The Cutler

Cutlers produce cutting tools such as knives, scissors and instruments for industry, handicraft, household use, and recreational use. Resharpening and repairing the various cutting tools are also part of the cutler's work.

Apprenticeship lasts four years and includes practical training at a qualified company and theoretical training at a vocational school. During the first two years of apprenticeship, apprentices attend vocational school two days a week, and during the third and fourth years, one day a week. After four years of apprenticeship and successfully passing the final apprenticeship examination, apprentices receive the Swiss federal certificate as a trained cutler.

Prerequisites for cutlers: completion of public school, good physical health, enjoyment of manual work and working with metal, precise working manner, persistence, patience, and good spatial sense.

The following basic skills are learned during apprenticeship: forging by hand, filing, heat treatment, grinding, polishing, and assembling. At the practical final examination, two self-designed knives must be made, for example a kitchen knife and a jackknife.


A trained cutler can work as an employee either at a commercial company with sales, at a larger business enterprise, or in industry as a sharpener or tool setter. With the requisite additional training, a cutler can also work as a supervisor or workshop head. Knife manufacturing offers a good opportunity for specialization within the field.

There are approximately two to five apprenticeship positions in Switzerland.

Association of Swiss Cutler Masters
Stampfenbachplatz 4
8006 Zurich
0041 (0)2 362 38 43


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