Who owns the Marble's brand today?

Discussion in 'General Knife Discussion' started by badguy, Jan 7, 2021.

  1. badguy


    Jun 21, 2009
    Hi. Just wondering who owns this trademark, who is manufacturing these (current Chinese production)?
  2. tltt


    May 1, 2008
    They are usually made by the same factory that makes the Rough Rider series for SMKW. Some of the machetes were handed by Imacasa, and a few higher end limited editions were made by Mike Stewart / BRKT for Marbles.

    If I had to guess SMKW or Maybe Blue Ridge Knives has a piece of the brand now.
  3. knarfeng

    knarfeng senex morosus moderator Staff Member Super Mod Moderator

    Jul 30, 2006
    Here's a really nifty compendium
    A Pocket Guide to Knives: Who Owns Who -- Prepared by Tobias Gibson, © 2012, 2014 Blindkat Publishers

    Brand Marble's Outdoor Owner/TM Smoky Mountain Knife Works
    Country, Place of Manufacture: USA, Global, Chiefly China (PRC), Pakistan, El Slavador
    Product notes: Older production models were made in Gladstone, Michigan. Higher priced stainless fixed blades are out-source for production in the USA. Damascus blades normally come from Pakistan, Most traditional pattern folders are made in China. Modern pattern folders are made in Pakistan and China.Axes are imported from China and Pakistan. Machetes are made in El Salvador
    buckfynn, bikerector, Zulus and 4 others like this.
  4. Triton

    Triton Gold Member Gold Member

    Aug 8, 2000
    It would be cool if someone were to rescue that brand a la Case.
  5. knarfeng

    knarfeng senex morosus moderator Staff Member Super Mod Moderator

    Jul 30, 2006
    Nothing to rescue. There's no factory. Anymore, it's just a name that got sold to the highest bidder. Like Schrade, like Camillus,
    With Case, there was a manufacturing facility, so there was a possibility of maintaining it.
    Triton likes this.
  6. badguy


    Jun 21, 2009
    Thank you - I suspected SMKW might own this.
  7. Henry Beige

    Henry Beige Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 1, 2015
    As it sits now, the Marble’s brand graces some pretty decent products, like the micarta and D2 sowbelly. They do a nice version of the TL-29 electrician’s knife, and their current-production version of the Camillus demo knife is at least as good as the original.

    There is nothing wrong with my Imacasa panga, either.
  8. Alberta Ed

    Alberta Ed

    Jun 29, 1999
    I bought three Marble's knives back about 15 years ago or so, a pair of Campcrafts (one with leather stacked grip, the other with a synthetic grip) and a Fieldcraft, all in 52100 steel from Mike Stewart's era there. All are superb and are among the sharpest knives in my collection -- my BIL has the Campcraft with the synthetic grip in Wisconsin. I had a chance to handle a Fieldcraft model a few years after Mike left and they had changed to some kind of mystery steel, and was not impressed. The fit and finish were inferior and there was little left except the name. I once happened on a well-used Marble's in an antique shop in Tucson -- the tag seen under glass said $5 and I would have bought it until I looked closer and discovered it was $500. The original Marble's blades were die forged, like Roselli knives are today.
    Zulus likes this.
  9. Mossyhorn

    Mossyhorn Enlightened Rogue Gold Member

    Dec 6, 2009
    Thanks for the info Frank. I bookmarked that site for future reference.
    knarfeng likes this.

    USMCPOP Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 6, 2016
  11. That says SMKW got it in April 2010 and then passed it to Phil Martin DBA Blue Ridge Knives (an individual) in July 2010. Phil Martin assigned it to an entity he created, Blue Ridge Knives, Inc., in 2016.
    But I think it's safe to say "Blue Ridge Knives" has controlled the trademark since 2010.
    The Marble's Knives website has direct links to both Blue Ridge and SMKW, which makes me think they're related, but I can't find anything definitive.
  12. SanLuisObispo


    Nov 14, 2020
    Probably more accurate to say "resurrect" Marbles as a US manufacturer.
    Triton likes this.
  13. Triton

    Triton Gold Member Gold Member

    Aug 8, 2000
    Gotcha. As was mentioned above perhaps "resurrect". Is the better adjective. I do find these sorts of corporate genealogies fascinating though often sad because often great companies are turned into vague shadows of their former selves. Sometimes they become some undead thing that does not reflect past glory at all. Ambercrombie and Fitch anyone?
  14. kwackster


    Dec 23, 2005
    Or you could buy vintage Marble's knives and give them some TLC.
    Imo there's something about owning & using the real deal, like this Woodcraft model.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
  15. Triton

    Triton Gold Member Gold Member

    Aug 8, 2000
    I imagine that there's folks that would freak out because you may have impacted collector value doing that but I have to say that does look amazing!
    Alberta Ed and sabre cat like this.
  16. kwackster


    Dec 23, 2005
    I have most certainly impacted collector value, as i already got offered quadruple of what i paid for it, :)
    Crag the Brewer and sabre cat like this.
  17. Lee D

    Lee D Basic Member Basic Member

    May 27, 2013
    I know collectors freak out over that kinda thing, but if you’re cleaning it up to make a good user out of it, more power to ya. It looks great :thumbsup:
    sabre cat likes this.
  18. Triton

    Triton Gold Member Gold Member

    Aug 8, 2000
    Interesting, I'd give a nickel to know what you paid vs what you were offered. I know if this were an antique katana or bowie you would have destroyed the collector value for the most part by cleaning it up like that. Perhaps the same thing doesn't hold true in this genre? It really does look nice though.
  19. kwackster


    Dec 23, 2005
    So far it has been my experience that at least in this particular category (factory produced but quality made vintage knives) many collectors seem to appreciate a carefully restored knife quite a bit more compared to the same knife that remains in neglected condition (read: damaged/corroded/blunt/loose)

    A large part of the above is due to nostalgia, as you know a natural phenomenon that tends to take hold of people as they progress in years.
    This condition can suddenly make you want to own & use a certain knife dating back to your youth, but which you were unable to acquire at the time, for instance because of a lack in resources.
    But what do you do if the only specimens you can find are far removed from how they once were ?
    Or a specific older knife your deceased father or grandfather used to carry back in the day, and which you badly want to have restored to (at least close to) the condition you remember from when he was alive ?

    Both categories are very real i can tell you, and sometimes tend to show up on my workbench, once in a while even from abroad.
    Now and then i also buy certain old and neglected knives in an effort to improve upon my skillset, and resell them later on.
    Pictures of a few of these projects can be found in older posts elsewhere on this forum.
    (as not to clutter up this thread with more of my musings)
    Crag the Brewer likes this.
  20. Crag the Brewer

    Crag the Brewer Gold Member Gold Member

    Oct 18, 2018
    I appreciate your photos above. It's something I'd like to do some day, and give some added value to an old user....making it useable.
    kwackster likes this.

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