Connoisseur's Delight - Palli the Knife Maker
Connoisseur's Delight
Hand-made knives by Palli are treasured across the world

Carefully carved out of diligently researched and prepared materials, often rare and always unusual, Palli's knives are now found in at least 85 countries of the world. When he makes a special knife, there can be quite a competition to own it.

Born from enthusiasm
Palli started carving knife handles over 25 years ago as a personal hobby. He enjoyed finding unusual materials to create the handles and took delight in carving each one carefully to match the individual blades.

Under the blade

Visit his workshop and you will most likely find yourself seated right under a collection of blades magnetically held to a bar on the ceiling above you. None has fallen yet! A true craftsman, he always chooses the best blades, sourcing them from as far away as Pakistan. Others come from blacksmith in Denmark. Factory made blades come from Norway, Sweden and Germany. They are either made from fine Damascus steel, stainless steel or single high carbon steel: which keeps its sharp edge the best.

Nature's provision
What is special about these handles? Palli loves to wander the countryside, looking for new materials for his handles. Often, he will blend different materials together to form a composite handle that, when carved, will be unique. A horse's hoof, a reindeer's antler, a goat's horn, a hippo's tooth, elm, fossilized wood, ebony or even different Icelandic stones - these are but a few of the materials he uses to create a handle. Whilst most are found within Iceland's shores, his search also takes him to many different parts of the world.

The Patience of a Master
Sometimes, materials will require special treatment if they are to last and that can take time. Some woods need to dry slowly or they will split. Others, such as the fossilized tree he pulled from the water that was turning into brown coal, need more patient treatment. In this case, he wrapped it in plastic and for the next 6 years, he daily pricked a tiny hole in the covering to let just a bit more air in to dry it. Had he done it faster, it would have splintered and crumbled to dust. Such is the thought and care applied to each individual material that each handle stands out as carrying the touch of a master craftsman, a quality much sought-after.

Custom or catalogue - all are unique

Because each knife is hand made, it is a unique creation. He does have a catalogue but the images are just samples, as no knives are completely identical. He loves the challenge of experimenting with new materials. A 65 year-old dentist drill is pressed into use for intricate carvings. They can be ordered online or, in Iceland, can be found at Brynja, the handyman shop on Laugarvegur 29, Reykjavik's main shopping street and at his workshop in Mosfellsbær. It's worth the 15 minute trip there (from down town Reykjavík) to see the environment from which he draws his inspiration in his workshop next to the Álafoss waterfall.


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