Made For Oysters2022-06-15T14:03:32+02:00
Oyster knives on a different level

Modern, elegant and custom made

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My Story

Our family has been growing and fishing oysters for 100+ years in the Netherlands. We fish and grow shellfish in the the Eastern Scheldt region. As a child I happily spent my summers working on our family’s oyster fishing ship. Moreover it’s special to be working out on the water and I look back with great memories.

Growing up, I took an interest in designing and making products. Therefore 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. Most importantly he was lucky that he didn’t hurt himself. However upon investigation I heard more stories about people hurting themselves while shucking oysters. This led me to create a durable and unique custom made oyster knife.

In 2014 I was already into knifemaking, but I chose to specialize in products for oysters. Customers use Emergo Designs shuckers worldwide, from Japan to the United states. In conclusion I can say that I’m very happy with the inspiration of that one broken knife.

Photo by Mechteld Jansen

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The first knife design came forth out a design process with 6 months of development. I made many designs, shapes and concepts that were different from the norm. However I kept sketching and trying because I wanted something better for shucking.

My next step was to make 3 different shaped knife models and test them. I visited local fishermen and restaurateurs to ask for feedback. And I even met an old Dutch champion in the Oyster Opening. This is a competition to see who can open oysters the fastest and most precise. With their feedback, I simply chose a model to optimize. This knife design became the ”original” oyster shucker. Moving forward, the designs and processes for my handmade knives have continuously improved. Moreover, the latest versions even surpassed the first editions.

There method I use to make my shuckers is always improving. Furthermore new machinery has enabled me to enhance the fit and finish of a piece. For instance: the option to put the Emergo Designs logo and a serial number on the knife. Or the addition of a custom made case that fits the oyster opening tool like a glove.

Titanium Hugo knife, Photo by Suzan Fotografie
Jacomina oyster shucker made with Damasteel
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Oyster knives made to last a lifetime

Making the original oyster knife

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CNC milled oyster engraving in the case of the Original knife
Number 32 in a limited edition Oyster knife series

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. But 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. Our workshop that’s located 250 meters from the water. #MadeForOysters

Unique materials and beautiful woods
100% made in Holland with 5 years warranty
Elegant packaging makes this a gift for everyone
Make it personal by adding custom engravings

Watch me make Oyster knife art

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. For instance the #madeforoysters Youtube Series shows the development of the Hugo knife. However by sharing and interaction we learned from a wide audience. Therefore we are not only showing the ups, but also sharing the downs.

My personal deepest point was crashing my brand new Syil X7 cnc machine. But it made for great video content because I had it on film. I love to make and I love to share what I do. Feel free to follow and support the journey!

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Our Articles

Blog Posts and oyster tales

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Want to see your oyster knife being made?

We use Instagram to share our processes and the beautiful knives we finish. However not just the pretty things, but also the ups and downs that come with the striving to perfection.

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Me, Alexander Bol. Photo by Suzan Fotografie
Hugo titanium oyster knife, photo by Lady_oyster

How I started knife making

My wife and I have a very distinct memory of our first camping trip together: Very Cold. We we’re both studying and went camping in Germany with gear we borrowed from our parents. The weather forecast was perfect and we were looking forward to spending time outdoors. But once we arrived it was quite cold and our sleeping gear was not up to the task.

In order to keep warm in the evenings, we asked if we could make a fire. This was okay, but we didn’t have a proper knife to cut and process wood. We survived and once back at home, I started to look for a better knife. Instead I found a YouTube film on how to make knives. It was the start of my new passion that I get to share with customers world wide.

Starting Emergo Designs

In 2014 I founded Emergo Designs while I was still an Engineering student. I had always been making things in my life. From Lego to miniature sailing boats. However, I wasn’t comfortable selling my handwork for a very long time. That all changed when I brought my first oyster knife to market.

I learned knifemaking by researching online and testing it in practice. To create a tool that is useful and lasts long is a great feeling. Moreover if people want to buy that out of respect for your craftsmanship. I’m now past 150 knives and hope to make many more in my career.


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