Are you Crazy – do you know how many kitchen knives are on the market and how many places sell them? This was the first response I got about 5 years ago when I mention to some of my friends I wanted to start a knife company. When I couldn’t find the chef knife I really wanted, I thought what the hell, I will just buy a bunch of knives and make do because I was not considering starting a company to get what I wanted. I really didn’t want to start a knife company until…. Why not ?? I bet there are lots of people who feel the same way I do. I felt like I could develop a product to ‘fracture’ the German and Japanese, and Chinese knife market. American made, Veteran owned, produced in the one of the ‘foodie’ capitals in the U.S., Portland, Oregon.
As a baby boomer man, I have always had a thing about knives – all kinds. Where I grew up in the mid-west, getting your first pocket knife (I was about 11 and I still can show you the scars) was a rite of passage for a young man. Getting one was a vote of confidence that you were old enough and mature enough to carry and use something that could cause serious damage to you and others. My Dad always carried a K-Bar 3 bladed knife for as long as I can remember. He never, as the credit card sayings goes, left home without it – I lost or broke several pocket knives early on but I still have the Uncle Henry 3 blade pocket knife my Father gave me 50 years ago.
Fast forward to Viet Nam – 1971 – . I left my beloved Uncle Henry back home for safe keeping and ended up in the jungle without any knife. I realized the first day out, the bush is the last place to be without a knife (can you imagine Bear Grylls without a knife). I partnered up with guys in my squad until my Grandmother responded and sent me a Swiss Army knife – one that I use to this day.
I also keep an Old Timer hunting knife given to me by Roger Dale on his last day in country. I told him I could not take it because he carried it all the time when he was in country, and he would want it as a souvenir when he was home. He said, “Daddy snake, this knife has saved my ass more than once and I want it to do the same for you”. It truly was a gift that kept on giving. I have collected many knives over the years – most were given to me as gifts – gifts I cherish because people thought enough of me to give me something special – a gift that make me remember the giver every time I use it.
But why Kitchen Knives – so what and who cares?
I realized I do!! I care about feeling good when I cook. I feel good when I can prepare a meal that my family and friends enjoy. I feel good when eating together as a tribe kindles primal emotions of connection and meaning. It all began when I first watched the original Iron Chef on Food TV. I could not believe the knife skills those early chefs had and I was hooked – I wanted to learn how to cook and I needed tools – knives.
There are fundamentally two types of men in this world – men who love tools and men who could care less. I am one of the former, but not obsessively as the men I grew up with. My Father and my Brother are people who always had to have the best, I am not. Harbor Freight is just fine for me but Dewalt and Honda were the preferred choice of my family members. When it comes to knives, I am obsessed with the best tool for the job, not necessarily the best. A good enough tool for the job not only makes the job easier, but makes the experience much better – you can chop down a tree with a ball peen hammer and take a month but with a sharp saw, it only takes minutes. I feel the same way about a kitchen tool like a knife. A quality knife makes cooking a fun experience, not just a chore. Like most people, I started this journey buying a knife here and there but over time, I realized every design I tested did not satisfy my desire for the perfect tool for the job. This realization made me decide to make a ‘tool’ that was highly functional and fun to use. I set out to design the most functional and fun kitchen knives for men like me!!! Our knife designs are created for the man who wants a ‘tool’ that makes cooking efficient and enjoyable. Our knives are also wonderful gifts for the women who want to give a special gift to the men in their lives – especially if they want their guys to cook more and enjoy the experience.