It is a thing of rare beauty, forged from an admiration of traditional Finnish culture, a love of handicraft and a lifelong passion for the natural world. Koivu is the Finnish word for “birch tree”, pretty appropriate for a business established by a guy who’s spent much of his life in the woods.

Koivu Knives founder Ben Blackwell has a background in practical forestry, tree surgery, woodland management, and permaculture. Spending time managing an area of forest in Finland, he was struck by the beautiful simplicity of Finnish craftsmanship and the creative ingenuity of the people. Along with countless hours on the lake, climbing mossy rocks, and long saunas until the midnight sun, it was inspiration for his bespoke kitchen knives idea.  

Ben wanted to channel his creativity in a way that was both ethical and exciting. Piece by piece his studio came together and the excitement grew, and what began as a hobby of making Finnish puukko bushcraft knives evolved into Koivu Knives. With the business established and his craft in demand, Ben now produces handmade kitchen knives for the chefs and amateur cooks throughout the UK, and further afield.

At the heart of Ben’s work is sustainability, functionality, and a timeless aesthetic. Each knife is created from salvaged materials, locally-sourced and reclaimed wood. The process is meticulous and exact, but the excitement to communicate through the materials shines through the finished product. The craftsman also then becomes a storyteller, each knife coming with the details of each component’s history.