Our Story

We are proud to introduce the Herbst Knife-making Academy.

We are a HIGHLY SKILLED TEAM that is PASSIONATE about knives and knife-making. We privide an UNIQUE knife-making EXPERIENCE, offering BEST IN THE INDUSTRY CUSTOMER SUPPORT. Our machines are SUPERIOR and we only stock QUALITY products. Our training courses are of the HIGHEST STANDARD. In short, if you want to take your knife-making skills to the next level, you came to the RIGHT PLACE!.


HERBST KNIFE-MAKING ACADEMY develops and promotes the art of handmade knives as a hobby or business. We are located in the northern suburbs of Pretoria, South Africa, where knives are handcrafted by Gawie and Thinus Herbst.

Gawie and Thinus are both award-winning members of the Knife-makers Guild of Southern Africa. They have received several awards for their outstanding designs and craftsmanship. All the designs and materials used in the production of HERBST knives are reflective of the uniquely rich South African environment.

Not only do we make exceptional knives but we also have knife-making courses available that is completely hands-on. One can choose between three different courses during which you will have the opportunity to learn how to design and make your own knife. These courses include a fixed-blade knife-making course, a basic folder knife-making course (Slip-back) and a liner-lock folder knife-making course.

HERBST KNIFE-MAKING ACADEMY is also one of the leading manufacturers of knife-making machines, tools and contact wheels for the hobbyist who is serious about his craft and the professional knife maker.

Furthermore, when purchasing any product from the HERBST KNIFE-MAKING ACADEMY you will receive a comprehensive support service that includes supplies to start you off in the knife-making world.

Meet Our Team

Gawie Herbst

Gawie Herbst

Gawie started to make knives as a hobby in 1985.

His passion and love for this hobby inspired him to pursue this as a career in 1998.

Gawie is an extremely talented knife-maker. He is constantly looking for more creative ways to improve his skill as a knife maker. He is the first knife-maker to master decorative laser-cutting through blades. Gawie is particularly known for his spectacular African designs, especially the designs of the Big Five.

Since he started his career as a knife-maker he won frequent awards for his marvellous knives and became a member of the Knife-makers Guild of Southern Africa in 2001. He won the prize for the Best Newcomer on the Guild Show that year.

Gawie and his son, Thinus, started the Herbst Knife-making Academy with great success. To date, hundreds of students attended knife-making courses presented by the Academy. Gawie is also well known for being a trendsetter in the knife-making industry. As there is a very limited variety of knife-making equipment available in South Africa, he decided to design and manufacture his own unique range of highly specialized knife-making machines. These machines became very popular among the true hobbyist and professional knife-maker. Today he is one of the leading manufacturers of knife-making machines in the world.

Gawie believes in PROVERBS 22:29: “Do you see a man who excels in his work? He will stand before kings; He will not stand before unknown men” and this is evident through his work.

Thinus Herbst

Thinus Herbst

Since a very young age Thinus was exposed to the art of knife-making by his father, Gawie. After completing high school he decided to join Gawie from whom he learned the intricacies of this art form. Together they built a well equipped, state-of-the-art workshop from where they make products of a very high standard.

He won 3 first prizes during the annual Durban Easter Knife Show and he became a Guild member in 2001 where he won the Nick Grabe trophy for the best new knife-maker. After this Thinus blossomed into a talented knife maker. His knives draws attention at every competition, exhibition and show that he enters. Thinus won numerous awards and prizes during the next several years.

His specialization is fixed blades, folders, knife sets, art knives and swords. Thinus has a passion for 3D etch work where he uses acid on his blades. These knives are truly unique masterpieces. These knives are highly in demand by national and international knife collectors.

Thinus also does beautiful leatherwork for several knife-makers in South-Africa.

Photos and articles about his work have been published worldwide in magazines and books that includes 500 Knives, Blade magazine, Knife Illustrated and the Knife-makers Annual Yearbook.

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