The Ultimate Guide To American Knives & Knife Companies

A Comprehensive Directory of Knife Companies Who Manufacture in the U.S.A. and the Knives They Make Here

The US has birthed a lot of great knife companies like Buck, Gerber, and SOG, which have all created iconic American knives, and maintained a certain high reputation as American made. But at some point, all of them have had to cut costs or manage the cost of expansion by manufacturing overseas.

Now days it’s a given that a large knife company will have at least one overseas factory and split their releases along some kind of quality line. In some cases you don’t really have to worry where a knife is made because the company keeps a close eye on quality control. Spyderco, for example, is pretty strict about their products and from what I understand maintain close relationships with both their Seki and Taiwan factories.

Four USA made knives sticking out of a log in front of an American flag.

On the other side, there’s a growing number of custom and small batch knife makers who are edging into the production world. Some are choosing to take on that extra work load themselves and expand their personal workshops, while others are making deals with larger manufacturers, either in the US or overseas, in order to mass produce their designs.

So I decided to start compiling a list of all the companies that manufacture in the USA and which designs they keep in the borders. This isn’t meant to be an admonishment of companies that outsource to other countries (but Everyday Commentary did write a decent piece on the nuance and importance of US manufacturing that’s worth a read). There are plenty of foreign knives that we love and collect. This is simply meant to be a comprehensive index of information.

American Knife Companies A – F

AG Russell Knives

An overhead view of three AG Russel Premium Scout slip joint knives on a jacket.
Factory Location:Rogers, AR
US Manufacturing:A.G. Russell Shopmade only
Production Level:Mid to large scale
Knife Type:EDC, kitchen, survival, traditional, tactical

The Russells are icons in the traditional knife world. Andrew Russell started selling knives he made on his kitchen table in the mid 60’s, then (as these things go) slowly moved up in space over time. By the mid 90’s A.G. Russell Knives was operating out of an 8,000 sq. ft building, then less than a decade after that had to find an even bigger building in Rogers, Arkansas.

Russell’s wife, Goldie Russell, joined the company in the late 80’s and played a huge part in improving their catalog. She went on to become president of A.G. Russell Knives (and still is, at the time of this writing). She also became president of the board at the American Knife & Tool Institute in 2007 and became a key part in keeping assisted open and one-handed open knives from being classified as switchblades (which basically saved the entire industry trom taking a drastic downward turn). In 2014, she was accepted into the Cutlery Hall of Fame. None of that has much to do with A.G. Russell Knives manufacturing in America; it’s just a cool thing I think everyone should know.

The AG Russel Sandbox series of tactical and survival knives are all made in America.

Now, A.G. Russell Knives is not exactly a manufacturer (at least, not just a manufacturer). They’re a vendor too. A lot of their business as a mail order company involved selling knives made by other companies, and still does. But they also make their own knives, so it can be a bit confusing to gauge what is made by who and where by just looking at their website.

Starting out, every design under the A.G. Russell Knives’ name came out of Arkansas, but over the years they’ve been outsourced to several different countries, including Italy, Germany, Japan, and (more recently) China. To complicate things further, they picked up the manufacturing of Morseth knives in the 80’s with Bob Dozier working in their factory, and even picked up the rights to Cattaraugus knives, producing a few collector’s pieces through a factory in Seki, Japan.

Also, as an old company with a lot of history and attention to collectors, they sometimes find old knives like the K87 One-Hand Knife lying around (a model which was made in parts in Japan, but assembled in the U.S.), so sometimes the pattern will be broken by a piece of history bubbling up to the surface.

On the whole, though, all American-made A.G. Russell knives are the A.G. Russell Shopmade knives. Their Shopmade category of knives are made using various ranges of CNC machines and hand grinding, and it includes the Morseth models of knives they make (in case any Morseth fans out there are curious).

They’re also really good about providing detailed information about all of their own knives, including the country of origin, so it’s easy to check individual knives. Most of their knives come with a pretty detailed description of the story behind the design as well, which makes their site fun for the diminishing number of nerds out there who like to read stuff.

American Service Knives

American Service Knives is an Arizona based knife company that specializes in Swiss Army type pocketknives.
Factory Location:Scottsdale, AZ
US Manufacturing:All models
Production Level:Small batch
Knife Type:Multi-tools

American Service Knife is Greg Medford’s all-American multi-tool company. I’m not sure if it’s meant to be a direct call out to Victorinox, but it does feel like a strained coincidence that these knives are abbreviated to ASK.

If this is meant to be SAK competition, the pricing is very bold (which won’t be surprising to anyone familiar with Medford). But it looks like they have a pretty interesting modular system that lets you purchase individual tools so you can build out your own multi-tool if you want. Also all the knives are emphatically and transparently US-made.

From the front page on their site: “Our steels are powder stainless alloys from Niagara Specialty Metal in upstate New York, our Titanium is mined in Ohio, and our plastic injection molded scales are made right here in Scottsdale, Arizona”.

Artisan Revere

Artisan Revere makes produces some of the best American made kitchen knives we have ever tested.
Factory Location:All over, USA
US Manufacturing:All models
Production Level:Small batch
Knife Type:Kitchen

There aren’t many companies out there who are as open about their process as Artisan Revere. Founder and designer, David Olkovetsky, came into the knife industry from an investment firm career that dealt largely with minerals and metals, and he did his research before he started Artisan Revere.

He came into it with the goal of making a production knife that felt custom, and was made completely in the USA in as ecologically responsible a way as possible, and he wants his customers to know exactly where their knives have been:

So the blade profiles are cut out in New York, then heat treated in Pennsylvania, the bevel grinding is done in Michigan, and the leather sheaths and handles are done in Idaho (you could probably scroll around this blog awhile and work out which of the other companies here are involved in most of those steps).

The only part that comes from overseas is the steel. For now they only use Elmax steel, which is a very high end powder steel made by Uddeholm in Sweden.

Their line up is small, but solid. We reviewed their chef’s knife a while back and loved it.

Bark River Knives

Bark River makes all their knives in America, and a lot of their knives are semi-production and semi-handmade.

Factory Location:Escanaba, Michigan
US Manufacturing:All models
Production Level:Small batch
Knife Type:Fixed-blade hunting and survival

This is a pretty well established outdoor knife brand, despite only existing as a company since 2001. They’re interesting because a lot of their knives are semi-production and semi-handmade. It’s a family-owned business full of really skilled people who pay very close attention to each knife.

From what I’ve seen, their base blade stocks go through some kind of CNC production but all the polishing, handle shaping, and sharpening is done through hand grinding. As a result, all of their knives tend to run around the $200 mark, but their knives earn that price tag. Bark River fixed-blades are pretty widely considered some of the best you can get. They’re also one of the few companies still making common use of the convex grind.

As far as I can tell, they do everything within the USA. All their materials are sourced from and put together in the states. They’ve expanded they’re original factory several times to make room for new manufacturing departments like sheath making, which just goes to show how dedicated they are to keeping everything close to home.

Bear and Son Cutlery

This is family company that started in the early 90’s, and most of their knives are made in the United States.
Factory Location:Jacksonville, Alabama
US Manufacturing:Most models excluding Bear Edge (but see description)
Production Level:Large production
Knife Type:Traditional EDC and tactical

This is family company that started in the early 90’s. For a while now they’ve been a good source for traditional-style lockback knives. They also make a lot of butterfly, tactical, and one-handed EDCs in a broad range of styles. I first noticed them because of their trapper knives, but these days it seems like they’re butterfly knives are the hot ticket item. Either way, they’re very proud of the fact that every stage of their knife manufacturing takes place in the US. All the washers, scales, steel, screws, and beyond (for most of the their knives) are done in their own factory.

Since their start they’ve launched some well-themed divisions within their company:

The base Bear and Son Cutlery name covers a lot of ground from traditional lockbacks to butterfly knives to fixed-blade survival knives.

The Bear OPs division is more tactically oriented designs, including butterfly knives, assisted-open knives, and fixed-blade knives.

The Bear Edge division is their budget line, and the only place I’ve seen them use the word “imported”. It’s also a newer line so the theme of it is still expanding, but it mostly consists of EDC, tactical, and fixed blade survival. This is the only line that has any kind of Chinese manufacturing, and even then they’re mostly having parts made in China. Many of the Bear Edge knives are still assembled in the States, and Bear and Son is kind enough (for now) to name all the USA-assembled knives in the Bear Edge line as a pattern number (Pattern 102, 103, etc).

I don’t know exactly when they launched their Bear Edge line or the nature of the factory they use for it, but it seems to serve as a good source for hunting knives under the $50 mark.

Begg Knives

Begg Knives are designed and manufactures in California.
Factory Location:Petaluma, CA
US Manufacturing:All models
Production Level:Small batch and custom
Knife Type:Folding EDC

These are hard knives to get a hold of because Begg Knives is a small artisan operation. The majority of their knives are made to order in their custom shop in California, but you can find the occasional folder pop up on vendors here and there if you’re actively looking. They do a lot of pretty incredible work with Damascus steel.

Begg Knives is pretty much all American from what I can tell. They machine a lot of their own parts and hand finish all their knives. They do seem to have a relationship with some overseas factory, but that’s strictly for the high production chef knives being made under the Mattia Borrati name. You can find out more about that in the Mattia Borrani section.


Benchmade knives that are made in the USA.
Factory Location:Oregon City, OR
US Manufacturing:All models
Production Level:Large production
Knife Type:Folding EDC, some fixed blade survival and kitchen

Benchmade is particular about manufacturing only in the USA. Anything that has the butterfly on it will be at the very least put together in the states.

They used to manufacture a few lines overseas, and distinguished between each tier of knives with Gold, Blue, and Red. Their Red Class, meant to be a budget line, was manufactured in China (I think), and at least some of what they made for HK and the NRA were imported. But they’ve cut all those lines out of their catalogs and became an exclusively Made-in-the-USA company.

The Benchmade Reboubt and Weekender, pictured here, are two of our favorite American made Benchmade knives.

They’ve brought back the color-based line ups to delineate between different styles of knives, but even the bottom tier is still made in Oregon:

Gold Class: Super high end designs (Mostly this means their more popular models with Damascus steel)

Black Class: Tactical designs for (and sometimes by) military and low enforcement. Check out our in-depth review of the Benchmade Redoubt to learn what we thought of Benchmade’s latest Black Class release.

Blue Class: General EDC designs. We spent a few weeks testing out The Weekender which is a great new Blue Class design from Benchmade. Check out our review to see how we liked it.

I’ve had trouble finding information on whether or not they still maintain factories overseas, but if they do they only make smaller parts for their products. On the whole, if you buy a new Benchmade, it’s pretty much guaranteed you’re buying American.

Blue Collar Blades

The Ultimate Guide To American Knives & Knife Companies - Image 1: Blue Collar Blades
Factory Location:Provo, Utah
US Manufacturing:All models
Production Level:Small batch and custom
Knife Type:Kitchen

This is just about as small as a knife company can be and still put out enough product that’s available to the general public.

They focus on making functional, well-built kitchen knives with the philosophy that you don’t need twenty different knives if you have just a couple well-made knives. The founder comes from a background in auto repair and construction, so there is definitely a functional feeling to all their designs. The prices and availability are very much at an artisan level, though.

Currently their selection is small and consists entirely of fixed blades, so it’s safe to say that this entire operation stays completely within the States.

Bonds Creek Knives

Bonds Creek knives is a small West Virginia based company that is  quickly becoming one of our favorite American knife manufacturers.
Factory Location:Provo, Utah
US Manufacturing:All models
Production Level:Small batch and custom
Knife Type:Kitchen

We discovered Bonds Creek at the 2023 Blade Show. This small, West Virginia based company turns out a surprising number of innovative designs at affordable prices. This innovation has led to steady growth and rising popularity.

The unique handle aesthetics, impressive fit and finish and great customer service are part of the reason Bonds Creek Knives is often sold out of certain models. Fortunately the product shortages are always short lived, so if you see a knife you like that is sold out it may be worth checking back in a few days.

Brous Knives

The Ripper is a good example of the type of knives made by Brous Blades in the USA.
Factory Location:Bonds Creek, WV
US Manufacturing:All models
Production Level:Small batch
Knife Type:Folding EDC and Fixed Blade

They run in a similar “small batch, artisan” vein as a lot of companies on this list, but there are a couple things that make them stand out.

For one, the founder started the company with a lot of experience with CNC equipment under his belt, which means he didn’t start out sweating in the forge so much as focusing on design.

The majority of their designs follow a “functional fantasy” aesthetic that grew from an early interest in biomechanical art, so they might not be for everyone. They also aren’t easy to get in the first place, because Brous runs a small operation. But if you’re looking for something a little different, you should definitely be able to find it in Brous Knive’s line up.

Buck Knives

Buck Knives that were manufactured in the USA.
Factory Location:Post Falls, Idaho
US Manufacturing:Most models in the US
Production Level:Large production
Knife Type:EDC, hunting, survival, and some kitchen

Buck is one of the most iconic American knife companies in history, so it was a special kind of disappointment when they started making knives on the cheap in Taiwan back around the birth of the millennium. That was back when they were still based in California, and money was starting to get tight, but even at the height of their economic trouble they never completely stopped manufacturing in the U.S. Which is impressive since they kept it up while literally moving all their equipment to Idaho. They’ve pulled way back on overseas manufacturing in recent years, but still make around 20% of their lines in China.

A recent-ish update: In early 2018, Buck announced the new Cerakote machine they set up in their Idaho factory. Basically that means you’ll see a lot of wildly colored options om US-made Buck knives. Previously, I would have said that a wide choice in color and designs was a sure sign of Chinese manufacturing, but, for Buck at least, that’s not the case.

Check out our Buck Knife Reviews section to see how these knives perform.

The Campadre, Saunter, 110 Hunter Sport and 119 Special Pro pictured here are all Buck knives made in Post Falls, Idaho.
American Made Buck Knives from left to right: Compadre, Saunter, 110 Hunter Sport and 119 Special Pro.
Buck Knives Made in America

Note: “Buck of the Month” or “Legacy Collection” models are almost always USA made.

