Toledo is world famous for its sword making heritage, but some of the most famous high-quality knife makers also call Toledo, and the province of Toledo, home as well.
In fact, the knife making talent isn’t just limited to the city of Toledo or the province of Toledo. Some of the finest knives in the world are made in Spain, and they make a wide range of knives such as:
- Hunting knives
- Chefs knives
- Steak knives
- Pocket knives
- Kitchen knives
When you visit Toledo you are going to almost be overwhelmed with the amount of knife and sword shops. They literally seem to be on every corner and every street.
And if you really want to purchase a real, authentic high-quality Spanish knife it can be a little confusing and maybe even intimidating. There is a lot of misinformation floating around, and sadly there are plenty of gift shops all too willing to tell tourists anything to separate them from their money.
Let’s take a look at some of the Spanish knife brands that you will see for sale during your trip to Toledo. The Spanish brands that I recommend you check out are:
- Joker (but not the JKR brand)
- Mariano Zamarano
- 3 Claveles
I hope you find this guide useful, and it helps you to avoid getting ripped off when you purchase a knife during your trip to Toledo.
Muela knives have been made by the same family for generations. Not only does this brand have a long history, they are also made an hour and a half south of Toledo.
Where Are Muela Knives Made?
Muela knives are made in Argamasilla de Calatrava (source), a city in the Province of Cuidad Real. They also have several other workshops at other locations within the Province of Cuidad Real.
Muela specializes in hunting and sporting knives such as skinners, diving knives, bowies, tactical knives, and axes, In addtion, they also make luxury knives, some exceptional gourmet knives as well.
What Steel does Muela use?
Muela uses several different materials for their knife blades (source). The materials are:
- Chrome-vanadium alloy
- Sandvik 14C28N steel (hardness 57-61 HRC)
- Carbon Damascus steel
- Stainless Damascus steel
- X50CrMoV15 (hardness 57-58 HRC)
Are Muela Knives Full Tang?
Yes, Muela makes full tang knives. The models that are full tang are:
- Pointer 12R
- Pointer 12M
- Mustang 8R
- Mustang 8A
- Tuareg 8M
- Tuareg 8G
- Crusader 13M
- Viking J 11M
- Viking J 11B
- Viking M 11M
- Viking M 11BM
- Lakhota 12M
- Lakhota 12R
Miguel Nieto is a Spanish knife maker who has been making knives since 1957. After working under his Dad’s guidance for 23 years, he started his own company and brand M. Nieto in 1980.
Like Muela, Nieto knives are not made in the Toledo province but are instead made in the province of Albacete. Albacete is about 2.5 hours away from the historic city of Toledo.
From start to finish all Nieto knives are made at their facility in Albacete. This includes all the pieces used in the construction and all the manufacturing processes. When you buy Nieto knife you are truly getting a Spanish knife, there are no questions about that.
Types of Nieto knives you will see for sale in Toledo
When you are shopping during your trip to Toledo, you will several different types of Nieto knives for sale. Some of the types you will see are:
- The navaja – the classic Spanish folding knife that is suitable for daily use. It is highly functional and comes in handy for all types of tasks.
- The cuchillo – which is simply the Spanish word for knife. These type of Nieto knives can be utensils, hunting knives, military combat knives designed for tactical use, and of course the familiar Bowie knife. These are typically a fixed blade knife design.
- The artisanal – these are the most exquisite of all the Nieto knives. They do not make a lot of them either. Numbers are extremely limited because there are only two craftsmen at Nieto who are involved in their production. These knives are known for their precision and attention to detail.
Since 2007 Nieto knives are made from AN-58 Inox steel. (Inox is a non-corrosive stainless steel)
AN-58 Inox is proprietary steel that was developed by M.Nieto. The goal was to produce entirely new steel to be used in making high-quality Nieto knives.
AN-58 Inox is known for its hardness, corrosion resistance, retaining its edge, and impact resistance. The steel was tested and verified by the College of Materials Science and Engineering located at the University of Castilla-LaMancha in Albacete Spain.
