Noze Pribram 2022

For 31 years already, the first weekend of September is dedicated to Nože Příbram, the national knife exhibition in the Cultural House in Příbram, Czech Republic. Two covid years slowed the show down but did not stop it. This year, Nože Příbram was held again unrestricted.
Text and pictures: Martin Helebrant

In comparison with the 2021 edition, the show itself was not much bigger; 90 exhibitors from 2021 grew to only 93 in 2022. The crowd in 2021 was 1500 visitors and it grew to almost 2000 in 2022. What has changed significantly is the consistence of exhibitors. The trend of 2021, that the “old guard – ancienne garde” (gentlemen like Brixí, Hons, Pajl and others) is disappearing was confirmed in 2022. The “middle guard –guarde médian” stayed strong, and  the “haute coutellerie – high cutlery” is slowly but surely taking over the rule (Ševeček, Jarý, Kurota, Dachs and others). The “young guard – jeune guarde” arrived in 2022 to Příbram in numbers exceeding the previous experience. And they brought very mature, well-made cutlery. Works of gentlemen like Adamuška, Šrom, Hájek are a pleasure to examine and a serious temptation for purchase.
This year there were fewer folding knives than in previous years, the scope being much more on fixed blades. Above them all there were two magnificent replicas of Viking swords. The first one made from “home melted” wootz is work of Mr. Aleš Karban the (he was awarded for this sword on Hefaiston 2022), the second sword was made by Radim Dachs. His sword is rather an inspiration than a replica since the blade and the sword are from a contemporary carbon damask consisting of modern steel.  Running shoulder to shoulder with these two were the Japanese swords by Pavel Bolf, excellent made, including artistic tsuba (hilt), grip wrap and furniture. Last but not least: gothic style, perfectly functional swords were offered by Pavel Leier – a traditional exhibitor and respected producer of arms and armor for re-enactors. The list of fighting paraphernalia can be finished by replicas of Great War trench knives by Kovo Kotěra.
Two magnificent replicas of Viking swords, shown by Aleš Karban (left) and Radim Dachs.

Swords by Pavel “Bivoj” Leier.

Replicas of Great War trench knives by Kovo Kotěra Hubený. The steel is 14260, the handles are
(from top to bottom) oak, oak and walnut.

 This year there were many double-edged daggers, surprisingly many, which fit nicely to the swords mentioned above. Mostly made from carbon damask, they presented a high degree of craftmanship even when made by newcomers to the show. Good examples of these daggers are the works of masters Švec, Vaněk, Kořínek or Adamuška.
In previous years, the general trend were knives with a relatively broad blade. This year there were many slim, almost filet blades such as those presented by masters Dabakyan or Vaněk. Also there was a good presence of simplistic cutters - kiridashi or small neck knives.
Another trend I noticed for some period is the increasing number of makers who rely on the CNC cutters and grinders. It was strong and clearly visible on folding knives, now I noticed this trend also with the fixed blades. Knives of master Hájek are a good example of the trend.
There were fewer material suppliers than in previous years –Jatagan, the major Czech knife material supplier was absent. Their place on the show was taken by Slovakian supplier Na nože (For knives) which had a good offering of steel billets but only a limited range of grip materials and other stuff. There were no suppliers of grinders, only grinding belts were offered by the Piskač corporation. At least there were present makers of premium stainless damask billets Futuron Forge with a new set of patterns, including billets with a Magnacut core. Another offer of steel billets was on the table of František Štraub, an exclusive distributor of Damasteel A. B. On the other hand – it seems that the number of knifemakers that masters the art of making carbon damask blades is increasing as well as the quality of these blades. For the first time, I noticed knifemakers that are using carbon damask blades made by someone else.
The Futuron Forge table and products.

There was a limited presence of masters from abroad. Russians did not come for the obvious reason of the conflict in Ukraine. There were only two Polish masters, about three of four Slovaks. But there are some things you can take for granted, eg. Polaris (Alpha Ursae Minoris) is in the north. Such a Polaris of the Příbram exhibition was table of Hungarian master Janos Madaras. His production is not over expensive and on his table you can always find a product that would match both your need and wallet. In this sense, he is like the Czech Václav Šmíd, although Šmíd’s offer of products is a bit smaller. Both offer very a good performance to price ratio.
The industrial production was represented by most of the major dealers operating in Czech Republic. Their presence is traditional and covers Cold Steel, WE knives, SOG and C.R.K.T. Mikov, one of two traditional Czech industrial knife makers has their booth on the corridor in front of the main hall. The offer here has been broad but consisted only of the already well-known production. The pretty new designs they offered on the IWA 2022 in Nuremberg were missing.
The outside yard hosted significantly less blacksmiths than in previous years – in fact there were none. Still it was worth visiting. A multi-user boot was made around a van of Michal Jarý, also containing knives by Filip Kurota. This place contained a significant portion of the highest-grade cutlery seen in this year Příbram. Not far away was the tent of Miroslav Pouzar, a knifemaker with a very straight forward and clearly recognizable style, maybe the most distinct style of the Czech knifemakers. Also there were traditional tents of the trapper re-enactors with plenty of leather products.
To summarize Příbram 2022 – it seems to recover from the covid pandemic, but in a slightly different shape. The crowd is returning to the pre-pandemic numbers, the number of exhibitors as well. It is hard to assess what will be the impact of the actual energy and inflation crisis. It seems that the show discounts are gone for good. We will see what the Autumn Brno and Advent Prague shows will bring. Stay on the edge of it.