040 Onset
055 The 55
091 CSAR Responder
095 CSAR-T
110 Folding Hunter (all variations)
112 Folding Ranger (all variations)
183 Alpha Crosslock
239 Infusion
250 Saunter
279 Folding Alpha Hunter
Bantam series (283 – 286)
288 Quickfire
289 Fluid
290 Rush
293 Inertia
294 Momentum
301 Stockman
303 Buck Cadet
Vantage Series (340 – 342, 345 – 347)
417 Budgie
BuckLite I & III (422 , 426)
500 Duke
501 Squire
503 Prince
505 Knight
550 Selector 2.0
Pursuit series (656 – 661)
722 Spitfire
726 Mini Spitfire
Deploy series (838, 839)
Sprint Pro Series (840 – 842)
898 Impact Auto
Fixed Blades
101 Hunter [Discontinued]
102 Woodsman
103 Skinner
104 Compadre
105 Pathfinder
108 Compadre Froe
113 Ranger Skinner
117 Brahma
119 Special (All variations)
120 General
124 Frontiersman
191 / 691 Buck Zipper
192 / 692 Vanguard
212 Fixed Ranger
631 PakLite series
616 Buck Ops Boot Knife
PakLite 2.0 Series (630, 631, 635, 636)
662 Alpha series (662 – 664)
Fixed Pursuit Series (656 – 658)
Bucklite Max Series (684 – 685)
GCK Series (891, 893) [Discontinued]

Bradford USA

Two different Bradford Knives fixed blades.
Factory Location:Kent, Washington
US Manufacturing:All models
Production Level:Small production
Knife Type:Fixed-blade hunting, survival, and kitchen

I think this company’s big claim to fame still lies mostly in the Bradford Guardian 3, but they have a strong line up of survival and fixed-blade EDC knives. They’ve also been slowly growing their kitchen knife line up lately.

The Ultimate Guide To American Knives & Knife Companies - Image 2: Bradford Guardian 3
The two versions of the Bradford Guardian 3 pictured here were made Kent, Washington.

Brad Larkin started this company back in 2012 after the success of the Gatsby steak he designed and sold as a custom knife maker. I don’t think there’s a whole lot more I could say that the Bradford site doesn’t already say except that I’m pretty positive their entire manufacturing process takes place almost entirely in the USA with the exception of some of their material sourcing. But things look good even where their materials are concerned. Most of the steels they use are from Bohler-Uddeholm, and the bulk of their handles are made from Micarta which I’m fairly certain is sourced from the states.

I don’t know where they’re getting their G-10 or carbon fiber scales, but I do know that Larkin had been working in manufacturing before he started his own company, and apparently already had some strong contacts where materials were concerned. Plus they’re still a small company with an as-yet untarnished idealism about quality.

Camillus Knives

Cammillus srill makes a few knives in the United States.
Factory Location:Rocky Mountain, NC
US Manufacturing:Partial
Production Level:Large production
Knife Type:EDC, hunting, and survival

Camillus is not the same company it was before 2007, but that’s not to say it isn’t good. It seems to be benefiting from several innovations that come along with being owned by Acme United, namely the titanium bonded materials they use for handles and blades. They don’t, however, make any knives with those innovations in the US. All their American-made knives seem to be hunting and bushcraft designs with 1095 steel, so I’m guessing all their titanium bonding equipment must be overseas in China or Taiwan.

The Camillus site has a section dedicated to all the knives they make in the USA, which you’d think would make this an easy section to fill out. Their USA knives page doesn’t tell us exactly where their USA factory is, though, and that just seems weird to me. After some digging, I did find that Acme United purchased a factory and distribution center in Rocky Mount, North Carolina back in 2016, and since I can’t find any reference to any other USA factories, I’m going to assume that’s where Camillus makes their American-made knives.

So, unless I find something that tells me otherwise, here’s all the knives Camillus makes in the USA, possibly in Rocky Mount, North Carolina.

Camillus Knives Made in America
8.5 Inch Bushcrafter Fixed Blade
Barbarian (Discontinued)
Blaze Spring Assisted Folder
Choker Fixed Blade
CK-9.5 Fixed Blade
DAGR Fixed Blade
Heathen Fixed Blade (Discontinued)
SKOL Fixed Blade

Case Knives

The American tradition of owning a Case knife is almost as strong as owning a Buck.
Factory Location:Bradford, PA
US Manufacturing:All models excluding TecX designs
Production Level:Large production
Knife Type:EDC, hunting, survival, and kitchen

The American tradition of owning a Case knife is almost as strong as owning a Buck. There are probably still hundreds of the old Case Trappers riding around in the pockets of fishers and hunters around the country. They are not quite the same company they used to be, though. For one, they’re owned by Zippo now. Whether or not that’s a good thing is up for debate between the nerds who collect them, but either way they’re still making knives in their Bradford factory.

The Case Sod Buster is an American made slip joint knife.
The Case Sod Buster is a classic slip joint that is made in America.

There was some confusion a few years ago when they announced they would be making a few knives in China, because of course people worried (including myself) that meant some Case knife models were being outsourced. It turned out they were just starting a new line of more modern/tactical knives called TecX. So instead of listing out a bunch of individual knives, I’m going to take a shortcut and clarify one thing:

All Case knives are still made in the US. TecX knives, however, are all made in China.

Colonial Knife Corp (CKC)

A folding and fixed blade knife from Colonial Knife Corp on a white background.
Factory Location: Various locations including Warwick, RI and Plymouth, MA
US Manufacturing:Partial (exact models unknown)
Production Level:Large production
Knife Type:Traditional, EDC, and tactical

Currently the company Colonial Knife Corp is actually under the umbrella of Colonial Cutlery International, which is the name they use to manufacture overseas now. The general line is that everything made under the Colonial Knife Corp name is molded and pieced together in Plymouth, but they have various components manufactured for them offsite. It’s tempting to assume those components are made overseas, but I can’t say that for sure. At the very least, they’re using some American parts and American labor to put the knives together.

For those unfamiliar with the name, the original Colonial Knife Company was a well-reputed knife manufacturer operating out of Rhode Island for the better part of the 20th century. Anyone who collects vintage switchblades might be familiar with the old version of the company, but a few people who have served in the military over that last few years might be more familiar with the reborn Colonial Knife Corp.

It was started by the Paolantonio family in the 1920’s. They had a long, healthy history making knives for the Navy and Air Force during WWII, and became the largest knife manufacturer in the USA in the 60’s. Things started going downhill in the 80’s, though, and the original CKC finally ended in 1998 when the company as it had been known for nearly a hundred years was auctioned off.

It was rekindled by Steve Paolandonio, a descendant of the original founders. Information on this new iteration is difficult to find, but it looks like Steve mostly rebuilt the company name on the backs of cheap imports. Now they have a few military contracts again, making a few different models for both military and police officers, and they do have a US-based factory with some limitations.

Chris Reeve Knives

Two Chris Reeves folding knives with lanyards.

Factory Location: Boise, Idaho

Factory Location:Boise, ID
US Manufacturing:All models
Production Level:Small batch
Knife Type:High-end EDC

It feels silly to talk about Chrise Reeve knives like anyone reading this wouldn’t know about them offhand anyway, but here it goes.

Chris Reeve started out making and selling knives in South Africa. He was doing some business with an LA-based company but decided to expand into the US market by getting a table at the New York Custom Knife Show where he blew a bunch of minds. Long story short, he and his wife are the reason so many of us are now dropping hundreds of dollars on frame lock knives with Crucible powder steel.

They’re still a small company, though, operating out of Boise with a crew of about 40 people. They pretty much embody the principle of quality over quantity, so there’s no funky business with extra overseas factories. They’re pumping all of these things out of Idaho.

Columbia River Knife and Tool

The limited edition CRKT Viral is made in America.
Factory Location:Hogue and TOPS
US Manufacturing:Few models
Production Level:Large production
Knife Type:EDC, Tactical, Outdoor.

The company is headquartered in Tualatin, Oregon, but most of their manufacturing is outsourced. In fact, I never expected to add them to this list. CRKT seemed content to keep pumping out crazy designs from their Chinese and Taiwanese (and occasionally Italian) OEMs.

But in 2023 they partnered up with a couple different US-based manufacturers to make some higher-end knives: Generally Hogue makes their folders, and TOPS make their fixed blades.

The US made Redemption is one of our favorite CRKT folders.

CRKT has never exactly been known for their quality since their founding in 1994, but they’ve always been an excellent source for interesting designs, probably in part because they seem to be very good at fostering relationships with designers. You always know who thought up the knife you’re holding with them.

CRKT has consistently improved the quality of their knives across the board for the last few years. They continue to pump out unique knives manufactured overseas like the Taco Viper and the American made Redemption.

CRKT Knives Made in America
Michaca Automatic
Minnow Automatic


Cutco is one of the most popular kitchen cutlery brands made in the USA.
Factory Location:Olean, NY
US Manufacturing:All models
Production Level:Large production
Knife Type:Kitchen, some outdoor and EDC

This manufacturing behemoth started up in 1949 as the kitchen-oriented child of Alcoa and Case Cutlery, which came together to form the umbrella corporation Alcas before eventually becoming Cutco in 2009 after a few decades of various shares and management buyouts.

I don’t know the whole story, and frankly the little bit I know doesn’t sound very interesting. The important part is that Cutco runs a huge factory in Olean, New York where they mostly make kitchen cutlery on a massive scale on one side. On the other side of that factory, though, Ka Bar is hammering away on their stuff, and they have been since 1975 when the KA Bar name was in danger of disappearing and Cutco pulled them from from the ledge. They also happen to own a little company called Schilling Forge, a name which some knife makers in the audience might be familiar with.

So not only are all Cutco knives made in the US, they facilitate a lot more in the US knife manufacturing world than most people realize. I don’t know everything about their material sourcing, but they pretty much exclusively use 440A steel in all their stuff, which comes from AISI.

Dawson Knives

Three American Made Dawson Knives tilted at an angle.
Factory Location:Prescott Valley, AZ
US Manufacturing:All models
Production Level:Small batch
Knife Type:Fixed-blade outdoor and tactical

Starting in 1973 by Barry Dawson, this company has continued to be a family tradition since its beginning. They make a wide range of fixed blades. It looks like anything from neck knives to katanas, and most of their work has kind of a wild, curving aesthetic. Most of their process still involves a lot of hand grinding and meticulous quality control, and even after their recent growth they’re a comparatively small company so it’s possible we’ll see a little bit of variation between individual knives and it’s probably reasonable to expect a lot of models to be sold out a lot as they learn to keep up with their growing popularity. But it seems that the overall quality of their stuff is meticulously good.

They claim that they do everything in house and that all their materials are sourced from the states. I haven’t seen anything to indicate otherwise. They’re big fans of CPM-3V , 80CrV2, and 52100, all of which are steels developed and sold by US-based companies.

Demko Knives

Most Demk knives are made in Taiwan, but the Freereign pictured here has limited US runs a few times a year.
Factory Location:Wampum, PA
US Manufacturing:Only custom models (for now)
Production Level:Custom and large production
Knife Type:Hard-use EDC

John and Andrew Demko are responsible for a lot of incredible Cold Steel knives and lock designs, so it was kind of a big deal when they decided to start releasing their own production knives. They launched with the AD 20.5, which is fantastic but made in Taiwan.

They do have an American factory where they’re mostly fulfilling custom orders, and they often get pretty active on social media with pictures of the manufacturing process from that particular shop. But while they’re a company with a huge amount of clout and innovation, they’re still a new company navigating new-company problems.

There are probably still a few more years of the norm being that most of their available models are imported, but Andrew Demko said he was planning on expanding both his in-house and Taiwan-made knives in the future. He has also said before that he “can’t make knives better in America, just more expensive”, but the materials out of their USA shop are often top notch. Fingers crossed.

In the meantime, whatever Taiwan factory they’re using right now is doing great work. I highly recommend following them on Instagram for teasing posts about knives you can’t buy yet.

Demko is currently manufacturing US made versions of the FreeReign and the MGAD20. These knives go quick, so it is best to check their site regularly. Fortunately, Denko’s Taiwan manufactured knives are excellent.

Dexter Russell

The Ultimate Guide To American Knives & Knife Companies - Image 3: Dexter Russel American Made Cutlery
Factory Location:Southbridge, MA
US Manufacturing:All models
Production Level:Large production
Knife Type:Kitchen

The bulk of Dexter Russell stuff sits firmly in the budget kitchen cutlery category, which is a rare thing for a company that does as much in the states as they do. I had assumed initially that most of their production was overseas, but it turns out they get most if not all of their steel from an American company, and finish everything in their Massachusetts factory.

The only elements I wasn’t sure about were their blocks and their polypropylene handles, but someone from Dexter Russel actually reached out to us to confirm that they bought an injection molding facility in Sturbridge, MA a few years ago to make the handles. So all the materials for Dexter Russel knives are made, formed, and finished in the states.

The Dexter RUssel Basics chef knife is one of the most affordable chef knives manufactured in the United States.

Dexter Russell has a pretty extensive history going back to 1818 when it started as the Harrington Cutlery Company, then went through two more iterations before becoming Dexter Russell in 2001. For the bulk of their history, they made various kinds of tools and blades for frontier settlers, but now they’re the largest American based manufacturer of kitchen cutlery.

Recently I’ve seen a few of their Japanese style knives listed as made in Japan, but those same knives get listed as made in America in most vendors, so I’m inclined to say that’s a misunderstanding on the part of whoever is writing product descriptions for some companies.

Currently they make six different lines of knives: V-L, SANI-SAFE, Dexter 360, SOFGRIP, Traditional, and DuoGlide. All of them are made in the USA.

Diamond Blade Knives / Knives of Alaska

The Alaskan made knives are great quality, but hard to find.
Factory Location:Deniston, TX
US Manufacturing:All models
Production Level:Small batch
Knife Type:folding and fixed blade EDC, hunting, and survival

This is an odd company (or set of companies). Knives of Alska was founded by Charles Allen, an Alaskan wilderness guide and Texan biologist.

