The Guild (KGSA) is made up of knife makers with the primary aim of promoting custom knives, encourage ethical business practices, assist with technical aspects of knife making, and to sponsor knife shows.

The Knifemakers Guild of Southern Africa

There are few honours that a knife maker may obtain in a lifetime that will signify to all who see it the commitment to quality, the integrity of business dealings, and the offering of support to their fellow knife makers that the Knifemakers’ Guild standard signifies. Secondly, the Guild provides for peer evaluation and recognition forum. No other system will ever be more objective and valid to truthfully assess quality and performance. Peer recognition is also the most valued acknowledgment of your work.

A Knifemakers Guild member’s work has passed inspection for membership, meets rigorous standards and through other members the encouragement exists to advance that craftsmanship. New members often remark that they view knives in a total new light after admission as for the first time they understand what Guild member knives really look like.

The Guild also works to ensure that when someone comes to own a knife by a Knifemakers Guild member that it is indeed a hand made knife and accurately represented as such.

(current guild member list)

The Annual Guild Show:

The Guild presents an annual Guild show, where Guild members are invited to show their knives. This is a major opportunity to present your knives for peer acknowledgement and to offer your knives for sale to collectors, special guests and members of the public.

Neels Roos Knife Guild of Southern Africa EntryKnives
Example of the 5 knives submitted by Neels Roos for entry to the Knife Makers Guild of Southern Africa.

At the Guild Show, approximately 50 knifemakers exhibit, plus allied crafts and materials and equipment suppliers. All types of knives are usually on display, from miniatures to swords, folders to hunters, art daggers to kitchen utilities. Materials range from hi-tech steels to own forged damascus, mammoth ivory to micarta, and horn, bone and unique African hardwoods. South African knifemakers have developed a deserved reputation for quality at international shows all over the world.

The exhibition runs over two days but is preceded by a ‘preview’ which is held on the Friday before the public exhibition on Saturday. This preview is intended to honour our most loyal supporters and offer the opportunity of inspecting or acquiring items from the current year’s offerings, in a more leisurely and less crowded atmosphere. The attendance is by invitation, is limited in numbers, and is extended on merit, to real enthusiasts. Welcome drinks and snacks are served and a bar service is available. Competition results are announced and the winning knives may be seen and handled, providing a good indication of current achievements and guide to the location of some of the noteworthy items around the hall. This preview invitation will normally be extended to all foreign visitors.

Novice Knife Makers:

Every second year, the Knifemakers Guild of SA hosts a knife making competition for non-Guild members. A design, is given to all who wish to enter. All entries will be displayed at the annual Knifemakers Guild Show. There will be a prize-giving at 1pm on Saturday at the Show.

Become a Guild Member:

Applying for membership of the Knifemakers Guild of South Africa is a major step forward in your knifemaking “career”. Membership of the Guild serves as a guarantee of quality to buyers. Click for information on the evaluation requirements and steps.