Oysters are special: They live under the sea and endure years of storms, currents and waves to become a delicacy. These years have made the oyster tough, and you will need a good tool to open it. So why not have an oyster knife that is just as special as the oyster? With an Emergo Designs handmade oyster knife, every oyster you open feels like it has a pearl inside.
This page is all about my oyster knives: the history, the design and how I make them. Emergo Designs makes all the oyster shuckers in the Netherlands, in a workshop that’s located 10 meters from the water. As a one man shop, I’m not always able to ship the knives directly, but that’s because the shuckers are made by hand. An combination of craftsmanship and modern manufacturing.
Alexander Bol, Photo by Mechteld Jansen
As a child, I spent my summers working on our family’s oyster fishing ship. Our family has been growing and fishing oysters for more then a 100 years in the Eastern Scheldt region in the Netherlands. It’s really special to be out on the water and I look back with great memories.
I was also interested in designing and making products. I became an engineer and combined my passion for knife making with my family heritage. In 2014 I developed my first oyster knife. Now my company Emergo Designs makes and sells exclusive knives that ship all over the world.
I’ve always documented my making journey on social media. I have made a lot of video’s about how I make my oyster knives and why mine are special. I love to make and I love to share what I do.
How an oyster knife is made
Every knife that I ship is made by me, and each knife is different because they are made by hand. An oyster knife starts as a piece of RWL34 or Damasteel. I use these materials because they are very rust resistant. The steel is (waterjet) cut and hardened to a hard and springy state where it is perfect for opening oysters.
I then ground the bevels and glue the handles. The material I use is different per model, but it is always a beautiful hardwood that gives a knife character. The final steps are making a case, etching the makers mark and quality control. It takes 8 to 20 hours to make an oyster knife from scratch. I show this in the video below:
Quite new to my workshop is the addition of a CNC router. This computer controlled milling machine is used for making the cases where I ship the oyster knives in. This new case transforms the knife into a beautiful gift to give or receive. It comes with certificates, maintenance oil, a micro fiber cloth and a meranti wood housing. How I use the CNC machine can be seen here:
Photo Gallery of my oyster knives
An overview of some of my work. The knives continuously improve so details might have changed over time. I’ve been making knives since 2013 and this gallery shows some of the many variations that I have made.
Handmade oyster knife models
Emergo Designs offers 3 models of handmade oyster knives. All models have been designed and tested to be the ultimate oyster shuckers. Due too the handmade aspect, the knives have been constantly updated over the years. The end result is 3 knife models that are elegant and give the user confidence while opening an oyster.
Every knife is made to order and there might be a waiting time. If you need a knife before a specific date, please contact my by sending and email first. I will let you know if making the knife before the requested date is possible.
Please also contact me if you would like to add a text, engraving or a logo to the knife blade. I can provide this service to make the oyster shucker even more memorable.
The different oyster knife models:
This is the ”original” oyster knife model and it was designed in 2014. During this time the design has been updated and improved. The most recent update is the addition of the makers mark and the redesign of the exclusive packaging. The new wooden case makes it perfect as a gift. The knife is a limited edion of 50 pieces, made from RWL34 stainless steel and Paduk wood.
This is the Flax fiber handmade oyster knife. The handle is made out of flax, a bio based material. The flax is harvested and dried before it is woven into a cloth. I cut the pieces of cloth and cast the material into epoxy. The result is a pretty and durable biobased oyster knife handle. It is a This oyster shucker will last you a lifetime. With the same elegant lines as the ”original” oyster knife, users will experience confidence while opening the toughest oysters due too the comfortable grip and build quality of the knife.
Named after one of our families fishing ships, this is the Jacomina model. Might it be the most exclusive handmade oyster knife in the world? It features stainless Damasteel damascus steel that has an amazing etched pattern in the steel.
The shape of the Jacomina model is really pointy and sleek. This makes getting the tip of the oyster knife inside the oyster shell really easy. But this shape can only last because of the quality of the used steel. In other knives, the tip would break. This handmade oyster knife combines Dutch design with modern material engineering.
I own many oyster knives so I get to do side by side comparisons. Not only is my E.D. Shucker a stand out in sheer beauty but it’s also extremely functional. The shape of its blade is simply the best I’ve used. It fits the hand and is perfectly shaped for the task it was ingeniously designed to do.
Best oyster knife I have ever bought
July 4, 2019
I saw the youtube video and I knew I wanted an oyster knife. My old knife broke and I definitely don’t want that to happen again. The Emergo Oyster knife is really solid and nicely built. It also perfectly fits my hand which gives me a lot of control. This knife will last a life time.
The wood is also really pretty. I love the red colours and the grain. I’d absolutely recommend buying a knife from Alexander
If you have any questions about my knives, how I make them or about other matters, don’t hesitate to contact me. The preferred way is via Email: