Visit to Ontario Knife Factory

Aug 24, 1999
Business took me through Franklinville, NY, today (home of a recent Miss USA, by the way) and I couldn't resist nosing around for the Ontario Knife factory.

When I found it, I was immediately impressed with what makes their blades so affordable. This is a no-frills, no-nonsense workplace. No receptionist waiting to give tours. No lobby. No . . . nothin. Just a hundred year old building full of skilled craftsmen doing their thing.

Also, this appears to be an economically depressed community. Run down neighborhoods, old run-down main street . . .

Anyway, here's my two cents: Go out and buy an Ontario product. Go out and buy three or four. These guys make a decent product and really deserve our support. Buy Old Hickory kitchen knives. They're easy to make wicked sharp and last forever. Buy a machete and clear some brush or stick it in your Y2K fraidy hole. Get a Schatt & Morgan trad. pocket knife or any of the Spec Plus pieces.

You get the point. Here's a little bit of America that makes a nice product and deserves a boost.

I don't want my children fed or clothed by the state, but I would prefer THAT to their being educated by the state.
Thanks for letting us know. I wondered why these knives are such a bargain. I have a couple of their products and have been very pleased with them. Other than my Cold Steel Bushman I can't think of any better bargains than the Marine Raider Bowie and the 18 inch machete I purchased from a dealer who carries the Ontario products.

I'm sure I'll be buying more in the future.
Been doing my part since '96. I would like to see a Ontario rep on the forums as they are considered a best buy by many of us here. I feel if some of the members ideas are implemented, they will do even better.

**Insert Brian's shameless plug for a Spec Plus Combat Smatchet here!**
Speaking of Ontario knives. Any of you have experiance with the Bagwell Hells Belle from them or is there a thread that I have missed. Are these a good using redition?
I saw a Hell's Belle at the factory and it seemed very well made. What I would use it for is quite another question. I can't imagine.

What's your intended purpose?

I don't want my children fed or clothed by the state, but I would prefer THAT to their being educated by the state.
Where can i get one?!!! do they have a web page? how thick of steel do they use?!!
the Bagwell bowies are made as the ultimate fighting blades.
Bill Bagwell desighned the hell's belle bowie to be the most formidible fighting blade ever made.[ask mr.keating about it].
the ontario version is practically an exact copy of bagwell hell's belle.however not hand forged cost about sixt of the price and does not have 2 years waiting list.
the custome bowie made by bill is probebly one of the all time greats i bowies.
the ontario as as close as you can get to it without divorcing your wife.
i have both,if you can't get the real bagwell go for the production version,it is probebly the only real fighting bowie in production today.
I will go with Uncle Bill's comments. Support your domestic knife factories or else they will disappear!
As a resident of the UK it really saddens me to see that the old famous Sheffield cutlery firms are all now gone.
The Sheffield comment struck home with me today. I was just looking at a Japanese kitchen knife calling itself some sort of "Sheffield" brand. It wasn't even a good one.
I have always liked their version of the marine combat knife sometimes genericaly called a "kabar".
The Sheffield trademarks have been aquired by various companies but it is not the same. I can remember in the late seventies/early eighties when you could buy sheffield made pocket knives at most newsagents. I haven't seen them in a long time. SUPPORT YOU LOCAL KNIFE MAKERS OR THEY WILL DIE OUT.
There is a pleasure to be had from owning something made in your own country by local craftsmen that cannot be gotten by other knives. I own knives by AlMar, Benchmade and other quality makers, but I don't own one of those sheffield pocket knives that I used to see and that is a great regret. The models available now are limited and just not the same.
Some months ago I sent Cliff Stamp the following:

Survival Bowie - got broken
Bolo - got broken
Brig Qm. Kukri first pattern - got broken
Marine Raider - IT SURVIVED!!!!
For the record, a Mad Dog ATAK did not.
Generally, sending a knife to Cliff is like sending a new airframe to the FAA for "test to failure". It breaking is a given - what it takes to break it is what is significant.

My only suggestion is to buy at a retailer where you can hands on check the QC out yourself. Some continue to be much better than others, and if possible line up a half dozen and pick out the best.
Yep, support US labor. W/out the hype of other companies, they quietly continue to deliver good, reliable knives. Haven't used their bigger knives which appear to be favored by forumites, but I've had a Spec Plus Parachutist for many, many yrs now. "Semi-retired" in the garage now, but Uncle Bill's post prompted me to check, clean, and re-oil it; touched up the edge, too. Still ready to go. Deserves consideration on those "best back-up utility for the buck" lists.

Have also used the Spec Plus Navy Mark II -- the above applies to it, as well.

Ditto prior sentiments -- support US labor -- buy an Ontario!


"What's so funny 'bout peace, love, and understanding?" -Elvis Costello
I am a new member so hear goes. I have several Ontario knives in my colection and they look to be a great buy for the buck. I have a limited budget and they fit in neatly.They are very beffy i like the feel of them in the hand.I don't know what you could be doing to break one of them?They are home grown.