Handmade Custom Knives By Mike Pellegrin

In December 1998, MIKE PELLEGRIN and his granddaughter, Megan, were looking for something to do. Mike saw an ad for the St. Louis Gateway Knife Show and decided to go. Inside the show, he experienced the beauty of handmade knives for the first time in his life.

"Megan fell in love with a pearl handled "Lady Leg" folder that had already been sold. With the confidence every granddaughter has in her grandfather, she said I could make her one. Well, between her and Paul Myer, the maker of the Lady Leg, they convinced me that with Paul's help and guidance, and a lot of practice, I could make her a knife. This was despite the fact that, until that point in my life, my Victorinox knife, which I used to open mail and boxes, was all I knew about knives. My profession was barbering and the sales of barber and beauty supplies.

I can't explain how lucky I was that the Lady Leg folder belonged to Paul Myer, one of the nicest, most patient and knowledgeable knifemakers I've met, and a great teacher as well. Even though I have never run out of questions, Paul and other knifemakers have always been generous with their help in answering them.

His latest thrill was in January 2006 when he won the "Best In Show" award at the St. Louis Gateway Knife Show, the show that started him on the knifemaking path, for his Jurassic Night folder.


Named because of its almost solid-black dinosaur-bone handle inlays, as well as the fact that the shape of the knife resembles a raptor claw, Mike Peflegrin's "Jurassic Night" won "Best In Show" at the 2006 St. Louis Gateway Knife Show. A single-blade slip joint folder, the knife sports a wharncliffe-style John Jones damascus blade and a 416 stainless steel handle engraved by Jody Mueller.

Equally stunning are the Daniel Ehrenberger damascus blade and the Turritella agate handle of Mike Pellegrin's lock-back folder. Turritella agate is from a sedimentary layer of earth that contains fossil shells of gastropods, small spiral-shelled prehistoric sea creatures. In keeping with the seashell theme, Pellegrin filed the bolsters into shell patterns in front and back.