Warther Knife Making History
The Warther Family has been handcrafting kitchen knives since 1902.
A Knife Maker was Born
At the age of five Ernest “Mooney” Warther found his first pocketknife and began whittling. As a teenager he began carving in walnut wood and bone. He became frustrated with store-bought knives because they would not stay sharp, so he began to design and make his own. Mooney Warther researched what steel to use and created his own techniques form tempering and sharpening a steel blade that would keep its sharp edge even while carving in hard materials like walnut and bone and later when carving ebony and ivory.
When tempering the steel blades Mooney thought that if this carving knife would keep its edge and remain sharp while carving ebony and ivory, it would certainly make a great kitchen knife. Therefore, in 1902, at age 17, he crafted the first kitchen knife for his mother and soon she was showing her friends and neighbors. The town folk were impressed and Mooney received many orders, hence, the family knife business was born. As the word spread about how great the knives were, so did his knife business. By 1923 Mooney quit working in the steel mill and devoted his time to his hobby of carving and making kitchen knives as his livelihood.
A Son Follows his Father
Ernest Mooney Warther taught the art of knife making to his two sons, Tom and Dave (1940’s). His youngest son Dave started making knives when he was 12, and when he returned home from WWII at the age of 19 (1945), he took over the E. Warther & Sons knife business; this allowed Mooney more time to spend on his hobby of carving.
Dave expanded the knife making business in the 1950’s by tapping into corporate gift programs at companies like Ford, Hedrich Blessing, and Timken. Beginning in the early 1940’s Ernest Warther and his sons were using the name and stamping the knives E. Warther & Sons but it was not until 1954, when Dave officially incorporated the businessas E. Warther & Sons Inc.
By the early 1960’s E. Warther & Sons grew beyond the confines of a one 10-‘x15′ workshop and at the same time Mooney had so many carvings that a new museum and knife shop was needed. In 1962 Dave built the museum on the main floor of a 40’x40’ building with the E. Warther & Sons knife shop in the lower level.
A Grandson Follows his Father & Grandfather
In the 1960’s Dave’s oldest son Dale began learning the knife making business. Business continued to grow so, when Dale graduated from college, he returned to work in the family business making knives along side his father.
The Warther’s are in their third and fourth generation of knife makers, continuing the family business of producing outstanding kitchen cutlery with the same techniques and fine craftsmanship Mooney developed 110 years ago.
Today, Warther kitchen cutlery is made by 3rd and 4th generation Warther’s, using the same old world craftsmanship passed down by Ernest “Mooney” Warther. Using the finest materials, the kitchen knives are designed and crafted for comfort and durability. The kitchen knives are made from CPM® S35VN and are tempered to a Rockwell C 58-60. The kitchen knives are polished to a convex grind, which can only be accomplished by hand grinding. This assures the kitchen knives retain a razor-like edge with just a light honing. The tooling design on the blade is done by hand and has been the Warther trademark since 1907. The blade runs completely through the handle for stability and balance. The handles are made of layers of birch and are riveted on the blades.
Presidents & Dignitaries
Warther knives have been made for many famous people including: Ronald Reagan, Frank Lloyd Wright, Gerald Ford, Nelson Mandela, George Bush Sr., George W. Bush Jr., Perry Como, George (Senator) and Janet Voinovich, Ted (Governor) and Frances Strickland, and Condoleezza Rice (Secretary of State).