ABOUT WILLIE VAN NIEKERK
For me, making a knife is a magical experience. There is nothing quite like watching a piece of annealed steel harden to become a functional tool. It’s a bit like baking a cake – you have to know what you want to create, as well as the right proportions and percentages of ingredients that will enable the magic to take place.
Most of us use knives everyday – they are an extension of our fingers and hands - but using a good one changes the way you think about knives forever.
A good knife is fit for the purpose it was created for and allows for precision cutting, flexibility and maneuverability. It needs to be the right weight and fit for your hand and it needs to be strong and resilient for the tasks it will be required to perform – from strength in the outdoors to allowing for the right cutting motion on the kitchen chopping board.
All knives are not equal. Every knife I make has its own individual flavor and personality – and unlike some factory bought knives all of my knife blades are fully hardened and have a full tang for strength and durability – and they come with a lifetime guarantee of quality workmanship and materials.
I consider many things when creating a knife – its shape, its fit, its purpose. The blade and the handle have to work together. Above all, I consider the metallurgy and the tempering of the steel and the strengths, benefits and characteristics that each combination will deliver.
I use both natural woods and composite materials in my handles with the same values in mind.
I have been making knives for many years. It is a passion that took hold of me as a young man on a school survival course. I was 16 when I learned from a venerable expert, Mr Tinnie Jacobs, about the value of having a good knife in the outdoors and the extreme importance of your primary decision – especially in a survival situation. It is a lesson that I have carried with me ever since and it is one of the values that I adhere to in making the right knife for the right purpose.
The same is true for cooking. Cooking is one of my passions and I understand the value of using a knife that you love. Every knife has its own niche and using a much-loved knife can lead to a treasured friendship that can last a lifetime.
I am passionate about what I do. I like to make people happy by delivering quality products. It gives me joy to think that the knives that I make can be handed down from generation to generation.
If you would like to know more about the processes and considerations that might go into making a custom made knife for you, give me a call. I will be happy to discuss the ins and outs of the process… and how it will fit for you exactly.
Willie van Niekerk Ph: 022 464 7499