S&W to buy Taylor Cutlery brands for $$$

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Staff member
Jan 3, 2003
0 hrs east of TN
Shares of Smith & Wesson (SWHC) are up 1.76% to $28.85 in early-morning trading on Monday after its accessories unit, Battenfield Technologies, agreed to acquire knife maker Taylor Brands for $85 million in cash.

The acquisition will help the firearms manufacturer grow its accessories division by "expanding into adjacent and complementary markets," Smith & Wesson CEO James Debney said in a statement.

The transaction is expected to close within three to six weeks and won't impact the 2017 first quarter ending July 31.

Congratulations to Stewart Taylor for the original move to acquire the S&W branding for knives way back when and parleying it into an unheard of profit in the knife industry.
Taylors business model is Chinese made knives sold under established American names to give the impression the knives are made in the USA. I guess it's profitable but no thanks.
Not my cuppa tea.
I remember ordering a Schrade Tough Tool right after Taylor bought Schrade. My USA made ToughTool that had been used daily and beaten severely for 10 years was tighter and locked more solidly than the Chinese one fresh out of the box.

That said, it's a free market, and they seem to be making money by selling their trashy knives. They're just not making any of that money from me.
Nah, not even.

They mostly import cheap Chinese knives under the licensed brands of S&W, Imperial, Schrade, and Schrade's sub-brands Uncle Henry and Old Timer.

Most of their knives are traditional slipjoints or cheesy "tactical" knives.
It gives Smith some control over just what cheesy tactical knives now get their logo. I expect that they will upgrade their line and a lot of models will drop out. I surfed their branded offerings coming in from offshore and there were literally hundreds of knives. It's been diluting the value of their Brand in the knife industry and the models which did have some provenance with LEO's and users like us suffered from it.

The one place I could count on seeing them was in auto parts stores and flea markets - with Smith now controlling things they might get a better distribution network, including S&W dealers.

China offers some absolutely crushing values in knives, from the Ganzo 7212 at $18 shipped to high end models from Kizer and Reate. It's been the Chinese who supply Benchmade, Spyderco, Kershaw, CRKT, and Boker who have proven they can put out a world class product. All you have to do is specify it and they make it. Like most of the LED screens in our living rooms. Those seem to work just fine.

I expect good things and a major upgrade in S&W's branded line.
Actually, some of the Chinese Schrades aint bad knives!
I hate to say THAT but , Facts are Facts.
For Me? I gotta enough Schrade knives, I don't need the Chinese faction!
This to me is the benchmark of S&W made knives. Designed by Blackie Collins (who also assisted in setting up the knife making operation at S&W), and made in the mid '70s it is an extremely well made factory knife. I still kick myself for not buying the Bowie knife or the Folding Hunter lockblade knife. Both were fine designs and had a first rate quality to them.

70's S&W knives like bannockburn's were nice knives.

Is "Taylor" a knife name I should know

Only if you're reallllly a knife nut. It just started with Stewart Taylor in the 70's importing actually good knives mostly made in Japan and Taiwan. He was one of the first what would become "tactical" knife importers. Their quality fell off to a high volume lower price point line. Any knife company worth $85M is worth knowing something about.
I had a s&w frame lock from them back when I was in highschool that was fairly decent if a bit soft. hopefully with s&w at the helm the qc will get closer to that knife compared to the stuff I've seen from them recently
I got 2 Taylor made pocket Knifes and a S&W Folder . The Folder nearly 10years old and still works fine. The other 2 I got in early part of 2016and are still being field tested by me.
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The Taylor Brand Schrades are an insult to the Schrade name. I've had a couple of their "versions" of real Schrades. Absolute garbage.
I doubt Smith will bring them back home and have them made right.
They've been making their guns cheaper for decades. I see no reason the knives wouldn't follow suit.
I don't see why they'd have to charge an arm and a leg for a well made US knife.
I consider Case, Bear, and Buck (US made models) to have price points that are very livable.
Just before Schrade closed I bought several Schrade, Old Timers from a local Mom & Pop store that was selling out. I bought several Case knives at the same time at a drastically reduced price.
Glad I have'em as all are in original boxes!
anyone make a "good" schrade old timer type knife anymore? My little girl wants one and I don't want to give her garbage. She's using my spare Kershaw chive right now.
Selling the S&W brand name to be used on low price Chinese knives really cheapened the brand in my eyes. Colt did the same.

So when will we see cheap Chinese made, S&W branded, firearms?

