Jens Ansø: Danish design in the world of pocket knives
Today one of the most popular designers is Jens Ansø. His use of modern Danish design in the world of pocket knives makes the hearts of enthusiasts skip a beat. Meet Jens Ansø.
Sporup, DenmarkFirst knife
1988Fulltime knife maker since
Zero Tolerance, Kershaw, Böker, Fox, Spyderco
You can immediately recognize a Jens Ansø design because it has its own distinct style. Certain blade shapes and handles are typical for Ansø’s style. A characteristic feature you can look for is a flat side on back of the handle, placed just behind the pivot. This works great when combined with Ansø’s preference for a tip-down pocket clip which ensures that the flat part smoothly guides the handle from your pocket.
Not necessarily choosing the cheapest option, but the best. That is what characterizes Ansø’s work and has become the common thread throughout his career.
Jens Ansø’s goal is to keep making better knives and tools. It is simply what satisfies him the most. With his work he is, as such, able to focus on the people who respect and appreciate quality. Not necessarily choosing the cheapest option, but the best. That is what characterizes Ansø’s work and has become the common thread throughout his career.
Design that adheres to Danish rules and regulations
The Danish rules and regulations for knives give Ansø’s work a remarkable dimension. In Denmark there are laws for knives that impose that you can only carry knives that meet the following demands: a knife is never to be opened using one hand, a knife cannot be enhanced with a lock and the length of the blade (the cutting edge) should remain below six cm. One of the most strict laws in Europe. Fortunately for us these laws are what brought us successful designs such as the Cox. Remarkable modern slipjoints.
Ansø is natuurlijk niet de enige Deense messenmaker. Zijn naam hoor je veelvuldig in één adem met zijn collega Jesper Voxnaes. Samen een topteam. Verantwoordelijk voor de onder andere de succesvolle Spyderco Pingo. Een mes dat aan die strenge Deense wetgeving voldoet, maar door zijn aantrekkelijke ontwerp wereldwijd gedragen wordt.
One of the design elements Ansø is known for is his characteristic sculpting, a modification invented by himself that enables him to add texture to the handle. It doesn’t only increase the grip, it also adds an aesthetic layer to the design.
Industrial designer Ansø never stops moving. When he doesn’t design knives he is busy focusing on his line of carabiners, credit card holders or other EDC-tools.
Jens Ansø’s younger years
As a fifteen year old boy in 1988 Jens comes across the magazine called Popular Mechanics where he finds an article about making knives. He loves what he sees and without wasting any time he starts working in his father’s workshop using a sharpening machine and a drill. He didn’t have a clue as to what he was doing and there was no one who could help him. After a whole lot of blood, sweat and tears it is finally there: Ansø’s first knife. A little on the rough side, but he couldn’t be more proud of what he had accomplished. There and then, in that little workshop, the knife virus got a hold of him and has, until this day, not let him go.
At a later age Jens enrols in a school for architecture. Because he was already interested in drawing and making products, the study Industrial Design is perfect for him. In 2001 he receives his Master degree and decides to focus on creating knives full-time. He expands his career and starts creating amazing knives. His creations are wanted all over the world and the waiting list becomes longer with each passing day.
Successful international cooperation
At the same time his cooperation with different knife brands begins. His knives, made by companies such as Böker, Fox, Spyderco, Kershaw, and Zero Tolerance do not only make them available to a bigger audience, it also makes his name and fame grow even faster.