This man apparently came up with a new way of forging knives called “friction folding” which essentially involves an immense amount of pressure applied in a stirring motion along what will become the edge of the knife. It was inspired by the way submarine hulls are welded together. The result is immensely hard knives, supposedly getting edges up to 70 HRC while the rest of the blade usually sits at a lower tool-steel level of hardness. This process is done under the Diamond Blade Knives company name.

Field & Stream has given them a bit of attention if you want to read some good reviews, but they aren’t widely distributed. They don’t seem to have a huge operation as of this writing, so getting one of their knives might take a while, but it seems like anyone who’s gotten one will tell you ecstatically that it’s worth it.

DPx Gear

The DPX Gear Hest is one of the knives this American company makes in the United States.
Factory Location:San Diego, CA
US Manufacturing:Partial
Production Level:Small batch
Knife Type:EDC and survival

DPx knives, by the company’s own words, “are designed for brutal use, where there is no room for failure”. I would describe them more as the hard-use Chris Reeves.

They launched themselves with a Kickstarter back in 2010 with the HEST, designed by founder Robert Young Pelton. It’s possible that name is familiar to you. If not, it’s worth getting to know his work, but for purposes of this list, you only need to know that he’s a person who has lived through a lot more death-defying experiences than most.

Most of the DPx Gear designs definitely have a feeling of life-saving efficiency, but a lot of them also have a bottle-opening feature, so there’s also a sense that everything you could possibly need has been thought of.

It looks like they make their knives in both the US and Italy. Early on in the company’s life, they were pretty insistent about sourcing everything entirely within the US, but that was in partnership with Southern Grind. I don’t know what that sourcing looks like now that Southern Grind is rebuilding under a new owner. Meanwhile, it looks like Lionsteel is handling all the Italian side of DPx Gear’s manufacturing, but I’m not sure what determines what gets made where. I’ve done my best to list out the American-born models.

DPx Knives Made in America
HEST Original (inc. Black, Desert Tan)
HEST/F Urban Ti (inc. MR DP Edition, Mr DP Black, Black Flag, Hammertone, American)
HEST/F Urban G-10 (inc. Milspec, OD Green, Triple Black)
HEAT Hiker (inc. Black, Stonewash, Sandblasted, 1095 OD Green, 1095 Desert Tan, 1095 Black)
HEST 6 Fixed Blade

Elite Outfitting Solutions

Factory Location:Goshen, NY
US Manufacturing:All models
Production Level:Small to large batch
Knife Type:EDC, utility, and balisongs

The company gives off a flashy tactical vibe, but a lot of their gear is actually pretty utilitarian. They even make a box cutter, although they are probably better known for their butterfly knife, The Trident.

They apparently have a pretty large CNC operation up there in Goshen, and they use it to put out some unique stuff and grind titanium in every shape imaginable. I don’t know where they’re sourcing all that titanium from, or any of their hardware, but they use a lot of Crucible steel, so I know that, at least, is from the States.

Emerson Knives

The philosophy of Emerson Knives is mostly tactical in nature, and they are made in Los Angeles, CA.
Factory Location:Los Angeles, CA
US Manufacturing:All models (as long as it’s from Emerson)
Production Level:Small batch and custom
Knife Type:EDC, tactical, and some kitchen

The Emerson name gets around a lot these days, especially under the Kershaw brand. The Emerson CQC-7 broke the wave on folding tactical knives, and the Emerson factory has kept up a good pace of designing since then.

The philosophy of Emerson Knives is mostly tactical in nature. Earnest Emerson is an avid martial artist who’s been inducted into the Martial Arts Hall of Fame and has taught classes to various military and law enforcement.

Every Emerson-made knife I’ve seen personally has been made in the USA, and it’s hard to find anything with his signature that wasn’t. The only knives made under this company’s name that came from overseas seem to be some kind of multi-tool like the multitasker EDC-1 and 2. It looks like all those overseas designs have been discontinued, though, so it’s safe to say that every Emerson knife is a USA-made knife.

For better or worse, true Emerson knives are only being sold through Emerson’s site directly, although a few vendors might still have a stock of them to unload here and there. You can find plenty of Emerson designs everywhere, like the long CQC line that Kershaw has, but those are very much not made in the states.

Esee Knives

These fixed blae and folding knives from Esee were made in the USA.

Factory Location:Idaho Falls, ID
US Manufacturing:Most models
Production Level:Large production
Knife Type:EDC and survival

On the whole, ESEE only manufactures knives in America. More specifically they have their designs made by their partnered factory Rowen Manufacturing, which is based in Idaho Falls, Idaho. I suspect the ESEE team is too busy running out into the jungle and coming up with new designs to deal with running their own factory, and that’s also probably why all their designs hit it out of the park for survival. In fact we included two of their knives in our Best Survival Knives article.

The Ultimate Guide To American Knives & Knife Companies - Image 4: Ese Izula 2
The Izula 2 is one of Esee’s most popular knives.

They do license out designs to other companies sometimes, though, and those companies might manufacture overseas. Basically what that means is a knife might have the ESEE stamp on it because it’s their design, but all the manufacturing, advertising, and warranty issues are handled by a separate company. So it’s actually easier to just list all ESEE knives that aren’t made in America.

If you want to learn a bit more about specific ESEE knives, check out our Esee 4 Review and our Esee Pinhoti Review.

“Esee knives” not made in America (The rest are made in the States).
Darien Machete
Expat Darien Machete
Libertariat Machete
Medellini Folder


The Talisong Z balisong is an American made butterfly knife.
Factory Location:Pleasant Grove, UT
US Manufacturing:All models
Production level:Mid-level
Knife type:Balisongs, aftermarket accessories

Flytanium is one of a growing number of companies that started out making knife accessories (in this case, mostly aftermarket scales). But it seems to be a law of nature that if you hang out with knife designers long enough, you end up making your own knife.

In Flytanium’s case, it really seems like an obvious step, although I’ll admit to being surprised by their first design. As of this writing they currently only have one balisong knife out, but my understanding is it’s pretty good and unique for a butterfly (they aren’t my thing, so I wouldn’t know). The important part for this blog is that they make the handle in their own factory in Utah. I’m not sure what the story with the blade is, but the company is full of clever machinists, so I’m guessing it’s a stock removal situation.

American Knife Companies G – L

Glow Rhino

The Glow Rhino Reactor is an American made frame lock with S35V steel.
Factory Location:Detroit, MI
US Manufacturing:Partial
Production Level:Small production
Knife Type:EDC

This company started out making tritium inserts for gun sights, and one day they decided that the stuff would look cool as a knife insert. So they made knives glow for a while then apparently decided they might as well start making their own knives while they’re at it. So here they are.

They don’t have a lot of knife designs under their belt, and they’ve complicated things by doing a collaboration with Ferrum Forge and using their overseas OEM for the Lightbringer, then doing some finishing work and inserts in the Detroit factory.

Currently they make two knife models:

The Reactor, which is made entirely in the States, and the Lightbringer, which is made partially in China and partially in America.

Great Eastern Cutlery (GEC)

The Beer and Sausage Bar Tool knife is one of Great Eastern Cutlery's most popular American made knives.
Factory Location:Titusville, PA
US Manufacturing:All models
Production Level:Small batch
Knife Type:Classic slip joint and EDC

GEC comes off as a company that’s been around for a hundred years or so like Case or Camillus because all their designs are traditional folders, but they were actually founded in 2006.They started from scratch in a big empty building, which they filled with equipment over time, and now they’re a full operation making classically styled knives like barlows, jacks, and congress knives.

The founder of the company, Bill Howard, has actually been making knives since 1975. He started in Queen Cutlery, which had also been based in Titusville, before starting his own business.

Great Eastern Cutlery has created a little bit of confusion for consumers, because they use four different brands: GEC, which makes mostly traditional knives with stainless steel; Tidioute Cutlery, which uses more traditional materials like 1095 and bone handles; Northfield UN-X-LD, which is their premium brand meant to carry on the tradition of a much older company that had operated through the turn of the 19th century; and Farm & Field Tool, which is their budget brand where they use many of the same materiales but with a streamlined manufacturing process.

Fortunately all those brands come out of the same factory, and the company is pretty generous about showing their operation. They offer tours through their facility, and it’s pretty easy to find videos and content about what all they’re doing in there.

Guardian Tactical Knives

Guardian tactical is a small American knife company that specializes in automatic knives.
Factory Location:Escanaba, Michigan
US Manufacturing:All models
Production Level:Small batch
Knife Type:Fixed-blade hunting and survival

This Pennsylvania-based company is run by Andy Buerk, who’s a pretty prolific knife designer and engineer, and Brian Mercer, who’s a CNC machinist that used to be with Microtech. They talk about their machining standards with a lot of pride, and by most accounts the ergos and action on their designs are fantastic.

They’ve been around since 2012 and still a little bit under the radar, possibly because they have an aesthetic that a lot of people compare to Microtech, but a lot of their work looks pretty original to me.

Original or not, though, they keep the majority of their manufacturing within the states. It looks like they even source a lot of their blade and handle materials from the states.


Gerber Gear fixed blade and folding knives made in the USA.
Factory Location:Portland, OR
US Manufacturing:Partial
Production Level:Large production
Knife Type:EDC, survival, and hunting

With Gerber you can usually tell where a knife is made just by checking the steel (aside from looking at the Made in USA stamp, I mean). Generally, if a Gerber knife has a Cr steel like 5Cr15MoV, then it was made in China. If it’s 420HC or (more rarely) S30V or 154CM, there’s a good chance they made it in the states. One clear way to determine where a Gerber is made is to see if it’s under their Reserve line is American made with a certain emphasis on quality. Also everything available to change in their custom shop is a US-Made model.

There are a couple instances of the Chinese Cr blades getting shipped to America and then put together here, but from what I can tell that only happens with a couple models. Now settle in, because Gerber makes a lot of knives, and maybe about half of the products in the new catalog are made here.

Check out our Gerber Knife Reviews section to learn more a about specific Gerber knives.

Three American made fixed blades and one folding knife from Gerber pictured here on a dark background.
Four of Gerber’s most popular American made knives from left to right: the StrongArm, Sedulo, Ghostrike and Principle.
Gerber Knives Made in America
06 AutomaticLegend MP800
06 Combat FolderLMF II
39 SeriesLST (Lightweight, Strong, Tough)
Applegate-Fairbairn Covert (and the Mini, Auto, and Combat versions)Mark II
Auto 10th Anniversary editionMini Covert Auto
Cable DawgMP400 Compact Sport
Center-DriveMP600 Series ( Basic, Carbide, Scout, D.E.T., ST)
Combat Fixed BladeMP1 Series (MP1-AR Weapons, MRO)
Covert Auto (and Mini version)Multi-Plier
Crew Served Weapons ToolPrinciple
Crisis Hook KnifeOrder
DieselPropel Auto
Doubledown (partial)Prodigy
Dual Multifunction AutomaticRiver Shorty
EdictSafety Autohook
eFECT 1 & 2Savvy
Emerson Alliance AutomaticSedulo
EmpowerShark Belly
E-Z OutSilver Trident
FastballStrap Cutter
Gator Series (1, 2, Gatormate, and Gator Premium)StrongArm series
Gator FixedTerracraft
Ghoststrike Fixed BladeUS1
Ghoststrike Punch KnifeUS-Assist
Guardian Backup

GT Knives

Factory Location:Fountain Hills, AZ
US Manufacturing:All models
Production Level:Small batch
Knife Type:Folding EDC

GT Knives makes a lot of different kinds of models, but they offer a lot of variation on the models they make in a refreshingly elegant way. There are only so many different blade shapes and opening styles they offer under each design, but you can get a drop point, tanto, automatic, or flipper version of almost everything they make.

Their stuff is mostly done through CNC machines in their Arizona factory. I’m not sure where all they’re sourcing materials from, but they are fond of using ATS-34, which is a Japanese steel made by Hitachi. Other than that, it looks like all the hard work is done in the States.


Factory Location:Wade, NC
US Manufacturing:Custom work in US / various production partnerships
Production Level:US custom
Knife Type:Hard-use EDC

You’re likely to see the GTI name slapped on a few knives out in the wild, because there are a few larger companies that like to bring founder Justin Gingrich in for help or for whole designs. Kizer, 5.11 Tactical, and White River all put out GTI branded knives at one point.

There are a few knives that are purely in GTI territory, though, the most famous probably being the GTI Delta Lock folder.

He’s using a lot of CTS-BD1N steel and titanium in his stuff, so for anything that’s just built under the GTI name should be completely American made.

Half Face Blades

Half Face Blades makes hunting, tactical and survival knives in the US.
Factory Location:San Diego, CA
US Manufacturing:All models
Production Level:Custom
Knife Type:Outdoor, Military/Tactical

Founded by Navy Seal veteran Andrew Arrabito, Half Face Blades is pretty well known among military-minded gear junkies with a penchant for well made hatchets and fixed blades with solid grips and tough blades.

A lot of his designs are inspired both by his time in the SEALs and his interest in American history, and by extension Native American culture and tools. He chose the name from a particular experience he had while being deployed when they were using horses to carry munitions in rough terrain. He took the opportunity to start putting war paint on his face as an intimidation tactic.

It looks like he’s mostly using Crucible steels in his tools: CPM S45VN, S35V, 3V, and Magnacut are all common to see in his line up.

He’s very much a custom maker, so you won’t find his stuff in the more common knife vendors, but their name only seems to be getting bigger.

Hawk Knife Designs

All Hawk Designs Knives are made in America.
The John Wick Deadlock is featured in John Wick 4.
Factory Location:Idaho City, ID
US Manufacturing:All models
Production Level:Small batch
Knife Type:EDC, tactical, hunting

This is a father and son team. Grant and Gavin Hawk work out of an old barn in Idaho, so it’s almost anachronistic that most of the knives they make are a mix of hyper-mechanical folders and OTFs.

