CRO Knives by Curt Olson

Welcome to my web site. I hope you enjoy looking around and get the sense that I go to extra lengths to make the best knives available. I live in northern Minnesota, and besides my love of music and Italian wood-fired Pizza I have a passion for sturdy, dependable, beautiful, and very sharp knives.

I grew up in Grove City, Minnesota and pursued a career in music.  I earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Bemidji State University and a Master of Music degree from the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York.  I taught trombone at Michigan State University for 36 years, the last 11 of which were spent as Associaite Dean of the College of Music.  Throughout my musical career I had a love of knives and making them-which I believe originated from my grandfather's idea that sharpening and caring for knives was a very important abilty in a responsible person.  I have made knives since the 1970s as my musical and family responsibilites would allow.  I love knifemaking because it offers the ability to use the best possible materials (steels, glues, handle materials, etc.).  I try to make each knife better than the last one (as Bob Loveless always said).  I enjoy the freedom to use the newest steels available, and to heat-treat them and cryogenically treat them on an individual basis for optimum attention to the detail of those processes.  I try to make a knife that will last forever, which is why I use micarta for most handles.  I also use woods and other natural materials for handles, but only those that have been vacuum stabilized.  I would like to share a note I recieved from a long-time friend and colleague from the University of Alaska at Fairbanks where I was Artisit-In-Residence while on sabbatical leave from Michigan State University.  He is an exceptional silversmith and artist, and we traded our creations back and forth - his in silver and mine in steel.  His note highlghts what a good knife will do with the proper care.  

"Curtis:
In the early seventies, Sonny Lindner was preparing to run the first Yukon Quest; a thousand-mile dog-sled race from Fairbanks to Whitehorse, Yukon Territory.  He won that Race!  He's been a competitive musher for the past forty years and is still at it!  Several times he came in second in the Iditarod (Anchorage to Nome).  A few days ago, he showed me one of your sheath knives that I gave him for his first Yukon Quest.  Other mushers lose or break their knives, but that original knife has been his faithful and dependable tool for all that time.  Wow!   Glen"