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Tour the Shop

Handle Department

Arno Bernard Knives is unique in that we process raw materials into finished products. Using exotic elements from the farthest regions of South Africa, we have developed methods to turn the natural materials into beautiful and functional tools.

The handle division of Arno Bernard Knives sets our products apart from other knives because we use a wonderful supply of natural resources and have the experience to turn them into works of art. We’ve invested in the proper equipment and training to allow our knives to be displayed as a part of South Africa that you will be proud to own.

Our handles are not only beautiful but also incredibly tough. All handle material is dried, dyed if needed, stabilized, then shaped to give a comfortable fit when working long hours in the outdoors.

All materials are legally harvested, certified through taxidermists, processed carefully, and imported under the guidelines of the proper authorities.

Machining Department

The Arno Bernard family has been a part of the South African knife making community for over 35 years and has seen the evolution of methods used to produce quality products. We are very proud of our advances in the factory to include the best of modern machinery.

For many years there were two methods of stock removal commonly used by knife makers, forging and grinding. Arno Bernard knives used the grinding method on our knife blanks until 2014 when we purchased a modern CNC mill to rough in the blanks to a point where the hand grinding took over. This greatly increased the accuracy of our designs and allowed us to focus more on the finished product.

Today we employ two USA-made Haas machines for many of our processes including stock removal and fitting for both blades and handles. This increases accuracy and reduces time in the final hand finishing of our knives.

In 2013 we added a ceramic tumbling machine in our factory and the finish is highly resistant to scratches and surface abrasion. This addition to our traditional satin hand finish is an option that is increasingly popular because of the long lasting beauty.

All of our knives are still hand finished on both the blade and handle, along with hand cut and stitched fine quality sheaths to ensure lasting quality.

Modern methods blended with highly trained craftsmen create high quality products for professional hunters, recreational outdoorsmen, and collectors.

Grinding Department

Hand Grinding – The ultimate test of the knife maker’s trade. The most admired and most critiqued of all operations that go into a completed knife.

Arno Bernard Knives are widely acclaimed as not only one of the most graceful of all handmade knives, but also one of the most functional. The experience and skill of the craftsmen in our factory is incredible and this is especially evident in the grinding department.

All knives are touched by one or more of the Bernard family in every department, but the grinding is exclusively managed by Franco Bernard, who personally finishes and sharpens every knife. Franco has developed the attention to detail and the toughness it takes to grind 8-10 hours day. He is not only an artist, but a perfectionist with the tenacity of an ironworker; this is what it takes to become the expert in his chosen profession. Franco personally finishes close to 3500 knives per year!

All grinding department employees must have the skill of a tool and die maker, the vision of an artist, and many hours of training to qualify for a grinding position in our factory.

We continually strive to improve our machinery and process, this is readily seen in the quality of our blades.

Fit and Finish

What visual or physical set of circumstances invokes a first reaction of WOW?

Some salesmen call it ‘the WOW factor”.

Whatever it is, Arno Bernard knives seem to have it.

Great designs, perfect lines, natural materials, precise fits, balance in the hand, attention to industry standards, colors, and many more details that come from thousands of experiences all add up to give our knives great appeal. Our knives are not only beautiful but also functional so everyone from the collector to the Professional Hunter wants to have one.

The fit and finish of a knife is not only functional but also adds to the longevity of the knife. This attention to details is a mark of the great craftsmen in the Bernard family. We labor over decisions concerning steel composition, aesthetics of radius lines, grind lines, colors, looks and durability of handles, and many other details that allow all of us to be proud of each knife. By doing this every day we also hope that our customers are proud to own and use their knives.

We constantly upgrade our machines, processes, and techniques to be assured that we produce the best knives. Our handle material is chosen from South African materials that are proven to not only look good but functions well for years. All of this is necessary but the attention to fit, finish, and quality control really makes us who we are and makes our products stand out.

It is our desire to continue in this direction for generations to come.