Since our earliest time he on earth, men have been fascinated by knives. First, knives began to be made of bone, flint, sharp bits of rock and later, copper. Finally came the Iron Age and improvements helped mankind craft ever better and sharper knives. Of all the tools in our arsenal, a knife is perhaps the most essential. A knife can help us prepare food, create things from wood and it has long served as protection in self-defense.
In today’s technology with more sophisticated, improved and automated equipment, more and more companies around the world are turning out knives. Some in all countries are of very high quality but many are of much lower quality.
Choosing a proven knife from a company that has been crafting high-quality knives for many years is one safe way to buy. There are companies that have risen in more recent times. Some of these, too, produce a very high-quality product. Fortunately, most dealers don’t try to cheat. If a knife is very cheap, it probably won’t perform very well. On the other hand, a quality knife has to cost more. A lot more will have gone into its construction.
Here are ten companies that have been around a long time and have great reputations. Some specialize in pocket knives, while others focus on kitchen knives, etc.
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Here are the Top 10 Best Knife Companies in the world
10. Case Knives
People from all walks of life have been carrying Case knives around in their pockets since 1889. That says a lot about this reliable company. While Case makes a large selection of knives, the good old folding pocket knife is Case’s best ad, and the knife for which it’s best known. Aside from hearty steel blades, most pocket knives come with some sort of stag and/or bone handle, making them not only attractive but give the user a good grip on his instrument. Of course, Case’s inventory goes much further than pocket knives. Not the cheapest knife available, but not expensive either.
Known primarily for kitchen knives, thousands of chefs and helpers have, over the years, done their food preparation with a good old Dexter/Russell knife. You just know that knife-makers who have been doing this for 119 years, must be doing something right. Not too many years ago, restaurants across the country had either some Dexter or Russell knives on duty. Later these very similar companies joined forces and became Dexter-Russell.
Affordable, reliable if not fancy with a solid background…and future.
8. A. Wright & Son Ltd.
Perhaps a Johnny-come-lately in the knife, this company has come a long way with a wide selection of famed Sheffield knives including British Army knives. No imports or outsourcing here. Every knife from start to finish is made in-house by highly trained craftsmen. The Farmers’ Sheepfoot is an iconic no-nonsense traditional British product. A good-looking, well-balanced utility knife. Its wide blade, brass linings and rosewood handles make this one a keeper for anyone.
7. Coltellerie Berti
Italy holds its own in the knife business as well as any and better than most. At the Coltellerie Berti, each and every knife produced in its studios is made from start to finish by an experienced and highly trained artisan. No automated knife machinery tossing steel in one end and tossing knife blades out the other. Whoever starts a knife, finished it. No one else touches his work. They’ve been doing it that way since 1895 and their motto is “Se non è rotto, non ripararlo.”(If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.)
Famed for its Swiss Army knives, Victorinox probably creates more multi-purpose knives than any other blade artisan. Its official name was Offiziersmesser (Officers’ Knife) which most American soldiers found difficult to pronounce so they re-christianed it “Swiss Army Knife”. This name caught on and it’s been that way ever since. Originally, two companies were given contracts by the government, namely Victorinox and Wenger, but in 2005, Victorinox acquired Wenger, so now only Victorinox continues the Swiss Army Knife tradition.
5. Gerber Knives
The Multi-Tool knife is not the cheapest knife around, but its value certainly warrants the price. Gerber promises uncompromising strength and performance in their multi-function instrument, but that’s only one of Gerber’s famous and durable knives. You know Gerber must have been doing something right when they were a major supplier to Abercrombie & Fitch, No, not the clothing stores we see in today’s malls, but the world-famous outdoor hunting and fishing go-to place for those who had the kind of money it took to outfit themselves for a safari in darkest Africa. Now a sub-division of Fiskars, the company continues to produce quality knives in Tigard, Oregon, where they began back in 1930.
4. Buck Knives
Buck knives have been around for over a hundred years. A dependable knife that many carry around with them daily. A little hefty to carry in your pocket, this solidly-built knife is usually carried in a little case attached to the owner’s belt. It features two attractive and desirable reasons to choose your own model, or several, from the Buck lineup: The legendary Forever Warranty and the sturdy self-locking mechanism that prevents the blade from accidentally folding back on your tender fingers.
3. Henckels (Zwilling knife)
These knives are known and recognized worldwide by the little iconic twins on every blade.
These babies from the famed Solingen steel region don’t come cheap, but with any sort of decent care, a Zwilling Pro can last a lifetime. Diehards insist on the Henckels made in Solingen, but they have factories in Spain and elsewhere (clearly legible on the blade) that are probably the same quality.
This 9″chef’s knife from Wüsthof, Henckels’ biggest German competitor, is considered the jewel of their collection. It has the balance and style any educated cook will love. With its handle of hard-as-steel blackwood from Africa, a great many cooks swear it’s better than any other, so it’s your choice. As with any really high-quality knife, you have to lay out some serious money but when you do, you won’t regret it.
1. Opinel Knives
The Opinel No. 8 is so popular and has been around so log (since 1890), that, as in the United States, the word Kodak became synonymous with camera, in France, people even today often refer to any pocket knife as an Opinel. But this knife sturdy folding knife has an extremely simple and dependable feature: An unobtrusive metal ring just at the base of the blade, with a quick twist, locks the blade into place without the need for springs or other equipment. Safe, simple and easy to use. It is said that a Frenchman may leave his home without his wife, but he never goes out without his Opinel in his pocket. Unlike so many companies today, Opinel remains family-owned and operated, a very unusual thing to do in this day of acquisitions of smaller iconic companies by corporate giants.
Of course, there are many other brands out there.Some good, some bad. Many companies in China make knives, some of them real gems. Chef Wolfgang Puck had a line of outstanding kitchen knives that were made in
Many companies in China make knives, some of them real gems. Chef Wolfgang Puck had a line of outstanding kitchen knives that were made in China, but apparently they are no longer available.
Many swear by some of the fine Japanese blades but in most cases, the brands are little known in the US.
Another famous and storied French name (not quite a brand) is Sabatier. This name was first introduced by a studio in Thiers, France. This was a region associated with blades as far back as the Middle Ages. Until the advent of the Industrial Age, artisans seldom thought of signing their work. They probably thought that was only for people like DaVinci. But after the arrival of the Industrial Age, many looked for a way to separate themselves from competition. Many jealous craftsmen felt their product was superior to the inferior shoddy workmanship of others. That’s about the time brand names came into being.
Sabatier was one of them. This period however, came before the establishment of intellectual property laws and was therefore not protected. Anyone could, and did, begin using the name Sabatier, since its reputation for quality had quickly spread.
So over the years, some companies making Sabatier knives did indeed create high-quality products, while others only took advantage of the name producing cheap knives.
Today, there are about 31 different companies using the brand name Sabatier. The best way to assure oneself of getting a really high-quality Sabatier knife now is to rely on a trusted cutlery shop.
Whether you’re looking for a folding pocket knife, a multi-task tool, a chef’s knife or boning knife or even a paring knife, your best bet is to go to a real cutlery store and, with the help of a knowledgeable clerk, assure yourself you like the look, you like the feel, the balance and weight of the knife, and all this, of course bearing in mind the knife’s intended main use.