Please, help us prevent you getting ripped off because someone got their account compromised by reusing their email & password. Read the new best practices for using the Exchange FAQ page.

Knifemaker = Cutler?


Platinum Member
Aug 20, 1999
If a person who makes cutlery is a cutler, and a knife is cutlery, why do we say knifemaker?
Why has the word cutler fallen into disuse?
I remain,
Ebbtide The Curious
Good question. The term "cutler" is definitely going out of fashion. Who knows why?

The typical definiton of "cutler" is: "One who makes, repairs, or sells knives or other cutting instruments." However, dictionaries are now starting to put "dated" or "archaic" in parentheses next to the definition.

It could be that in the old days you would buy knives from your local cutler and occasionally return them there for repairs. Your local cutler was probably one guy or a family or a small business. Now however, most people just buy knives at a department store along with other appliances and tools. They just throw the knives away if they're dull or damaged and there's no reason to visit an actual cutler or knife store.

If that was the understood meaning of "cutler", it's easy to see why the term is now falling into disuse.


"My good reason to carry a knife is that God gave me rather weak teeth and rudimentary claws in an evolutionary trade-off." - J.K.M.

Ted Frizzel of Mineral Mountain Hatchet Works refers to himself as a cutler. The word still lives! But he is the only knifemaker that I have ever heard of that uses the word. I guess the word is becoming extinct due to the simplicity and straight forwardness of the word "Knifemaker". Maybe for some it takes the guess work out of it? Who knows?

Louis Buccellato
Knives, Weapons and equipment. Best prices anywhere.

"only the paranoid will survive"
I wondered ... since most of today's 'knifemakers' are making them the 'old fashioned way', why not use the old fashioned word?
I like the cobbler/shoemaker analogy.
It does seem silly to use a longer compound word, instead of learning a new one
Chris Reeve - Cutler

At the top of every certificate of authentication from his shop.