Howard Viele is at the pinnacle of the list of knifemakers hand making high-tech modern liner-locks from his Westwood, New Jersey Shop. He became a knifemaker through an unusual quest. After attaining the rank of "Sandan" (3rd degree black belt) in Karate in 1973, he became interested in the weaponry associated with the martial arts. When Howard began making knives, there was no one in the area to teach him any secrets and shortcuts, so he learned to make knives through trial and error, thus no particular knifemaker's designs have influenced his work. He has been a member of the Knifemakers' Guild since 1976 and is also a member of the German Knifemakers' Guild. In giving Howard the Wooden Sword Award, Ken Warner, editor of Knives '85 said, "The man cuts a clean line, often a new line, every time he goes for it. Viele knives are handsome knives that look so good, and so often different as well, you can't help noticing. That's practically a definition of style."