It all began in 1991 when Ken Griffey and two partners bought the Parker Edwards knife facility, a sister plant to W. R. Case & Sons in Jacksonville, Alabama, to create Bear MGC Cutlery. A lot has happened since then to establish Bear & Son Cutlery as a rising force in the knife industry.
After a series of twists and turns, including a time when Swiss Army Brands actually owned the firm, Ken Griffey still heads the operation as President. His son Matt, who began working in the factory when he was 18, is Vice-President, as is Ken’s wife Sandy, who has played a key role as Vice-President of purchasing and premium department. With their supervisors and management team, they bring a combined knife experience of more than 290 years, including positions with Gerber, Case, Parker Edwards and Schrade. They head a skilled team of 82 knife craftsmen. As Americans become more and more concerned about jobs lost to overseas sources, they resent it when they see the words “Made in China” on a product. And they have less confidence in the quality and reliability – especially if it’s a knife.
Bear & Son Cutlery meets the test because 100% of their high-quality knives are made in their state-of-the-art Jacksonville, Alabama plant, where they do all their own tooling, pressing, heat- treating, grinding, hafting, finishing and assembly. “Our fundamental position is clear and absolute: we make high-quality knives, and we make them all right here in the U.S.A.,” said Ken Griffey. “And when we say Made in America, we mean everything. We’re a family company, and we are dedicated to keeping it exactly that way.”
With a wide range of knives – from big Bowies to popular Butterflies – Bear & Son covers almost every knife need. They’re Sideliner locking knives include the 4-1/8" 510 D with a Damascus steel blade, Genuine India Stag Bone TM handle and a belt clip. The MSRP is $159.99. From their wide range of Butterfly knives, the 5-inch CB 17 is a leader, with handsome cocobola handle and blade made of premium 440A steel. The MSRP is $86.99.
Their Bear OPS Division, launched in 2011, features a growing line of rugged tactical/survival knives, such as the new C-200-B4 Constant. It's 9-3/8" overall and has a full-tang, modified drop-point blade made of 154CM premium steel, and the unique G-10 handle has a textured grip. While the Bear Company began in 1991, for Ken Griffey you could say it actually began in 1976, when he went to work for Parker Cutlery. Then a Tennessee knife distributor; or in 1986 when Parker USA started producing Damascus and stainless steel blades in Jacksonville. Matt says he’s been around knives as long as he can remember. From the time he was 4 until he was 10, his mother Sandy engraved blades in their home. Matt began working in the factory while still in school.
Bear and Son Cutlery meets the test because 100 percent of their high-quality knives are made in their state-of-the-art factory in Jacksonville, Alabama.
“Our fundamental position is clear and absolute: we make high-quality knives, and we make them all right here in the U.S.A.,” said Ken Griffey, president. “And when we say Made in America, we mean everything – the steels, every component right down to the tiniest screws, and of course every step of manufacturing.”