Busy Times In The Blade Business

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RYP

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Good to see Benchmade going strong.

Benchmade Knife deepens designer talent
Portland Business Journal - by Suzanne Stevens , Web editor
Date: Wednesday, January 5, 2011, 10:00am PST
Related: Manufacturing

It's been a busy few months for Portland-area knife manufacturers, with acquisitions, partnerships and expansions driving activity.
The latest news is from Benchmade Knife Co., which on Wednesday announced new partnerships with three renowned custom knife designers, including Oregonian Bill Harsey Jr.
Harsey is best known for his ergonomic knife designs, and his folding and fixed-blade knives are used by several U.S. Special Forces units. He's joined on the Benchmade team by Butch Ball, known for his decorative designs, and Paul W. Poehlmann, who created a widely used patented locking mechanism for folding knives.
The announcement comes three months after privately held Benchmade acquired Wilsonville-based Lone Wolf Knives Inc. for an undisclosed amount. And this summer, the company added 20,000 square feet of manufacturing and office space to its Oregon City plant.
Meanwhile, Benchmade rival Leatherman Tool Group Inc. announced an expansion of its own in December, acquiring a majority stake in Zweibrüder Optoelectronics GmbH & Co. KB, a Solingen, Germany-based company that makes flashlights. The deal not only added a leading flashlight brand — LED Lenser — to Leatherman's portfolio, it also nearly tripled the Portland firm's work force.
It's been a busy few months for Portland-area knife manufacturers, with acquisitions, partnerships and expansions driving activity.
The latest news is from Benchmade Knife Co., which on Wednesday announced new partnerships with three renowned custom knife designers, including Oregonian Bill Harsey Jr.
Harsey is best known for his ergonomic knife designs, and his folding and fixed-blade knives are used by several U.S. Special Forces units. He's joined on the Benchmade team by Butch Ball, known for his decorative designs, and Paul W. Poehlmann, who created a widely used patented locking mechanism for folding knives.
The announcement comes three months after privately held Benchmade acquired Wilsonville-based Lone Wolf Knives Inc. for an undisclosed amount. And this summer, the company added 20,000 square feet of manufacturing and office space to its Oregon City plant.
Meanwhile, Benchmade rival Leatherman Tool Group Inc. announced an expansion of its own in December, acquiring a majority stake in Zweibrüder Optoelectronics GmbH & Co. KB, a Solingen, Germany-based company that makes flashlights. The deal not only added a leading flashlight brand — LED Lenser — to Leatherman's portfolio, it also nearly tripled the Portland firm's work force.
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Read more: Benchmade Knife deepens designer talent | Portland Business Journal
 
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ctrl V one too many ;)

But interesting stuff nonetheless
 
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unfortunately IMO Benchmade buying Lone Wolf ruined the brand. They discontinued some of the knives, and other ones they sent to the H&K line and in my opinion cheapened the hell out of.

I was hoping this would be a good thing for Lone Wolf but it appears more and more like Benchmade bought them to cannibalize the business. I am so disappointed about this that I have more or less decided to not buy benchmade anymore.
 

RYP

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Disappointing. When I first got into this business, I spent a lot of time at traditional retail spots and was overwhelmed by walls and walls of cheap made in China knives along with a lack of knowledge by sales people about why certain brands were better/different etc.

Saturated and mature markets are quite devastating to products because you end up with confusion, cut corners and lower satisfaction. Kinda like GM in the 80's trying to figure how to make more cheaper cars instead of fewer better cars like they used to.

I have never added up exactly how many knife types one person can choose from but its staggering.
 
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I lost interest in Benchmade a long time ago and not for any one specific reason. Mostly, their knives didn't appeal to me as much as others and certainly some of their business practices seemed distasteful to me. And I also had some quality issues with the last 3 or 4 I bought back when.

I don't own one Benchmade today. It's not a statement or protest. I simply just don't own any anymore and seldom look at them seriously right now. Meanwhile other brands have caught my attention besides Spyderco. The ZT0550/0551, DPx HEST/F and of course, Spyderco are getting the most attention these days. I also have an Umnumzaan coming. So I have a total of 3 0551's now, a DPx LE Sterile and two productions coming, the CRK and several new 2011 Spydercos on the way now.

I have a very good knife budget but I only spend it on knives and companies that make an effort to interest me.
 
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RYP

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hell I don't even go into chain stores...i only go to Costco if the zoo is too crowded.
 
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That's sad to hear. I wouldn't buy a Benchmade knife anymore either. That example of GM in the 80's couldn't be anymore true! That decade nearly destroyed one of the greatest companies in American history due to terrible management and their board. They finally are just starting to pull out of the effects that had caused them.
 
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The only Benchmade's I own are a CQC 7 from the mid 90's and a pre-production 42 that I think I got in the late 90's.
 
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