Why Benchmade Knives?
Almost 20 years ago I worked in a cutlery store selling many different knife brands. I was introduced to a small emerging brand called Benchmade, produced about 4 miles from where I grew up in Oregon City, Oregon. They only had about 6 or 8 knives in their line at the time, but right out of the gate it was obvious that they cared about what they made. The knives used great materials, innovative mechanisms, had great tolerances, looked and felt like custom knives from a production stand point, cooperated with top knife designers and have and awesome warranty to boot. I bought my first Benchmade a Mel Pardue 3000 automatic which I still have.
Years later when looking for a change in career I told my wife I wanted to work for Benchmade Knife Co. I started in their credit department as a temp and soon moved over to their customer service. I spent the next 10 years working about 50 feet above where the knives were made every day. Shortly after I started working there, they dropped their import line (less than 4% of what they were producing at the time) and went all American made. This was also an exciting time to work for Benchmade as they also dropped their distributors in favor a dealer direct format giving a new advantage to the Mom & Pop stores in the emerging internet market place.
On one of my first few days working there, I walked around the factory checking out all of the equipment used to fabricate the various workings of a knife. I got to see the laser cut blade blanks out of a huge steel plate, milling machines for handles, big robotic arms and monstrous polishing tumblers. I stopped to ask "What are those huge machines there?" The answer (very matter of fact) "Screw machines." I had never considered it before, "We make our own screws?" The answer was even better than I could have imagined in my little world where screws came from exotic far away lands or hardware stores, "Of course we make them ourselves...How else would we control the quality?!"
I could go on for some time about the quality of their products, but just as important is the fact that they stand behind their products. You can send a Benchmade knife in anytime for service and they do a full tear down on the knife, clean it top to bottom, replace any weak or broken parts and sharpen it back to a crazy sharp factory edge. Even better you get a real person, who understands the product, when you call on the phone.
I recently decided that it was time for a new adventure. I decided it was time to go back to being an Authorized Benchmade Dealer; this time selling the brand on my own. You will see other cool blades on this web site...Benchmade is not the only company on earth producing great product. It is rare that you will ever see another brand in my pocket.
Sincerely, Nolan C Kidwell (Owner of Cascadia Cutlery)