About Us

About Us : AKC / Knives Australia since 1990!

AKC / Knives Australia is a reputable and well-known mailorder business that offers quality bladeware at the best prices with personalised service. We are a full-time mailorder knife specialist - it's what we do!

With over 30 years experience in marketing a multitude of knife brands and styles from all across the world, AKC /Knives Australia continues to import and direct-market quality bladeware at attractive prices by mailorder across Australia.

We offer hundreds of knives at attractive prices. If it appears on our website then the item is available direct from our shelves. We do not do buy-ins - we hold the stock we sell so we can dispatch promptly. Occasionally, like any seller, we can temporarily run out of stock of an item, but replacement stock is generally never very far away. Super-priced superseded lines are the exception; as quit lines, they are offered only while stocks last!  

Our staff are passionate about knives and have a personal interest in all things sharp. Personalised service means care is taken to check each and every knife that leaves our premises. Quick and efficient dispatch ensures orders are in the hands of our customers in the quickest time possible, no matter where they live in Australia.

Initially we functioned as a traditional mailorder service across Australia - all by catalogue and post. Our website was developed in 1998 and for 18 years continued to promote all things sharp. In 2016 we finally succumbed to the needs of the many who now on-line shop - our paper based catalogues had already been phased out and a new shopping cart allows customers to purchase in their own time. But our traditional service remains - and we are still happy to answer questions by phone, email or post, and to help those who require assistance with their selections.

Our History

Matrose Agencies was founded  in 1978 (and registered as Pty Ltd in 1988) by Keith M. Spencer in Perth, Western Australia. The firm has been a purveyor of bladeware and wholesale supplier since its inception. The firm began importing its own range of knives in 1983, initially from England (H M Slater), then added agencies from Canada (Grohmann Knives) and America (KaBar Knives), marketing them to Australian resellers as Spencer Imports (1985-1997). 

In 1990 Keith expanded the company and added AKC Mailorder Knives to specifically cater for the needs of Australian knife users, makers and collectors. It embodied the Australasian Knife Collectors Club (1990-2011). Almost 10,000 members registered with the AKC Club over a 20 year period until the club wound up in April 2011. Although the club closed, AKC Mailorder Knives continued.

The AKC strongly supported the English-Australian cutlery link (a connection since 1788). Recognition was acknowledged by an invitation from the Master Cutler of The Company of Cutlers in Hallamshire for Keith and Joan to attend the 371st Cutlers Feast held at Cutlers Hall in Sheffield in 2007.  

AKC's Australian Knifemaking Supplies (1992 - 2012) was added to the mailorder business to import products unavailable in Australia to accommodate the needs of a burgeoning number of knifemakers across the continent. It soon became the nation’s major provider of knifemaking supplies for makers, customizers and restorers, specializing in the induction of novice knifemakers into the world of blade-making by the ‘stock-removal’ method. Best blade-steels from Sweden and Europe were offered to knifemakers, plus handle materials, furnishings and a wide array of sharpening equipment. A big range of finished knife blanks and AKC knifemaking kits available for knife customizers. The AKC also ran W.A. Custom Knife Expos (1996-2001). Keith Spencer had made his first knife in 1989. Joan Renton made her first knife in 1996. We were ‘hands-on’ suppliers.

AKC Publications & Video Productions, an in-house publishing arm, was established in 1998, with Joan Renton-Spencer as the publisher. The most significant venture undertaken by AKC Publications was Knives Australia magazine. Launched in 2001, for seven years it was distributed quarterly onto newsstands nationwide. Knives Australia then became the official organ of the AKC Club for a further three years until the final issue (a 64-page digest) was published in December 2011; a ten year tenure, 32 issues and well over 1,000 knife articles!

Our website domain name heralded the first dedicated Australian newsstand knife magazine, Knives Australia, that enlightened readers relating to Australian knife culture and history and vigorously defended knife ownership in the face of anti-knife legislation.

Keith and Joan moved from Western Australia and relocated in Tasmania in 2012. The move allowed Keith to concentrate more on his writing tasks while Joan continued the daily running of AKC/ Knives Australia mailorder, fine-tuning the intricacies of the service-orientated mailorder business. In 2015 Keith passed away but his legacy continued as Joan continued the business and began training her own staff, a passion for bladeware always being the number one requirement. In 2017 warehouse manager Ben Harker officially took over the ownership of AKC / Knives Australia, and continues the tradition of a service orientated, full-time mailorder knife specialist.

Keith M Spencer (1943 - 2015): 

With more than three decades of experience in marketing a multitude of different knife brands and styles from all over the world and a commercial knife importers since 1983, Keith M Spencer was acknowledged by many as Australia's premier knife historian/writer and bladeware specialist.

In 1988 Keith was engaged by the S.S.A.A. as a knife columnist under Edgemaster in the then Shooters Journal magazine, now known as the Australian Shooter. After 27 years and approaching 300 articles he remained the Edgemaster columnist until his passing in 2015. Since its inception in 2000, he had also been a regular knife feature writer for the S.S.A.A. Hunter magazine. 

From 1991 until 1995, the life cycle of Australian Gunsports magazine, Keith wrote 32 knife articles under the title of Blademaster

Over the years he has also written many knife articles for overseas books and magazines, including USA publications Blade, Knives Illustrated, Tactical Knives and Knives Annual, promoting Australian-made bladeware.

Books authored by Keith Spencer and published by AKC Publications include Australian Custom Knifemakers 1991; Australasian Custom Knifemakers 2nd Edition (1992); Edgemaster: 50 Australian Knife Stories (1999) J. Renton-Spencer, Publisher; George Lee Sye: Pioneer of Australian Custom Knifemakers in the Modern Era (2012); Australia & New Zealand Cutlers and Cutlery 1788 - 1988 (2015).

AKC MAILORDER KNIVES – SERVING THE NATION’S KNIFE NEEDS