In this week´s episode, we are thrilled to introduce you to Roman Kasé, the man behind KKnives Switzerland- A talented, experienced and innovating knifemaker from Switzerland . Roman is a long time customer of ours, combining our machinery with other precise milling equipment to create high-quality knives. Through our interview with him, we delve into his journey as a knifemaker, his inspirations, his favorite techniques and tools, and his advice for newcomers to the craft. Here´s how our interview went:
1. Can you tell us about your background and how you got started in knifemaking?
I wanted knives I could hardly or not at all find on the market. Being first and formost a sharpening enthusiast, I wanted knives with particularly good heat treat and interesting steels that would take insane sharpness and cut for very long. The market was and still is small if you want that. So I said to myself “Be the change you want to see in the world.” Here I am 5 years later.
2. How would you describe your artistic style and the inspirations behind it?
My style is “form follows function”. In my opinion, no matter how pretty a knife is I make, its primary function is a tool. So the geometry is made to cut, the handles comfortable, the heat treat as good as I can humanely achieve.
3. What is your favorite type of blade to make?
My favorite blade is the classic bushcrafter shape; especially my “Evolution” model which I designed together with famous survivalist Joe Vogel from Germany.
4. What is your favorite technique?
Wet grinding and hand sharpening. It gets the most out of a blade. And the wet grinding is why I use and recommend Claryx Grinders (Claryx didn’t ask or pay me to say that!). Because those grinders can take a punch.
5. What is your preferred type of steel and materials to work with, and why?
I think if I was allowed to only use one steel for the rest of my life, it would be Z-Wear PM steel. It can be anything from a nice folder
over to a bushcraft knife but also a chef knife or excellent wood carving knife.
As far as handle materials go, I really like micarta. It feels still organic like wood yet is very resistant to the environment and predictable to work with.
6. What is one project or piece of work that you are particularly proud of?
A project I really like is this one:
7. What advice do you have for Knifemaking newbies ?
“Buy once, cry once.” Better safe a year for a proper grinder/kiln or whatever it is you need than saving two months and getting a cheap one from the hardware store. It will only cause frustration when not your skill is limiting you, but your equipment. On the other hand, don’t buy wildly anything you want and try to come up with a home brew solution first whenever possible. You can both learn more about your craft and save some money at the same time.
Get in touch with Roman: