrt knifemaking, my interest started in 2017 and I have since acquired some tools and built some tools to set up a small workspace. I do knifemaking on a part time basis as I do have a day job.
I started making knives in 1989 in Welkom joined the Knifemars guild in 1990 with a lot of help from Fanie la Grange , I moved to Richards bay in 1994 and I stopped making knives to raised my kids for 17 years fishing the coast of South Africa when the kids left school I lost my fishing partners, it was a good
time to start making knives again.
All my tools and materials I had just stored all those years, had some time on my hands and started building a few machines and set out to make some knives again, Got a fright when I started looking at knives as the quality had sky rocketed and Materials had really progressed .
I joined the guild again in 2013 and have been making knives since, I have moved away from fixed blade and make only IKBS flippers with a lot of thanks to Andre Thorburn for assistance and insparation
Born in South African 1967, I was raised on hunting, fishing, braais and rugby. I married my soul mate in 1991 and together we have 2 amazing kids. Tasmin and Leon.
I am the owner of HYMAX a telecoms company operating in the Eastern Cape. My passion for knife making started in the late 90’s in a town called Queenstown, where I was working for my employer at the time. A chance meeting with a local knifemaker led me to his
workshop and knife foundry.
I was bitten! Over the next 2 months I spent every spare minute I had working alongside him on my very first
knife until it was finished. 30 years on, I am the chairman of Border Knife Making, a Cape Knifemaker Guild Member, and my
passion for knife making is stronger than ever.