Gavin Hawk claims they see themselves more as inventors than knife makers, which is why you’re more likely to see their designs and mechanisms floating around other companies like Kershaw than coming right out of their shop. But they do have a certain production level of their own, and when you see that claw symbol and the Hawk Knife Designs name, it came out of the Idaho shop.

There are some companies on here with good stories, but Hawk Knife Designs is one of the best I’ve come across, and I highly encourage anyone reading this to check out their About page to learn more about them.


Heretic OTF knife with the blade in and out to show size and scale.
Factory Location:Sebastian, FL
US Manufacturing:All models
Production Level:Small batch
Knife Type:OTF

This is a husband-and-wife-run business that works in small batches from their Florida workshop. They offer an impressive amount of autos and OTF knives for a company their size, but that shouldn’t be so surprising after you realize that the last name of the couple running this company is Marfione.

Heretic is, more or less, the child of Microtech and Marfione Custom (one of an increasing number, it seems), and they work entirely within the US in a similar way to their family companies.


Hinderer Full Track folding knife on a wood table.
Factory Location:Shreve, OH
US Manufacturing:All models
Production Level:Custom and small batch
Knife Type:Hard-use tactical folders

The Rick Hinderer name is one of many that’s synonymous with “tactical gear”. The difference with Hinderer Knives is that many of the early designs were inspired by Hinderer’s experience as a first responder and fire fighter. Very often, “tactical knives” with this company is more broadly (and more appropriately) interpreted as emergency knives. In that sense it’s also a good source for high quality hard use knives.

There’s not a whole lot to say about the company in this context, though. Hinderer famously started out making showpiece knives in a little turkey coop, switched to making tactical knives as he went along, then dropped the XM-18 on the industry and took off like a rocket. Through all of that, Hinderer Knives has made, and continues to make, everything in the States.

Hogue Knives

Two fixed blade Hogue knives and two folding Hogue knives on a white background with the Hogue logo in the bottom left corner.
Factory Location: Paso Robles, CA and Henderson, NV
US Manufacturing:All models
Production Level:Large production
Knife Type:Hard-use and tactical folder

Gun owners with custom pistol grips should already be familiar with this name, and with the two other companies partnered with the name: SIG Sauer, and Heckler and Koch.

Hogue has been around since the 60’s, but their venture into the knife world didn’t start until around 2010 when they partnered with custom knife designer Allen Elishewitz. Through all their brands, the company specializes in making tough tactical blades, usually with military and law enforcement in mind.

The Hogue K320 AXG Pro is a great American tactical pocket knife
The Hogue K320 AXG Pro is one of our favorite Hogue folders.

I can’t find any knives under any of these brands that are made overseas, so it looks like all three names are a signal of US manufacturing in their California and Nevada facilities, however they do outsource their MOLLE straps to Mexico and some of their heat treating is done by a third party in California. Other than that, they do almost everything in house, creating the components in California and assembling in Nevada.

You can learn more about Hogue by reading our Hogue K320 AXG Pro Review.

Jake Hoback Knives

Jake Hoback Husky
Factory Location:Idaho
US Manufacturing:Some models
Production Level:Small batch
Knife Type:Fixed-blade survival and EDC

The founder of this company, Jake Hoback, has a long history in manufacturing and generally making neat things out of nothing. He started this company well over a decade ago, and has since come up with a lot of internal innovations for folding knives. His designs pretty clearly show there’s an engineer’s mind behind them.

2022 Update: There was a tense bit of controversy with Hoback when a lot of his fans and customers discovered he wasn’t making all his knives in the USA. He came back saying he never claimed his production knives were 100% made in America, a claim I’m both skeptical of and guilty about, because I remember researching his company back in the day to figure out where his factory was and thinking I couldn’t find any reason to say he was outsourcing overseas. But I tend to miss things, so I’m willing to say I was the idiot here.

The important thing is that Hoback seems to be set on being more transparent going forward. In March 2022 he released a list of all his models clearly stating which country they were made in. I’m not sure what the share of parts manufacturing and knife assembly/grinding and finishing work is, but he now keeps an updated Country of Origin list on his site.

The James Brand

The Barnes is one of the firs James Brand knives made in the USA.
Factory Location:Oregon (probably)
US Manufacturing:Some models
Production level:Large production
Knife type:EDC and outdoor

The James Brand popped into the knife scene with a lot of marketing know-how, and while the knife community still mostly looks at them askew, they do seem to be making some decent knives. Most of those are made overseas, but early on they came out with a couple fixed blade designs that they claim are made in the US, and they seem intent on expanding their American-made line up.

Information on what factory they’re using is spotty at best. They don’t seem interested in telling people where, exactly, they make anything, but that’s pretty normal.

James Brand Knives Made in America
The Anzick
The Kline
The Wells

JRs Knives

JRs knives are all made in Missouri.
Factory Location:Missouri
US Manufacturing:All models
Production Level:Small batch
Knife Type:Bushcraft and survival

This is a pretty wholesome “small family business using other small businesses” situation. They have a small selection of outdoor oriented knives with some pretty neat Micarta handles. The founder, Joey Roman, seems to have a pretty interesting background, and is big on making and sourcing locally.

The Romans are handmaking all their knives from products made by US companies. It’s 1095 steel as far as the eye can see with them, and while it looks like they have a fairly small production, they’re prolific enough to show up in the typical vendors every now and then.

Ka-Bar / Becker Knife & Tool

Three different Ka-Bar Becker are made in the USA on a white background.
Factory Location:Olean, NY
US Manufacturing:Partial
Production Level:Large production
Knife Type:EDC, survival, tactical, and hunting

The Ka-Bar Mark II has a similar iconic status in America to the Buck 110 and Bowie knife. It enjoys a long history in war and hunting and a beautifully simple design that gets copied endlessly. Most of the time when you say “Kabar” people assume you’re talking about the Mark II. They have a pretty interesting history where the manufacturing of the knife and the name branding actually precede the company as we know it today by several decades.

Their own journey with importing knives started back in the sixties when it ceased to be a family-owned business. It traded hands between several different corporations that started manufacturing overseas and taking advantage of the Ka-Bar name. It was partially saved from that fate by a few ardent collectors of original Ka-Bar knives, and then completely saved when Cutco purchased it in the 90’s. Since then they’ve pretty much always been manufactured at least in part in the US.

The Ultimate Guide To American Knives & Knife Companies - Image 5: Campfire Time With The Ka Bar Becker BK7
The Ka-Bar Becker BK7 quickly established itself as an classic American fixed blade.

Ka-Bar has owned Becker Knife & Tool since 2007, when the company that had been manufacturing for them went bankrupt. They’ve been collaborating ever since and I believe knives from both companies share factories.

Ka Bar also acquired Ek Commando Knives in 2015 and took up the mantle of producing some of those models, but those are often still listed as Ka Bar knives on their own, which is why you won’t see Ek Commando with its own listing here.

Ka-Bar and BK&T work independently from Cutco for the most part, but as I understand it, any Ka-Bar or Becker knife made in America is made in the Cutco factory in Olean, New York. They also all seem to be fixed blade, which actually gives us a pretty convenient reference point. If it’s a folder, it was probably made in China or Taiwan.

Update: Ka Bar has recently made a similar partnership with Spartan Blades (now under the Pineland Cutlery Inc name), and are now making the Silver Grade knives for Spartan Blades in their New York factory.

You can leartn more about two American made Ka-Bar knives by checking out our Ka-Bar BK18 Review and our Ka-Bar EK Commando Short Review.

U.S. Made Ka-Bar Knives
USMC Style Ka-Bar knives
D2 Extreme
Dog’s Head Utility Knife
Full Size Ka-Bar, Black
Full Size Ka Bar Foliage Green
Ka-Bar 120th Anniversary U.S. Army Edition
Ka-Bar 120th Anniversary USMC Edition
Ka-Bar 120th Anniversary US Navy Edition
Ka-Bar 120th Anniversary Dog’s Head Edition
Ka-Bar Neck Knife
Mark I, leather handle (straight and serrated edges)
Mark I, Kraton G handle (straight and serrated edges)
Short Ka-Bar (straight and serrated edges)
USMC Ka-Bar (all blade types and presentation grade)
U.S. Army Ka-Bar (straight and serrated edges)
U.S. Navy Ka-Bar
USMC Short Ka-Bar
USA Short Ka-Bar
USSF Space Bar
Becker Knife & Tool
BK3 BeckerTac Tool Machete
BK7 Combat Utility
BK9 Combat Bowie
BK10 Becker Crewman
BK11 Becker Necker
BK13 Remora Neck Fixed Blade
BK 14 Eskabar
BK16 Ka Bar Short Becker
BK18 Harpoon
BK19 Nessmuk
BK20 Bundok Bowie
BK21 Becker/Reinhardt Kukri
BK22 Campanion
BK23 Skeleton Fixed Blade
BK62 Becker Kephart Fixed Blade
Other Tactical and Survival
Adventure Potbelly
Adventure Gamestalker
Adventure Parangatang
Adventure Wharnstalker
Big Brother
Combat Kukri
John Ek series (43, 44, 45, 51)
E.W. Stone Knife
Jarosz Choppa
Jarosz Deluxe Hunter
Jarosz Globetrotter
Jarosz Turok
State and Union OSF Folder
Short Tanto (straight and serrated edges)
Snody Boss
Snody Big Boss
Snody Snake Charmer
TDI/Hinderer Hinderance
Thunderhorse Thrower
Zombie “Zombro”


Kershaw knives that were manufactured in the USA.

Factory Location: Tualatin, Oregon

Factory Location:Tualatin, OR
US Manufacturing:Partial
Production Level:Large production
Knife Type:Folding EDC
The Kershaw Federalist is a great knife for the great oputdoors.
The Kershaw Federalist has a classic look, but it is a relatively recent release.

So here’s a fun fact: Kershaw is basically the budget line for Zero Tolerance now. Which is weird since Kershaw has been around since the 70’s and the parent company Kai USA didn’t open the Zero Tolerance factory until 2006, but here we are. While Kai makes everything for Zero Tolerance exclusively in America, they spread some of the Kershaw manufacturing around between Japan, China, and Taiwan. Otherwise, Kershaw pumps their stuff out more or less alongside Zero Tolerance blades in Oregon.

Check out our reviews of the Kershaw Livewire and Kershaw Federalist to get an in-depth look at a few of our favorite American made Kershaw knives.

Kershaw Knives Made in America
Bel Air
Diskin Hunter
Launch series
Livewire OTF
Lucha Balisong
Lucha Trainer
Moonsault Balisong
Random Leek
TILT 50th Anniversary


A Lamson knife set and individual knives on a white background.
Factory Location:Westfield, MA
US Manufacturing:All models
Production Level:Small production
Knife Type:Kitchen

This might be the oldest knife company you never heard of. Actually, the oldest in America if their About page is to be believed, but I think Dexter Russell might take issue with that claim.

Regardless, Lamson is a solid US-based company. They took a bit of a hit around 2014 when they moved their factory location from Shelburne Falls to Westfield, but they seem to have come back stronger from that with a more efficient operation.

Lamson Fire Premier chef knife on a cutting board with a sliced tomato as part of an in-depth review.
Lamson is one of the oldest cutlery companies in America.

It looks like they do all the grinding, pinning, and sharpening in their MA factory, but they use a lot of German steel, so I wouldn’t be surprised if they were sourcing their acrylic and G-10 handles from overseas as well. The important stuff is done in Massachusetts, though.

We have done some in-house testing on Lamson knives, and we were pretty impressed with the quality and performance. We liked them enough to add their Premier Forged set to our Best High End Kitchen Knife Sets article.

If you think you may want to buy one of their chef knives check out our review of the 8 inch Lamson Premier Forged chef knife.


Two Leatherman multitools in the fanned position on a white background.
Factory Location:Portland, OR
US Manufacturing:All models
Production Level:Large production
Knife Type:Multi-tool

This company is pretty well known as the name behind the pliers-based multitool. They’re so established in that area that even when another company like Gerber makes a multi-tool with pliers, our instinct is to call it a Leatherman.

They started out doing things in Portland, and amazingly they’ve managed to keep their business there since 1983, making their tools in their factory then taking them up into the Cascade Mountains to test them.

This is one of those household names you generally expect to have expanded to make some kind of budget line made in China, but Leatherman has stayed pretty true to form. They’ve been doing everything in Oregon since they started, and now their factory is probably one of the biggest technical marvels in the US knife world.

L.T. Wright

Two American Made LT Wright bushcraft knives.
Factory Location:Wintersville, OH
US Manufacturing:All models
Production level:Small batch
Knife type:Bushcraft and survival

L.T. Wright Knives feels like it’s in the same tradition as Bark River. They’re a small batch company with a few passionate craftsmen who really like working with tool steels and Micarta. Their stuff is pricey and sometimes you have to wait a while for an order to show up, but everything I’ve heard about them says they’re worth the wait and money.

They’re a pretty lively company with their own little community. Between the Pout House forums and the knife making classes, L.T. Wright spends a lot of time talking with and educating their fans (Or at least they did. The date on their next round of classes has been TBA for a while). And if you ever have any doubt about where they’re making their knives, there is no shortage of footage of their Wintersville factory on their YouTube channel.

They’ll also make custom Kydex sheaths for all their models, although the method for getting it feels kind of clunky in an age when so many companies have fancy customizing pages on their sites. It’s still a cool service that gets around the problem a lot of survival knife companies create with minimally accessorized sheaths.

American Knife Companies M – R

Mattia Borrani

Factory Location:Petaluma, CA
US Manufacturing:Custom and small batch in US
Production Level:Custom, but large production overseas
Knife Type:Kitchen

Any regular production knives you can get from Mattia Borrani are actually imported, but they do all their custom work in their California shop, which happens to be the shop for Begg Knives. They launched this part of their company with a bowie chef knife that I like very much, but most versions of it that you can get easily are made overseas. I’m not sure what country they’re outsourcing to, much less whose factory, but my experience with their imported knife is very positive.