The early American made ones between 1974 to 1985 are what are desirable. http://www.ggarchives.com/bangor-pu...lding-custom-etched-knives.html#axzz4IrPtjtA7

Good thread at S&W with a lot of pictures. http://smith-wessonforum.com/smith-wesson-knives-collectables/92359-s-w-knife-photos.html



There are also on Arizona Custom Knives - http://www.arizonacustomknives.com/survival-bowie-by-smith-and-wesson-165570.aspx http://www.arizonacustomknives.com/survival-knife-by-smith-and-wesson-162915.aspx

Below is an iknifecollector piece by Gus Marsh that I significantly agree with, but differ in where I personally start and stop valuing S&W knives (any early Collins design/made is good and any of the Ultrathin and metal frame or body folders made in the USA).
http://iknifecollector.com/group/odds-ends/page/the-knives-of-smith-wesson said:
Smith & Wesson began to examine the knife market in 1972 in an effort to provide a full line of law enforcement and sportsmen products. President William Gunn met and discussed designs with Blackie Collins, a knife designer. Blackie submitted several samples and drawings of various styles of fixed blade knives to meet the needs of the public.

In 1972 Smith & Wesson was approached by the Texas Ranger Commission to build a commemorative revolver in honor of their 150th anniversary. While attending these meetings, Roy Jenks of Smith & Wesson Collectors Association and a Smith & Wesson Historian, proposed what could be offered in the way of a commemorative handgun. At this time, the Commission was also considering the purchase of a commemorative service knife. Roy, and John Wilson, a member of the Texas Commission, developed a design, similar to an early style Texas knife, for a Bowie knife. This pattern was presented to Smith & Wesson and the Bowie knife, designed by Blackie Collins, was modified closer to the style originally used and purposed by Mr. Wilson.
Smith & Wesson felt an excellent entry into the knife market would be the Texas Ranger Commemorative Bowie knife. A package deal consisting of the Smith & Wesson Model 19 revolver and a Bowie knife was presented.
The idea was accepted, production was initiated, and in 1973 Smith & Wesson announced the Texas Ranger Commemorative. Production plans called for the manufacture of 8,000 knives cased with a Smith & Wesson model 19. In addition, 12,000 individual knives in their own presentation case were offered.

The Texas Ranger knife, identical to all the early Smith & Wesson knives, was produced from forged 440 series stainless steel and handcrafted in a series of 47 different manufacturing operations. Each knife was serial numbered on the top of the blade beginning at serial number TR1 through TR20,000. The Texas Ranger Bowie knife was the only one marketed by Smith & Wesson in 1973. Plans were made, however, to announce Smith & Wessons entry into the knife business.
The factory geared up production to manufacture a standard Bowie knife similar in design to the Texas Ranger; a general-purpose hunting and camping knife with a 5 inch blade and an emergency equipment cavity in the contoured handle. This was called the Outdoorsman. To increase their versatile knife line, Smith & Wesson manufactured the Survival knife. This also had a hollow handle cavity covered by a solid brass screw-on cap. The handle was round and blended into a double quillon cross guard for maximum workability and production. The 5 inch blade had a wide flat spine and a sharpened false edge. The factory hoped that this 10-ounce knife would gain popularity with campers and back-packers. A 3 inch dropped point blade knife, designed for Smith & Wesson by Blackie Collins, and was offered to the hunter. Its handle was tapered and contoured to fit into the hand for ease in skinning large or small animals. This was called the Skinner.
For the individual who did not like fixed blade knives, the factory offered a 3 inch blade lock-back knife called the Folding Hunter. This was a rugged, handsomely made knife with nickel silver bolsters and sold with a belt sheath.

The factory did not have the capability to manufacture this particular item; therefore, they contracted with Alcas or Bowen Knife to produce the folding hunter according to Smith & Wessons specifications.

In 1972 Alcas Cutlery Corporation became a wholly owned subsidiary of Alcoa. Ten years later, a group of company officers purchased Alcas Cutlery Corporation from Alcoa, taking the company private. Shortly after the management buyout, Alcas Cutlery Corporation purchased Vector Marketing Corporation, which became the distributor of CUTCO products in North America. In 1990, CUTCO Cutlery Corporation was created to be the manufacturing subsidiary alongside Vector Marketing Corporation, and the parent company's name was changed from Alcas Cutlery Corporation to Alcas Corporation.

Bowen Knife was started in 1973 by Walter & Michael Collins. They worked with Camillus and Alcas in the early days, making many folding and straight knives. Today the company is much smaller and specializes in making belt knives. Now I know why I always have to take my belt off when going thru security.

To complete their line of knives, the factory offered the fisherman two fixed blade knives. These were called the Fisherman Fillet, designed with a 6 inch blade, and a general-purpose knife with a stiffer 5 inch blade simply called the
Fisherman knife. These seven styles rounded out the Smith & Wessons complete knife line. The company had put together a group of knives with broad appeal that would offer advantages of custom-made products but at reasonable prices.

