Crafted in Michigan_ Younger man turns creative talent into hand-forged knife enterprise

Niko Nicolaides has joined the ranks of Michigan artisans, turning his passion right into a enterprise making hand-forged chef knives proper in Detroit. At simply 23, he’s making a reputation for himself on the planet of bladesmithing.

“The knife-making simply happened as a passion after I labored in kitchens,” Nicolaides mentioned.

He was initially educated as a machinist, working CAD and CAM machines and turning out batch work. But it surely was his kitchen expertise that taught him what was worthwhile when it got here to hefting a blade.

“I spent the final two years of highschool and all of faculty working in kitchens, working meals and prepping meals.”

He explains why he was drawn to the world if fireplace and metal. “It was one thing I discovered on YouTube, movies right here and there. It was simply one thing I needed to strive to determine for myself.”

“The one factor I’ve ever been good at is making stuff, and determining the way to do stuff. Once I noticed knife-making, I assumed, ‘Cool. That will be one thing enjoyable to strive,’ ” he mentioned.

Nicolaides Knives is without doubt one of the companies that Founders Brewing Firm is highlighting via its Crafted in Michigan marketing campaign. Over the following a number of weeks, we’ll be bringing you the tales of the locally-owned companies behind Crafted in Michigan, introducing the folks behind these companies, their merchandise or craft, and the inspiration behind all of it.

Try our interview with Nicolaides under, and take a look at these superb knives, crafted proper within the D.

The mark of a real artisan. Nicolaides Knives has been manufacturing these beauties for about 4 years.Courtesy Photograph, used with permission.

Nicolaides now makes the knives he wished he might have used when he was within the kitchen. He’s acquired them dialed in technically, too. These knives aren’t simply fairly, they’re useful. His shoppers say they’re a dream to make use of.

“Niko’s knives are an ideal mix of artwork, kind and performance,” mentioned buyer Ron Piell. “We ordered three completely different fashion knives from Niko and every one is visually superb and equally useful. They give the impression of being nice displayed on our wall magnet however are much more enjoyable to make use of. They’re so mild within the hand and glide via all the things we’ve thrown at them with ease. They really feel like a pure extension of our arms.”

Nicolaides completed his first knife in March 2016. One thing that was only a passion to begin with, he has now been manufacturing knives as a enterprise for about 2 1/2 years. He credit not simply the help of consumers, but additionally his mother and father, who’ve been giving him a reasonably candy deal on lease whereas he constructed the enterprise. “In some way I’ve made it work during the last couple years,” he mentioned.

The dive into proudly owning his enterprise was fairly deep. At solely 20, it was a “fairly severe enterprise to only cease working in a very well-paying discipline, and simply say, ‘Ahhh, I’m simply going to make knives in my yard endlessly now.‘ ”

The fashion of knives Nicolaides makes is named an integral knife, which means it’s cast from one piece of metal, working seamlessly from blade to deal with. This creates an additional robust, sturdy and long-lasting knife, as opposed to people who have components which might be welded on.

Along with being well-made, Nocolaides’ knives are lovely, too. “Most of my knives that individuals see are Damascus patterns,” he mentioned. ”Damascus is the colloquial time period we use for sample metal.”

He achieves this impact by utilizing two completely different metals that get aligned, heated as much as over 2,000 levels, after which get strain utilized to fuse the metals collectively. He then takes the bars and stretches the blade out. That is the purpose the place the artistry occurs. “For me, that’s the enjoyable half. Enjoying with metal, and making these patterns.”

He defined that “if you may make a handsome knife, that’s nice. However at the least for me, these are all instruments. I need them to have the ability to be used proper, in addition to look good.”

He makes use of geometry to dial within the sharpness and efficiency when he’s grinding the knives down to be used.

Handles come from quite a lot of sources, together with wooden and epoxy. He makes certain that the handles are ergonomic, and makes quite a lot of types, together with a sculpted Western fashion and a straight Japanese deal with.

Nikolaides Knives makes principally customized knives. Clients can select what sort of sample, deal with and grip they like.

After 4 years of lengthy days – and many trial and error – Nicolaides remains to be striving for greatness in bladesmithing.

“It truly is a ardour. I inform people who I actually take pleasure in making knives. I’m not completely centered on promoting knives. It’s good that they promote, and that I can earn cash from it clearly, it’s how a enterprise works. However I actually simply take pleasure in making knives, and the method of making stuff. The truth that folks need them, and let me keep in enterprise, is nice. However I nonetheless assume if I used to be doing one thing else, I’d nonetheless be making knives for enjoyable. I adore it.”

Knives are prepped and prepared for the following step at Nicolaides Knives in Detroit.Courtesy Photograph, used with permission.



To order a customized knife, e mail

To position an order, examine them out right here.

A number of suggestions for preserving your personal knives in form, from Niko:

-Maintain your knives dry

-Hand wash your knives and wipe them down after utilizing them

-Keep away from utilizing a knife block as it could actually retain moisture and micro organism

-Get your knives professionally sharpened just a few instances annually, or study to do that your self

-A pointy knife is a protected knife

-A metal can be utilized to hone your blade, nevertheless it doesn’t sharpen it

Nicolaides Knives function distinct patterns from the forging course of.Courtesy Photograph, used with permission.

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