Taylor Brands’ stable of knife marques, including Schrade, Uncle Henry, Old Timer and Imperial will soon be under new management. Smith & Wesson will be absorbing the company. What that means for future products is unclear, but there are a few details we can go into.
From Yahoo Finance:
Smith & Wesson Holding Corporation, a leading manufacturer of firearms and a provider of quality accessory products for the shooting, hunting, and rugged outdoor enthusiast, today announced that its Accessories Division, Battenfeld Technologies, Inc., has signed a definitive agreement pursuant to which BTI Tools, LLC (“BTI Tools”), a newly formed, wholly owned subsidiary of Battenfeld Technologies, Inc., will purchase substantially all of the assets of Taylor Brands, LLC (“Taylor Brands”), a designer and distributor of high quality knives and specialty tools, for $85.0 million, utilizing cash on hand.
Nostalgically, even though it will be good to see Taylor (and the storied brands that fall under its umbrella) remain under the control of an American company, I doubt we will see much more in USA made goods than we do now. Currently, Smith & Wesson’s knife offerings are licensed to, and made in China by, you guessed it, Taylor Brands. This seems more like them bringing everything under one house.
James Debney, President and Chief Executive Officer of Smith & Wesson, said, “Taylor Brands provides us with an ideal opportunity to further deliver on an important element of our strategic plan, which is to grow our Accessories Division by expanding into adjacent and complementary markets. Established over 40 years ago, Taylor Brands is a recognized provider of high-quality knives and tools under several well-known brands, especially the Smith & Wesson and M&P brands. Taylor Brands has delivered solid growth as well as gross margins that are aligned with those in our existing Accessories Division. We believe that these newly added product lines will benefit synergistically from the product innovation, distribution network, and efficient sourcing model that have contributed to the success of our Accessories Division under the leadership of its President, Jim Gianladis. Today’s announcement moves us closer to our vision, which is to become the leading provider of quality products for the shooting, hunting, and rugged outdoor enthusiast.”
Judging by his remarks about distribution networks, we may start to see more Taylor branded items in gun stores. This could be a mixed bag, as some of their products have a good reputation, such as their 1095-steel line of survival knives. The Schrade SCHF14 had a few issues, but it did “ok” for commenter/guest reviewer StuartB when he tested it out. Some of these might be good to see on more shelves across America.
Other products, not so much.