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Thread: Help/Info on German Knives?

  1. #1

    Help/Info on German Knives?


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    Hi I've near nada knowledge on knives and looking for some help, hoping a post on this site may suffice.

    Shortly I am headed to Germany and interested in getting a knife for my guy and surprising him (so I can't ask for his insight!). I think German knives and I think cutlery - but I'm not looking to go this route. I'd like to get him something he would use while maintaining a little German authenticity if possible. With the ability to buy/sell/ship globally now I don't want to get something he could pick up at any sportsmen show.

    Is this even a good idea or should I be less specific about it being German made?

    Any advice, information or other help you could give on what brand/make/model/blade I might want to look into would be greatly appreciated. I'd like to get my research done before the trip and have a good mindset of what I'm looking for before I hit up some local shops. Please don't assume anything that I know - My knife knowledge doesn't go much farther beyond Benchmade and AXIS lock!

    Thanks immensely to anyone who can help

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Berlin
    Posts
    145
    What kind of knife are you looking for? Should it be a fixed blade or a folder? How much do you want to spend? And last but not least: Which part of Germany will you visit?

    If you're visting the south of Germany (Bavaria) you could buy a fixed blade called 'Trachtenmesser' at a local hunting store. A Trachtenmesser is a hunting knife wich is part of the bavarian traditional outfit. Its also called 'Nicker' in German. Have a look at these Nickers:

    http://www.schneidwarenkontor.de/ind...459be0c11f88a6

    However, if you prefer a folder to a fixed blade you might consider bringing a 'Loewenmesser' back home. These are mostly traditional slipjoints made from carbon steel. They will hold their edge for a long time and can be sharpened easily but will rust if not properly maintained. They are rather cheap but very useful. Loewenmesser can be found here:

    http://www.roedter-messer.de/loewenmesser.htm

    A catalogue can be downloaded here:

    http://www.loewenmesser.de/4775.html

    Loewenmesser are made in Solingen, the traditional cutlery center of Germany. It's located in the west of Germany. Another renowned manufactor from Solingen is Boker. Right now they offer some interesting reissues of German military knives like the German trench knife:

    https://www.boker.de/index.php?c=14,...1918&p=2&pp=10

    They also make some very nice folders and slipjoints. Especially the products offered by the Messermanufactur of Boker are high quality knives. The only obstacle to buying a Boker knife might be the fact that they are fairly popular in the US, too, and can be easily bought online from Boker USA. On the the other hand this surely will become an advantage if at some time or the other the need to contact their customer service should occur. Boker has a forum here, too.


    Let me add something else. If you travel as soon as next week prepare to meet some difficulties as public transportion likely will be on strike in large parts of Germany. Trains and airports will be affected everywhere. In Berlin all public transpotation will come to a standstill. This is really a nuisance. Neververtheless I wish you a good trip.

    Mike
    Last edited by quinque voces; 03-08-2008 at 09:45 AM.

  3. #3
    If you're looking for folding knives try Hartkopf. They offer a nice range of traditional German folding knives starting at around 40 Euro for smaller slip joints (= non locking). The company itself in an old Solingen institution, family run and still does much of the assembly and finishing by hand.
    Look here for some examples:
    http://www.roedter-messer.de/hartkopf.htm
    I own a Model 290 and a 292 with a damascus blade. I love both, however the fit and finish quality is, well, old fashioned. I find it adds to thier charm.
    They are available in many good knife/gun/hunting shops in Germany and are not talked about often on these forums, so I guess they are not widely available in the states.

    What part of Germany will you be visiting?

    Spitz

  4. #4
    Mike & Spitz,

    Thanks for your thoughts! I'm traveling in May and going to Hamburg, Cologne, and Berlin - and definitely hope public transportation will be running smoothly then.

    I am pretty open to what I am looking for with such lack of familiarity. Would like to find a folder rather then a fixed blade though. Cost isn't predetermined - interested in deciding based upon quality vs. price.

    Also - is there anything I need to be aware of or anything I will not be able to bring back to the States upon my return? It would really stink to have that mishap.

    Thanks again

    Nik

  5. #5
    Make sure you don't buy him an automatic knife (switch blade). They are freely available in Germany but cannot be brought into the States without special permits. Otherwise I'm am not aware of any restriction (maybe it would be better if an American chipped in on this one).

    Here is a good specialist knife shop in Cologne:
    http://www.messer-matheisen.de/frontend/start.cfm

    It's located on the second floor of a hotel (very strange) right in the center of Cologne, just off the Cathedral Square.

    You need to look at the house numbers, as there is no shop front at street level:

    Messer Matheisen
    Hohe Strasse 137
    50667 Köln
    Deutschland

    The guy there is helpful and speaks enough english to get by.

    Spitz

  6. #6
    Thank you very much for your help, I am pretty excited about this endeavor/little treasure hunt now if I wasn't already!

    Thanks again and do take care

    Nik

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Berlin
    Posts
    145
    If you're traveling in May you will not be bothered by the strike. It has been called off Sunday evening.

    Here are some adresses of knife shops in Berlin:

    Feine Werkzeuge
    Georg-Wilhelm-Straße 7a, 10711 Berlin

    Frankonia
    Friedrichstraße 69, 10117 Berlin

    Harry Wodarz
    Karl-Marx-Straße 88/33 (?), 12043 Berlin

    Holzapfel
    Bergmannstraße 25, 10961 Berlin
    Kollwitzstraße 100, 10435 Berlin

    Messer Vogel
    Birkbuschstraße 86, 12167 Berlin

    Wiedenhoff
    Tauentzienstraße 9-12, 10789 Berlin
    (Europacenter)

    Wiedenhoff is by far the largest knife shop in Berlin and Holzapfel the most exclusive one. Unfortunately, both are rather pricy. They mainly carry American and Japanese knives but offer some German knives too.

    Have a nice trip

    Mike

  8. #8
    Thank you Mike for the list of shop locations - as well as the strike tidbit - that is definitely good news. Appreciate all your help : )

    Nik

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