XIKAR is dedicated to providing value to consumers through unique, artful cutlery at a fair price. XIKAR will provide these products through honest and ergonomic design to achieve superior form, feel and function. XIKAR stands behind its products through a lifetime total satisfaction warranty. XIKAR FOR LIFE
History of XIKAR with Kurt Van Keppel
XIKAR is dedicated to providing value through honest and ergonomic design at a fair price. Honest design includes consideration of function, ergonomic comfort with simple, clean lines and lack of superfluous decoration on the product. Good design will enhance a users visual, tactile and mechanical experience with XIKAR products.
The following four fundamentals make up our product development:
XIKAR considers consumers of XIKAR products, customers and friends. XIKAR will strive to build and maintain this relationship through exceptional products, the best warranties, and beneficial news to the consumer. This means:
The following fundamentals create our service commitment:
XIKAR stands behind each of its products with a total satisfaction lifetime warranty. We want to provide our consumers the same benefits we look for in making our own personal purchases.
Kurt Van Keppel, who wanted to buy a good cigar cutter in 1994, found the inexpensive models and the high-end models underperforming. So, he set out with Scott Almsberger to match good design (ergonomics and function) with the best styling and materials. The result was the Xi cutter, which they first assembled in their garages, and is now the market leader in cigar cutlery.
XIKAR originated from the word sikar, which is said to be the first Spanish spelling of the Taino word for cigar. The Tainos were the indigenous populations of Hispaniola and Cuba, where Columbus first landed when he discovered the "New World", and tobacco along with it. We changed the S to an X (representing 2 blades) and had the X cut the i, like a cutter clipping a cigar!
In 2000, Kurt and Scott decided to expand their product development into the pocket folder market. That year, they exhibited at the Blade Show, to "learn about the business," and they got good tips from custom knife makers like Tim Herman, and knife manufacturers like Paul Gillespie and A.G. Russel. The following year, XIKAR presented its first knife design, and in 2002 brought to market its full-scale production knives, the 118 Elan, 138 Excel and 158 Excursion. They expect to introduce two additional models for the knife nut at blade 2003!
Kurt Van Keppel: President (right)
Scott Almsberger: Vice-President, Director of Design and Production (left)