Charl Pienaar Building on Successful Front Flipper

South African knife maker Charl Pienaar is slowly but surely expanding his business. Since he began working in 2013, Pienaar’s knives have become more and more well-known. The maker tells us he wants to push himself into other knife genres and potentially pick up new projects.

Most well-known among Pienaar’s knives is the CP1K, a front flipper comprised of simple elements: a mid-size, flat ground blade with slab scales cut in a classic, curved handle. Pienaar tells us he cares about the showy elements of knife making as well as the functional ones, but that utility always comes first. “My knives are simple and clean. The recipient must enjoy using it daily and carrying it with them.” The next big project for Pienaar is a collaboration model with Francois Nell, the CPFN1. A liner lock front flipper, the CPFN1 has a modified drop point blade and an arched handle accentuated by finger grooves and a polished bolster.

Collaborations aside, the CP1K will continue to be tweaked and updated as time goes on, Pienaar says. “There are always tweeks and updates that I apply to my front flipper and its variants. I strongly believe there is always room for change and improvement and new materials that can be accommodated.” But he also wants to explore new ground, breaking into the higher echelons of price and collectability. “Art knives are something that also greatly interests me and I am looking forward to investigating this further in the next few years.”

Pienaar may be relatively new to the knife game, but he’s been working with his hands his whole life. “During my youth I built remote controlled airplanes, but I found the constant maintenance very monotonous,” he tells us. In the nineties he became enamored with the artistry on display in ancient weapons. From there, it wasn’t a long leap to modern folding knives. “My first purchase for my workshop was a knife grinder,” he says. “That was in 2013 when I started with my first knife and I have not looked back. My passion for the art of creating a knife from a piece of flat metal has just intensified as the years have passed.”

As a low-volume custom maker, Pienaar’s work seems ripe for collaborations with production companies. Currently, none are in the works, but Pienaar says his doors are open. “I would not mind to work with WE Knives or Kizer cutlery for a production model. A personal goal is to have an opportunity to work with Dmitry Sinkevich.”

Knife featured in image: Charl Pienaar CP1K (Photo credit: Urban EDC Supply)