The Knife Making Capital of America Is Portland, Oregon

Portland, Oregon is well known for its craft breweries (and per-capita density of strip clubs), but the local its proliferation of knife makers is quickly becoming the buzz for Portland.

With numerous small and large knife makers throughout the region, it’s clear that Portland has carved out a niche in this craft industry. The city has earned such a great reputation, and has supported both local businesses and the wider community.

Knife makers in Portland, Oregon

A Rich Tradition

Portland’s love affair with The craft industry has deep roots, and has supported many craftspeople throughout the years. Thanks to its history of craftsmanship and a culture that values individual innovation, the city has become a hotspot for artisans of all types.

Knife makers are no exception. From old-school blacksmiths to modern knife designers, Portland boasts a diverse community of talented craftspeople, each contributing to the city’s vibrant knife-making scene.

While small businesses are popping up all over the region, larger manufacturers have played a significant role in Portland’s knife making history, with names like Coast Cutlery, Gerber, Kershaw, CRKC, Leatherman, and Benchmade, laying the foundation for Portland’s reputation.  

Due to favorable local legislation regarding the fabrication of knives, as well as the presence of local light-industrial-manufacturing and aerospace-industry supply chains all lined up in the area, the Portland area boasts the nation's largest cluster of knife and hand-tool companies, with over 20 major outfits.

The Small Makers

Small, artisan knife companies are now creating a buzz, with passionate makers producing high quality knives with that one-of-a-kind, handmade aesthetic. Beyond just making knives, these makers embody the spirit of entrepreneurship and craftsmanship, prioritizing quality over quantity and fostering meaningful relationships with their customers and fellow makers in the region.

Knife making capital

One of the hallmarks of Portland’s knife making scene is its diverse range of designs. Whether it’s a sleek chef’s knife or a rugged outdoor blade, there’s something for everyone in the city’s workshops. Each knife is a reflection of its maker, showcasing their individual style and artistic vision.

In Portland, knife making is more than just a craft—it’s a thriving industry that embodies the city’s sense of innovation and entrepreneurial spirit. From small workshops to large manufacturers, every blade forged in Portland carries forth that legacy.



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