They do make chef knives in their Petaluma shop, but those are a lot more expensive and a lot more scarce unless you’re ordering a custom piece direct from the shop. This is still a fairly new company, though. I expect they’ll be expanding both their overseas and in-house manufacturing down the road based on the success of what they’ve put out so far.

Medford Knife

Four Medford folding and fixed blade knives on a white background.
Factory Location:Phoenix, AZ
US Manufacturing:All models
Production Level:Small batch
Knife Type:Hard-use edc and tactical

Knives from this company are notoriously expensive, but they deserve some credit for the lengths they go through to manufacture in the US. According to Medford’s About page, the founder, Greg Medford, is “dedicated to hand crafting and small manufacturing as a part of the new small factory industrial rebirth of America.”

A quick look at their prolific YouTube channel proves the truth of those words. This company does everything in house, including heat treatment of their steels, which is pretty rare for an operation this small. They also source all their steel from American Metal Xchange, which is based in California.

So, USA through and through. It looks like they even make their own Kydex sheaths. There’s nothing I can find that’s outsourced outside the country.


Three Microtech knives on a white background.
Factory Location:Bradford, PA
US Manufacturing:All models
Production Level:Small production
Knife Type:OTF tactical

If you’ve seen an action movie involving any kind of character wearing a suit made since 2010, you’ve probably seen a Microtech. For better or worse, they’ve become the de facto “urban tactical” company for most of the American population.

They’re very vocal about being a company with exacting standards that “utilizes exclusively American-Made manufacturing, materials, and labor”. They do almost all the manufacturing in house and source all of their materials within the U.S., as per their Legacy page (Although I can’t help but notice how many of their knives are sporting Bohler M390, which is sort of an Austrian/Swedish developed steel, but they can be given some leeway for the sake of using a good steel).

As of now, I can’t find anything to indicate they do any manufacturing overseas, so Microtech is effectively a fully American-based manufacturer. All their knives are made in the U.S.

Montana Knife Co

The Montana Knife company makes tactical, survival, hunting and kitchen knives in  Frenchtown , MT.
Factory Location:Frenchtown, MT
US Manufacturing:All models
Production Level:Small batch
Knife Type:Hunting and culinary

Started by Master Bladesmith Josh Smith, Montana Knife Co. is a small but growing company. Most of their designs are geared around hunting and camping, although they’re also putting out a line of culinary designs designed in collaboration with bladesmith Mareko Maumasi.

At the moment you aren’t likely to see their knives in your typical knife vendors or always in stock on the Montana Knife Co site, but it sounds like they’re planning some kind of large expansion soon, so it should start getting easier to get ahold of their stuff.

The relevant thing here is that Smith does everything in Montana and sources “every bit of material possible from the states” according to their site.

Norden Knives

The Ultimate Guide To American Knives & Knife Companies - Image 6: Norden Ascent
Factory Location:Bigfork, MT
US Manufacturing:All models
Production level:Mid level
Knife type:Bushcraft, hunting, and survival

Norden Knives is the tool-specific offshoot of Norden Outdoor, which is a Montana based company that makes gear for outdoor excursions (actually the knives might have come first. I’m not sure). They make a few vague claims about all their products being made and tested in Montana. Considering their entire line of knives consists of fixed blades exclusively with Micarta scales and 3V steel I’m inclined to believe them. The location certainly checks out.

I don’t know about all the clothes and harnesses they sell. They don’t provide a lot of specific information about their manufacturing, but from where I’m sitting, they’re making plenty of good looking knives up there in Bigfork, Montana (not too far, coincidentally, from custom knife maker Steven Kelly, but I’m pretty sure he has nothing to do with Norden).

Olamic Cutlery

The Ultimate Guide To American Knives & Knife Companies - Image 7: Olamic Cutlery
Factory Location:Visalia, CA
US Manufacturing:All folding models
Production level:Small batch, semi hand made
Knife type:EDC, hunting, tactical

This is a California-based family company founded by Eugene Solomonik. They started out only doing fixed blade designs which were made by Solomonik’s father back in Russia. Then they decided to move into folders, pulling in MIchael Vagnino to help get their US-based operation started in Visalia.

They have a pretty unique operation for making their folders that’s considered semi-custom. They start with a common design, have some of the fittings pre-machined (I’m not sure where that happens), but hand grind everything to its finished product with a pretty small crew on board. The result is that every Olamic Cutlery knife is a little different (their company motto is “Never the Same”, so that checks out).

It looks like they’ve done a couple collaborations with an Italian manufacturer in the past, but it seems like that was a one off situation. Speaking generally, all Olamic Cutlery folding knives are made in the US, but it’s worth noting that they’re a very active company that likes to do different things and collaborate with different people, so it’s very possible we’ll see them come out with a model made in a different country every now and then.

Ontario Knife Company

OKC fixed blade knives on a white background.
Factory Location:Franklinville, NY
US Manufacturing:Most fixed-blade models made in USA
Production Level:Large production
Knife Type:EDC, hunting, survival, and some kitchen

NOTE: In July of 2023, the OKC factory was shut down after being sold. They were acquired by Blue Ridge Knives, which is more of a distributer than a manufacturer, but the OKC website currently says business is disrupted while they relocate to Virginia (which is where BRK is based). I’m not sure if this means US manufacturing will continue at some point or to what extent, but some of the old OKC stock is still floating around.

This is probably one of the oldest companies on this list (that “1889” number you always see tastefully plastered next to their name is the date the company was founded), but it has a surprisingly simple history.

As per OKC’s website, their history is “shrouded in mystery” but basically consisted of three guys with a grindstone and a pushcart selling knives around Ontario County in New York in the 1890’s. They expanded quickly, incorporated under the same name around the turn of the century, and set up shop in a larger building out of which they are still operating. To add to their long tradition, OKC came out with the Old Hickory line in 1924 and have consistently pumped out variations of that line ever since. They’ve added and subtracted from that line up over the years (lately mostly added), but the Old Hickories you can get today aren’t all that different from what people were getting in the 1920’s.

The bulk of their knives are made in their Franklinville factory, however it seems like they do maintain factories in China and Taiwan, and have even done a few collaborations with Italian makers. I’ve noticed they make a lot of their sheaths and accessories in China along with a handful of folding designs, so it’s possible that even when an OKC knife is made in the US it has some Chinese hardware. But I’ve also noticed a clear line between their designs where all the fixed blades are made in the US and all the folders are from overseas, so there’s only so much hardware to overlap.

We have a few in-depth reviews of OKC knives on Ontario Knife Company Brand page. They are probably worth the read if you think you may want to buy a knife from this American made company.

Unfortunately, OKC has recently closed down. We hope this iconic American brand is brought back by a company that can carry on the original vision.

OKC Knives Made in America
Both the OKC Rat 3 and TAK 2 fixed blade knives pictured here are USA made.
The Rat 3 and TAK 2 are made at the Ontario Knife Company factory in Franklinville, NY.
18” Machete lineHunt Plus line
498 Combat KnifeIndustrial and Agricultural series
499 Survival KnifeKeene Valley Hunter
AdirondackKukri Knife
ADK High Peaks HunterM-9 Series
ADK Keene Valley HunterM11 EOD
Agilite seriesMark III Trench Knife
ASEK Survival Knife SystemMK3 Navy Knife
Blackbird line (ML5, SK-4, etc.)MOD Mark 3 Dive Knife
BesraMorta Knife
Bushcraft SeriesOKC3S Marine Bayonet Fixed Blade
Camper macheteOld Hickory line
Camp Plus lineOyster & Clam Knife
CayugaRAT Series
CerberusRTAK II
Chimera FighterRobeson Heirloom knives
Chromatics seriesSpec Plus line
CT Series (1, 2, 5)SPL Series
Heavy Duty macheteStealth Fixed Blade
High Peaks HunterTAK 1
Hiking knifeTAK 2

Old Timer Knives TG

The American made version of the Old Time Sharpfinger fixed blade knife.
The Sharpfinger Generational 1520TG is one of the knives Old Timer is now making in the USA.
Factory Location:Possibly Jacksonville, Alabama (rumored)
US Manufacturing:Partial (Generational knives only)
Production Level:Large scale
Knife Type:Outdoor and general EDC

The Old Timer company was started up by Schrade Cutlery Co. in 1958. You can read a little more about the Schrade story way down in the S portion of this article, but for our purposes here, Old Timer knives were meant to look like the knives their grandfathers carried: it’s a lot of slip joint, multi-blade designs, and little fixed blades for fishing.

Since Old Timer Knives are the child of Schrade, they follow the same fate. After Schrade shut down their US-based factory and got bought by Taylor Brands in 2004, all manufacturing was outsourced to China. A couple years after that, Battenfeld Technologies bought them, then Old Timer released the Generational series in 2021.

Their new Generational knives are made entirely in the USA. They all sport the “Old Timer USA” stamp on the blade, and most of them are sporting 1095 steel. I’m not sure what factory they’re using yet, but we have tried out one of the new Generational slip joint folders, and the quality is pretty excellent. We also ordered the American made version of the Sharpfinger pictured above, and it impressed us too.

Rumor has it these are being made in the Bear and Sons factory. That would be satisfyingly appropriate since B&S has made things like the 152, which was basically a folding homage to the Sharpfinger.

Old Timer Knives made in America
Bruin 50TG
Sharpfinger 1520TG
Middleman 340TG
Trapper 940TG

Pena Knives

The Ultimate Guide To American Knives & Knife Companies - Image 8: Pena Knives
Factory Location:Laredo, TX
US Manufacturing:US Custom
Production Level:Custom w/ large production partners
Knife Type:Traditional folders

Enrique Pena is a custom knifemaker with old school sensibilities. He’s well known for making slip joint designs like swaybacks and trappers. He’s also pretty famously a custom designer, which makes his listing here tricky since I’ve been trying to keep it loosely to production knife makers.The thing is, Pena does make a series of production knives under the X-series name, but those are made in the Reate factory in China. I’m mostly adding this listing for the sake of clearing up confusion: Enrique Pena is absolutely a US-based knifemaker, but if you’re getting an X-Series Pena knife, it’s a Chinese model of his design.

Pro-Tech Knives

Two American made Pro-Tech folding knives in the open position.
Factory Location:Artesia, CA
US Manufacturing:All models
Production Level:Small production
Knife Type:EDC autos

Founded in 1999 by Dave Wattenberg, Pro-Tech is best known for automatic knives. Wattenberg’s first model was a California-legal 2-inch auto called the Runt which launched the Pro-Tech name toward what it is today. To make the whole thing just a little more of an outlier, Wattenberg was also a middle school teacher when he started making these knives. So he’d teach during the week, make knives on the weekend, and then in the summer he would drive around the country selling them off.

Pro-Tech does everything in house. They make everything that’s practical for them to make themselves, since Wattenberg apparently ran into a lot of supply chain problems when he started out and was still outsourcing all his materials. So now every thing by Pro-Tech is designed, billeted, stamped, carved, and pieced together in California.

Rada Cutlery

Factory Location:Waverly, IA
US Manufacturing:Complete
Production level:Large scale
Knife type:Kitchen

I think it’s fair to call Rada Cutlery the lesser known cousin to Dexter Russel. They make a simple range of low-cost kitchen knives, and have been making them consistently within the USA since the late 40’s. They don’t make a lot of different styles of knife sets, but what they do make is distinguished by the oval aluminum handles.

Rada Cutlery started up after WWII, taking advantage of the fact that aluminum was suddenly in high supply to come out with a line of super lightweight, and cost effective kitchen knives.

It looks like their entire manufacturing and shipping operation is based in Iowa. They claim they source their materials from the States as well, and based on what they’re using, I’m inclined to believe them.

Randall Made Knives

Two fixed blade Randal Made Knives.
Factory Location:Orlando, FL
US Manufacturing:All models
Production Level:Custom and small batch
Knife Type:Fixed blade survival and tactial

I’m hesitant to add this company to the list because, even though Randall Made Knives are iconic and blooded in US history, they are hand made, expensive, and can be difficult to find.

But they’re also worth knowing about, if you don’t already.

The company was founded by Bo Randall in 1939, which gave him just enough time to develop his craft enough that he made something that became heavily relied on by soldiers during WWII. The company boomed after legends of his knives spread through the ranks and he was flooded by letters with personal requests to buy his knives. That set the pattern for Randall Made Knives. Their history is full of desperate professionals coming to their shop to ask them to make a special design for their job, including NASA, soldiers slotted for Vietnam, and Alaskan bush pilots.

Through the decades, this has remained a family business. Randalls still run the shop in Florida, passing the craft down to each generation, and all of their knives are still very much made by hand in the US.

Red Horse Knife Works

Factory Location:Chicago, IL
US Manufacturing:Tactical and self defense models
Production Level:Handmade small batch (in USA)
Knife Type:EDC, Tactical.

This Chicago based company, founded by martial artist and security contractor, started out handmaking folders. Odds are you’ve seen the Red Horse Hell Razor, which is still very much the bread and butter of Red Horse, but they have started making a lot of other products like cigar cutters and karambits.

As you can imagine, the Hell Razor was astronomically expensive to make by hand so they outsourced folder production, and now focus on their self defense tools in their Chicago shop. So the line here seems to be the common one. Folders are made overseas while the fixed blades and tools are made in America.


The Revo Nexus Balisong is made in America.
Factory Location:Mead, CO
US Manufacturing:Nexus balisong
Production Level:Mid range
Knife Type:EDC and hard use folders, balisongs

This scrappy new company has a ton of designing talent in its masthead. All the owners have long histories in working for other knife companies as well as being responsible for starting Bladerunner Systems, which gave us the (also-USA-made) Replicant

Currently the bulk of Revo’s knives come from a Chinese OEM and use a Taiwan factory for a lot of their hardware and some whole designs, but they do have a shop in Colorado with some decent capacity. That’s where they make the Revo Nexus, which is both their first butterfly design and their first USA made knife. As of now, the Nexus balisong is the only US-made model under the Revo name, but that’s likely to change quickly in the coming years.

