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  • Writer's picturePeter Smith

The Leather Craftsman's Knife

Updated: Feb 14, 2023

The Leather Craftsman's Round Knife is my go to knife when I want to cut, skive, split, v-gouge and belt ends, bevel, cut shapes and rounded corners and more.

Cornelius Smith of Smit Knives is a renowned knife maker and has a worldwide reputation.

When I ordered this knife, I did not expect to receive such a beautiful work of art. Cornelius not only made a knife, but added embellishments.

First off, Cornelius has not made one of these before. I sent a couple of photos and dimensions and a video of how it is held in the hand and used. Cornelius, like any good artisan, was able to translate what I was asking for to what I was expecting - and more.

The blade is chisel shaped, an essential when cutting through thicker leather. The handle is Snakebean - a native tree in Zimbabwe with a beautiful mosaic pin - and I really don't know how he does that but it is stunning. What's more, Cornelius has sandwiched a very thin white (dunno what material it is) lining between the handle and steel. A shaped brass bolster elegantly ties the design from handle to blade.

He has etched the steel used, the manufacturing date and elephant on one side and on the other - the surprise I did not expect my name on the other along with his logo, which has not changed since I first saw Cornelius's work back in the mid 1980's.

This is a serious piece of equipment not to be used and handled carelessly. As Cornelius claims - it cut him four times whilst he was making it! Like it jumped up and cut him!

This round knife is not just a practical instrument. It is a work of art and a showcase of fine craftsmanship, detail and quality and a work of art that I am so proud to use!

In a later post, I will show this knife in action.

Thanks Corn and Sarah for your love.

You will see wonderful work from Smith Knives on Facebook or on their website.

Round Knife - side one
Round Knife - side one

Round Knife - side two
Round Knife - side two

Round knife with etched elephant
Showing Elephant, date made and steel

Round knife with makers mark and owners name
Showing makers mark and my name
Round knife showing mosaic pin
Showing the mosaic pin

Round knife with white lining
White lining between the wood and steel

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