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Interview with Boris Manasherov

The designs of the Israeli knife designer Boris Manasherov are always highly practical and adapted to the requirements of modern utility knives.

What was your first contact with knives?

First of all, I have to admit: Knives are my great and first love. My family's traditional profession was shepherd. So I was born in an environment where the knife was a tool. My father, who was a mechanical engineer and interested in metallurgy, was also a big fan of knives. So you could say that my first encounter with knives was right when I was born.

When did you make your first knife?

I started designing and making knives amateurishly in 1976 as a teenager under the guidance of my father. Since then I have developed many unique styles for myself.

Since when have you been working as a custom knife maker?

Unfortunately, due to lack of time, I do not work as a custom knifemaker. I am a water technology engineer, an expert in ergonomics and accessibility for disabled people. Therefore, I have very little time for other things.

What profession did you learn or used to do?

As already mentioned, I am a civil engineer specialising in water technologies, as well as the development of ergonomics and technologies of accessibility for disabled people. I also have military and civilian qualifications in Urban Warfare and KRAV-MAGA.

Is there anyone you would call your mentor?

Of course, there have been many people from whom I have learned a lot. The first of them is my father. From him and my father's friends I learnt everything about steels and steel processing. My family members taught me how to work with knives and my instructors taught me the various martial arts. I was also able to learn from many veteran knifemakers whose work I loved.

Where do you see your greatest talent as a knifemaker?

I see no other talent in me than in many other knifemakers. In each one I see a love of knives, a desire to continue learning the skills and a desire to add a personal aspect to the oldest profession in the history of human civilisation, knifemaking.

Where do you get your inspiration from?

The design principles can come from different sources. Often they are themes that interest me, such as history, animals, birds, cars, architecture and the like. The functional ideas always come from my professions, martial arts, military and nature travel.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

I enjoy every phase of my work. In general, I love everything I do and do everything I love. I think I'm a pretty lucky guy.

What should you start with if you want to make your own knife?

I don't really know what to recommend to others, but I would say what I told my son a few years ago: "Do what you really love. Be yourself and learn all about it." Everything else will come.

What does a typical working day of yours look like?

My working day is relatively long: it starts at 7:00 am in my engineering office and focuses on technical planning and work management of the office staff. After that, I turn to the work I enjoy the most, namely knife design. My working day ends at 8 pm, after which I am free for my family, friends and free time. Is it easy to order a custom knife from you? Unfortunately, there is no way to order a custom knife from me. I don't have the time and I don't want to commit myself and run the risk of not being able to fulfil the commitment.

What are you working on at the moment?

At the moment I am working on a series of tactical pocket knives with specific backpacker features. I am also developing a series of pocket and fixed blade knives for martial artists.

Do you sometimes get too much from knives?

Not yet and I don't think this will happen for a while.

And what about your wife? Does she share your passion for knives?

Everyone in my family shares my great love of knives. That even includes the grandchildren. It's probably a "genetic business".

Do you have enough time for other things besides your varied work as a knife maker?

I don't have much free time. But I always make sure that I take time every day for more things outside of work. I also devote my weekends only to spending time with my family.

What do you do in your free time for relaxation and recreation?

Twice a week I practise Krav Maga and shooting. I like to visit selected art and design exhibitions and occasionally a theatre or concert. Of course, I also like to meet friends or read a lot of books. All these things help me relax and unwind.

What can you not do at all?

Getting involved in politics.

What would you get up in the middle of the night for?

Definitely for any request or need from my family or friends. It also often happens that an idea comes to me in the middle of the night. I get up in the middle of the night and document it.

Is there anything else you would like to share with our clients?

I want them to know that I respect and love each and every one of them. I am very happy when they love my knives. It is very important for me that they like to write to me to express their personal opinion, good or bad, about my designed knives. By doing so, they help me to improve my designs.

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