The Story of My Handmade Oyster Knives

Here begins the story of oysters: we all know that these sea creatures are special: They live under the sea and endure years of storms, currents, and waves to become a delicacy. These years have made the oysters quite tough, and you will need a good tool to open them.

Why not have a personalized knife that is 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.

My knives are a combination of craftsmanship and modern manufacturing. I’m very open about how I make my knives and I make short films to share my methods. I’ve always documented my making journey on social media. I have made a lot of videos about how I make my oyster knives and why mine they are special. I love to make and I love to share what I do.

My name is Alexander Bol from the province of Zeeland in The Netherlands, and I would love to make an oyster knife for you.

Handmade oyster knives by Emergo designs
Alexander Bol, Photo by Mechteld Jansen

Why Oysters?

Our family has been growing and fishing oysters for 100 years in the Eastern Scheldt region in the Netherlands, and as a child, I happily spent my summers working on our family’s oyster fishing ship. It’s really special to be out on the water and I look back with great memories.

Ye 123, the oyster fishing vessel of our familie where I spent my summer holidays growing oysters.
Ye 123, the oyster fishing vessel of our family where I spent my summer holidays growing oysters.

Growing up, I took an interest 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.

On a fine Sunday afternoon, my dad broke his cheap oyster shucker. He was lucky that he didn’t hurt himself, and stories about people unsuccessfully shucking oysters led me to create a durable handmade oyster knife.

I was already designing and making knives at the time and decided right that moment to develop a safer, more durable handmade opener for oysters.

Now my company Emergo Designs proudly makes and sells exclusive oyster opening tools that ship all over the world. To see more of the various handmade knife models that I made, please scroll down a little to see the link below.

https://madeforoysters.com/handmadeoysterknifemodels/


The Design

The first knife design came forth out a design process with 6 months of development, followed by multiple designs that are engineered using CAD (computer-aided modeling).

The next step was to make 3 different shaped knife models and test them. I visited local fishermen, restaurateurs and even an old Dutch champion in the Oyster Opening. This is a competition to see who can open oysters the fasted and most precise.

With their feedback, I simply chose a model to optimize the knife’s design which became the ”original” oyster shucker. Moving forward, the design and processes for my handmade knives have continuously improved and even surpassed the first version.

There have been changes in methods too, and new machinery has greatly enabled me to improve the fit and finish in every piece. Part of the changes was the option to put the Emergo Designs logo and a serial number on the knife.

The Differences Between Oyster Knives and Kitchen Knives

A chef’s knife designed for cutting vegetables has a vertical orientation. The blade is vertically designed and you hold the knife in a way that the edge is oriented downward.

It’s quite different with a shucking knife for oysters: the blade needs to be designed horizontally for both comfort and control when opening an oyster. My high-quality steel shuckers have very pointy ends for easy entry into the hard shell, which would break an ordinary steel knife tip.

These handmade oyster knives are a combination of elegant aesthetics with seamless integration of material choice and functional shape.

Making A Handmade Opener for Oysters

The handmade oyster knife that I make is made of the beautiful Damasteel or the RWL34 steel. Both materials are made with superior powder metallurgy technology. This makes the blade extremely rust-resistant and resilient against cracking. An the excellent choice of steel for my knives.

Read more of the forged and folded Damasteel’s amazing patterns on their website.

When making an oyster opening tool , I proceeded next to ground the bevels and glue the hardwood handles. The thoroughly selected wood used in the knives’ handles certainly adds character and richness to the handmade shucker.

You can watch how I make my handmade oyster knife in the video below:

The Process

With years spent in experimenting, I now have found an oiling process that makes wooden handles absolutely gorgeous The final steps are making a case, etching the maker’s mark and quality control. It takes 8 to 20 hours to make an oyster knife from scratch.

Quite new to my workshop is the addition of a CNC router. A computer-controlled milling machine (CNC). I use it for making elegant high quality packaging to match to the knife.

This new case transforms the knife into a beautiful gift to give or receive. It comes with certificates, maintenance oil, a microfiber cloth in a meranti wood housing.

How I use the CNC machine can be seen here:

These custom-made shucking knives for oysters make an excellent addition to your kitchen tools. Want this as a gift? Check out my other oyster openers here.

Panel 1

Photo Gallery of My Oyster Knives

This gallery will give an overview of some of the oyster shuckers that I made over the last few years. The knives have continuously improved and details might have changed to the knife. The most recent variations of my work can be found on my Instagram page where I try to post weekly updates.

My Handmade Knives For Oysters

Shucking Tools, Made For Oysters

Emergo Designs offers three unique oyster shuckers. An overview page can be found here. Whether you’re a chef, a knife collector, or simply a fan of seafood — you’ve found the perfect tool for oysters.

I make many different variations of my knives, as shown in the gallery. Please note that all base models can be adjusted to your wishes.:

-A engraving on the knife, for instance with text or a logo.

-Different handle materials, for instance other woods or materials with a special meaning.

-Fully customized oyster knives with a different model. Exclusively for companies, perhaps a promotional gift.

If you would be interested in a customized version of my opening tools, please send me an email here.

Panel 2

Handmade Oyster Shucker Models

Emergo Designs offers 3 models of handmade oyster shuckers. All models have been designed and tested to be the ultimate oyster opening tools. Because they are made piece by piece, the design is constantly improved. The end result is 3 knife models that are elegant and will 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 this is possible. Sometimes I have stock of an alternative model and I post these on Etsy.

My company, Emergo Designs, proudly makes and sells exclusive shucking tools for oysters that ship all over the world. To see more of the variations of handmade knife models that I made, please click here.

Emergo Designs’ Oyster Knife Models

What Comes With The Knives?

The goal was simple: to be able to use a tool for oysters that won’t break the tip and won’t cause hand injury. Also: it has to look amazing! That is why I try to make it a complete package. The whole experience of getting the knife and opening an oyster should feel like ”every oyster has a pearl inside”.

Part of this is also in the unpacking experience. Therefore each knife comes with a beautiful wooden case and certificates of authenticity. This because all Emergo designs shuckers are a numbered edition.

The packaging of the Jacomina oyster knife. It is inspired by a Dieter Rams design and this is one of the items that I make with a CNC router.
The packaging of the Jacomina oyster knife. It is inspired by a Dieter Rams design and this is one of the items that I make with a CNC router.

Also included is a wrapper, protective oil and a micro fiber cloth. It will last you a lifetime, and therefore it is also perfect to give to someone special. It will last a life time and to back this up, each handmade oyster shucker comes with 5 years of warranty.

Panel 3

Reviews and Contact

Review section

Here are some reviews of customers. Please leave a review if you have bought one of my knives!

Work of Art

5.0 rating
July 5, 2019

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.

Jeff D.

Best oyster knife I have ever bought

5.0 rating
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

Hans. B

Contact me

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:

The email address is:

info@emergo-designs.nl

Or call me at 0031 614 272 200

Emergo Designs is located in the province of Zeeland in the Netherlands. The postal address is:

Emergo Designs
Ketelkade 181
4463LB
Goes
The Netherlands