Are American made kitchen knives a thing of the past?


November 25, 2012, 11:48 AM
Sharpened a few Old Hickory knives this morning on my WEPS, which got me thinking, then Googling.

Are there any American made kitchen knives still in production? Old Hickory still makes them, but from what I've read the newer ones are thinner than the old, and I really don't care for the handles.

I'd like to find a nice set of carbon steel kitchen knives at a reasonable price. I just can't stomach the thought of buying some of the kitchen knives I've seen, where many of them cost more than a really good custom hunter-style knife.

Your input is appreciated.

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November 25, 2012, 11:55 AM
I bet they are and if not close to it.

November 25, 2012, 12:15 PM
Dexter-Russel is good.

Rosewood is also made in USA.

November 25, 2012, 05:19 PM

Ohio Company. Been to the factory and the train carving Museum.

November 25, 2012, 07:01 PM
Thanks ctdair. I'd found them already, but they use S35VN. I don't have any blades in that stainless variety(I have very few stainless at all), but believe, based on a few posts on BF that it is very prone to rolling the edge under use. Probably not a good match for a kitchen knife.

November 25, 2012, 07:46 PM
American made kitchen knives still in production?


November 25, 2012, 07:49 PM
Old Hickory are still made in the USA !

November 25, 2012, 08:54 PM
Not my favorite knives but Cutco is still made in the US I believe.

November 25, 2012, 09:15 PM
hso, my friend, you are a/an non-HighRoad collection of words!

Very nice. i did look at Fowler's work today, as a matter of fact. However, with a 10 year old daughter wanting a new bolt rifle for deer hunting, and both the daughter and wife accompanying me on my annual SoDak prairie dog trip this summer(meaning I'll need to load an extra 1200 rounds), plus my setback fun money for "impulse steel" I can't come up with the scratch needed for a set of Fowler's.

I'm really uncertain at this point if you're my protagonist or antagonist!

November 25, 2012, 09:20 PM
xjsnake - Cutco is 440 stainless. I can pick that crud up at any Wally-World. I'm spoiled, and like my D2 and similar carbon stainable blades!

November 25, 2012, 10:24 PM
Old Hickory and Chicago are still cranking out knives.

American kitchen cutlery never was the chief's tool of choice. It used to be Sabatier, Henckel and Wusthof (all European), now you can add Global, Kershaw/Shun, Misono of Japan and, surprise, the American company MAC.

Or you could do what I did this Thanksgiving and use a BKT #5.

November 25, 2012, 11:18 PM
What about

November 25, 2012, 11:24 PM
Here's the easy way to answer the question.

November 26, 2012, 12:23 AM
Myself, I have one old Sabatier that was hardly used before I got my hands on it, a couple of newish Henckels, a couple of customs, and a bunch of Tramontina we got for our wedding that, with some work, turned out to be decent knives. And one Dexter-Russel paring knife that gets used more than most of them put together.

Brian Williams
November 26, 2012, 08:38 AM
You can still find relatively inexpensive Old Hickorys on ebay, this one cost me $7.

Brian Williams
November 26, 2012, 08:47 AM
look at this one, I have one and it is sweet, chrome plate carbon steel and thin as a whip. no thicker that 1/16"

Shanghai McCoy
November 26, 2012, 09:41 AM
Yep, what Brian says plus the local junque and anteek stores or the re-sale shops. Church tag sales are a good place to look as well...

November 26, 2012, 10:15 AM
Last Thanksgiving I sharpened about ten incredibly dull and crappy kitchen knives at my girlfriends sisters house.. at least there was a usable stone. Quite a few were pretty bent up but hey, they came out pretty sharp.
I ordered her a made in (not "finished" in) Switzerland Victorinox (gotta do research these days it seems to see where things are made) 8" Chef's knife with blade protector.. she doesn't have a block or bar magnet

and a Fiskars ceramic wheeled pull through sharpener.

I would have got her a top of the line Henckel or Wusthof but the turkey wasn't really that good and she and her husband don't know how to take care of a good blade.

