Happy New Year!

Our New Year’s Wish

letterwE HOPE the year will be more prosperous- and that we will continue to merit the kind of patronage you favored us with during the old year.

One again we thank you for the consideration you have shown us, we hereby resolve to continue in those policies of business which have met with your favor in the past.

May the New Year’s dawn bring you the kind of cheer that stays right on throughout the year.


A New Year’s message as it appeared in the January 1932 edition of Paine’s Cutlery Journal.

And from all the staff of the Cutlery News Journal, we sincerely echo the sentiment so appropriately expressed to their readers then- to you for 2010!

Happy New Year!

Published in: on December 31, 2009 at 6:24 am  Comments (1)  
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Cutlery News Journal’s Top Stories for 2009

The most popular stories for 2009 cover a wide-range of topics- knife company history, knife company and industry news, audio interviews, knife factoids, trends, contests and survey results. Interestingly, several posts were published in 2008 and remain popular.

2009 Knife Collector Survey Results
Famous Knife Factory Fires
Meet a master whittler
American Cutlery Company History Trivia
Wrench and Tool Knives
iBlade: A new cutting-edge iPod
All the types of knives and the firms that made them
Smoky Mountain Knife Works Executive Killed
Pocket Knives and Tool Knives in the Early America
Knife History References
Introduction to Great Eastern Cutlery’s
My Favorite Knife YouTube Video Contest
Knives used around the Kitchen in 1919
CNJ Audio Interview Series- Knifemaker Tony Bose

Published in: on December 30, 2009 at 4:42 am  Leave a Comment  
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Holiday Family Time

Life is all about balance. Trying to keep all the important aspects of our lives clearly in focus- best we can.

Last week I shared with you about the CNJ staff all taking off the rest of 2009, and that includes me too now. I’m off investing time with my wife and kids in a Winter Wonderland. And while I did look to see if I could locate a speciality knife shop around where we are- with no luck- we’re spending our time playing in the snow.

I hope you are enjoying your holidays too.

My clan on our snow mobile trip

Published in: on December 29, 2009 at 11:17 am  Comments (1)  

Knife Restoration- Is it an acceptable practice for old knives?

Bringing an old knife back to life

Folks have different opinions on Knife Reconditioning, which is why it is the most widely debated topic today.

This discussion leads us head-on into seeking answers to questions like- What obligations do the sellers of repaired knives have, if any? What about the guys doing the reconditioning- are they free to do whatever their customers want or are they obligated to police customers’ requests?

Check most any knife forum and you’ll find Knife Squads critiquing old knives. And when they think a seller is trying to slip one by- Katie bar the door.

CNJ is wading knee-deep into this controversial topic through a series of articles exploring the ethics of working on and selling repaired old knives.

To launch this series, let me pose this situation to get you thinking.


You’re at an estate sale digging through a box of old knives when one catches your eye. It seems all the knives in the box have one problem or another, but you give the guy $2.00 and off you go.

Later that night you empty your pockets on your dresser and there that knife is. You decide to set aside time tomorrow, if you have it, to clean the knife up a bit, cause it really needs some attention.

Tomorrow comes and goes, as does the next day and the next. Actually it is several weeks before you find the time and the interest to hit at that knife. But when you do, its character begins to shine through. And while you like the knife, it isn’t an EDC, so you put in back in the drawer with your other knives.

Then one day while you are looking for something in that drawer- there that knife is again. You’d forgotten all about it. You decide to take it to a guy who is a master craftsman to work his magic on it.

You drop it off the next week with the guy hoping he can bring it back to life.

A couple weeks later he calls- your knife is alive and doing well, and ready to be picked up.

_ _ _

Oh yeah, I forgot to mention- the master craftsman had to put another old blade on it, cause as you know when you bought it, that blade was broken off.

Stay tuned and get ready- the Knife Restoration Series should be real interesting.

Published in: on December 25, 2009 at 12:44 pm  Comments (5)  
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Interview with man who started working in knife factory in 1872

Part II in the American Life Histories– manuscripts from the Federal Writers’ Project 1936- 1940. Today’s interview is with William Dunbar of Reynolds Bridge, Connecticut during the year of 1938. The person conducting the interview is not identified and it begins with a note about Mr. Dunbar.

William Dunbar, of Reynolds Bridge, a hale and hearty old gentleman who admits to “over eighty” but astonishingly active is the last of the knifemakers remaining in his section. Commonly known as the “village,” this little suburb is composed of two straggling rows of houses over the mile long road intersecting the main highways from Thomaston to Waterbury and Watertown, (Connecticut). Built expressly for the English knifemakers who once worked in the old wooden factory in the heart of the village–long since abandoned and falling into decay–the little settlement is now occupied largely by poorer families attracted by the low rents. The home of Mr. Dunbar however is comfortably furnished, equipped with modern conveniences. He spends his winters in Florida, has a summer camp at a nearby lake–and only last year, he says, built himself a small power boat which he used successfully for fishing excursions.

