Beauty is second to function, but both can exist in a truly well refined knife.

Schwarz Knives

   All Schwarz Knives are designed and crafted in Boise, Idaho by TJ Schwarz, an avid hunter and outdoorsman. Also a production knife designer (Schwarz Design), TJ takes it upon himself to study exactly what attributes are necessary for a quality knife design. He understands that beauty is second to function, but that both can exist in a truly well refined knife. He also believes that even the most remarkable craftsmanship cannot cover up poor design.

   TJ builds his knives according to his own inspiration and creativity, making the finished products available to the public. For this reason Schwarz Knives cannot be custom ordered, but must be purchased as-is when completed. The goal of this strategy is to encourage creativity and progress with each finished knife, rather than allow them to become redundant. Please stay tuned to see how the designs progress, and if you see one you like, grab it!
How it all started
   My journey into the world of knife design has been an interesting one. I was definitely developing an affinity for art and design from a young age, but it wasn't until my senior year in high school that my love for cars pushed me to truly explore my abilities. It was then that I began drawing cars on a daily basis (some of which actually exist, and some I had dreamt up myself). After graduating, I enrolled at Boise State University and moved into the dorms. I started a company that I named 'Carbon Handprint Designs', the primary focus was simply to sell my pencil drawings of cars. I began taking commissions from classic car owners and would even visit local car shows with hopes of stirring up more potential clients. This was all for my enjoyment and some extra money while I pursued a Mechanical Engineering degree. 

     My first look at the knife industry came around this time when a high school friend by the name of Bill Koenig contacted me about designing a knife for his newly formed knife company (Koenig Knives). At this point, though I really liked quality knives, I had never considered a career in the industry. As I developed what would be Koenig Knives' first model, the Atrox, I quickly discovered a striking similarity between designing cars and designing knives. Both require a blend of mechanical function, art, and ergonomics that is unlike almost any other industry. My passion was quick to develop, and ultimately the knife industry consumed my full attention. My almost daily drawings around that time so accurately reflect the birth of this passion, the four wheeled imaginations in the margins of my calculus notebooks quickly gave way to knives of all shapes and sizes.

     While sitting in a physics class one day, I made a sudden realization. I flipped to an empty page beneath the physics notes, where my focus should have been, and began drawing what I was envisioning. Little did I know the significance of that moment. Months would go by as I slowly furthered this concept, eventually presenting it to Bill as a new Koenig Knives model.

     In the months I was developing this mechanism, nearly every bit of my energy was devoted to school. I soon realized that it was time to make a decision. In the spring of 2014 I dropped out of BSU and started a small production company called Schwarz Productions, Schwarz Productions (video production) has been an effective way for me to pay bills and yet keep my schedule flexible enough to pursue my career in knives. It was only after dropping out and launching the first Schwarz Productions video projects that I finally had the time to complete that idea which had started almost a year earlier in a physics classroom. The idea would become what is now known as the Koenig Zenaida, a folding knife that has no screws and can be assembled and disassembled without any tools. Shortly after revealing it to the public, the knife was elected Blade Show's "Most Innovative American Design" in June of 2015. This was an absolutely enormous event for me, as the development of the design was a driving force behind my decision to leave a promising engineering career.

     I am extremely blessed to have been allowed these fantastic opportunities, particularly from Bill Koenig, asking me to work with him in the beginning. I'm also very fortunate to have a master craftsman as my biggest mentor - my father is a world class western saddle maker and leather worker.

     As of early 2016 I have designed several knives for a handful of companies and many of the projects have only just begun. I have also taken it upon myself to acquire all the equipment necessary to not only design, but prototype my new knives. I have many more ideas that are currently under development, and I'm having a lot of fun with the process. The custom knives that I complete are sold to help support further development and investment in Schwarz Knives. Also, Schwarz Productions will remain a large part of my efforts, and I definitely encourage you to check that project out as well -->

     Thank you for following and reading. Feel free to contact me with questions or if you're interested in my knives!
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