November 26, 2012, 12:49 PM

November 26, 2012, 10:40 PM

Cutco and Ka-bar are owned by the same conglomerate corporation. So that has been a good reason for me to buy from them.

November 29, 2012, 11:21 AM
Not fancy, but we've got some of their stuff that's a good 40 years old and still going.

November 29, 2012, 04:13 PM
The "Chef's Choice" brand knives are made in the U.S.A. and are of excellent quality and very well researched.
They ain't cheap however.

November 29, 2012, 08:08 PM
I live in pretty much the knife capital region of the U.S. (Ontario, Cutco/Ka-bar, and Case all in a 25-mile drive of my house). We still make 'em here.

Old Hickory's are a tad thinner than the old ones, but are carbon steel and $36 for a full set on Amazon :). The small knives are part-tang, but the bigger ones are full. If you don't like the handles, drill out the rivets and make some new ones, heh.

Cutco are stainless, but very nice. Many of my friends/coworkers started life either making them or selling them. Case doesn't make kitchen stuff, though.

My favorite kitchen knife is >gasp< a Sabatier 10" chef's knife. It's French, been in my family for about 30 years, and is still available for $150. Next favorite are my Old Hickorys. My deer knife is a Case 316 I found in the woods when I was 4 or 5.

November 29, 2012, 08:38 PM
I really love my Shun kitchen katanas. These "Fusionwood" knives look similar and are made in the USA, though I've never tried them:

November 30, 2012, 02:29 PM
Ebay or Garage Sale Old Hickorys are all I use. I was blessed to get my Grandmaws set she got in 1970 and you can shave with them.

Russ Jackson
November 30, 2012, 02:56 PM
I own a lot of Kitchen Knives old and new. I only use two when I cook. One is a Japanese Knife called Mac the ones I use are from the 80's and can be bought for about $20 to $40 each. Here is an example.

These old ones are no longer made and are considered the best kept secret in knives by many chefs. You can find great examples on ebay if you watch. Easy to sharpen and really hold an edge. You might think they have an odd shape but feel great in hand. I have tried just about every knife available and these are the best.

The other one I use can be bought at Sam's club. Its a 10 inch Santoku Knife sold in a two pack for under $20 bucks. They are indestructible and hold an edge very well. I know you are not supposed to put knives in a dish washer but in the real world I do and these ones work great.

November 30, 2012, 06:31 PM
cutco is US made.. kabar too, i have relatives that work at the factory.. though, i wouldnt be suprised if our countries current economic problems changes that too

i guess the best way to get made in america, is to make it yourself.. though the steel you find will probably be made in china too

November 30, 2012, 10:18 PM
Thanks for all of the suggestions. I've got a few bids out based on this thread. I also just picked up a HF belt sander and believe I will try making a blade from D2. I'll be scouring the thrift shops this weekend for a small oven to heat treat the finished blade. I really wish to buy an American carbon blade, but in all honesty the pride of my kitchen in a Shun Santoku. Maybe I'll re-evaluate and see what happens.

December 1, 2012, 09:35 PM
So yesterday while getting my wood stand read for a load of oak firewood I found buried under one of the concrete blocks what appears to be an old Hickory big old butcher knife blade that was quite corroded and missing not only its scales but the cuttler rivets.

My elementary aged daughter wants to bring it back to life and though it seems more trouble than it could be worth I think we will. I would post tonight but I just discovered her older brother had set the camera resolution way to high for the size files normally allowed on here but I may as well try.

Neither my wife nor I can recall having or loosing such a knife so it may have been out there 18 years or more....... or maybe I forgot it last year.... or someone working on the well or roof or barn over the past decade dropped it.

I am thinking sandpaper, files, and elbow grease from little elbows as well as my own.


edit: yep, too big maybe next time.

December 2, 2012, 09:02 AM
kBob - I brought back a Cutco Girl Scout knife that was very rusty by starting with a wekened solution of Brownells steel White blueing remover. It worked out pretty well. After a short soak and rinse I used wet towels and table salt to remove the rest of the rust from the few small pits.

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