Dutch Knife Label Taps Local Talent for High-End Folder

Netherlands-based Grailer Knives is getting into the high-end knife business with the Grailer 1. The clean, sophisticated modern folder comes from the mind of custom maker and fellow Netherlander Dirk de Wit.

The Grailer 1 comes ready for EDC with a 3.1-inch blade and a minimalist style. Many classic European designs emphasize an elegant, people-friendly look and, even with titanium and M390 blade steel, the Grailer 1 taps into that heritage. It hearkens to a time when visual appeal was more important than pure performance ratios. “These knives do have a bit of a European feel to them,” explains Jasper Brester of Grailer Knives. “The balance between the larger handle and the shorter blade has an old school vibe to it.”

But the Grailer 1 looks forward just as much as it looks back. Lionsteel functioned as OEM for this knife, and brought several of de Wit’s more complicated technical innovations to production life. The pivot utilizes oversize hardware and a counter-screw design to keep the blade centered and secured without the need for Loctite. Its size also allows it to function as an overtravel stop. Conscious of European users’ needs, de Wit engineered both the reversible pocket clip and thumb stud to be completely removable to coincide with varying knife laws. “We really pushed and pushed to come as close to Dirk’s design as possible, while remaining within production limits,” says Brester. “I’m pretty sure we caused LionSteel some sleepless nights with all the challenges we proposed to them.”

Grailer 1 Spalted Beech

The Grailer 1 marks the first time a Dirk de Wit design has been widely available in some time. The maker has been honing his craft since 1991, but recent medical problems forced de Wit to relegate knife making to a part-time vocation. The fewer blades he makes today are in high demand across Europe. “His knives have built up quite a reputation in the Netherlands and Germany already, and his attention to detail made sure we did not settle for anything less than a very, very good knife,” Brester notes. “As this was our first production knife it was very important to be able to closely cooperate with the designer in determining what we did and did not want.”

Grailer 1

It took Brester and co. two years to bring the Grailer 1 to fruition, but now that the seal has been broken plans are already in place for follow-ups. “We have now learned so much that the next designs should come out a little sooner,” he says, and tells us that we can expect to see other knife designers under the Grailer label some day. “We are currently exploring new design options together with Dirk, but we are looking forward to working with other ambitious designers as well.”

Knife featured in image: Grailer Knives Grailer 1

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