The OTTER company was established circa 1840 within a traditional grinder's watermill known as a 'Kotten,' situated at the Königsmühle in Solingen by the Berns siblings. The company's moniker is derived from the native otters that once inhabited the riverbanks and streams of the Bergisch Land region in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany.
Today, this company has a lineage that traces back to a steelware factory established in 1840 by the Berns brothers. The company's name has undergone various changes over time. In 1922, old advertisements referred to it as the "Gebrüder Berns Otterwerk Stahlwarenfabrik," and by 1927, it was simply known as the "Gebrüder Berns Stahlwarenfabrik." The brand name "Otter," featuring an otter clutching a fish, was officially registered in 1899, most likely due to the German Warenbezeichnisgesetz of 1894. This brand remains in use to this day. The Otter trademark was acquired by Rainer Morsbach. As he had no heir, he began searching for a successor around 2010, ultimately finding Frank Rommel.
Rommel, a skilled toolmaker, ventured into cutlery through his work with a company specializing in garden shears. His aspiration was to establish his own knife-making company, and serendipitously, the owner of Otter-Messer at the time lacked a successor.
The company currently has a staff of 20 individuals, including Frank Rommel and his son, Alexander. Annually, they manufacture approximately 20,000 knives. The hardening process is outsourced, while the sharpening, assembly, and final finishing of the blade and handle are carried out at Otter itself, utilising traditional techniques.