Cutco takes on new manufacturing to keep knives made in America
Cutco is proud that its knives are made in America, but it hasn’t always been easy for us to make that happen. We were recently put to the test when the American company that supplied us with our stainless flatware went out of business.
Sherrill Manufacturing closed its doors in 2010 leaving us with a difficult decision. Discontinue our popular stainless flatware line, which includes forks, spoons and a table knife or at the very least bring the stainless table knife manufacturing to our factory in Olean, N.Y., to ensure that all of our knives would remain made in America.
According to Cutco president Jim Stitt, “The decision was really pretty simple. We never considered outsourcing the manufacture of the stainless table knife, and the flatware line was too popular to discontinue.”
It was a major investment in time, money and resources. Cutco bought the equipment from Sherrill to make the knife and began an eight-month journey that involved moving the equipment, installing it and learning the new process. It’s different than what we’re accustomed to. The handles of the stainless table knife, for example, are a different material than Cutco’s standard knives, and how the knives are assembled is vastly different from what we had done before.
According to Jim, “It was a new process for us, so there was a huge learning curve. We had to learn to run the machines, but we also wanted to make sure that we were making knives that lived up to our quality standards.”
The addition of the stainless table knife manufacturing involved a lot of trial and error, but the company is now in full production.
Because of that learning curve, there was a short time where we were not able to offer the stainless table knife as an individual item because of inventory limitations as we learned the new process. Now that we’ve got the hang of it, the knife is available again as an individual item and, thanks to the commitment of our company leaders, it’s still made in America.