An hour south of Portland, Oregon, in a mixed-use neighborhood backed up towards Mt. Hood National Forest, is an unassuming two-story constructing with a big butterfly emblem on the entrance. Adjoining to a big cinema, the nation clerk, a couple of flats, and a performing arts middle, its drab, mall-like exterior isn’t precisely what one envisions when invited to tour the most important knife manufacturing unit within the nation.
But, as I might study, the easy facade is emblematic of what Benchmade Knives stands for: blue collar ethos and a deep consideration to buyer wants. Inside, the area is way bigger than I’d assumed. In whole, a 144,000-square-foot facility that homes a small storefront, company headquarters, analysis lab, the manufacturing unit flooring, and distribution. The family-owned knife maker checks, fabricates, and ships all of their merchandise right here—spanning tactical, looking, cutlery, and different specialised strains.
The Starting of the Benchmade Knife Co.
The Benchmade story began within the late 1970’s, when firm founder Les de Asis developed a brand new model of a Bali-Track knife in a machine store. As a Filipino rising up in Los Angeles, Les cherished the best way this knife felt, how straightforward it was to open with one hand, and the way it reminded him of Filipino tradition. Nonetheless, as a result of stigma round butterfly knives, few have been being made in America on the time.
An entrepreneur at coronary heart, Les picked the title Benchmade to symbolize the standard he needed put into each product. He envisioned a big operation with machine-precision elements paired with hand-assembled completed merchandise. From the beginning, he was dedicated to creating all of their knives in America, usually sourcing from native and regional suppliers in Oregon. Whereas he knew hand crafting would drive up prices, Les prioritized a high-end product—and this was the one technique to do it. Offshoring wasn’t an choice.