Sardinian knives

Sardinia (Sardegna in Italian language) is an Italian island in the middle of Tyrrhenian Sea.

It’s a land known for its beautiful landscapes, its crystal waters and for the strong sense of belonging and autonomy of its population. People of Sardinia maintain indeed a strong identity in their language and in many peculiar traditions.

Sardinia is a land of knives, beautiful knives integrating utility and elegance. Many people still work there as breeders and the knife has always been a loyal companion for every shepherd in his working days and sometimes, in past times, to solve personal issues. As in other Italian regions, knives have here acquired even the role of a social status symbol.

Sardinian knives have sometimes been influenced by Spanish and Italian models, but they have always been reinterpreted both esthetically and in manufacturing techniques. Sardinan craftsmen are in fact among the most creative knives producers and they are able to create new forms without slipping into unnecessarily complicated lines. Time has then selected the best models delivering them to our times.

One of the most impressive elements in the production of Sardinian knives is the contrast between the simplicity of the materials, the production tools and the elegance of the finished product.

Sardinian knives

Some of the elements that distinguish Sardinian knives are:

 – In ancient models there is a monolithic handle built in a single piece using a mutton or muffle horn, sometimes banded at the two ends with metal stripes (often brass or nickel silver)

  – In newer models the handle has a peculiar structure: two scales made of mutton or muffle horn, fixed with a row of pins on a metal element called anima or archetto that holds them together at the right distance to accommodate the blade. This metal element can be easily confused with a spring but while a spring has its functionality in elastic behavior, in this case the metal element is fixed without any possibility of movement. It has the function to reduce the natural movements of the horn (eg by humidity) and to provide a strong foothold to the blade in opening position. This handle structure provides thos knives with a mix of strength, typical of metal stucture handles, and lightness.

Sardinian knife handle

 – In most models there isn’t a blade lock to  fix the blade in open position. This because Italian laws prohibited the production of this type of knives in 1871.

 – The metal bands, if present, are often engraved with geometric patterns in a process called pintadura.

Sardinian knife makers

Sardinan craftsmen are very prolific and balance their production between a sort of mystical respect for the ancient masters’ canons and a great creativity, so that new models and  personal interpretations are created every year.

In the list below we only propose models consolidated over time, with well-identifiable features.

Sardinians knives – List of models

Here you can find pictures of Sardinian knives

Do you want to read about other regions knives?