If you’re looking to chop, fillet, dice, saw, skin, carve, hack or otherwise damage something with a sharp object, New West KnifeWorks in St. Helena can probably help.
The St. Helena store opened June 2 at 1380 Main St., and carries knives from New West and other brands. New West manufactures its knives in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, not far from its flagship store in downtown Jackson.
The company has been producing high-end knives for about 20 years, said Anthony Campolattaro, general manager. He showed off one knife with a blade of S35VN powder steel – which combines the best of stainless steel and high-carbon steel — and a handle made from a G10 fiberglass epoxy resin.
The handle “is bombproof, it doesn’t absorb any moisture, and it handles extreme heat really well,” Campolattaro said. “NASA invented it for motherboards of supercomputers. You see this combination of steel and handle material in knives for the military or highly technical knives. We make them for the kitchen and we add pretty colors to make them look awesome.”
Just like at the Jackson store, the Mountain Man Toy Shop operates as a store within a store. It sells Damascus steel hunting knives with intricate patterns that take 40-50 hours to produce, pocketknives, axes, slingshots, survival kits and some outdoor apparel.
There’s also an area where customers can try throwing tomahawks at a wooden target (Campolattaro makes it look easy, but it’s not).
New West came to St. Helena because “you are the mecca of food and wine,” Campolattaro said. “We knew we wanted to open a second location … and it came to either here or Sonoma. And we just loved it here.”
The shop doesn’t offer sharpening services yet, but the necessary equipment is already on order, Campolattaro said.