A different way to sell cutlery


Jack Gillette- Cutlery Salesman

Large knife manufacturers don’t sell directly to the public; instead, they sell to dealers and retailers, and then the knives are sold to the consumers.

But, what if a knife salesman came calling directly on you to buy. I’m talking about one-on-one direct sales. You would either buy or not, depending if you needed them or, in the case of collector knives, wanted them to collector or not, right?

Wouldn’t it be interesting if a knife company could create a situation where we bought their knives for reasons other than to use or collect?

I’m talking about creating a situation where the buyers want to help the salesman. 

That is exactly the business model used by one particular knife company.

To most collectors this company isn’t typically thought of as a knife company, but consider the following:


Published in: on February 9, 2009 at 6:30 am  Comments (2)  
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The Conversion of a Rebel & Case Knives

Weekend Edition

When I first started collecting pocketknives I learned of Case knives. Then I kept running into Case knives. Everyone I talked to talked about Case knives. It was obvious Case knives were very popular and the throngs of collectors wanted Case knives.

No, I don't fly a Rebel Flag

No, I don't fly a Rebel Flag

I am a bit of a rebel. I don’t follow the crowd. I registered Independent. The last thing I want to do is the thing everyone else is doing. And as as it related to collecting knives, I decided-

I was NOT going to collect Case knives!

And I didn’t, instead I built a collection of German-made knives (H. Boker). Then years later I started collecting elephant toenails  and I wanted the old stuff! 

I can hear you chuckling now

Everyone who has been ’round knife collecting for very long knows Case is where every collector eventually gets to- one way or another. It is kinda of like what we say down here in the South- you can’t get there without having to first go through Atlanta (airport). The same is true for Case and especially for a collector of old American made knives.

You see, Case was a major player back when elephant toenails were first made. Case Brothers made them. W. R. Case &  SON had toenails made by Napanoch around 1902. Then you had the Platts (jumbo swellcenter!!) and W R Case merger around 1905. And the whole time Case toenails were produced, not to mention Crandall, Little Valley Knife Association, on and on. Everywhere I turned was a Case knife or family member.

Try as I might, I couldn’t collect old toenails without falling in love with Case and its fascinating history. If you have been around ElephantToenails.com or CNJ for very long you probably thought I was a stock holder, on salary or something, but I’m not. I resisted it tooth and nail and then naturally fell for this firm.

cccmagwinter2008resizedlowresToday I am a proud member of the Case Collectors Club and this week received the CCC magazine, which, incidentally, mentions Cutlery News Journal’s interview with Tom Arrowsmith, the President of W R Case Cutlery Co., on the CNJ Knife Show.

The CCC  has grown from a handful of members in 1981 to 18,000 members worldwide. I can attest to the fact- these folks are fanatics when it comes to Case knives. I have been fortunate to have been asked to conduct the auctions for two Case events in Bradford, Pa and I’ve never seen anything like it. casefanknife

And I must confess one day you may see me like this too, cause the conversion of this rebel is complete.20080718_0778

CNJ Audio Interview Series- Tom Arrowsmith of W R Case Part II

One of the privileges of hosting the CNJ Audio Interview Series is my being able to have one-on-one candid conversations with many of the most successful individuals in the Knife Industry.

Recently, I spoke with Mr. Tom Arrowsmith, the President of the W R Case & Sons Cutlery Company of Bradford, Pennsylvania. He was gracious enough to grant me the time necessary to answer my questions, the result of which is this two part interview.

If you missed Part I, catch it first, as it sets the stage for the questions addressed in Part II.


In Part II, we discuss many topics, including the reason for and success of the Case Collector Appreciation Weekend, the economy and knife sales, government regulation, challenges presented by off-shore knife manufacturers, Case’s marketing efforts and Web presence, and the results of Case’s Made in America campaign. 

Case fans you will find these interviews a rare treat- being able to have an open forum with the president of Case. If you are not a Case collector, his insights on the Knife Industry and the challenges facing American companies are very interesting. 

The buffering time of the show varies depending on your connection speed. Typically it takes around 10 seconds before it begins, so please be patient as it loads.


Published in: on October 10, 2008 at 7:04 am  Leave a Comment  
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Knife Collecting and Sweet Home Alabama

You probably know by now, I jump at any chance to spend time enjoying our knife collecting hobby. 

This past Saturday morning, October 4th, I had the chance to attend one of Case’s President’s Tour Events. With the demands on the home front and my real job, I don’t often have the opportunity to go to knife shows or events, but with this one being about 80 miles from my hometown down here in sweet home Alabama, I worked it out to go.

The Case event was held in Parrish, a small town 30 minutes NW of Birmingham, Alabama. Shelby (my mustang) and I arrived about 9:20 and I was not surprised to find a line of collectors stretching out into the parking lot.


Published in: on October 6, 2008 at 6:08 am  Leave a Comment  
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CNJ Audio Interview Series- Tom Arrowsmith of W R Case Cutlery Company

CNJ is proud to bring you the Audio Interview Series with key individuals in the knife industry.

Our guest in today’s exclusive interview is Mr. Tom Arrowsmith, the President of the W. R. Case Cutlery Company – America’s manufacturer of premium, hand-crafted knives. In addition, the firm began back around the turn of the last century and is the most historically significant cutlery company.

The interview with Mr. Arrowsmith is going to be aired in two parts. Both of the sessions are chocked full of a behind-the-scenes of the W R Case Cutlery Company. 

You are going to find these one-on-one conversations to be extremely interesting. The topics for today’s show ranges from Tom’s personal background, his early days at Case, a “typical” day for him as president, what he enjoys the most about his position, his vision for the Case company, changes he has seen in the knife industry and how imports have impacted the industry, challenges knife companies face today and factors considered by Case as it decides what new styles and types of knives to make.


The buffering time of the show varies depending on your connection speed. Typically it takes around 10 seconds before it begins, so please be patient as it loads.


Stay-tuned for Part II of this historic interview. 

Published in: on October 3, 2008 at 3:29 pm  Comments (1)  
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On the Cutting Edge

Case's MySpace Page

Talk about cutting edge, the W R Case Cutlery Company is on it. No one can say this firm is resting on its traditional advertising or ways they have always done things. No sir, this firm is out there leading the way by using new mediums to reach new customers.

Case in point, is their recent launch of their MySpace presence. If you aren’t familiar with this social networking site, don’t feel bad. While wildly popular among younger folks, MySpace and Facebook are now starting to go mainstream. As the web continues to mature, cutlery companies must change their ways to adapt to new electronic mediums and kudos to Case for getting out of their box. 


W R Case Cutlery Company MySpace Page

MySpace Demographics are now showing half their visitors are 35 years of age or older.

I quickly put up a sample MySpace Page that is more similar to the pages most individuals have- Scott King MySpace Page. Come on and join. We’ll start a knife collectors group, of course.

Published in: on September 24, 2008 at 6:19 am  Leave a Comment  
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