Bryan Baker, Master Cutler at Svord Knives, turned his hobby into a business out of necessity in the 1980s, and has continued to forge a global reputation for making quality and functional handcrafted knives.
The skilled craftsman and his team manufacture knives for a variety of applications, including sporting knives, professional chef knives and peasant knives.
“I started Svord knives in 1981 at age of 19, initially to service the outdoor sporting and chefs knife market,” explains Bryan.
“I created a need for an affordable New Zealand made handcrafted knife that was based on New Zealand preferences, but I also created knife designs that have become classics over time.”
Perfecting the craft
With his early Svord Knives forged individually and therefore expensive, Bryan rethought his production methods and began using the 'stock removal' method.
This involves crafting the knives slowly to shape from a pre-heated and hammered bar stock of steel, as opposed to blacksmithing from scratch.
Svord Knives soon carved a niche in the sports market, with attractive, affordable, handmade outdoor knives.
Bryan built his own hardening and tempering plant where he and his team are based, in Waiuku. All Svord knives are treated and tempered in their plant, producing a strong and durable blade.
“I am proud to offer meaningful employment in the manufacturing sector, with well paid jobs,” says Bryan.
Svord Knives are now available throughout New Zealand, including in over 80 sports stores, as well as across Australia and the United States and a number of other countries.
“We take pride in offering the New Zealand public, through our 160+ retailer network, a Kiwi made alternative and a point of difference,” says Bryan.
Kiwi made difference
Svord Knives had been a licence holder with Buy New Zealand Made in the past but decided to rejoin in 2020.
“Due to the Covid-19 lockdown last year I had time to reflect and I liked the new look of the logos and the motivation and energy of the Buy New Zealand Made Campaign,” says Bryan.
Svord Knives proudly use the “New Zealand Made” Kiwi trademark in the form of stickers and swing tags to accompany their products. Bryan credits the Kiwi trademark as a factor for helping them get through the last 18 months of disruption.
“Our dealer network really likes it, everyone is really positive about our use of the stickers and swing tags, right through to the end user.”
“This has been one of a few factors that have increased our local sales in the later half of 2019 right through to now.”
Find Svord Knives at your local Hunting & Fishing store or make a query online.
The “New Zealand Made” Kiwi trademark stickers and swing tags are available for Kiwi trademark licence holders to purchase online from $10.50 / 1000.