When it comes to making big knives that work for a living, there is none better than Mikkel Willumsen. As a full-time custom knife maker from Copenhagen, Denmark, Mikkel’s style has gained a lot of notoriety in the market. In fact, he’s one of those makers that will sell out at a knife show during the first day. Describing his work and company as “Urban Tactical,” he likes to mix classic designs with modern ingenuity to create works of art that work. Granted, some of his knives won’t win a beauty contest but for those who appreciate hand craftsmanship mixed with simplicity and heavy-duty build, then Mikkel may just be your maker.
The knife bug has been with Mikkel for many years. As a child he was an avid knife collector, acquiring anything he could get his hands on that had a sharp edge. After graduating college as a teacher for metal and woodworking, he decided that knife making should be his future. Since then he’s made his living creating his own style of custom fixed blades, folders and balisongs. And if that mixture is not enough, he recently started working with Nikolaj Kirk to refine a Willumsen kitchen knife series. He likes to work with a variety of materials, with his favorite steel being RWL-34, a “powder” steel made in Sweden that has a very fine grain structure and good edge retention. For his classy knives he uses Damasteel, a stainless Damascus made from RWL-34 and PMC-27. He finishes out his work by applying G10, Carbon Fiber, or Micarta handles, and then topping it off with that extra attention to detail that separates a great custom maker from a good one.
When it comes to making big knives that work for a living, there is none…
by Lawrence Heiskell, M.D. / May 1, 2008