The Art of the Steel

Kevin Wilkins was born and bred in Texas and discovered early on that he had a wanderlust and an artistic inclination that was perhaps not typical of his fellow straight-talking Texans. Therefore, it was not long before the young artist took his aestheti



“I have learnt to grind as it’s such an important part of the process. The Haas does what it does extremely well. The rest is craftsmanship, which is what people are paying for when they buy a custom-made knife.”


Upmarket
Which raises the question: Who does buy a custom-made knife?

Like so many niche industries over the last 20 years, the custom knives sector has grown considerably, thanks to the Internet.  This has meant that for Kevin that he sells more to places like the U.S and to China.

“It’s the high end of the market that’s healthiest. People who are prepared to spend hundreds of dollars,” he says, “are few and stretch globally, so most enquiries come via my website.”

“I expect to reduce the number of knife models I offer to focus on making knives from more exclusive materials.” he claims. “Oddly enough, even though costs are rising, the buyer who has planned to spend €1500 still seems to have the money”


It’s a tough call for a small company, and he’s acutely aware that he needs to get his strategy just right.


“If I make a mistake and invest my time and resources in the wrong tools, or producing knives I can’t sell, it could be disastrous,” he says.


Thankfully, the Haas CNC Toolroom Mill turned out to be a very astute investment. Choosing the right machine tool, it seems, is another one of Kevin’s many talents.



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