The Messermeister Story

Messermeister is committed to designing new and innovative products by sourcing the world to find the very best manufacturing quality at the right price for the market.  Messermeister is proud to have served the culinary community for 4 decades and will continue into the next generation. We offer a product warranty for the life of the user against defects in materials and workmanship.

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The History of Messermeister

The story of Messermeister, “messer” meaning knife and “meister” meaning master, begins with a man and his passion for premium German cutlery. Bernd Dressler was born in Germany and in his teens immigrated with his family to Australia. In 1967 he sought after bigger dreams in America and began his career as a salesperson in cutlery for a large German knife company.

In 1981, having gained the necessary sales experience, Bernd decided to start his own venture in cutlery with the help of his wife, Debbie Dressler. Bernd sought to reconnect with his countrymen by collaborating with a 3rd generation knife making family in Solingen, Germany. His passion for premium cutlery led him to design and manufacture vintage, handcrafted, forged German cutlery. While studying the manufacturing craft from the German masters, he also learned from chefs that a need existed for more functional, better performing knives. Bernd’s innovations are the first bolsterless heel, the first truly cambered chef’s knife, and the sharpest polished edge angle.

By 1995 Bernd’s brother, Bruen, introduced Messermeister to the Australian market and from there the brand began to expand internationally. Today, proud to be a 100% woman owned company, Debra, Chelcea and Kirsten Dressler continue Bernd’s mission to bring innovation and creativity to the forefront of all kitchens and to provide the highest quality knives and culinary tools to culinary students, chefs, and home cooks. After 4 decades, the Messermeister brand of knives and culinary accessories continues to win the hearts of cooking enthusiasts worldwide. We invite you to create your own culinary success story with Messermeister!

Messermeister Timeline

  • 1981: Bernd and Debra Dressler begin distribution of German and Japanese products as DAMCO (Dressler American Marketing Company). Bernd hits the road in his campervan with his two dogs while Debra handles all the bookkeeping, finances and shipments. 
  • 1984: DAMCO debuts at the Gourmet Housewares Show in San Francisco, California.
  • 1985: DAMCO establishes its first knife line, Messermeister.  The knives are full bolster, 20° bevel with a molded handle.  The knife line is innovative, featuring a knife handle with a personalization plate.  DAMCO integrates Messermeister as the company name.  Messermeister, meaning 'knife master' in German is born.
  • 1986: The business moves from Los Angeles to Ojai, California, because of Bernd and Debra's desire to raise their two daughters in a small rural town, similar to Bernd's childhood years in Mudgee, NSW, Australia.
  • 1988: Messermeister patents the first Edge-Guard.
  • 1992: The Meridian and San Moritz Elite knife line are introduced to the US market as the first truly bolsterless heel, cambered chef's knife with the sharpest polished edge and 15° bevel.  The entire knife edge can be truly sharpened from heel to tip. 
  • 1993: Two stamped knife lines are added to the collection, Park Plaza and Four Seasons.
  • 1995: DAMCO Australia is started by Bernd's brother, Bruen Dressler, in Matcham on the Central Coast of NSW, exclusively distributing the Messermeister range throughout Australia. 
  • 1997: The Pro-Touch gadget line is introduced.
  • 1998: The very first serrated peeler debuts on the Oprah Winfrey Show.
  • 2002: Founder Bernd Dressler tragically passes away. Debra is faced with either selling the company or continuing forward in the spirit of her husband.
  • 2004: Chelcea and Kirsten Dressler commit to Messermeister after completing business degrees. Messermeister becomes incorporated. 
  • 2006: Messermeister lands an exclusive contract with the highly regarded culinary school, Le Cordon Bleu.
  • 2008: Despite facing a difficult market, Messermeister chooses to introduce an extensive color range to many of its highly rated gadgets and culinary accessories. 
  • 2011: With the Japanese Santoku knife style dominating the market Messermeister develops the first 8-inch Stealth Chef's knife, remaining true to the traditional shape of a Chef's knife, but combining it with the thinness of a Santoku blade.
  • 2012: With the desire to create a more natural and organic knife line, Messermeister develops the Oliva Elité, which boasts an exquisite, natural Italian olive wood handle.
  • 2015: Continuing with small batch, artesian craftsmanship the Royale Elité provides the first hand selected, highly figured California Burl Walnut handle with the best German steel, a rare and unique blend of knife.
  • TODAY: Many companies have moved in different forging processes, but Messermeister remains one of the few companies in the world to produce hot-drop, hammer forged knives the traditional way. Messermeister's unique process and attention to detail make it a favorite among chefs and home cooks alike.  After more than three decades, the Messermeister brand of knives and culinary accessories continues to win the hearts of cooking enthusiasts worldwide.