RMJ Tactical

Factory Location:Chattanooga, TN
US Manufacturing:All models
Production Level:Small batch
Knife Type:Tactical and survival

Started by Ryan M Johnson, RMJ Tactical makes things beyond their namesake, but it seems like tomahawks and weapons in general were Johnson’s first love. While they seem to be using a lot of modern machinery like CNC water jets, it looks like a lot of their process is still done by hand in a small batch operation where they do as much as they reasonably can in house, which is likely the reason their knives and tomahawks are sold out half the time.

Regardless, they have a strong line up of survival and tactical knives, and a penchant for using US-made tool steels, so there are a lot of elements here that are kept within the states.

R. Murphy Knives

Factory Location:Ayer, Mass.
US Manufacturing:All models
Production level:Small batch
Knife type:Kitchen and crafting

This is an interesting company for this list because EDC seems to be the only kind of knife they don’t make. They make a small selection of kitchen knives, and they make a few models for a wide variety of jobs ranging from carving wood to cutting rubber.

That might not seem so unusual if you know that the company started out making surgical equipment in Boston around 1850. They kept up with that theme of making tools for fairly specific work over their history. But the oddness about them continues, all the way from when they invented their own corkscrew in the early 1900’s, to the time their owner supposedly raced against, and beat, Paul Newman in 1982.

Over their whole history the company has gone through four different owners, finally landing under Dexter Russell in 2018. Every single one of its new owners has maintained R. Murphy Knives in its current state and factory. I can’t find any indication that they ever made efforts to outsource any designs.

Reiff Knives

The 2022 Reiff Knives product line-up.

This is a very new company run by brothers Stu and Ben Shank and based in Dallas, Texas. They’ve been busy with designing, prototyping, and building since at least 2020, but it looks like they didn’t really hit their stride until mid 2021 to early 2022. Their line of knives is pretty small starting out, but the few models they have were incredibly well received.

Factory Location:Idaho
US Manufacturing:All models
Production level:Small production
Knife type:Bushcraft

Their focus seems to be on bushcraft for now, and they clearly have a thing for CPM 3V steel, but more than anything they seem eager to join the ranks of legacy knives that are handed down and talked about twenty years later. To that, they’ve been very careful about sourcing everything they can, including handle materials and manufacturing pieces, from American companies.

The Reiff F4 bushcraft knife iis available in a variety of handle scale or sheath options.
The Reiff F4 is available with a flat grind and G10 handle (left or or a Scandi grind with a Micarta handle (right)

Also, while I see posts about them doing a lot of personal prototyping and building their knives, it looks like they’re using an American OEM to make the knives for sale. I don’t know who they’re using. My first guess would be Rowen Manufacturing, but the quality seems to be there, whoever it is.

Reiff has quickly become one of our favorite knife companies due to the impressive performance and durability. The flat grind version of the Reiff F4 made an appearance in our Best Survival Knives article and the scandi grind version easily made the cut in our article on the Best Buschcraft Knives For The Money.

American Knife Companies S – Z


Two US made Schrade folding pocket knives.
Factory Location:Possibly Jacksonville, Alabama (rumored)
US Manufacturing:Partial (Alpha and some Beta models)
Production Level:Large scale
Knife Type:Tactical, outdoor, and general EDC

Schrade is an old name, but not really an old company as it is now. It was originally founded in the early 1900s as the Schrade Cutlery Company, and then later as Imperial Schrade when they combined with Imperial Knife.

Before that, in the 1890’s, they were the New York Push Button Company, and there’s a whole interesting bit of history around the 1910’s where founder George Schrade was working out of Solingen, Germany that should be fascinating to anyone who’s into the history of switchblades. But their history involves a lot of hand changing and stock trading and all of that is getting us off track.

Before Schrade shut down in 2004, they were manufacturing in Ellenville, New York. Then Taylor Brands bought them up and moved all manufacturing to China. Then Smith and Wesson bought up Taylor Brand in 2016 (through Battenfeld Technologies, Inc), and here we are a few years later watching Schrade and their sibling knife companies get US-made lines again. I don’t know for sure who they’re using as their OEM, but the buzz I hear from collectors and internet sleuths is that it’s Bear and Sons.

Shcrade has organized their knives into Alpha, Beta, and Delta (no love for Charlie, I guess). Alpha and Beta knives feature models made in the US, but in the Alpha line they’re all US made and mostly use S35VN steel. The Beta stuff uses more budget friendly materials like D2, and the workload is spread between factories in the US, Japan, Germany, and Taiwan. Delta appears to be entirely from overseas.

Schrade Knives made in America
Alkymest Folder
Entice Auto Folder
Melee Auto Folder
Radok Pivot Lock Folder
Truix Pivot Lock Folder
Slyte Folder (regular and Compact)

Schenk Knives

The Ultimate Guide To American Knives & Knife Companies - Image 9: Camping With The Schenk Knives Pitka
The Schenk Knives Pitka is one of our favorite camping and fishing knives here at NBK.
Factory Location:Idaho Falls, ID
US Manufacturing:All models
Production Level:Hand made small to large batch
Knife Type:Outdoor and EDC

Odds are pretty good you’ve handled a knife from the Schenk factory, especially if you have a decent kitchen knife made in America. They’ve been doing OEM work for a lot of other knife companies since 1991. They started out in Oregon when Norman Schenk started teaching himself how to make knives, before expanding into a larger scale making parts, Damascus steel, leather sheaths, and blanks. You can read more about their journey on the history page of their site.

They started making knives under their own name back in 2012 and have slowly been ramping up production levels in that area and have even started making their own folders.

Schwarz Knives

An overhead view of the Schwarz Knives Lost Trail 5 with its kydex sheath on a tree stump.
Factory Location:Idaho
US Manufacturing:All models
Production Level:Small production
Knife Type:Survival, camping, fixed-blade EDC

The man behind the company, TJ Schwarz, got his start while studying to be an engineer. He designed a knife for Koenig knives that caught some attention, and showed him that his passion for knives was a path to a viable job.

He got to making custom knives out of his one-car garage and designing knives like the Overland, which he made out of his shop and licensed to CRKT.

Eventually he moved out of the one-car garage into a big shop with equipment that allowed the company to start manufacturing at production levels (albeit still small). Everything made by the TJ Schwarz company is made in Idaho. I’m not sure where all of his hardware and accessory pieces are made, but I do know that the sheaths at least get a lot of in-house work, because they test everything extensively.

Shed Knives

The Shed Knives 2023 US Tanto is a great American made camping knife.
Factory Location:Dover, DE
US Manufacturing:All models
Production Level:Small batch
Knife Type:Tactical, hard use, EDC

This is a little family-owned shop pushing pretty aggressively into expansion. They’re a small, young business, and there isn’t a whole lot of variation, but there’s definitely a lot of passion in this company and well worth keeping an eye on.

It was started by Jack Billings and Sam Malinky who built a forge in a backyard one day and started making knives. Their design aesthetic could probably be described pretty accurately as “primal”, but even better as “fun, but more useful than you might think”.

All their knives feature 154CM steel, G10 scales, and Kydex sheaths, all of which are shaped by them by hand in their Delaware shop. And they do have a proper shop now. The days of backyard forges sounded like they were over last time we talked to them.

Smith and Sons Knife Company

The Ultimate Guide To American Knives & Knife Companies - Image 10: IMG 6567 01051
Factory Location:Sulphur, LA
US Manufacturing:All fixed blade models
Production level:Small batch / Small production
Knife type:Hunting, Survival, and Kitchen

This was a family custom knife operation in the early teens of the 2000s before they become Smith and Sons Knife Company (not to be confused with Bear and Sons or Smith and Wesson as I often do in my own head). A lot of hunters and trappers in Texas and Louisiana areas were carrying hunting and bushcraft knives made by Gary Smith. But like any good success story, demand grew as word about the quality of their knives spread, so they expanded their operation from custom to small batch to a small to midrange production operation in partnership with Italian knifemaker Maserin Cutlery.

Back in the summer of 2020, their old workshop was destroyed by the dual hurricane disasters Laura and Delta. They got back up from that punch pretty quickly, though, and were back to making knives in a new shop within the year.

I’m mostly positive their post-hurricane shop is still in the same Louisiana area, so the simple manufacturing line across their knives should be the same:

Fixed blade knives are made in the US. Folders are made in Italy.

Southern Grind

Four Southern Grind knives on a white bacjground.

Factory Location: Peachtree, Georgia

Factory Location:Cocoa, FL
US Manufacturing:All models (for now)
Production Level:Small production
Knife Type:EDC and outdoor

The Southern Grind name should bring up images of the Spider Monkey and Bad Monkey folders. They make some decent modern-style folders that usually sell at a premium, which isn’t to say that don’t make some interesting fixed blade knives, and there’s certainly something to be said for some of the carry systems on their sheaths. When Zack Brown started the company he had the idea to make rugged knives with state-of-the-art materials, so you’ll see a lot of titanium, carbon fiber, and new CPM steels on their designs.

This company was recently bought by Diamondback Knife Works (not to be confused with Diamond Blade Knives), which seems to be a new branch of Diamondback America, which also happens to own Diamondback Firearms along with a half dozen other gun and boat manufacturing LLCs. That moved Southern Grind’s manufacturing from Peach Tree, Georgia to Cocoa, Florida, so this is still very much a US-based company, and they seem to be maintaining a focus on premium materials for now.


SOG fied blade and folding knives that are mae in the USA.
Factory Location:Coopersville, MI and Lynnwood, WA
US Manufacturing:Partial
Production Level:Large production
Knife Type:EDC, hunting, tactical, and multitool

SOG makes most of their knives in China, Taiwan, and Seki, Japan, and mostly focus on more urban tactical designs. They did start pushing hunting and survival designs back in 2014, but they’re still known better for their assisted open and multi-tools than anything.

Over the last couple years they’ve released a handful of knife designs made in their two factory locations in the States with a promise to release more eventually. They put a premium on all of them. I don’t think any run below $150, probably because they’re all sporting S30V or S35V steel, so they seem to be pushing the idea of high quality domestic manufacturing. They didn’t roll out any new designs in the 2018 catalog, so maybe they’re still feeling out the waters with this thing. Either way, we’ll keep an eye out.

Right now, a general rule you can follow is that if a SOG knife is sporting S30V steel, it was put together in their American factories. With something like AUS8 or VG-10 you’re probably looking at Taiwan or Japan, and of course any variation of 8Cr13MoV steel is very likely from China. There are some exceptions to that rule like the Zoom, which has an S30V version made in Taiwan, but the steel still serves as a helpful reference point.

SOG Knives Made in America
BannerSeal XR Flipper
Mini SOG-TAC AutoSpec Elite I
PentagonSpec Elite II
Pentagon OTFStrat Ops Auto
PillarTac Ops Auto
Power AssistTech Bowie
Power LockTwitch II
Seal FXAltair OTF
PowerLock EOD 2.0Altair FX

Spartan Blades

Three Spartan Blades fixed blade knives at an angle. This American company was started in a mule barn in 2008.
Factory Location:Southern Pines, NC
US Manufacturing:Most models
Production Level:Small batch w/ large production partner
Knife Type:Hard-use EDC, tactical, and survival

Spartan Blades was started by a pair of retired Green Berets working out of a mule barn back in 2008. As they’ve grown they’ve kept that production to pretty much the same area. They opened a larger factory in Southern Pines in 2014 and continued their rise, although they always seem to insist on prioritizing quality over quantity, which tends to put their knives on the pricey side of the industry.

The slim textured Micarta handle of the Alala is easy to grip.
The Alala is a Spartan Blades design that is manufactured at the Ka-Bar facility in Olean, NY.

Now, though, they’ve started a new umbrella company called Pineland Cutlery Inc. which partnered with Ka Bar to release three new series of knives: Elite, Pro, and Field (or Gold, Silver, and Bronze). These provide designs in a wider range of prices in order to make their knives more accessible. According to the owners, the Gold Series Spartan knives will still be made in the same North Carolina factory, the Silver will be made in New York by Ka Bar, and the Bronze series will be made overseas. There isn’t much information on where exactly overseas the Bronze series is being made, but the partnership with Ka Bar would suggest they’re using the same places based in China and Taiwan.

Currently there is only a small range of knives with the Spartan Blades name made outside the US. It mostly follows an easy line of “fixed blades are from the States; folders are from Taiwan” with a few exceptions.

Spartan Blades Knives Made Overseas (The rest are made in America)
George Astor Liner Lock
Talos Liner Lock
Ronin Shoto Liner Lock
Enyo Fixed Blade


The Spyderco knife models that were manufatured in America.
Factory Location:Golden, CO
US Manufacturing:Partial
Production Level:Large production
Knife Type:EDC, tactical, and some kitchen

Spyderco actually started out making knife sharpeners (and they’re still making some of the best sharpeners you can get these days). They’ve been making folding knives since the 80s, and were actually one of the first companies to experiment with one-handed open pocket carries. They had their first folder, the Worker, made in Japan, but now most of the blades for Spyderco knives are made and shaped in the Golden, Colorado factory because they’re really particular about how the blade should look and cut. And since they almost always use very hard, premium steels (usually something like VG-10 or S30V), they have to laser cut all their blades rather than stamp them, which requires fairly specialized equipment that is both expensive to buy and train for.

That being said, Spyderco’s other factories in Seki, Japan and Taichung, Taiwan are not in use for cost reasons. Spyderco is too obsessed with performance to make such a drastic economic decision. They make stuff overseas partly because they needed to spread the workload around, and the blades they’re making over there are still top notch.