Nieto has also produced knives using Molibdeno-Vanadio 1.4116, Sandvik 12C27 and 14C28, BÖHLER N690-CO and N695.
Nieto has a wide range of handle material. Common materials they use are antler, bone, local as well as exotics woods, Micarta and Katex as well. Katex is a material that was designed at Nieto and developed by a 3rd party.
Sheaths and covers
All the sheaths and covers are made at the Nieto facility in Albacete as well. The leather is also from Spain, and even small details like the thread used and rivets are all products of Spain.
Always look for the Nieto makers mark when purchasing a knife in Toledo. Nieto has also begun to stamp SPAIN into their knives as well.
According to Nieto, this is being phased in slowly across the product line. So if you see Nieto knives for sale in Toledo, they may or may not have a SPAIN stamp on the blade.
Joker, like Nieto, is another knife manufacturer located in Albacete Spain.
They have been around since 1987, and they have an impressive offering of outstanding hunting, survival, tactical, fixed blade and folding pocket knives.
However, you have to be a little more careful when you are buying a Joker knife in Toledo.
Although a fair amount of their knives are produced at their facility in Albacete, they also import a large number of knives and they sell them under their JKR brand.
Mariano Zamorano is a 4th generation Toledo swordsmith and the last true Toledo sword and blade maker.
The Mariano Zamorano Sword Factory is an extremely popular destination for tourists, and it’s probably second only to the Cathedral in terms of things tourists want to see.
“My swords don’t represent the culture, they have maintained it.”Mariano Zamorano
The building also has an interesting history, as it is in what were royal stables 500 years ago when Toledo was the capital of Spain
His shop still operates using a traditional forge and anvil, and if you go to visit in the afternoon you might just get to see him swinging a hammer as he crafts another one of his blades by hand.
In addition to his handmade swords and knives, he also sells decorative swords that are imported.
He marks his original swords with the brand “M. Z. Toledo”, so if you want to be assured you are buying an authentic handcrafted Mariano Zamorano knife, be sure that it has his mark on it.
Pallarés has been manufacturing knives for more than 100 years. They are located in Solsona Spain, a small city northwest of Barcelona.
Their lineup includes knives and pocket knives, and some really impressive professional and kitchen knives. And they make some pretty cool garden tools and scissors too.
If you are looking for a souvenir knife from Spain at a low cost, the Palleres pocket knife is a great option. You can pick these up for less than €15 in Toledo. It’s made in Spain and its a much better knife than the mass produced made in China pocket knives most gift shops sell in Toledo.
Toledo Kitchen Knives
If you love to cook or you want to buy a gift for someone who does, you should consider buying them a high quality set of Spainish kitchen knives while you are in Toledo.
In Toledo, the most common kitchen knives that are made in Spain are:
- 3 Claveles
Let’s take a closer look at each brand
3 Claveles is a Spanish brand of knives, and they are manufactured in Logroño, a city in the north of Spain located southeast of Bilbao.
A really cool knife to take back to your kitchen, or as a gift for someone else who loves to cook, is the 3 Claveles Toledo series of knives.
The Toledo series has 5 different knives to choose from. A peeling knife, a chef’s knife, a santuko knife, a bread knife, and a slicing knife. They all come with a POM (polyoxymethylene) handle and stainless steel blade.
Arcos is one of the most internationally well known and respected brands of knives.
All of their knives are made in Albacete Spain, they are some of the most prized kitchen knives and utensils produced today.
Where to buy knives in Toledo Spain
Calle Tornerías, 27, 45001 Toledo, Spain
Tips for Buying knives in Toledo
There are a lot of knife shops who will either buy a finished knife or knife making materials overseas – from China most likely – and then they will put their brand name on the knife using either acid or a laser. And then they claim that the knife has been made in Toledo, made in Spain etc.
If you truly want an authentic knife from Toledo or Spain look for one that has been stamped SPAIN. You will find that knives from Mariano Zamorano are stamped SPAIN, and Nieto has begun to stamp their knives with SPAIN as well. It is a sure way to make sure you are getting an authentic made in Spain knife.