About Bernal Cutlery

Knives and cooking tools reflect the evolution of our creative relationship with food and cooking, and through that, our relationship with the world that sustains us.                            

We are a full-service cutlery shop, offering sharpening services, Japanese and European knives, vintage knives, outdoor and pocket knives, cooking tools and accessories, knife skills and sharpening classes, and more.

Bernal Cutlery was established in 2005 by Josh Donald and Kelly Kozak in Bernal Heights, San Francisco in the slanting utility room in the back of an apartment on Cortland avenue. With $40 for an extra stone and some fliers Bernal Cutlery was born. Sharpening soon branched into selling vintage and antique culinary knives and after several years of working from different home workshops as we moved around Bernal Heights we opened our first brick and mortar shop on Cortland Ave in 2010 in the brand new 331 Cortland small business incubator collective. What began as an idea of how to keep groceries in the fridge and pay a bill or two as (broke) new parents has grown over the years to include a dedicated crew who each bring their experience and interests to fill out and refine our shop.

We are immensely grateful to live in a place that both supports small business and includes smart, talented like-minded weirdos for us to work alongside.

We still find and refurbish vintage and antique knives but our main focus sourcing knives has brought us to Japan and some older companies in Europe who still employ old techniques and small scale industrial networks. We love the knives that we source that are 100% hand made but also know the importance of the interface between hand work and industrial production and appreciate this element of culinary knife production.

From Europe, we have knives from K Sabatier, an 8th generation cutler in Thiers, France, as well as from the Robert Herder company, whose Windmuehlenmesser brand knives are made in Solingen, Germany, utilizing highly skilled hand grinding techniques that have been nearly abandoned in Solingen in favor of large scale machine production. From the United States, we are happy to stock Shi•Han knives, Silverthorn Knives, & Dexter Russell. At the time of writing we also have conversations with knife makers in other parts of the world as well.

For outdoor adventurers, we have Nordic knives from Iisakki Jarvenpaa and Helle, Benchmade knives, Victorinox Swiss Army, Opinel, and a revolving selection of Laguiole and other regional French folding styles.

Vintage and antique knives are another specialty of Bernal Cutlery; from the spectacular and historically important to more utilitarian minded second hand knives we always have a good stock.

In addition to knives, we stock a full selection sharpening supplies focusing on the Japanese whetstones we use in our sharpening service work. We import natural and synthetic whetstones, from Japan for a variety of steels and knife types. In addition to stones we also stock sharpening steels and ceramic honing rods from the USA, Germany and Japan as well as and leather and cork strops,  knife rolls, aprons, kitchen tools, and cookbooks.

All new knives sold at Bernal Cutlery come with a free follow-up sharpening. We can always go over the basics with you in the shop, as we are generally always sharpening in the shop, for a more in-depth look into sharpening take a look at our sharpening classes.