The Nolen family traces their knifemaking to the 1800s in Colorado. It remained a hobby that supported their hunting until the 1960s when they discovered an interest and demand for their edged hunting tools. R.D. Nolen made his first knife in 1946 and partnered with his brother Jim, in Nolen Knives. The Nolen family lifelong interest in hunting gave them an approach to knifemaking that comes from years of hands-on experience.