The view of the house and shop as you co

About Keith Nix in Black Mountain 

North Carolina Custom Knife Maker 
Professional Knife Sharpening Service

Hello! I'm Keith, head grinder at Keith Nix Knives. I am a native North Carolina custom knife maker, with The Knifeworks located in Black Mountain. I make high quality custom kitchen knives and handmade outdoor knives of all types, from hunting knives to paring knives, and all purpose belt knives. Fine slicing knives, pig skinners, custom carving knives, boning knives, and heavy use bushcraft knives. Each knife is made by hand from new steel stock purchased from reputable dealers who are well known in the knife community, and who can provide certifications on request. No scrap, recycled, "fleabay", or mystery steel is ever used for knives at Keith Nix Knives.


In 2015 or 2016 I acquired a lovely piece of Birdseye Maple and thought it would be fun to make a knife handle from it. I didn't have a suitable knife so I shopped around and found a company that sells drilled, profiled, and hardened blank knives. "Add your handle and sharpen", so to speak. I ordered a blade, and when it arrived I was amazed it passed this company's quality control process. The bevels were grossly off center to the centerline of the spine of the knife, the pin holes varied by over .010, the hardness was in the mid 50s HRc. It might have made a nice toy, but it wasn't a knife I wanted to carry.

And that $20 blade is what compelled me to embark on this. Being a machinist, I knew I could do better, and I set to studying the art and design, heat treating processes, knife steels, and handle materials. Many thousands of dollars in knife making equipment and machines later, and a bunch of badly ground blades, I actually started making and testing my first blades.

I grew up in Black Mountain, and have roamed and camped these beautiful Southern Appalachian Mountains and valleys, chased waterfalls, waded and fished the creeks, and worked here all my life. My home and knife store are about five miles west of the Eastern Continental Divide, or The Blue Ridge Mountains. The water from the Swannanoa River here in the Valley eventually flows into the Gulf of Mexico via the Mississippi River. On the other side of the Divide the Catawba River flows southeastward, eventually entering SC, becoming the Wateree River and flowing on to the Atlantic Ocean.

My tiny shop and store are located in Black Mountain on the property where I grew up. ying on the north side of the Swannanoa Valley, my mountain views from home are looking south and east across the Swannanoa Valley at High Windy, High Top, Lakey Gap, Sunset (Miami) Mountain and the Swannanoa Mountain range. We sit just about twelve "crow miles" south of Mount Mitchell, the highest peak east of the Mississippi River. Access to the Blue Ridge Parkway is nine miles from home. To this day, the natural beauty of Black Mountain sometimes takes my breath.  


My parents and three out of of four grandparents grew up here in Western North Carolina. So did my aunts, uncles, cousins and siblings. Many of us are still here in Black Mountain, along the Blue Ridge, and my children are here as well. As a child and an adult, we have enjoyed picnics, hikes, and rides along The Blue Ridge Parkway. Now my young grandson is calling Buncombe County home. My roots in Western North Carolina are long and deep. That alone guides me to provide the very best products and services I can. It's simply because quite possibly my client is a friend, neighbor, former schoolmate or coworker, or even a family member, or maybe one person away from knowing me or my family. Because of this you will get the best I have to offer!

"Keith was great to work with! Not only was he quick and professional, the work he did with our broken knife was fantastic! We will be using him in the future and I would highly recommend him!"



Ezra Maille of The Black Mountain News wrote a nice article about Keith Nix Knives. Read it HERE!

Cooper Metts of the CPJW shot a video of my little shop.  View it HERE!

Knife Making Articles HERE!

I started gathering tools and knowledge for this "retirement hobby" of making, sharpening, and repairing knives back in early 2017, and made my first serviceable knife in the fall of 2019. Since I have the specialized tools in my shop already, I offered professional sharpening services for knives and scissors for friends and family. Both jobs have really blossomed, and now I have around six months worth of knives on the books to build, and sharpening projects flowing in regularly. You can visit the gallery of past knife making projects HERE.

I've always had an appreciation for a good knife that does its job well, whatever that job may be. Making a great custom 8 inch chef's knife, or a hand made nakiri, or hunter, or skinning knife in a price range where regular folks like you and I can afford , is something I am constantly striving for.

Working with steel and other metals for the majority of my adult life, as a manual and CNC machinist and tool maker, the jump to custom knives was a natural choice, and I'm constantly working to refine my "process". For example, making or heat treating a batch of five or ten knives is more cost effective and less time consuming "per knife" than making them one at a time. Developing and refining my own skills also saves time and improves quality, as does having and choosing the right tool to perform the task at hand. 

I've studied the science of metallurgy, to raise my understanding of what each element in a particular composition of steel does to the finished product. I've studied deeply the steels I choose to offer for knives, and chose these for their BALANCE of properties, such as toughness, ease of sharpening, potential working hardness, and for stainless steel, stain resistance. At Keith Nix Knives we offer three high carbon steels, two stainless steels, and three tool steels from which to choose for the home kitchen or professional environment! Included are AEB-L, CPM MagnaCut, CPM M4, A2, D2, 52100, 80CRV2, and 26C3.


I've tested heat treating protocols for the steels I use and offer to you. I've done all this in my ovens and I know my ovens' idiosyncrasies. They produce results comparable to the people whose generous teachings have helped me achieve my goals. I am set up to do cryogenic treatment of all the knives I make, because it has been proven that a soak at -320F (yes, 320 BELOW  ZERO) makes every steel stronger, harder, and more abrasion resistant to support sharp keen edges. I use the knowledge I've gained to produce the very best knives possible for folks in Black Mountain and the surrounding area. And I'll share what I know with those interested!



FREE Learning Page HERE!

Learn About Heat Treating HERE!

Learn About Liquid Nitrogen HERE!

Keith Nix Knives also offers Professional Knife Sharpening Services as well as edge and tip repair to individuals and businesses in Asheville, Weaverville, Black Mountain, Old Fort, and Marion, NC. Call or text to book your knife or make your appointment!

Check The Knifeworks Store Now!


Crafted By Hand, Informed By Science!

"I've already put some good use in from working in a professional kitchen with my cleaver and 10" chef knife; also, love the quality, balance, and sharpness. Keith let me pick the wood in for the handles, talked me through blade sizes, and also the edge type that was right for me. All of my coworkers are just as in love with the product as I am, as well I've already been asked by family and friends where to get the high quality craftsmanship that I received. The handles are beyond beautiful, the blades are beyond sharp and strong, and I love how great Keith is with making sure the product meets the person and need for the knife. All around, better than anything I've ever bought from major knife brands!"

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Sharpening Services

Please, PLEASE, don't hesitate to call or text before ordering a product or service online. In order for me to customize your work for you, we need to talk. Email works too, just talk to me!