Where Are Kershaw Knives Made? Insights for Finding Suppliers

by Stanley


As an entrepreneur or business looking to source high-quality knives, you’ve likely come across Kershaw, a brand synonymous with precision and craftsmanship. Their manufacturing practices support Kershaw’s reputation for quality.

A majority of Kershaw knives are produced abroad, with their main production facilities in China and Japan. However, they also proudly manufacture a selection of their knives in the USA, specifically in their state-of-the-art facility in Tualatin, Oregon.

Knowing where these knives are made is critical in choosing the right supplier for your business in terms of design, cost, and origin.

So, let’s dig deeper into the origin of Kershaw knives and discover some key takeaways when working with manufacturers for your business. 

Where are Kershaw knives made

Overview of Kershaw Knives

Kershaw Knives has established itself as a noteworthy brand in the cutlery industry, known for its high-quality products and innovative designs. 

In this section, let’s explore their history and product evolution.

Establishment and Growth

Founded in 1974, Kershaw Knives began its journey in Portland, Oregon. The company quickly made a name for itself by producing some of the most reliable and durable knives on the market. 

It’s important for you to know that while Kershaw has a strong American heritage, it is owned by the Japanese KAI Group. 

This multinational presence has influenced the company’s manufacturing locations, with Kershaw producing certain knives in the USA, while manufacturing most models in China and Japan, reflecting their global approach to knife making.

Evolution of Knife Designs

Kershaw is celebrated for its pocket knives and hunting knives that combine both functionality and aesthetics. Over the years, the company’s innovations have led to a variety of designs appealing to different uses and preferences. 

Notably, Kershaw Knives has introduced a range of patented technologies like the SpeedSafe® assisted opening mechanism, which has become a standard for safety and convenience in folding knives. 

Through constant evolution, Kershaw has maintained its position by offering a diverse portfolio of knives, catering to both budget-friendly and premium market segments.

Where Are Kershaw Knives Made?

Kershaw knives manufacturing locations

When you’re eyeing that sleek Kershaw knife, you’re looking at craftsmanship influenced by a global manufacturing network. As a business, knowing the origins of their products is paramount.

Factories and Facilities

  1. United States: Kershaw’s own facilities in Tualatin, Oregon, are responsible for some of their knife production. Here, they also carry out rigorous quality controls to maintain their high standards.
  2. Japan and China: Kershaw partners with reputable manufacturers in other countries to expand their offerings. Quality knives with the Kershaw brand come from carefully selected facilities in Japan and China, ensuring a diverse product range with a blend of American craftsmanship and international expertise.

Global Manufacturing Partners

  1. KAI Group: Kershaw is part of the Kai Group, a Japanese company with a storied history and a strong presence in the cutlery world. Their global footprint means that Kershaw can benefit from international best practices in knife making.

Kershaw’s Manufacturing Process and Quality Control

Materials Selection

Kershaw is selective about the materials used for their knives, ensuring that their customers get products that balance cost with performance. 

They source materials that are durable and capable of retaining their edge, which means a longer lifespan for each knife. 

For instance, blade materials aren’t always the most premium available, but they are chosen for their durability and functionality.

Craftsmanship and Quality Control

At Kershaw, precision and craftsmanship are paramount. The manufacturing process of a Kershaw knife involves rigorous quality control at every step. 

From American design to careful assembly, each knife passes through a series of checks to ensure it meets high standards. 

This results in a product that is not only well-crafted but also consistent in quality irrespective of where it is manufactured.

Key Takeaways for Businesses Looking for Suppliers

1. Manufacturing Locations

  • Supply Chain Reliability: When you choose a supplier, with production facilities in multiple countries, you’re more resistant to regional disruptions. A diverse set of manufacturing locations can protect your business from localized events that could impact supply chain continuity.
  • Production Capacity: Suppliers with facilities both in the USA and abroad mean scalable production options. For instance, Kershaw’s Tualatin facility offers over 55,000 sq. ft. of operational space, indicating a strong production capacity.

2. Quality Expectations

Understanding the quality output of suppliers from different regions is critical. In the case of Kershaw, one can expect certain lines of their knives made in the USA to meet stringent quality standards, while others made in China and Japan may offer different advantages like cost-efficiency.

3. Leveraging Supplier Information

Use the knowledge of where a supplier’s goods are made to align with your quality, cost, and ethical standards. 

A business like Kershaw, producing in both the USA and Asia, only shows they have varied options that cater to their customers’ unique needs.

By integrating these insights into your sourcing strategy, you can maintain a balanced and resilient supply chain, while upholding the quality and price point that fit your business model.

Key takeaways for businesses looking for suppliers

Frequently Asked Questions

In this section, you’ll find direct answers to common queries about Kershaw knives that might help you in selecting a reputable knife manufacturer for your business.

Are Kershaw Knives a Good Brand?

Kershaw is recognized for producing knives that are reputable for quality and innovation. 

Whether for personal use or resale, their knives have gathered a positive reputation, with some models being manufactured in the USA, reflecting a commitment to craftsmanship.

Which Companies Are Considered Top Competitors to Kershaw in Terms of Knife Manufacturing?

The industry is competitive, featuring various key players known for their quality and range of products. Top competitors to Kershaw in knife manufacturing include:

  • Benchmade: Known for precision craftsmanship and premium materials.
  • Spyderco: Renowned for unique designs and innovative features.
  • SOG: Specializes in durable and functional knives for outdoor and tactical use.
  • Cold Steel: Pushes boundaries with robust blades and advanced technologies.
  • Gerber: Offers a wide range of reliable knives for outdoor and everyday carry.

Considering alternatives alongside Kershaw can be beneficial, and you may find value in reviewing a list of the best private label knife manufacturers and OEM knife manufacturers for your business needs.

How to Distinguish between Genuine Kershaw Knives and Potential Counterfeits?

To identify authentic Kershaw knives, check for proper branding, seek verification from official distributors, and familiarize yourself with the product details from the company’s official guidelines. 

It’s important to source your products from trustworthy suppliers to ensure authenticity.

What Are Some of the Best Knife Manufacturers for Businesses?

Finding the right manufacturer is crucial for your business. 

Whether you are looking for diverse options or specialized styles, you may want to review a collection of leading knife manufacturers, especially if you’re considering importing from China. 

It’s advisable to perform thorough research and choose manufacturers that align with your business vision and quality standards.

Working with Knife Manufacturers in China

When looking to expand your business offerings with quality knives, it’s essential to consider Chinese manufacturers

A portion of Kershaw’s knives are produced in China, highlighting the country as a key player in the knife manufacturing industry. 

China offers an attractive blend of cost-effectiveness and scalability, which can be crucial for your business’s growth.

However, finding a reliable manufacturer poses a challenge, but with expert assistance, you can streamline this process. 

A sourcing agent can be an invaluable asset, guiding you through the complexities of overseas production, quality assurance, and logistics.

If you’re keen on producing top-notch knives and cutting-edge tools, partnering with an adept manufacturer in China could be the step forward. 

To start the journey and capitalize on the opportunities available with Chinese knife manufacturers, request a free sourcing quote

With our professional guidance, you can ensure quality craftsmanship and timely delivery, meeting your business’s diverse needs.

About the Author

stanley nieh ceo


Over 10 years of experience in foreign trade
Helped 2k+ clients improve their eCommerce businesses

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