CNI Knives - Colin Nicol

Introducing Colin Nicol of CNi Knives

Colin lives with his wife and two daughters in Tapanui, Southland, in the old BNZ bank building. 'It is close to hunting, fishing and is a bit of a peaceful place in this hectic modern world.'

Colin began making knives many years ago after a knife he had purchased broke while dressing an animal.

'I thought “I will make my own, shouldn’t be too hard!” ... Now, twenty years later I feel I am finally getting my own style and level of work to where I had hoped it would be so long ago.'


One of the most special knives he has crafted, was made for his wedding (twentieth anniversary at the Auckland Blade Show!) to cut the wedding cake. The blade was made from an old file, It was annealed in the open fire and shaped entirely using hand tools. And you can bet he still has it tucked away safely. 

'The first knifemaking book I ever read was by David Boye and it convinced me to give it a go. Luckily, I have received tons of help along the way from the likes of Bill Reddiex (a very no-nonsense approach), Brent Sandow (how to hollow grind) and Richard van Djik (fit and finish and embellishment).' 


'These guys all shared their time and expertise and allowed me to make fewer mistakes and higher quality knives. I have also been to previous Blade Shows in Auckland and raided the brains of everyone there.'

Colin mainly makes knives using stock removal from old band saw blades and circular saw blades. He has also forged cable Damascus and other material such as files and likes a bit of blacksmithing as well. Complementing these materials Colin uses locally sourced timber and deer antler for is handles. From grinding the blade to stiching the sheath, all the work done on a CNi Knife is by Colins hand.


The logo I designed is a bit of a knife nerd pun. CNi are Carbon and Nickel (often found in knives), and my name is C Nicol….so a wee joke!