Ontario Knife Company has been Sold and Set to Shut Down Soon

August 3 Update: Blue Ridge knives says “they’re working with OKC’s previous management to sell them the manufacturing equipment so they can continue producing Ontario Knives in Franklinville, NY” per a statement from BRK. In the meantime, the OKC site is back up, but not accepting orders. There has also been an active effort within the local community to help the OKC employees find new jobs with events such as a targeted job fair scheduled for early August.

Original Story from July 18:

Come July 27, the Ontario Knife Company’s factory in Franklinville, NY will be shutting down operations, leaving 56 employees out of work and the OKC legacy in question. The news dropped in the Olean Times Herald, which recounted a county-wide attempt to keep the factory running that ultimately came up short.

The styling of the Old Hickory set is the reason people are buying it
The OKC Old Hickory set will be missed.

OKC’s parent company, Servotronics, a manufacturer of “motion control components and sub-systems for aerospace platforms, medical devices, and other industrial applications”, announced their intention to sell on March 30, stating that the move was “in line with [their] long-term strategy [which] centers around [their] core markets in the aerospace industry”.

On July 10, Blue Ridge Knives finalized a deal to purchase all remaining inventory for $2.1 million. That sale doesn’t seem to have included the factory or its machinery, so the OKC knife designs remain in a state of limbo, although some local organizations are trying to work out a deal where the building continues to be used for some kind of manufacturing and cutlery start ups.

Meanwhile, the Ontario Knife website is already down. There’s still no final word yet on whether anyone is lined up to buy the Ontario Knife Company name, or what will be done with the building it was based in. In fact the whole purchase has stayed somewhat quiet. There have been no official press releases from any of the companies involved yet.

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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.

18 thoughts on “Ontario Knife Company has been Sold and Set to Shut Down Soon”

    • It’s definitely a sad development. We love their Old Hickory line. We’d hate to see that and all their employees fall to the wayside.

      • I grew up with OldHickory knives in our household. My mother got a set of them in the early 1940’s. she passed away in 2014. I inherited of few of those knives. They show significant wear from the daily use from all those years and the knives remain due to great quality!
        BUT, the past 4 yrs I have purchased a few more New Knives directly from OKC and three other highly respected authorized retailers and 70% of the knives I bought had noticable defects eother rough cut handles, dull blades, some blades one side sharp other side dull, one knife (Cotton Sampling Knife) had deeo grind mark lines on bothe sides of blade. So, OKC employees, their CEO and everyone involved, either in the manufacturing, quality control, distribution, customer service, or all of the aforementioned ARE TO BLAME for the demise of the company and employment. Somebody or everybody at OKC allowed lousy craftsmanship to be released to oublic purchase, 2nd quakity rejected products should never have left the factory.. Should’ve been melted down and remade

        • I don’t think anyone would argue OKC’s quality wasn’t on a downward trend the last several years, and a few people probably even predicted this would happen eventually. That doesn’t make it less of a bummer to see people lose their jobs and a legacy name in danger of disappearing.

  1. I ordered something from their website on July 11, and the charge posted to my credit card on July 13th. The confirmation link they sent me now bounces to a Shopify notice that the Ontario Knives site is unavailable. As you note in your article, the website is shut down. I sent a note to Servotronics to see if they will ship the order, or return my money. A shame-they made good products.

  2. Wow looks like greed has struck again, THIS ANGERS AND DISAPPOINTS ME TO NO END. I own ONTARIO KNIVES and the quality is second to none. I only buy American made knives. I sure hope the employees get good jobs.

  3. How sad. My mom is 97 and dad passed on 10 years ago. Mom’s caregiver just sorted Mom’s kitchen drawers and found these knives that my parents had ever since I can remember. I will keep them and use them. Now they are even more special, being products of yet another long running American company gone .

  4. I have owned and used Ontario knives in the past, both in and out of the service. I recently purchased a M3 trench knife (8355) and was greatly disappointed with its workmanship. There isn’t a straight line in the blade and it appears to be slightly hooked like a CETME bayonet. The other hand, the MKIII Mod 0 dive knife I received in the same order was significantly better quality than the Camillus service knife I used with the same designation. When I learned of the closing I ordered a 8180 “fighting knife” (an analog to the USN MK2). The knife I received was not only better than the Camillus MK2 I was issued, it compares favorably to the Ka-Bar US Marine knife I was given as a gift. I was pleasantly surprised by the two developments and regret the closing of another American manufacturer. Camillus was recently closed as well. Hopefully if the tooling and facility are available, it can reopen with slightly more attention to consistency even if under a different name.

  5. This is the most disappointing thing I could of heard this year. I Loved their knives. There will be no others like it.

    • This is exactly what is happening to the SOG company.
      cost to much to produce in U.S.

      they move all production to taiwan and make cheaper knives but still overpriced for their quality…

      The good old days (gold era) of knives making is truly truly behind us in terms of price/quality ratio.
      the ONLY one left actually is Randall Knives located in Florida but not for long I assume…

      Still lucky to still have my Ontario Marine Raider SP10 made in 1095 steel bought like +15 years ago… mint condition (safe queen now)

      • There was definitely an unfortunate shift in quality control and manufacturing location with larger companies decades ago, although some handle that overseas QC better than others.
        But saying Randall Made Knives is the only good US knife company left is pretty unfair to ESEE, Tops, and Hogue. Not to mention the wave of smaller makers that’s been steadily growing ever since Forged in Fire came out.


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