Trollsky – Custom Knives From Poland – Story of a Master Craftsmen

Let me tell you a story custom knives maker from Poland. It all began with a YouTube channel, then evolved into a thriving business. Michał Sielicki, the brains behind the Trollsky channel, waved goodbye to his corporate job. His motivation? To turn his passion into a profession.

Fleeing from the urban hustle and bustle, he found solace in the forest. There, he started crafting distinctive knives. Now, prominent figures like Adam Savage from „Mythbusters” use his blades. „There’s a simple rule in knife-making — 'less is more,'” Michał remarks.

„I’m a straightforward guy and I believe I instill this simplicity into my knives.” Yes, that’s right, he is the force behind Trollsky Custom Knives.

Custom Knives – Spark Ignited a Lifelong Passion

How did this fascination with knives begin? You may ask. Well, let’s rewind to the 80s. Michał recalls in one of the interviews he gave to website:

Michał in his garage at work | Source: YouTube

„As a kid, every boy in the neighborhood owned a knife or a pocket knife. It all started with my grandpa who gave me my first pocket knife. We were outdoor kids, building bonfires and hardly spending time at home. With an old, used Gerlach knife in your pocket, you instantly felt five years older. Respect for this tool was learned early on and, you knew how to be responsible with it.”

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He continues:

„Having a blade in your pocket was a part of growing up for me. I think a lot of readers might smile and quietly say to themselves, 'it’s just like me.'”

As I found out from the interview, when Michał turned 18 or 19, he developed a deep interest in historical reenactments, particularly the transition between the 14th and 15th centuries.

Custom Knives From Poland

„During one reenactment, a week before the Grunwald battle staging, I found myself mesmerized by a blacksmith’s work — the fire, the sparks, the hot steel bending under the hammer. I knew then, I wanted to do that in the future. What I didn’t know, however, was that this hobby would shape my entire life.”

Taking the Leap

So, why did he ditch his secure corporate job to run his own business? The decision was tough. It took him years of contemplation. Michał believess, „The ’comfort zone’ should only be a temporary rest stop after a challenge, where we recharge before launching into the next big thing. Stay too long, and you’ll realize you’ve wasted 15 years standing still.”

Custom Knives From Poland

He decided life’s too short not to pursue what you love. „Working a job that didn’t satisfy or fulfill me left me feeling drained. After an 8-hour shift in the office, all I had was a file on my desktop.

Now, I have a knife ready for hardening after the same time spent. Knowing someone will use this tool I’ve crafted, it’s an incredible feeling.” He acknowledges he couldn’t have made the decision alone. His wife has been his rock, supporting him every step of the way, even allowing him to harden knives in their kitchen oven.

If you want to dive into a passion and make it your life, take it from Michał, the risk is worth the reward.

Knifemaking in the Digital Age

When Michał launched his business around 13 years ago, it was a whole different game. Finding information on knifemaking was like searching for a needle in a haystack. A lot of my early work involved experimenting and learning from my mistakes.

Fast forward to today, and the internet is a treasure trove of guides and helpful information. On his YouTube channel, Michakł gladly share the knowledge he’ve gathered over the years with eager learners.

Trollsky – Custom Knives From Poland

Materials were another major hurdle back in the day. The first steel he used was reclaimed from springs, and he crafted his initial wooden handles from exotic hardwood parquet boards. Now, it’s a different story. There are several online stores in Poland where you can get everything you need to make a knife. He also source materials from international exhibitions.

Knife Making Talent Isn’t Everything

Many might ask, „Has only talent led to his success?” To this, Michał firmly replies:

No. I’m convinced that talent alone is never enough, regardless of what we do in life. Quality work demands relentless, consistent effort. I can tell you, my first few knives were nothing short of disastrous. I believe I didn’t exactly have a promising start. But, I was persistent. I strived to make each knife a tad better than its predecessor. No giant leaps in craftsmanship, just small steps towards my goal.

Trollsky – Custom Knives From Poland

Remember, life is a marathon, not a sprint. It requires patience and gradual progression. His buddy, Rafał Brzeski introduced him to the „10,000 hours rule”. This is the approximate time you need to master a field.

Consistency and perseverance are the keys to excelling at something. Talent can be helpful, but as someone who lacked it at the beginning, I say it’s not a necessity.

The Soul in the Steel

What sets his knives apart? I think it’s not for me to say. I’ve heard people say his knives have a certain soul. They’re one-of-a-kind and form an istnant connection with the user. Although each knife is unique, they share commonalities in proportions and shape.

Being someone who spends a lot of time in the forest and uses a knife frequently, he knows what a good utility knife should possess. Here, the rule „less is more” applies again.

„I’m a simple man, and I believe I impart this simplicity into my knives. So, if you need a knife that’s functional yet minimalistic, my knives could be your match.”

The Power of Word-of-Mouth and Social Media

He is not a fan of advertising, to be honest. It just doesn’t sit right with him. So, he decided not to rely on it to promote his craft. When it comes to handmade goods like his knives, word-of-mouth works wonders.

A happy customer sharing their experience with his knife, whether it’s around a campfire with friends or while opening a can of food in a mountain hostel, gives a genuine vibe. He primarily showcases his new creations on Instagram. He believes it’s currently the best platform to share his work with those interested in knifemaking.

Trollsky – Custom Knives From Poland | Source: YouTube

Let me tell you, when he crafts a knife by hand, a piece of his personality gets infused into it. It’s always nice to show folks what he does outside the workshop, to remind them that he’s not just an anonymous craftsman but a human being.

One thing he genuinely loves about his job is connecting with people. It’s heartwarming when he receives a picture from the other side of the globe, showing his knife stuck in a coconut or at a trapper camp in Alaska. That’s when he knows he’s done a good job, and the knife is serving its purpose well.

Custom Made Knives From Poland to Every Corner of the World

It’s not uncommon for customers to share where they plan to use the knife, hoping for some advice. He is thrilled to say, his knives have found homes on every continent. They often end up as gifts, sent to far-off lands for long-lost brothers or colleagues. Interestingly, many women buy his knives as surprise presents for their boyfriends or husbands who follow his YouTube videos. He can tell you, it’s usually a very welcomed surprise and a heartfelt gift.