Dan Maragni
OKC Blademaster-In-Residence

"I have spent most of my life involved in the study and production of edged tools and weapons. I have taken a well rounded approach to my studies combining my experiences as a custom knifemaker, a commercial knife overseer, a researcher of edged tools and weapons throughout time and around the world, experimenting with modern materials with commercial applications, teaching and lecturing on modern and historical bladesmithing and studying martial arts.


I was a custom knifemaker for nine years concentrating on high performance carbon steels and functional designs for a variety of hunting, outdoor and martial arts applications.

My commercial production experience was a direct result of my high quality custom work and led to my 25 year relationship with Cold Steel, Inc. I began consulting on steels, heat treatments and edge geometries and then spearheaded their move to US production and the commercial use of high performance carbon steels. My responsibilities included every aspect of production from rough drawing to finished knives and included training operators and quality control personnel, designing and making fixtures and gauges and establishing manufacturing procedures.


My research in historical and ethnographic edged tools and weapons and my study of martial arts led me to major improvements in my functional design capabilities and in the selection of materials for maximum performance. Over the last ten years of experimenting I have spent countless hours making blades and testing them and in that time I have spent over $6,000 in metallurgical examinations and almost $18,000 in books and research materials.

My research also led me to develop a project which very accurately replicates a Norman sword from 1100-1150 AD using commercially produced blades which have been successfully tested by 15 different martial artists from a variety of styles. The performance of these swords has confirmed my theories of design, materials and construction and deepened my respect for the ability of the ancient smiths.

I have also been actively lecturing and demonstrating at a variety of seminars which has exposed me to many excellent craftsmen, martial artists and edged weapon scholars. Between the seminars and trips to museums and private collections from around the world I have examined and handled some of the finest examples of the bladesmith's art ever produced." -Dan Maragni

Dan Maragni is a master bladesmith with 40 years of knife-making experience as a custom designer and with Cold Steel and OKC. An expert in knife materials, heat-treating, and edge geometries, Mr. Maragni blends historical knife concepts with modern engineering techniques, ergonomics, and the anatomy of fighting into his designs. Mr. Maragni is the genius behind a large number of OKC’s products including the GEN II series and the Agilite line.







2007- current - Technical Consultant/Designer for Ontario Knife Company.  Responsible for upgrading the salt pot to digital controls, designed agitated quench tank, developed heat treatment for 1075 and 5160 steels. Designed Spec Plus Gen II, Agilites and Bushcraft knives.


1988-2006- Head of Domestic Production for Cold Steel Inc.  Brought Cold Steel production to Alcas Cutlery Corp., Ontario Knife Company, Western Cutlery and Camillus Cutlery Company.  Duties included overseeing every step and operation used in the production of Cold Steel knives from metallurgical examination of the incoming material to Cold Steel standards to final inspection and packing.  Developed Carbon V material and heat treatment, modified and improved the heat treatment to Cold Steel standards, established procedures and trained sharpeners.


1982-2006- Technical consultant to Cold Steel Inc.


1979-1988- Custom bladesmith specializing in high carbon, performance oriented knives.  American Bladesmith Society Mastersmith rating and Voting Member of the Knifemaker’s Guild 1983-2003.







2005, 2000 and 1995- founded, organized, directed, demonstrated and lectured at the NEBG Ashokan Sword Seminars.  Lectures included “Introduction to Swords”, “European Sword Technology”, “Physical Characteristics of European Cutting Swords: 250 BC to 1200AD”, “Medieval Sword Reconstruction” and “Violent, Bloody Death” a look at forensic archeology associated with edged weapons.


2003- lectured on “Development of Blade Patterns from Laminated and Twisted Structures” and demonstrated pattern development using Fimo clay at the annual Timonium Ethnographic Seminar.


2003- lecture/slide show “From the Celts to the Normans: Early Sword Development in Europe” and demonstrated European sword smithing at the Association for Renaissance Martial Arts 2003 International Gathering in Sandy Creek, NY.


2003- lecture/slide show on “Celtic Art” at Mohawk Community College as part of the visiting lecturers series.


2002- lectured and demonstrated at the ARMA Princeton Seminar on “What is a Real Sword”.


1976-1996- taught bladesmithing classes at Naples Mill School of Arts and Crafts, Peter’s Valley Crafts, Brookfield Craft Center, and Penland School of Crafts.


1991-1994- lectured on “Fighting Knife Design Concepts” and “Beating the Edged Weapon Paradox: Blade Construction Techniques Throughout the Time and the World” at the Northeast Martial Arts Conference.


1983-1994- organized, directed, demonstrated and lectured at the New England Bladesmiths Guild Ashokan Seminar.


1990, 1993- demonstrated “Blade Forging and Heat Treatment” and lectured on “Basic Metallurgy” and “How Every Sword was Ever Made in Any Time and Any Place” at the Artist Blacksmith Association of North America conferences.


1990-1992- lectured on “Evolution of the Japanese Sword from the Kofun/Nara to the Edo Period”, “Evolution of Japanese Weapons and Warfare from the Kofun/Nara to the Edo Period” and “Functional Fighting Design Concepts” at the annual Zen Do Kai Seminars in Cazenovia, NY.


1980-1982- demonstrated blade forging and lectured on heat treatment at the NEBG Ashokan Seminar.  Founding member of the NEBG.





1996-2007- built a prototype commercial heat treatment set up using digitally controlled furnaces and an agitated oil quench.  I have been running experiments with a variety of carbon and alloy steels and making and testing blades of these materials. All the experiments and processes are documented and metallurgically examined by Metallurgical Consulting, Marcellus, NY.


1998- research trip to Europe (Italy, Switzerland, Germany and England) with Dr. Lee Jones.  Examined swords from the Celtic period through the Renaissance in museums and private collections.


1996- research trip to England with noted arms collector and co-author of “Swords of the Viking Age” Dr. Lee Jones. Examined swords in museums and private collections and met with international arms authority and author Mr. Ewart Oakshotte.


1993- research trip to Japan.  Met with Mr. Takuo Onoue prefectural metallurgist and Japanese sword smith Mr. Kanemasa Oono.


1993- completed Level One of the ASM Heat Treating Certificate of Achievement Program.


1992- ASM Course at Materials Park, Ohio “Heat Treating and Quenchant Technology” with Dr. George Totten and Dr. Charles Bates.


1991- completed ASM Local Chapter Course “Stainless Steels”


1988- completed ASM Local Chapter Course “Metallurgy for the Non-Metallurgist”


1985-1992- studied Kali, Muay Thai and Jun Fun Kung Fu with Sifu Kevin Seaman.


1969-1971- studied Three Weapon Classical Fencing with Maestro Oscar Kolombatovitch.





American Bladesmiths Society- Mastersmith Rating- 1983-2003

Artist-Blacksmith’s Association of North America

American Society of Materials International

Japanese Sword Society of the United States

Knifemakers Guild- Voting Member 1983-2003

The Historical Metallurgical Society