Everything was done to build in quality and custom appearance. The blades were forged, utilizing 120 plus years of experience in steel forging. The guards and pommels were hand fitted and silver soldered to the blade. The handles were hand fitted and made of a special pressure impregnated natural wood called Wessonwood, which gave maximum durability for a long-lasting life. The edge of each knife was hand honed by individuals specially trained to complete this operation and provide a sharp edge blade direct for the factory.
At first, the knife program was well received and sales were promising. In fact, interest was such that the factory produced a special series of highly decorated knives called the Collector Series.

This program was announced in 1975 and four knives were offered; Bowie, Outdoorsman, Survival and Skinner. Each knife was to be serial numbered 1 to 1,000. The blades wee to be acid etched, picturing a game scene, and the guard and pommels sculptured of sterling silver. Each would be packaged in an individual presentation case. To enhance and complete this program, the company planned to offer all four knives in a single case. The Collector series began in full swing in 1975.

Blackie Collins finished the special knives and the factory quickly wrote orders for production of 1,000 units. Plans called for the four knives to be built beginning with the Bowie, Outdoorsman, Survival and finishing with the Skinner. The program was designed to last for at least a year. Each distributor ordering a knife was to receive the same serial number in each of the four models.

This plan was great, but manufacturing and vendor problems led to many delays. This caused loss of interest, and distributors began to cancel their orders. Smith & Wesson found they were left with many incomplete sets. This distracted from the value of the program, but for the knife collector it added to the value of the sets that were sold complete. It is estimated that only 800 complete sets were sold by the time the program was complete in 1980, five years later.

Late in 1977, Robert Ferraro, an engineer, was requested to develop a new line of medium of popular priced folding type and new fixed blade knives. This development took nearly three years from the time the designs were first drawn. The wait was well worthwhile, for in 1980 Smith & Wesson announced its new general purpose-folding knife called the Maverick. This knife was available in both a Clip and Drop point versions.

In 1980, the market saw another Smith & Wesson knife design. This was the Ultra Thin, a small all stainless lock blade pocket knife. It was just the right size to slip into a pocket. Immediate success of these two knives caused the factory to discontinue their original line and concentrate on development and production of a complete new series.

Total discontinuation of the original knife line left the collectors some reasonable rare knives to seek and add to their collection. As of 1980, the production figures of all original knives were approximately 108,000 units (this does not include the
Texas rangers Bowie).
Here are the production numbers.
Texas Ranger Bowie – 20,000
Bowie 6010 – 15,000
Outdoorsman 6020 – 13,000
Survival 6030 – 17,500
Collector Series – 3,752 (800 complete)
Skinner 6070 – 15, 500
Fillet – 4,500
Fisherman 6040 – 4,500
Fisherman 6050 – 4,500
Folding Hunter 6060 – 35,000
The old knives are now a thing of the past, fine knives built like custom knives to help Smith & Wesson understand the business. From this early experience, Smith & Wesson has developed a new series of fixed blade knives called the American series, which was introduced in 1981.
This series consisted of four knives each having a Posi-Grip handles of rubber and molded directly onto the blade assembly with a heavy brass hilt to protect the hand. These were offered in four popular blade styles, called the Large Upsweep, Small Upsweep, Light Duty, and Heavy Duty. To round out their line, the factory introduced the Shooters Knife; a slightly thicker variation of its stainless Ultra Thin, except it has a screw driver blade as well as a knife blade.

Smith & Wessons philosophy that it is better to develop in house ideas has resulted in a new style of knife called the Swing Blade. This unique folding knife was offered in two versions, a sportsman and a boot style. The swing blade weights 4 ounces and when closed is only 4 inches long and 5/16 inch thick. The Sportsman features a clip point blade and the Boot a double edge. This new design enables each operation with just one hand. To open the knife, push the swing blade and lock protector out in a straight line, then allow the protective blade cover and lock to swing around the blade thus locking the blade into positive position.

In 1995 Smith & Wesson developed a new 3-blade pocket knife called the Stockman. The first year, the master blade was marked “First Production Run, 1995". The current productions are all Special OPS and Tactical knives.

A search on eBay for “Smith & Wesson Knife” returned 3,990 items. A search on the same site for “Smith & Wesson Texas Ranger” returned 14 items.

In recognizing the problems they had, Smith & Wesson has refined and expanded their knife industry. Development of new ideas and products have enabled them to be a success in the knife business and offer the sportsman a better series of knives to meet their various needs.
The Knives of Smith & Wesson by Clarence E. Rinke 1990
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