Edge Tool Makers

The edge tool maker is a specialised type of blacksmith. It is a separate trade from the wrought iron smith, farrier or general blacksmith, although in the past the village blacksmith was probably all of these and much more besides.....


In the UK edge tool makers were further classed into heavy and light edge tool makers, and in Sheffield were often associated with cutlers, although this was (and still is) a separate trade.


In smaller works all aspects of the trade were often carried out by one person, but in larger edge tool works the trade was further divided into specialist areas:


 "The Dictionary of Occupational Terms" gives 23 trades (listed alphabetically):

edge tool bander; edge tool cutter-out; edge tool examiner; edge tool fasher; edge tool fitter; edge tool forger; edge tool forger's striker; edge tool grinder; edge tool gripper; edge tool handler; edge tool hardener; edge tool japanner; edge tool jobbing grinder; edge tool machineman; edge tool parer; edge tool  plater (nickel); edge tool plater (smith); edge tool raw glazer; edge tool roller; edge tool setter; edge tool setter (grinder); edge tool stamper; edge tool striker.


Plater - the smith who welded the steel edge into the iron body

Edge tool forger - the smith who shaped the tool

Grinder - the person who sharpened the blade - in Sheffield this was often carried out in different premises.


Others specialised in hardening and tempering the blades, making or fitting handles or making straw rope to pack the tools safely.

In some countries specialised names are used (this list will be expanded as more information becomes available, but currently this is such a narrow field of research):


GB - Edge tool maker - Edge tool works

FR - le Taillandier - la Taillanderie

D - werkzeugschmied