The Importance of Quality
The word “quality” has special meaning to W.R. Case & Sons Cutlery - our reputation depends on it.
In the old days of cutlery, the parts were forged first by hand hammering and later by machines called forging hammers. Since the parts were hand forged, no two pieces were exactly alike. The grinding and finishing operations brought the parts to a more uniform size, but there was still a variance between similar pieces.
This is where a skilled Cutler applied his trade. He would assemble, straighten, and shape the blades to fit each individual knife. A Cutler would have an assortment of files at his work station. In addition to an assortment of files and hammers, and a bench steady, a cutler’s bench would also contain an abundance of blade openers, witches, slackers, pin cutting blades, and a can of snuff. Each tool and each operation was needed to put the quality into each pocket knife.
In later years, when the parts were blanked out of flat sheet steel by using punches and dies, the parts became much more uniform, but the Cutlers still used their same variety of hand tools to maintain the quality.
The passing years have changed the Cutlers duties considerably. Gone is his tang stretching hammer, his files and the spring cutting blades.
Case now has a quality control department with state-of-the-art inspection equipment. Parts now have blue prints, whereas, in the old days, they were traced from another part or perhaps from a worn or broken punch or die. All associates check parts and ensure accuracy before the parts reach the assembly department. The newer, more accurately blanked parts are correct in every respect before they are assembled. However, you may still find an occasional can of snuff.