Spyderco Knives Made in the US
Autonomy 2P’Kal Trainer
BodaciousPygmy Warrior
Lil’ NativeRespect
Manix 2Shaman
Manix 2 LightweightSiren
Manix 2 XLSwick 5 & 6
Military ModelThe Foundry
Mule Team parts (handle and sheath)UK Penknife
Native 5UK Penknife Lightweight
Native 5 SaltWaterway
Native ChiefWolfspyder
Native LightweightYojimbo 2
Paramilitary 2Yojimbo 2 Trainer
Para 3Yojumbo

Tactile Knife Company

The 8 inch Tactile Santoku Knife slicing a head of cabbage in half.
Factory Location:Garland, TX
US Manufacturing:All models
Production Level:Small batch
Knife Type:EDC and kitchen

This is the knife-centric brain child of pen maker Tactile Turn. They’ve been slowly growing their knife line up through Kickstarter campaigns, so the availability on their models is usually nonexistent. The owners of the Tactile Knife Company are no strangers to mass production, though, so it’s only a matter of time before their knives are as available as their pens.

Not only do they manufacture all their products in the US, they make it a point to make as many of the parts involved as possible in their shop. They claim to only have two outside sources that they purchase raw materials and ball bearings from, but beyond that they work entirely within their own walls in Texas.

Tactile recently jumped into the kitchen cutlery market with their release of the U.S. made 8 inch santoku knife.

Three Rivers Manufacturing (TRM)

Two different American made TRM knives.
Factory Location:Three Rivers, MA
US Manufacturing:All models
Production Level:Small batch
Knife Type:Hunting and survival

Some people in the industry might already be familiar with the TRM founders, Marianne and Les Halpern. They’ve been making custom parts and knife designs for people and other knife companies since 1997, and continue to do so under the name Halpern Titanium. They keep their client list pretty close to their chest, but at least one well known partnership is Spyderoco, who outsourced manufacturing of G10 handles for a few designs to them. The Halperns decided to make knives under their own label around 2016, and have been working hard to expand that label ever since.

Three Rivers Manufacturing is still small. They don’t have a lot of distributors besides BladeHQ and their own site, and it’s common to see all their models sold out. But their businesses as a whole have been on a steady incline for a while now so distribution is likely to increase soon enough. You can also be pretty sure that pretty much every step of their manufacturing happens in the USA since, most of the time, they’re the people other companies outsource parts and material manufacturing to.

Toor Knives

Toor Knives is based in Southern California.
Factory Location:San Diego, CA
US Manufacturing:All models
Production Level:Small batch
Knife Type:Hard-use EDC

Toor Knives holds to the ambition of always making “hard use knives in the USA at an affordable price”. Not only that, the majority of the company’s 30 employees are (like Connor Toor) veterans, and they’re very careful about getting manufacturing materials from eco-friendly sources while collecting and recycling metal shavings from their process. It’s possible there are other companies going to similar sustainable lengths as Toor, but Toor certainly seems to be the most transparent about it.

The “affordable” part of Toors mission to offer hard use knives made in the USA is… debatable at best. Their price tag averages around $250, but they do have a great catalogue of knives that are all made in America. They seem to be a great source for high-end survival and tactical designs.

TOPS Knives

The TOPS Backpacker Bowie and TOPS 3-Pointer outdoors.
Factory Location:Idaho Falls, ID
US Manufacturing:All models (usually)
Production Level:Large production
Knife Type:Survival, hunting, and tactical

Born in 1998, TOPS Knives is a fairly new company compared to a few others on this list. They’ve since built a solid reputation as a reliable source for good tactical and outdoor knives by finding various designers with backgrounds in military, law enforcement, martial arts, and survival to come up with purpose-built concepts.

In part because of that strategy, TOPS might be the most prolific manufacturer of outdoor and tactical knives in America right now. If not in terms of raw numbers of product shipped, but certainly by how many different designs they put out every year. According to their own blog, TOPS has over 250 models, but maintains fewer than 50 employees which makes them a relatively small company. It looks like they manage to do everything in house in their factory, though, from cutting bar stocks of steel down to form to milling out G-10 scales and doing final fit and finish.

Three TOPS fixed blade knives of various sizes and styles to show the diversity of option offered by TOPS Knives.
Three of our favorite American Made TOPS fixed blades from right to lift: the Backpacker Bowie, Bartender Defender and 3Pointer.

It’s actually a little tricky to say outright that they make everything in the states, because they do a lot of collaborations and I see them put out one-off models from factories around the world. For example they make a couple training knives out of a Chinese factory. I haven’t seen anything else come out of that factory from them, so I assume it just has to do with not having the machines for molding polymer in their US factory.

Aside from that, the only current knives with the TOPS name outside the states are their fairly recent collaborations with Fox Knives: The Magnums, the Thunder Hawk,  and the Mini Scandi Folder are all made in Italy.

It’s possible there are more. TOPS and Fox are both frustrating to find manufacturing data on, but it looks like all the Italian made knives have Bohler steel, so if you see that on a TOPS, that’s your first clue it isn’t USA-made.

Utica Cutlery/Kutmaster

Three different Utica knives on a white background.
Factory Location:Utica, NY
US Manufacturing:Partial
Production Level:Large production
Knife Type:EDC and tactical

This was one of many cutlery companies that started in the early 1900’s and got kicking on knives during WWII. Utica Cutlery in particular was making bayonets for the Army. They expanded far beyond cutlery over the following decades, though, and now they’re an umbrella company several other names like Walco and KutMaster, which is the branch that makes all their outdoor-related knives.

A big company like this is pretty much guaranteed to be dealing all around the world. They do a lot of overseas manufacturing, but they still have a pretty decent selection of Made in the USA products.

Utica Cutlery /  KutMaster knives made in the USA

Cheyenne IRidge Blade
Cheyenne IIStealth I
Classic Slayer IStealth II
Classic Slayer IIStealth III (models D52-1 through D52-4 and D52-6)
Classic Slayer IIIStealth IV (models D53-1 through D53-4)
Fishing MinitoolStealth V (models D54-1, D54-2, D54-5, and D54-6
Horizon BladeStealth VI (models D55-1 through D55-6)
MinimasterStealth VII
MultimasterStealth QD
Original IWoodsman
Original II

V Nives

Three different V Nives pocketknives that were made in America.
Factory Location:Puyallup, WA
US Manufacturing:Partial (exact models unknown)
Production Level:Large production
Knife Type:EDC and tactical

This is a fresh company out of Washington that started selling production knives on a mass scale around 2017 (you can see part of their origin story in the Fox Knives USA part of this blog). They run with the line that V Nives are made “in America and other places on planet earth”, so they’re pretty open about manufacturing in a few different countries. They do a lot of collaborations, and when Mike Vellekamp started the company, he opened with a huge product line hitting just about every price bracket in a way that he probably wouldn’t have been able to achieve without making use of larger factories already in place around the world. He claims that he’s modeling his company closely on the Spyderco structure (something he’d know pretty well since he worked for them for 12 years), which makes use of carefully vetted factories in both Taiwan and Japan.

It looks like V Nives maintains factories in the US, Taiwan, and China, but it’s been difficult to pin down exactly which models are made where. I’ll update this section if I ever find a good source on that kind of information.

Warther Cutlery

Factory Location:Dover, OH
US Manufacturing:All models
Production level:Small batch, hand made
Knife type:Kitchen and outdoor

Warther is another old American staple in the knife world. Technically it started in 1902 when Ernest “Mooney” Warther started making knives for people in his hometown at the age of 17 while he was still working at a steel mill. He kept at it over the years, eventually getting married and having kids who also got involved in the business. In 1954 they incorporated under the name E. Warther and Sons, and the company is still run by Warthers today.

Where Warther Cutlery differs from other American knife staples is that they never really went in for high impact combat knives or military contracts. They’ve pretty much kept to kitchen cutlery ever since E. Warther gave his mom that first paring knife.

What’s also interesting is that all Warther blades have a convex grind, so by extension they all have to be ground by hand. That makes this a comparatively slow company. You aren’t likely to find these in stock anywhere other than their own website, but it does make them especially fantastic knives by all reports.

What might be more interesting, though, is that Mooney Warther’s real passion with wood carving. That’s what he started using pocket knives for first when he was a kid, and he never stopped even after Warther cutlery took off. He became a master in his own right, and built a museum for all his works near the Warther factory in Dover. You can still go there today, and if you’re at all interested in wood carving it’s a fantastic place to go. There are some incredible creations in there.

White River Knife & Tool

White River Knives are made in the USA. Two fixed blades are shown here.
Factory Location:Fremont, MI
US Manufacturing:All models
Production Level:Small batch
Knife Type:Hunting and survival

This is a small family owned company. They make everything in their Fremont factory in Michigan, and almost everything they use to make the knives is sourced from the States. The Cammenga family who founded White River Knife & Tool named it after Michigan’s White River, which flows through part of their property.

The White River Knives Exodus 3 and 4 fixed blades make great backpacking and camping knives.

They’ve spent a lot of time hunting, fishing, kayaking, and generally being outdoors-y on that river, and they like to make knives to reflect that. They have a pretty impressive selection of fixed-blade bushcraft knives from thin fillet knives to their bulky survival Firestarter series. What makes them stand out from other survival-oriented companies like ESEE is their emphasis on making the knives look good. These are the kinds of knives that tend to draw your eye from across the room, and pretty much always feel great in hand because of the amount of hand crafting detail that goes into making them. In that sense they’re a lot like Bark River Knives.

We did an in-depth review of the White River Knives Exodus 4 that is worth checking out if you want to learn more about the craftmanship and quality of this company’s knives.

Winkler Knives

Two Winkler knives with different handle scales.
Factory Location:Boone, NC
US Manufacturing:All models
Production Level:Small batch
Knife Type:Tactical and survival

This is a small-batch operation with a tactical-oriented run of designs. It was founded by Daniel Winkler, who’s been a bladesmith since 1988 and was accredited as a Master Bladesmith in 1993. He started Winkler Knives in response to requests for “specialized breaching tools”, according to their About page.

Much of their process involves hand finishing, although they do make use of some CNC machines for cutting pieces. You can usually expect to pay in the range of $300 for a Winkler knife, and don’t expect two copies of the same model to be quite the same, which means that even their sheaths will vary knife to knife since they mold them all specifically to each copy.

They’re particular about the materials they use, and it looks like many of the steels, at least, that they use are sourced from the USA. All manufacturing of the knives and their parts is definitely done in the States, though.


The Woox Rock 62 is a capable fixed blade survival knife.
Factory Location:Hickory, NC
US Manufacturing:Partial
Production Level:Mid level production
Knife Type:Hunting and Survival

This is not strictly a USA-based company, but they do have an American factory heavily employing American artisans. They’re a new branch of Minelli Group, an Italian wood working company, and they’re pretty open about the fact that the products made by Woox come from both countries.

It looks like their current order of operations is to source and process raw materials in Italy, then send it to the US factory where it’s all put together, ground, and finished, but I don’t have an exact idea of how much is done where. They’re pretty new, so they don’t have a very long product list, but we’ve had a positive experience with them so far. At the moment, every knife and tool made by Woox should have roughly the same share of US/Italian origin.

Zero Tolerance

Zero Tolerance knives are owned by Kai USA and made in America.
Factory Location:Tualatin, OR
US Manufacturing:All models
Production Level:Large production
Knife Type:Folding EDC

You won’t learn much here that you didn’t by reading the Kershaw entry farther up, but people keep giving us sass for not having a ZT section, so here you go you go, you damn vultures:

Zero Tolerance is the high end EDC knife brand under Kai Group which is the Japanese company that also owns Kershaw and Shun Cutlery. ZT knives go through pretty much the same factory process as any Kershaw knife that’s made in Kai’s Oregon factory, except the materials are better on the whole.

I’ve seen a few blips in their history here and there from knives that might have been made in Japan or China, but whatever they played around with in the past, it seems like Zero Tolerance is meant to stay firmly as a US-based operation, which makes sense. If Kai really wants to put out a knife with lower factory costs or materials they generally put it under the Kershaw name.

Zieba knives

Factory Location:Saddle Brook, NJ
US Manufacturing:US custom and small batch
Production Level:Custom w/ large production partner
Knife Type:EDC

Michael Zieba leans heavily toward the art and philosophy side of knife making. His site bio reads more like an introduction to a self help book than a life story. But he does make pretty fantastic knives in a wide range of styles from folding EDC to chef knives.

Unfortunately, it’s pretty hard (and expensive) to get one of his American-made knives. He has a workshop in Saddle Brook, NJ, but he is a custom maker at art.

However, he signed a deal with Maniago Knife Makers in 2020 to manufacture his Flame design. Anytime you see a Zieba knife actually in stock somewhere, it’s probably the Flame, and it was probably made in Italy.

You might still see the occasional US-made model pop up with vendors here and there, but those are knives coming out of his custom shop, and he is not known for rushing himself through production.

The Mass Information Disclaimer

This guide is in constant flux. I spend a lot of time with the most recent catalogs of most of these companies each year, and try to stay updated as they release new knives (usually around Shot Show and Blade Show), but this has become a massive list that is impossible to keep totally accurate at all times. There’s also a lot of fluid information around the origin of a knife because companies change things up, or source materials from different countries and then build in another. If nothing else, you can use this as a starting reference and I’ll do my best to keep this updated year to year.

If you see a knife on here that doesn’t belong, or don’t see one that does, feel free to let us know in the comments. I appreciate any help that saves me from doing more research. And if you’re more of a survivalist type, you might save some time by checking out our American-made Bowie knives blog.

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Avatar of Andrew North

Andrew has been a commercial writer for about a decade. He escaped from a life of writing mundane product descriptions by running away to the woods and teaching himself how to bake and chop stuff up in the kitchen. He has a background in landscaping, Filipino martial arts, and drinking whiskey.

77 thoughts on “The Ultimate Guide To American Knives & Knife Companies”

  1. Good choice ‘n stuff, but I think you missed out on one of the major USA made knife brands: Ka Bar. I’ll be honest, I’m Canadian but I love made in US because it’s gonna be great! A Ka Bar is a better choice for a survival knife than a SOG, hands down. Better steel, heat treatment, and ergonomics. I love Spyderco knives, and for a folding EDC knife I think the PM2 is the best choice. Just saying, not trying to be bigoted. Keep it up ‘Merica

  2. Holy crap, I forgot Ka Bar. I knew I was missing something.

    I agree, Lone Wolf. Ka Bar is better than SOG by a large margin, and I like the look of their designs a lot better. I have to give SOG props for their ingenuity though. They make some neat looking stuff, and I have high hopes for new releases from their American made line.

