In Gabrovo a blacksmith was called everyone, who processed iron, irrespective of the type and the purpose of the made articles. And the very occupation was called blacksmith' trade. According to the Ottoman law of 1772, the blacksmith's trade was among the first in Gabrovo that established its guild organization. And some legends, told in the folk songs, also speak that the smith's trade was in the base of the economic progress of the town.
Gradually the inner differentiation of the blacksmith' trade set apart several trends as crafts with definite profiles. Among them cutlery had the greatest development.
The articles of Gabrovo cutlers were produced out of iron and steel. Knives without steel were not made, because the guild's rules did not allow it.
According to the way, in which the steel welds together with the soft iron, the articles fall into three kinds:
Knifes of the first kind- the iron and the steel are welded together and forged thus, that the steel forms the cutting part and the edge of the blade. This way of welding of the steel and the iron is called "kainak" or blacksmith's weld and the knives produced this way-"kainaklii". Thus cheaper knives for large scale necessities were made.
Knives of the second kind are made as the steel and the iron for the blade are forged several times until they become a homogeneous mass. Thus made edges of knives, swords and yataghans are sharp, tough, hard and elastic at the same time.
Thus high-quality articles for armaments (swords, yataghans) and for professional purposes are made.
In the third kind of knives, the blades are forged out only of steel pieces. Such are the razors and some special types of articles.
In his researches, the historian of Gabrovo Dr. Petar Tsonchev has had it that in their variety Gabrovo knives exceeded 150 types. Unfortunately, most of them are not preserved today and they are known only as names.
"kulaklii" - knives with split extension, like ears, at the rear part of the haft, made of horn, bone or metal alloys.
"kokoni" - luxuriously made, elegant relief formed knives of smaller sizes with richly decorated hafts, made out of white or coloured bone or horn.
Double, triple - universal knives of different sizes, placed in twos or threes together in one scabbard
Balance knives - knives with brass haft, in which a balance mechanism (of graduated lever with a small hook, hung on a stretched spring) is mounted. They were for weighing of small weighs.
Great quantities of penknives were also produced ("soiki", "chekii"). The penknife is a smaller knife, which blade folds and hides partially in the haft, made of wood or horn.
Scissors are the third type of articles made by the Gabrovo cutlers. Various types of scissors are made, intended as for house and everyday necessities as well as for professional purposes.