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Ontario Knife Company: Ontario Knives Now On Sale!

If you are a fan of high quality knives, and if you have a particular love of military knives, you’ll most definitely want to check out some of the new Ontario knives over at Check out a few pics below, and down below that you can read about the history of Ontario Knife Company.


The beginnings of the Ontario Knife Company are shrouded in the mystery of a fading past. It seems certain that three men – William B. Ensworth, Charles Albert Brace and William Maudsley, were in the picture from the start at Naples, New York, in 1889. The name of the Company derived from Ontario County where Naples was situated. The early knives were manufactured on a waterpower-run grindstone and sold via pushcart through the neighboring countryside.

As the company began to grow more space and more power was needed so an old sawmill at Cadiz located near the Village of Franklinville was purchased and also run by water–power from the Ischua Creek.

Around 1902 a move was made from Cadiz to Franklinville as the company kept growing and again more space and more power was needed. This would be Ontario Knife’s current location. Also, on August 12, 1902 the company was incorporated and retained the Ontario Knife Company name.

In 1904 the owners of another local knife manufacturer, Empire State Cutlery Company, purchased the interests of the original Ontario Knife Company stockholders and in 1905 the two operations were combined in Franklinville under the Ontario Knife Company name. Once again the company expanded and a new building was built between 1912 and 1914 and is still in use by the company.

In 1923, James A. Chrestensen, who had been with the Company for a dozen years, became president and the beginning of the “Old Hickory” line would begin. His son Robert F. Chrestensen would take over as president after his father retired in 1952. Ontario Knife would expand its role in the cutlery industry with a membership in the American Cutlery Manufacturers’ Association in which Robert was a past president.

Servotronics purchased Ontario Knife Company in April 1967 and in 1969 they also purchased Queen Cutlery Company a sister company of Ontario Knife. Queen Cutlery manufactures pocket knives mostly for collectors, while Ontario Knife specializes in fixed blade knives. The two cutlery companies complement each other very well and to this day maintain the hard work and dedication in their manufacturing operations that leads to the finely hand crafted cutlery our customers enjoy.

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