“This here concern,” says Mr. Dunbar (meaning the old knife factory at Reynolds Bridge)” was called the American Knife Company, and when it started I can’t tell you. But I know it was begun by Pierpont and Morse. Squire Morse, he owned a clock shop down there on the site of the factory building, and it burned down. And afterwards (c.1849) he got together with Pierpont and started the knife factory. (Goins’ dates American Knife Company c. 1875- 1895. It was sold to Northfield Knife Co. in 1894- SK)

“No, I don’t think either one of them knew anything about knifemakin’. They were good businessmen. They hired the knifemakers and let ’em go, and I guess they made money. My father worked in Waterville and then came up here. No sir, he was a Yankee, he wasn’t an Englishman. I learned the trade from him when I was a kid and went to work in the shop here when I was fourteen.


Cutlery News Journal wishes you a very Merry Christmas


Case Brothers Pearl Toenail (c. 1900- 1914) in the Christmas spirit

Published in: on December 23, 2009 at 10:58 am  Comments (1)  
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The modern-day evolution of cutlery

Makes good sense to me

Image credit: geekologie.com

Published in: on December 21, 2009 at 9:39 am  Leave a Comment  
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Man would still be dead if not for a pocketknife carrying doctor

Stan and Jaci Wisniewski. Stan is the oldest living cardiac arrest survivor. (Eric Reed/Pasadena Star-News Staff Photographer)

Fascinating story about one, Stan Wisniewski. On Dec. 10th, 1954, he died and yet, last week he celebrated his 55th anniversary- of his second life.

And all because a doctor had an EDC.

The Pasadena Star-News reports Stan died of cardiac arrest while in a hospital’s X- ray room at the age of 24. Dr. David Brown was called in and quickly realized he had nothing to lose, so he opened Stan up with his pocketknife and cut out two ribs to start internal massage and the rest is history.

“There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t give at least a few seconds thought to what happened back in 1954, ” Wisniewki said. “You’re here today and you’re gone tomorrow.” 

…I wonder if it was a Case XX (1940- 1964).

Published in: on December 21, 2009 at 7:18 am  Leave a Comment  
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What’s in the works at Cutlery News Journal for the rest of this year

It’s not often I share our production schedule here at CNJ, but wanted to hit the highlights since we’re staring year-end in the face. I’m officially off work from my real job this week and next. That’s the good news. Unfortunately though, all the CNJ staff is taking off too.

What this means is- I’ll be here wearing all the hats for the rest of this year- research, writing, editing, layout, graphics and production. Makes me tired just to think about it. I’ve also promised to work on a video production with a knife company, finish some interviews for an upcoming series of articles on Knife Restoration (should be a fun and controversial topic) and research/write the first installment of the Knife Games Series.

In the meantime, I’ll be celebrating the holidays over at our Community Center at iKnifeCollector. We just reached 1000 members last week so our Christmas Party should be a real doozie. You are welcome to stick your head in if you are looking to play knives over the holidays. In fact, we’d love to see any knives you get for Christmas.

The day after Christmas my family is headed to Colorado. (I’m sure before it’s over it will be a cross between the Griswald’s European/Christmas Vacation and Planes, Trains and Automobiles ).  It’s our son’s senior year of high school, so we thought we’d better take some family time before he flies the coop. I managed to pull my oldest, a junior in college, away from her boyfriend, so she is going. And our other two daughters can’t wait to go (ages 16 & 13).

In case you are wondering why all the detail, I’m making excuses for why CNJ may….not publish any posts between Christmas and New Year’s Day. If you do find I’ve posted then you’ll know I needed a vacation from my vacation.

Published in: on December 20, 2009 at 3:34 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Benchmade Knife Company Wins Award

Benchmade Knife Company Recognized as a Most Admired Company in Oregon

The Portland Business Journal recognized Benchmade Knife Company as one of Oregon’s Most Admired Companies within the Manufacturing Companies division.

“It is an honor to be recognized among such admired and prestigious organizations in the state” says Les de Asis, Founder and Owner of Benchmade Knife Company.

Surveys were sent to more than 1,800 CEO’s throughout the Oregon and Southwest Washington region and asked them to select the companies they most admire. These awards recognize companies that CEO’s believe to be the very best organizations in the region.

Other companies winning awards in the manufacturing category include Nike Inc., Columbia Sportswear Co., and Leatherman Tool Group Inc.

Published in: on December 18, 2009 at 10:43 am  Leave a Comment  
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