Keith Nix in the Keith Nix Knives Shop Door

About Keith Nix Knives: Local Knife Maker

How We Operate

"My kitchen knives were so dull they wouldn’t cut anything without effort. Keith sharpened them and they’re better than new. Service was quick, easy and reasonably priced. Easy location in Black Mountain. I highly recommend him!"



Black Mountain NC knifemaker Keith Nix Knives makes custom chef's knives, cleavers, petite chef's, and hunting/outdoor knives. We have an ever growing group of hunting and outdoor knives especially for the camper/hiker/backpacker/hunter/fisher. I offer professional, precise knife sharpening, blade and scissors sharpening, and knife edge repair for customers and businesses in and around Black Mountain, Asheville, Weaverville, and Greater Western NC.

Black Mountain News Article on Keith Nix Knives

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This is a one employee custom knife making operation with outside support. I purchase the steel, design and make all the custom knives, choose or help you choose the handle material, heat treat, grind, polish, and sharpen your custom knife, to very exacting specifications. Likewise, ALL sharpening jobs are performed by me, and all sharpening is finished by hand with a progression of diamond stones. 

My son Micah is now joining me in the shop one day a week, to assist with build and assembly of knives. My daughter Sarah has become my "Marketing and Social Manager", assisting with research, developing the newsletter, and posting the great pictures you see on social media.

My friend Curtis Cooper makes each sheath by hand, fitting every custom knife perfectly, assists in preparing blades for the heat treat oven, and helps with handle finishing. My friends at Precision Graphics laser etch the logos, embroider caps and apparel, and print T-shirts, forms, receipts, etc. My daughter Sarah Nix and her fiancé Justin Askew have provided some wonderful photos and videos. My friend Ortencia "Tez" Garcia helps with web design and hopefully some future photography. Cooper Metts and The Carolina Photo Journalism Workshop spent most of a week with me making a very professional short video, view it HERE!

Can you see where this is going? I get to make knives, which I love doing, and hang out and do a little business with people I ENJOY being around! Great job, right??
View styles and prices at the Shop HERE!

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Why A Keith Nix Knives Blade?

I take great pains in getting the geometry right on your knife, whatever it will be used for.
The geometry of your new knife is to me the single most important part of a new knife. Camp knives require more robust blades and edges than chef's knives or veggie choppers like a nakiri. Kitchen knives should be thin, in my opinion. I believe mass producers make knives way thicker than they need to be in order to make them "feel" like they're high quality, and as a safeguard against warranty claims. I wonder why we associate weight with quality.

I get the heat treat right on your knife. 
This is a critical part of custom knife making. My ovens are digitally controlled and my heat treat protocols are proven, tested, retested, and repeatable. Many "knife makers" don't even own a hardness tester, and can only guess what they're selling you. A long description makes it sound like sorcery, but it boils down to a couple of simple rules:

1) Make the knife hard enough to do the job at hand through hundreds of uses. For me, that is almost always harder than 60HRc
2) Make the knife ductile enough to survive the job at hand, through hundreds of uses. This requires tempering at least twice

for the right time, at the right temperature.

3) Grind the bevels and sharpen the blade appropriately for its intended purpose!

I don't mind adding extra steps to the heat treat protocol for a steel if I know it will benefit the end product for the long term. 

Learn the basics of Heat Treating HERE, and why I use Liquid Nitrogen HERE!

I have lots of unique, beautiful, exotic and locally salvaged and responsibly sourced wood!  
When people look at your knife, the vast majority will see the handle first. In fact it may be all they really look at. Check out some of the handle materials I offer HERE!

My handle design fits your hand.

I chose a handle design that nestles into your hand, has a palm swell for grip, and offers ZERO square corners or edges to create "hot spots" in your hand with prolonged use. It isn't the easiest to produce, but it's comfortable and attractive! 

I hand sharpen an extremely keen edge on your knife.
I've never seen any factory knife with an even, hand sharpened edge. They're machine ground, usually freehand, and usually very poorly. Whether you're purchasing a custom knife or using the professional sharpening service, your knife will receive a hand finished, 3000 grit, hair shaving, leather stropped edge.  

All the handmade chef's and kitchen knives at Keith Nix Knives are made from AEB-L stainless, unless you specifically ask  for a different steel. AEB-L has a great balance of properties and exceptional toughness, along with good stain resistance and ease of sharpening. To learn more about AEB-L chef's knives, Read THIS Blog Post !

Your NC custom chef's knife will be made by me in Black Mountain, just minutes from Asheville, Hendersonville, Weaverville, Candler, or Marion. Give me a call or stop by! 

Click here to visit the Store Page