Jantz Knife Supply: Providing Everything Required To Make Knives

Jantz Knife Supply: Providing Everything Required To Make Knives
Based in Davis, Oklahoma, Jantz has been in the knifemaking supply business for 58 years.

Jantz is a crucial source for many who fashion knives.

For 58 years Jantz Knife Supply has met the needs of cutlery craftsmen of all stripes, from green behind the ears to on up in years, with everything needed to make knives. This includes specialty steels, handle components, sheath materials, hand tools and sanding supplies, as well as the heavy equipment for knifemaking.

What started as a small mom-and-pop gun supply outfit founded by Ken and Venice Jantz in 1966 is no less than a U.S.-based juggernaut in today’s cutlery industry. The Jantzes haven’t left their humble beginnings behind, though, so no customer job is too small for the venerable knifemaking supply company in the heartland of America, Davis, Oklahoma.

Ken Jantz
Company co-founder Ken Jantz works on a prototype for a new hollow-grinding fixture at the company facility.

Shanna Kemp oversees the marketing, financial and human resources for Jantz. She probably knows as well as anyone about the many specialty and other items available to the company’s legion of customers.
“Our goal is to provide everything knifemakers could need for their project,” she begins, “whether you’re a beginner looking for a new hobby or a custom knifemaker stocking your shop to get ready for the BLADE Show. One thing we really love is creating fixtures and tools to make knifemaking more accessible for every skill level.”

One of the company’s most popular new fixtures is the PDJ Knife Vise. “It’s handy for all levels of knifemakers as it allows you to drill perfectly perpendicular holes through your handle material” regardless of the material’s texture or unevenness, Shanna explains.
Jantz stocks an abundance of parts for assembling and enhancing knives of all types. “Our most popular products are our Corby rivets, Loveless bolts and metal round and bar stock,” Shanna enumerates. “Our customers love the quality of our materials as we source directly from reputable mills with consistent quality and do our cutting and machining in house. One of our other popular products is our handcrafted mosaic pins. Each pin design is meticulously hand assembled right here in Davis, Oklahoma.”

Jantz Steel Stock

JS750 perpendicular vise with drill press
Jantz offers a range of knifemaking equipment. An example is the JS750 perpendicular vise with drill press.

An outstanding blade is the heart of any knife and Jantz offers all kinds of stainless and high carbon steels. “We carry a variety of knifemaking steels to suit both forging and stock removal,” she states. “1095 and 80CrV2 are very popular carbon steels and CPM 154 is our most popular stainless steel.” She added that the damascus forged by Brad Vice’s Alabama Damascus is very popular because of the quality and solid price point for the company’s patterned-welded steel.

“For Jantz, steel and other metals have always had a long lead time since we source from a variety of mills in the U.S., Germany, Sweden, Brazil and others,” Shanna observes. “We have strong relationships with our suppliers, and they have worked with us to keep material moving forward even when lead times began to exceed a year.”

Jantz Knife Supply warehouse
No matter the material, component or tool for knifemaking, Jantz probably has it somewhere in one of its well-stocked aisles.

Fixed blades will never go out of style, Shanna opines, and the Jantz business model caters to the mindset that drives the knives’ popularity. “We find that fixed-blade makers tend to use both stock removal and forging in their blade design and development,” she states. “The television series Forged in Fire certainly increased the popularity of forging, but we still see about the same divide between stock removal and forging. Fixed blades designed for hunting and survival are top sellers for our custom knifemakers as well as our hobbyists. There’s something special about using a knife in the field during hunting season that you made yourself that really resonates with the knifemaking crowd.”

When it comes to heat-treating ovens, Jantz recommends Paragon kilns above all others. “Not only do they make a quality oven,” Shanna assesses, “but they have a variety of ovens designed for beginners to pros. Their customer service is top notch and Burt Flanagan, who represents Paragon’s knifemaking ovens, is a custom knifemaker, so he truly understands what knifemakers need.”

Jantz-Made Blades

Knife assembly kit
Knife assembly kits such as the Caballero are a great way to learn the ins-and-outs of folding knives. Jantz offers over a dozen knife genres, from traditional slip joints to modern tactical fare.

For those wanting to get their feet wet in the cutlery world, Jantz offers a cornucopia of pre-made blades for virtually any niche of the market, including household cutlery. According to Shanna, many custom makers order beautiful stainless damascus in various patterns from Damasteel for their kitchen knives. “Our Jantz-made line of household cutlery is especially popular with customers,” she adds. “Our santoku, cook’s and paring blades are favorites of makers using pre-shaped blades for project knifemaking. All the Jantz-made blades are manufactured in our facility.”

Jantz offers an abundance of both knife blades and knife kits. These are designed not only for the novice and hobbyist, but for those who want to tailor special knives for sale. The Jantz website offers links aplenty to a wide range of genres in both folders and fixed blades. Need a fixed-blade hunter in damascus? No problem. Like a kit to learn the ins-and-outs of folding knives? There are over a dozen styles available, from traditional slip joints to modern tactical fare.

JS500 for slip joints
Providing fixtures such as the JS500 for slip joints that make knifemaking more accessible to hobbyists and makers of all levels is a specialty at Jantz Supply.

If there is an innovation on the horizon, Jantz Supply will be on top of it. “One of the many things we love about the knifemaking community is how open and sharing makers are with each other,” Shanna observes. “Want to learn something [another knifemaker] is doing? Just ask. You will rarely find someone not willing to share.”

That spirit and willingness to help is what has made Jantz an important part of the cutlery industry for going on six decades now.

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