V Nives is a Puyallup-based knife company that bills itself as a manufacturer of “human-made knives for everyone.” The company’s founder and president, Mike Vellekamp, has a quarter century of knife-making experience and is a major proponent of legislation to legalize the sale and possession of automatic knives, aka switchblades, in Washington. In addition to the Puyallup production facility, the company also has a national network of two dozen distributors and dealers that sell V Nives. The five-employee company, which brings in about $500,000 in annual revenue, also operates a retail shop in Eatonville — where it offers sharpening, engraving and other services. The company’s knives range in price from $15.95 for a thumb-size Hermit Crab folding knife to $699 for a Zubeng chef knife.
Lubricant is applied to the caged-bearing system of the knife blade’s pivot
A blade’s final edge is hand grinded to a 16-degree angle on each side
A red-hot blade is carefully extracted from a steel bag after being removed from a heat-treating furnace
A completed knife is secured in the laser-engraving machine