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Home Get smarter Designer Dirk de Wit: perfect knives from Dutch soil

Designer

Dirk de Wit: perfect knives from Dutch soil

Ever since he was a kid Dirk de Wit loved knives. The combination between a design that is aesthetically pleasing and feels great in hand, with a sharp edge you need to be careful with, fascinated him. Actually, that fascination never left. It started in kindergarten. His first pocket knife was prepared for use by his father. With the sharpness of a butter knife Dirk wouldn't hurt himself.

Dirk de Wit

Place of residence

Apeldoorn, the Netherlands

First knife

1991

Cooperation with

Grailer

After finishing his studies at the Academy of Visual Arts in Tilburg, he started making knives. A file and a vice: it was all he had. With these limited means he laid the foundation for his career as a knife maker.

While others saw perfection, Dirk continued to improve his work.

After his studies he started his own knife shop. At Hill Knives in Rotterdam he found enthusiastic teachers in Frans and Albert van den Heuvel. At the time - and today still - Hill was producing knives for the Dutch commando corps and the Marine Corps, among others. So real experts. Dirk spent many hours behind a sanding machine to hone his skills.

 

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In 1999 Dirk's father suddenly passed away. He was a model maker and had his own workshop in Oerle, North Brabant. As a model maker his father made models and prototypes of (electric) devices for manufacturers. Dirk got to work in his father's workshop and found out on his own how all machines worked. As time passed a new world of production possibilities opened up to him. He developed as a knife maker and always wanted to aim higher. While others saw perfection, Dirk continued to improve his work.

He produced numerous knives. From small fixed knives to large hunting knives and from backlock pocket knives to titanium framelocks. It is remarkable that, regardless of the type of knife, you always recognize Dirk's hand. Smooth lines, curves, attention paid to aesthetics and the use of the best materials: all characteristic for Dirk.

Dirk produces knives always asking himself the same question: 'Is there an even better way of doing this?'

He, for instance, has a typical clip point blade shape you often see on many of his knives. Even more characteristic is the sharpening line on his blades. In terms of shape it looks a lot like the knives from Hill Knives. You could see it as a nod to those who taught him so much.

Grailer 1 Development
A prototype of the Grailer 1 on Dirk's drawing board. Everything was drawn on graph paper.

Enthusiasts appreciate Dirks knives because he pays a lot of attention to even the smallest details. Few knife makers spend so much time perfecting the execution of various production processes. Dirk produces knives always asking himself the same question: 'Is there an even better way of doing this?' He keeps scenarios in mind knives usually don't have to endure. He makes sure they can handle wear and tear a normal user wouldn't be able to achieve in 100 years.

A dramatic turning point in the career of an artist

Some years ago, there was a turning point in his career as a knife maker. Ever since, for health reasons, he hasn't been able to work as much as he would want to. He got better, but making knives for a living was no longer an option.

Grailer 1 Giraffe Bone
The Grailer 1 with Giraffe bone Inlay

Fortunately, this didn't stop Dirk from doing what he loves most at his own pace. No longer as a livelihood, but as a continuation of his quest for perfection. Today Dirk still grows in terms of design and production quality. He lives his hobby and is what he does. Due to his very limited production rate and the high demand for his knives, his waiting list is long. Very long. People wait for years to own a real Dirk knife. For many collectors a real Dirk de Wit is a holy grail.

We feel the same way which is why we wanted to work with Dirk. We are therefore proud to introduce to you the Grailer 1. Fortunately everyone can now own a real Dirk. If you get there in time that is!