A table in the tent of Miroslav Pouzar.

The outside yard of Nože Příbram 2022, this year without blacksmiths.

Early medieval styled knives by Josef Tomec.

Four knives by Kudrna Works. The blades are N690, the handles Birch wood.

One-piece knives by W. Zawada – Acoustic Knives, made from N690.

Two linerlock folders by P. Kalous. The blades are RWL34. The top knife has a titanium and Carbon
composite handle, the lower one artificial ivory. Opened lengths are 210 and 200 mm respectively.

Bohdan Chalupný made this fixed blade from Carbon Damask and a mammoth tooth handle.
Overall length is 265 mm.

Two fixed blades by Martin Pinda - Lothreks Armory. The blades are N690, the handles are Maple (top)
and AG10. Overall length is 260 mm for both knives.

Two knives by Pavel Švanda. The top knife has a Damasteel blade and a home made Micarta handle, and
measures 160 mm. The bottom knife is made from N690 and measures 125 mm.

This set is made by Kamil Hurník, Příbor. The steel is C130, the handles are Reindeeer antler. The knife
measures 220 mm, the fork 205 mm.

The Trapper (top) and Korps (bottom) by Nože Hrbek. The Trapper has a 4460 Blade and a Wenge handle.
The Korps has a D2 blade with DLC and a G10 handle. Overall length is 240 and 270 mm respectively.

Two knives by Arkadyi Dabakyan. Both have carbon steel blades. The top knife has a handle from Reindeer
antler, the bottom knife a combination of Reindeer antler, Birch and Brass. Overall length is 270 and 260 mm

Two knives by M. Hájek, both with K110 blades. The handle from the top knife is Bog Oak, the bottom
knife has a Bone and Bronze handle. Overall length is 265 and 300 mm respectively.

Three knives by Janos Maradas, all with Carbon Damask blades. The handles are Dear Antler and a
combination of Walnut, Bone and Horn. The knives measure (from top to bottom) 220, 230 and 201 mm.

Three knives by Pavel Ševeček, all with Carbon Mosaic Damask blades. The overall length is 182, 202 and
285 mm respectively. The lower two knives are pictured on the cover of this issue.

Two knives by Lubomír Šmidrkal. The to knife has a AK5 blade and Maple handle. The bottom knife has
a AK9 blade and a Wapiti Antler handle. They both measure 240 mm.


A work of art by Karel Borecký. The blade 14260, sculpted and gold inlaid, the handle is Ostrich bone.
Overall length is 420 mm.

Three pocket knives by Bareš, all with 1.4034 blades. Overall length is 180 mm.

A fixed blade by Ladislav Švec (SK). The 170 mm blade is D2 + Anticoro. The handle is Thorn.

A fixed blade by Roman Vaněk. The blade is 19312 + 19655 Carbon Damask, the handle is Wenge. Overall length is 345 mm.

The “Hand Made Desire” by Roman Vaněk. The blade is 19312 + 19655 Carbon Damask, the handle is
Wenge and Bronze. Overall length is 345 mm.

A fixed blade by Martin Hlávka from 19313 + 75Ni8 Mosaic Damask. The handle is Palisander and the
overall length is 310 mm.

A hunting knife by M. Brosch. The blade is 19312 steel, the handle Deer antler with scrimshaw.
Overall length is 250 mm.

An impressive fixed blade by Tomáš Bittner from 19312 + 75Ni8 Damask. The handle is Alder.
Overall length is 320 mm.

Two knives by Václav “Monty” Šmíd, both with an N690 blade and with a Birch and Walnut handle respectively.

Five kiridashi’s by Mátl knives, from 19312 + 80NiCr11 Carbon Damask. Overall lengths range from 110 to 220 mm.

A dagger from Jakub Adamuška. The blade is 19312 + 75Ni8 Damask, the handle is Grenadille. Overall length is 335 mm.

Two knives from Imrich Poprocký. The top one has an Elmax blade and artificial Ivory handle. The lower
one has a stainless blade and a Horn handle with scrimshaw. Overall length is 220 and 250 mm respectively.

A fixed blade by Bohumil Šrom, made from 19312 + 75Ni8 Carbon Damask and Hornbeam handle.
Overall length is 240 mm.

A Kukri by Aleš Lesczuk. Overall length is 300 mm.