Lamson Knives--Take a Closer Look

I’ve been on this venerable (1837!) American company’s mailing list for many years now. They’ve always had solid cutlery products, sort of comparable to Chicago Cutlery’s, but I’ve always found them lacking in fit and finish, and selection.

So imagine my surprise this morning to open another email ad. The kludge (sorry) is gone! The selection is now unexpectedly wide and deep, both in terms of Forged-vs-Stamped, profiles, style ranges and handle materials. What really impresses me, though, is that the entire line has been gone through stylistically, with an emphasis on ergonomics. They have added several specialty blades, e.g., a “Chinese” cleaver, offset bread knife, birdsbeak parer, etc. These changes and features I think put Lamson in direct market competition with the mass German and Japanese makers.

A careful parsing of the Lamson site reveals the claim that the knives are designed, assembled and finished in USA of German steel, leaving us to wonder if it was only the material that held them back from claiming “USA made”, or whether some or all of the blade blanks are manufactured elsewhere.

I have never owned or used a Lamson knife, but I have for many years owned one of their luxe BBQ/Grill tool sets, which is excellent. As a perfect example of the broadening of selections, Lamson has added a fish turner/Peltex tool to this line I’m definitely buying. I’d also like the offset bread knife, but I’m concerned that it is too short for larger boules.

I found the regular prices good.

Does anyone here already have any Lamson knives? I so, what do you think of them?

I also have to share that this is not a company that throws tradition out the window. Case in Chife is their “Granny Tools” line, which includes a 3.5 parer, allegedly made for 180 years. or those who don’t know, this profile starts out new as a regular parer would appear after decades of use and resharpenings–about 2/3 worn out. I once made 6 of these preworn knives for a group of older cooks whose parers had either been lost, tossed or worn out completely. IME, cooks who’ve never had the pleasure of this profile tend to love it. And only $22!

So check out Lamson…


I do not currently own any, but ages ago when I walked into a restaurant kitchen, I really liked to see Lamsons there, not just the big chef’s knife but also the various spatulas.

1 Like

Not sure, but I have seen plenty other brands use German or Japanese steel and still able to claim Made in USA or Made in Taiwan or something.

I don’t think this will be helpful, but I do have a Lamson Goodnow carbon steel scimitar I inherited from my father-in-law. He used to own a restaurant, I’m guessing circa 1960s. It has held up well.
Edit to add. It is stamped “made in the USA”

1 Like

I have a whole bunch of Lamson knives. I’ve been a fan for years. They have always been made in the USA, and they are worlds above Chicago Cutlery. I would more compare them to a Dexter Russell that transcended their more primitive roots. Lamson is one of the truly underrated knife brands out of there.

They had serious problems with sourcing and labor during the pandemic, and as a relatively small outfit they really couldn’t maintain their stock. They bounced back with an expanded lineup of their “vintage” designs, and some new handle options on their premium forged line. They are also known for their BBQ tools.

A true heritage brand, their original “Gold” and “Silver” lines (indicating the color of the rivets) were top of the food chain “made in USA” mass-produced knives going back several decades. But I think they were often overlooked in favor of choices like Global, Japanese knives and German-made knives of similar style. In fairness, Wusthof in particular produced slicker knives with more precise balance. I wouldn’t say there was anything wrong with Lamson fit and finish though. It was always top-notch finish (unlike, say, Mundial – made in Brazil of German steel – tough, sharp, eminently practical, but clearly a notch below the better German brands in terms of fit and finish), but not as refined in terms of the design. One thing that Lamson developed well was the different handle materials, various resin infused pakkawood styles, acrylic, and for a brief moment G-10 (second from the top on the right), giving their knives a bit of style. This jives with their DNA (see Silas Lamson). In general, I think the Lamson knives are just a bit more robust than my Wusthof’s (which are almost all sans finger guards and have their Asian blade angle). That G-10 vintage style pictures in the box is also AEB-L steel, so exceptionally rugged. The 10-inch above it speaks for itself.

1 Like


Correction: Lamson does currently produce their forged line with a G-10 handle option. I meant to say that the “vintage” style was only produced with G-10 handles (and the AEB-L) for a limited run. I picked that one up for just $79 at C&M – an absolute steal.

As you pointed out, second from the top on the right would be my choice.

1 Like