The Case family carved a niche in the knife market a century ago and has been a sharp operator ever since. W.R. Case & Sons Cutlery manufactures and sells pocket, hunting, and sporting knives, which it sells to hardware stores including Lowe's and other US retailers. Its brands include CopperLock, Hunter Trapper, and Tiny Muskrat, among others. Case holds licenses with the Boy Scouts of America, John Deere, and Johnny Cash, as well as Sturm, Ruger & Company. It makes John Wayne knives through a 2007 licensing agreement with Wayne Enterprises. Case is owned by the Zippo Manufacturing Company. Founder J. Russell Case formed W.R. Case & Sons Cutlery with financial backing from his father, William R. Case, in 1902.
To stay ahead of the economic downturn in late 2008, the company has had to lay off some 30% of its employees since January 2009. The company's parent, Zippo, has moved to a four-day workweek and has suspended manufacturing at a plant for a week in mid-2009 in an effort to stay afloat.
Case products have become iconic. The company's behind one of the world's largest knife collectors clubs: The Case Collectors Club, with its about 18,000 members. Membership includes knife offers, subscription to The Case Collector magazine, and a tour of the Case factory.
Like its parent Zippo, Case products have gone to war. Case has also gone to the moon. Its Astronaut Knife was on all of the Gemini and Apollo missions, including the moon landing. – less