Every time I visit Country Knives, I am reminded of just how vital a sharp edge is for many parts of daily life. You might think Country Knives is simply a knife store, and of course, with 8,000 (+/-) knives in stock, it certainly is. But, even someone who hardly ever picks up a knife uses edged tools more often than they’d realize. Personal grooming, backyard gardening, cooking in the kitchen, grilling outdoors, camping, sewing, and other crafts – all of these pursuits require shears, clippers, razors, shavers, loppers, snips, and other sharpened tools.
Country Knives amazingly carries all of these varieties of tools from the world’s top manufacturers. What had brought me to Country Knives on my most recent visit was the need for another of the most iconic knives in the world… the Swiss Army Knife. Years ago, my father received one as a gift, and it was a prized possession of his, used at many campsites, backyard picnics, road trips, etc.
At some point, it got lost, through a hole in the pocket, most likely. After hearing the story of the lost knife a few times, I realized this was a perfect gift for him the next time an occasion arose. So, I made my way to Country Knives and looked through their handsome display of many, many pocket knives. They basically carry the entire range of Swiss Army Knives, which are designed for an exhaustive array of lifestyles. I chose one ideal for camping. It had half a dozen different gadgets ideal for camping, including a small hook to remove hot cookware from the fire, using the knife body as a handle. Very cool. I also added a leather carrying case that clips securely to a belt (so history doesn’t repeat itself through a hole in my father’s pocket!) Various cases were available in many styles and materials, but leather seemed the most appropriate for a gift-giving occasion.
While I was deciding on my purchase, a professional chef came into the store, and I couldn’t help but overhear the store employee discussing the cook’s next purchase. This man had obviously bought from them before, as he seemed to be on a first-name basis. He was of course looking for a professional chef’s knife, but at Country Knives they have so many, designed for so many uses. I overheard them discussing manufacturers (she was suggesting a German maker) and types of steel (she was suggesting Japanese steel) so even though I’ve never cooked professionally a day in my life, I can now surmise there are German craftsmen making knives using Japanese steel. And they’re available at Country Knives. Think of that the next time you order a steak at your favorite restaurant.
But if it’s American Made you’re looking for? One popular brand well represented at Country Knives is Bear & Son Cutlery. Bear & Son is an innovative American cutlery manufacturer with a rich family tradition in knife making. The company is headquartered in Jacksonville, Alabama. The highest quality materials and years of experience in knife making combine to make their knives comfortable in hand, a beauty to behold, and still tough enough to go the distance.
Bear & Son Cutlery knives feel steeped in history and memories when unsheathed. They have a skilled and experienced workforce capable of performing many of the extra-hand operations that go into the making of their products. The Bear & Son Cutlery factory is unique. It is fully self-contained. While some companies only assemble parts brought from various suppliers and put their names on the product, they do everything in-house from building their own blanking dies to heat treating, grinding and assembly, and hand finishing their products. Everything down to the tiniest screw is domestically manufactured. These steps ensure that Bear & Son cutlery is of excellent quality. Their ongoing commitment is to make them in America and make them affordable.
Visit Country Knives, a one-of-a-kind store, with extremely knowledgeable employees, to see the best that Bear & Son makes. Hold the knife in your hand and feel the weight, balance, and usefulness. Sure, you can order a knife online, but you can’t really inspect it the way you can by visiting a real, knowledgeable knife store. At Country Knives you can experience their vast in-stock selection, items you can actually hold in your hand and inspect before purchase, and other professional services like sharpening offered regularly, all that combine to make this a must-see while in Lancaster County. Country Knives is located at 4134 Old Philadelphia Pike, Intercourse PA 17534. Call (717) 768-3818 for hours and directions or visit www.CountryKnives.com for more information.
– Clinton Martin