Hoof of horse is one of the many materials I use in my knife handles. The Icelandic horsebreed developed in Iceland. Icelandic horses are long-lived and hardy, descendants of Nordic horses taken to Iceland by Norse settlers in the 9th and 10th centuries. Horses were venerated in Norse mythology, a custom brought to Iceland by the country’s earliest settlers.

The hooves of the Icelandic horse can be black, yellow or striped. The Icelandic horse has better quality and stronger hoof walls than other breeds, making their hooves more suitable to use in knife handles. You can read more about the Icelandic horse breed here.


I start with boiling at 100 degrees for about 10 hours. While the horn is still hot after boiling I need to move swiftly to clean and flatten out the hooves while they are still scorching hot. After they cool down they need to be cut into the correct size. Finally the hooves need to dry for 18 months before they can be used as knife handle material.