EKA was founded in 1882 by Hadar Hallström, under the name Hadar Hallström Kniffabriks Aktiebolag. In 1917 the company name was changed to Eskilstuna Kniffabriks Aktiebolag – later abbreviated as EKA. Until the middle of the 20th century, Eskilstuna was a real "knife town". More than 40 factories specializing in knife manufacture resided in the city. With its focus on quality and its will to develop, EKA managed to stay in the market.