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 number of residences, and a performing arts heart, its drab, mall-like exterior isn’t precisely what one envisions when invited to tour the biggest knife manufacturing facility within the nation.
But, as I’d study, the easy facade is emblematic of what Benchmade Knives stands for: blue collar ethos and a deep consideration to buyer wants. Inside, the house is way bigger than I’d assumed. In complete, a 144,000-square-foot facility that homes a small storefront, company headquarters, analysis lab, the manufacturing facility flooring, and distribution. The family-owned knife maker exams, fabricates, and ships all of their merchandise right here—spanning tactical, searching, cutlery, and different specialised traces.
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-Music knife in a machine store. As a Filipino rising up in Los Angeles, Les liked the way in which this knife felt, how simple it was to open with one hand, and the way it reminded him of Filipino tradition. Nonetheless, because of the stigma round butterfly knives, few had been being made in America on the time.
An entrepreneur at coronary heart, Les picked the identify Benchmade to characterize the standard he wished put into each product. He envisioned a big operation with machine-precision components paired with hand-assembled completed merchandise. From the beginning, he was dedicated to creating all of their knives in America, typically 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 possibility.