    I’ll update this blog with Ka Bar info as soon as I have the time. Thanks for the suggestion, Wolf.

      • It’s funny you’d ask, because we actually wrote a blog about the best brands for tactical knives. We talk a bit about rescue knives in there.
        But it really depends on what kind of “rescuing” you mean.
        If you’re thinking of some kind of wilderness situation, it’s hard to beat Esee or TOPS Knives (especially the BOB);
        The Spyderco Waterway handles rope really well, and could probably cut a seat belt if you needed it to;
        The Ka Bar TDI Hinderance carries easy and takes a sharp enough edge that it would do pretty well with first aid kit materials (I mean the TDI Hinderance specifically, because the base TDI knife is made in Taiwan);
        There’s also the Gerber StrongArm, which also has softer steel that can take an edge, a nice rubber handle, and a striking pommel that could probably break a window.
        Of all those companies, though, Ka Bar/Becker Knife and Tool probably make the most rescue-style knives within the states that I would actually rely on. You’ll probably find the widest selection of decent rescue knives with them.

      • Thank you for making a made in America list and the work it must take to do so, being from Montana I was wondering if Montana Knife Company would make your list?

    • That’s true. For some reason I thought they had shifted to China, but a quick search shows they’re pretty much all US made now. Thanks, Doug. I’ll put Case knives in here as soon as I have the time.

  3. Bark River in my opinion has the best quality fixed blade knife mfg made in Michigan USA they use some of the best quality steel, handle materials on the market with a fit and finish anyone would be proud to have in there wheelhouse with price points to fit any budget

    • We’re in the middle of updating the list right now, so it’ll be getting much much longer here soon. But I also have a vague criteria of only listing companies that do mass manufacturing on a certain scale, so there are some custom shops that probably won’t show up here.

  4. All knives are not equal while most are made for a certain task these days and shopping is risky on the interweb. I recently bought at a gun show the Spyderco Tenacious pocket knife I did not have my glasses with me. That said the blade has China in print on it so does the box I decided to keep the knife has it feels perfect in the hand & once I got it home on the bench it took a nice edge. The Tenacious is a little heavy EDC but for the money I intend to give it a work out and see what happens. To this day collecting knives from as far back as 1930 my favorite is a inexpensive Gerber folder the EZ Skeleton Out made in America. I have carried this blade for EDC 14 years and it has never let me down. American made knives are harder to find in chain stores and now even local hardware stores seem to have Made in China on most of the inventory for sale.
    Take a good look at local venues when you see made in America step up it might be old have some wear and need a little love, you will be glad you did.

  5. Wow, you didn’t even get close to the best brands in this article. I can take Hogue, but the rest of the list is junk. Randall Made Knives and Chris Reeve Knives are far better quality and hold their value even after use when well taken care of.

    • Hi Bryan,
      We appreciate you swinging the shadow of your massive knife opinion over us. Your overcompensating generosity has made us rethink not only the contents of our pants, but our understanding of the point of this article in the first place. We’d just like to thank you for enlightening us about two whole other US companies and congratulate you for winning at knives.

  6. Any reason Ontario Knife Company is missing from the list? They have made many fine USA made military and outdoor knives for many years (e.g. Spec Plus, 499 Air Force Survival, ASEK Survival, and fixed blade RAT models).

  7. Tops?

    Their Tom Brown Tracker, is a must have for serious outdoors-men/women. I believe all of their knives are USA made.

  8. Great list. Love your work, Andrew. I’m from Australia and was only looking for something not made in China and it seems that only Americans are proud enough to list their wares in this way. Made in the USA it is!

    • I don’t know if we’re the only proud ones, but we’re definitely the loudest. Every time someone buys an American made Bowie knife here we have to set off fireworks and shoot a minimum of one (1) shotgun blast straight up into the air.
      Anyway, thanks for reading Heath.

      • at least a 12 gauge with a 3′ magnum baby! Ammo is hard to find nowadays so there has been a special waiver put in place: one round from the ole ’06 and two 45 ACP are also acceptable. Thanks for the list Andrew.

  9. Andrew,
    Nice job. I have saved “Nothing But Knives”.
    Greg Wall Knives – ?
    Morseth – ?
    Thanx for your efforts.

    • Hey Steve,
      Greg Wall makes some great stuff, but he’s still a little too much on the custom side to include in this list.
      Morseth knives are great, but they’re technically just AG Russell knives now. I should mention that in the Russell entry, though. Thanks for the heads up.

  10. Thank you for taking the time to put this together!! I found a number of new makers that I wasn’t familiar with and brands that I didn’t realize were made in the USA. Great work!!

  11. There must be a reason Great Eastern was left off your list– No traditionals? That’s cool, but I have to say as a lifelong knife dude I find a good slipjoint with a strong back-spring superior to any locking knife. As for tactical, Ferrum Forge [and maybe Olamic] should make the list, nice to see Begg Knives mentioned, Steelcraft makes a superb but affordable EDC pocketknife.

    • We actually did have GEC on this list, but we did some major site restructuring awhile back and some content got pushed to early drafts. I’m still trying to find all the places where content needs to be re-updated. GEC is back on here now, though. Thanks for catching that.
      Ferrum Forge and Olamic will probably be on here soon enough. I tend to update this blog in batches as I work through stages of compiling lists and researching.

  12. If you’re still adding more, the following are USA made with knives available on their web sites. Surely there are many, many more but perhaps they are not included because their volume is too small (custom knife makers).

    How about:
    L T Wright
    Survive! Knives
    Entrek Knives
    Adventure Sworn Knives
    Fiddleback Forge Knives
    Carothers Performance Knives
    Busse combat knives
    Swamp rat knife works

    You won’t find any of those locally. But they have web sites and some retailers also in some cases.

    • Thanks for the list. I’ve seen a couple of those companies before, and some (like LT Wright) should be showing up on this blog soon. You’re right about some makers not being included because they’re too small, though. We need a cut off point to make this remotely manageable, but we have put some thought into another article based on custom makers.

    • I’ve never heard of them, but it looks like a pretty cool company. I’ll check them out and maybe add them in the next round of updates.

  13. Trying to research a folding lockback with a dog image on blade with barking dog printed under the image. Overall length 8 1/2 inches

    • Hmmm. That doesn’t ring a bell with us, but this article gets a lot of traffic from knowledgeable knife enthusiasts. Hopefully one of them will se it and fill us in.

    • I can see why you’re still researching it. I dove into it for a bit and came up with almost nothing. Looks like there is a brand called “Barking Dog” that makes (or made) old school trappers and lock backs, but for the life of me I can figure out who they are or where they’re from.
      My best, far reaching guess right now is that it was some kind of one off series by Bulldog knives, which was a German-made company back in the day. Outside that, I am genuinely lost.

  14. I really enjoyed this article USA made knives are making a huge come back with great quality, and amazing warrantees, I think it will be difficult to list them all, it’s a list that will have to be updated weekly I’m happy to say
    Proud to be an American and a knife enthusiast
    Keep up the good work

    • Glad you liked it, Tim, and thanks for checking it out.
      “Difficult to list them all” is an understatement, but it’s been fun as far as never ending tasks go.

  15. A chance search of Buck knives lead me to this posting of American Made knives. I found it to be interesting as well as the commentary of those responding–the whole post was eye-opening..

    I remember my grandfather saying something along the lines of, “A good knife has to be hard enough to keep an edge, but soft enough to sharpen.” Seemed to be a contradiction of sorts. Care to take a crack at what he meant?

    • Hey, Ed. Thanks for checking us out.

      That phrase “hard enough to keep an edge, but soft enough to sharpen” is more or less the contradiction at the heart of every blade design. Everyone has a different way of compromising between edge retention, toughness, and ease of sharpening. A lot of it has to do with edge geometry and what the end user considers to be good edge retention or easy to sharpen.

      I’ve tried writing articles on this type of thing in the past, but it’s tough to do a better job than Larrin Thomas. He wrote a good primer piece that addresses this called How to Design Knives that Do Not Fail that’s definitely worth a read.

  16. How quickly we forget who has stabbed us in the back and who hasn’t. Just because a company makes a product in the USA does not mean they support American principals. When knife makers support voluntary destruction of firearms and who’s management has given thousands of dollars to support socialist/communist politicians, they are no friend of mine and should not by yours either. Companies like that are benched from my wallet and my support.

    • “Benched from my wallet”. I see what you did there. Good on you, honing your wit all the way down here in the belly of this comment section.
      I get it, though. It’s hard to be friends with a knife company. I learned that lesson the hard way after going to a knife company bachelor party in Colorado and there were spyders sprint running all over the place. No one could keep track of them all, which actually wasn’t as bad as when I was bucked out of a bar in Idaho for finger flicking someone’s gerber baby, but that baby had it coming; it was all off center. After they drop shut the door and ka-barred it behind me, I hitched out of town and ran into an old timer somewhere in Ontario who asked if I wanted a “southern grind”, which might not be what I thought it was, because when I said “that’s okay, I already have one”, he winkler-ed at me and told me to “keep hustling”. He also seemed to think I paid too much, because apparently a “good southern grind shouldn’t cost more’n fifty bucks”, and he seemed to misunderstand when I said I like the handle contours and the blade shape on the Bad Monkey, because he got really serious and shouted “how do you know Bad Monkey? That son of a gun owes me fifty bucks”. Anyway, I don’t carry that knife anymore. It just doesn’t feel wright.
      I forgot what my point was exactly, but I think I appreciate your passion, Michael. There are plenty of other knives swimming around the country, and I believe you’ll find one someday that appreciates and compliments your candor.

  17. Love this article. Unfortunately, things keep evolving, and Microtech now makes a knife in China. The production Anax. Koenig and Holt are worthy of mention if you can find the time to write up about them. Great brands. The Arius is in my pocket right now.

    • Thanks for the heads up, Chris. Looks like they decided to outsource for some of their manual folders. I’ll add that in the next round of updates.

  18. This list is an awesome resource. OZ Machine Company actually hosts a Maker’s Syndicate in Indianapolis for small American knifemakers.

    Attendees include OZ Machine Company, Koenig Knives, Craig Brown, Keanison Knives, Skiff Made Blades, HMC MFG, Kody Utsler, Sharknivco, Boos Blades, Schenk Knives, Triiaxis, Christensen Knife Works, Holt Blade Works, JK Design, SPK Unlimited, Corbin Steel Works, and Chapman Lake Knives.

    Others to include would be Strider, McNees, Rosies Rippers and American Blade Works.

    • I’ve come across OZ Machine Company, but I hadn’t heard about the maker’s syndicate. That’s really cool.
      And Strider and McNees have been on my list to add for a while now, but I’m a little slower on updating this article every year.
      Thanks for the info, Brian.

  19. stop calling gerber knives an american company. they are owned by multiple shell companies. if you did a little you would think that they are owned by sweden and then you keep digging and it’s owned and operated straight out of china.

    • I suggest you focus on “vintage” GERBER: The “LST” and “Bolt Action” (Pete Gerber & Blackie Collins) and the “Mark I & II”. GERBER does make “Made in USA” in Portland, OR, e.g. Strongarm. Regarding “Fiskars” being the corporate owner of “GERBER”, so what? The Swedes manufacture good gear as do their Scandinavian neighbors. I do not buy anything manufactured in mainland China. It’s a choice.

    • Not sure exactly what you mean. Northern Knives is the name of a reseller based up in Alaska.
      Unless you mean Knives of the North, which is another reseller based in New York state.
      Or maybe you mean North Arm Knives, which is in Canada, or Norden Knives, which is in Montana (and listed in this blog).

    • Good God… Off the top of my head, the Bradford Guardian 3, Leatherman Wave, Hogue Deka, and Artisan Revere’s chef and paring knives (which we haven’t added to this blog yet).
      But those choices ignore the fact that I carry my Schenk Pika at least three times a week, and that the Reiff F4 and the ESEE Pinhoti are two of my favorite knives for camping. I would never stop thinking about the knives I didn’t pick.

      • Lol. Nice! Yeah it can become quite the addiction for sure. I’ll have to check those out. I guess I should have given you categories, like top 3 to carry daily, top 3 for camping, top 3 for survival, top 3 just over the top badass ones…

  20. Hi Andrew,
    Wow! This us a great collection of info. Finally some names to put on knives I’ve collected. I’m a retired toolmaker/R&D Engineer. I’ve made some customs when time permitted and the Spyderco factory is less than 10 minutes from my house. It’s a wonderful place. Been addicted to knives since I was a kid, and always have a thirst for more info especially history. Again thanks for all your effort and keep up the awesome work.
    Bob K

  21. Stumbled across Christy Knife Company of Freemont, Ohio. After I picked myself up, I thought, “What a quirky little American pocket knife company making quirky little pocket knives in America.”

  22. Sir: I am a U.S. Navy veteran, 1972-1982, notably serving on the USS George Bancroft SSBN643 Blue Crew, 1975-1978. I own “Made in U.S.A.” knives of various types and manufacturer. I own knives made by our allies on the planet, e.g. Japan, Taiwan, Italy, Sweden, Germany, France, Norway, Finland, Canada, and so on . . . I do not own knives made in despotic countries, e.g. Russia, China; or on continents like “Made in Asia”.
    I greatly appreciate your work to compile this valuable guide to knife enthusiasts.
    I am a lifetime member of the “William F. Moran Foundation”. My deep appreciation for the custom hand-forged blade is inspired by the late “Bill Moran”, who was one of the founding fathers of the American Bladesmith Society (ABS) circa 1975. The “Knifemaker’s Guild” is an American cutlery institution which sets high standards for knifemakers to become members. Both of these organizations are globally accepted as the apex benchmark of a knifemaker’s skills.
    Thank you for continuing to provide full disclosure to your readers on this topic.

    • It would be hard to understate Moran’s influence on the knife industry as a whole today, to say nothing of custom makers and bladesmiths.


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