Winkler Knives featured in TheFabricator

Sometimes you can best serve your country by serving those in the armed forces.

Daniel Winkler got that opportunity in the years after Sept. 11, 2001. Of course, the world changed dramatically on that fateful day, and Winkler soon changed with it.

Before 2001, Winkler was primarily a full-time knifemaker, having achieved master bladesmith accreditation from the American Bladesmith Society in 1993. He and Karen Shook, his sheath-making partner and wife, had built a successful business, and their products had gained a widespread following, including that of a member of the U.S. Navy’s SEAL (sea, air, and land) team. He wanted a better breaching/combat axe than his employer was offering and approached Winkler about developing such a tool. That’s how Winkler’s first axe designed for the special forces community—a full-tang axe with a combat spike—was born.

When the World Trade Center towers came down, the SEAL, who was then retired, entered active service again as part of U.S. Army Special Operations Forces—and he brought along his favorite axe. As others saw the custom-made axe in action, they wanted one as well. The increased demand led Winkler to rethink how he could transition his manual processes to more automated approaches while still maintaining the quality of the knives and axes that people expected. Believing that the right material, machine tools, and processes could deliver the same high-quality products, Winkler changed the direction of his company. Winkler Knives was open for business.

A really interesting article.  I have been long familiar with Daniel’s work, but the behind the scenes explanation of the small-scale production process was my first real look at that side of things.

Read the whole thing at