Jesse Jarosz’s workshop is orderly and precise as he discusses the craft of knife making. Prototypes of multi-colored handles and blades line the wall while tools cover the workbench. These tools are made for discovery as Jesse sees it. He’s not inventing anything—he’s uncovering the objects and purpose in the rough. Once he discovers them, these objects could make the difference between life and death for their user.
“The design already exists in potential,” says the avid outdoorsman. “It’s up to me to find it. I’m a firm believer in the American Dream,” says Jesse in light of his success. Jesse has a line of knives with KA-BAR on top of his own line. “I am proof that it is within reach if you are willing to get out and go for it.” It is this American spirit of creativity and ingenuity that Jarosz believes defines his own business, as well as Dan Wesson Firearms.
Jarosz, who began knife-making a decade ago, comes from a lineage of craftsmen. In rural Nebraska, Jarosz’s father and grandfather were master carpenters and woodworkers, a history that inspired Jarosz to create with utility and purpose in mind. “I definitely always had the itch to create,” he says. In addition to his interest in craftsmanship, Jarosz developed a great love for the outdoors and adventure. Through the years, Jarosz has served in the military and search and rescue units and cultivated skills in fishing, hunting, and backcountry sports—all of which have served him well in the mountains of Montana, where he currently resides with his wife and two young children.
“I started making knives out of curiosity,” says Jarosz, recounting the night in which his future livelihood was forged. Jarosz had collected knives all his life, but during a whiteout snowstorm one night ten years ago, the inspiration to make something came to him out of boredom. In the bitterly cold evening, Jarosz made his first knife. “It turned out poorly,” he says, but the experience left an impression. “I was hooked and haven’t stopped making knives since.” Jarosz turned his craft into a business three years later, founding Jarosz Knives.
Since then, Jarosz has constantly been searching, learning, and adapting to create a better knife with each build. The results are quality knives that could feed or protect the self or a family. “What starts as a tool in your shop can dramatically change someone’s life,” Jarosz says. It is this utility and ever-improving craftsmanship that Jarosz Knives shares with Dan Wesson Firearms.