DCI Knife maker - Niko Nicolaides
My journey making knives started when I was 19, as a hobby between going to college and working in restaurants. I was studying Advanced Manufacturing Processes with plans to move into studying Manufacturing Engineering when I happened to stumble on knifemaking videos on YouTube.
What I did next was spend hours on YouTube and school CAD software trying to figure out how to design, machine and make a folding knife… ultimately I bought a handful of tools from Harbor Freight to try and hack it in my back yard and that’s where Nicolaides Knives started! I quickly shifted to learning how to forge knives; crafting myself a small coal forge from an old BBQ grill and a hairdryer to heat up steel and a piece of railroad track as a anvil.
I had a good amount of metalworking experience from all my classes in high school and college but forging was completely new to me. So I went back and watched countless hours on YouTube to learn all I could, as well as spending a lot of time in my little shop making mistakes and figuring it out my way. After some time I switched out the BBQ grill for a propane forge and was able to find an anvil at an auction and started upgrading my shop. Over the last 5 years I’ve made a lot of changes to my shop and the way I make knives, finding my own style along the way.
Making the knives
All of my knives are made by hand and start as simple pieces of steel, wood or other handle materials, but when thoughtfully crafted can take on a whole new form.
The thing about knifemaking that really hooked me was forging, and for each and every knife forging is still my favorite part. Making Damascus steel or pattern welded steel was one of the many things that I’ve taught myself over the years and it has become one of the most intriguing parts of knifemaking for me.
The ability to move and manipulate steel into different shapes and patterns is so fascinating to me! With every knife a lot of attention is put into having not only a functioning tool but also something that has a very cohesive feel. I want my knives to excite people when they see the patterns and handle materials but also feels good in the hand while you use it. With each and every custom piece there’s the drive to push what I can do creatively and make the best preforming tool I can.
Read more: www.nicolaidesknives.com