L.T. Wright Talks Knife Business and Future Projects

L.T. Wright is growing his Wintersville, OH-based knife shop in new and exciting ways. While primarily focusing on outdoors and bushcraft-style fixed blades, Wright has branched into other areas and says more exciting products are in the company’s future.

Wright tells us he got started just before the internet knife community took off. He made his name the old-fashioned way, traveling to shows and peddling his wares. “I didn’t have an order base, or any dealers,” he tells us. “So at those shows I was a door-to-door salesman in a sense, trying to sell my knives.” Sometimes process was so grueling that it was a matter of selling a knife in order to pay for gas to get home. “You pay for your education one way or another,” Wright admits now. “I slept in a tent or in a jeep on the show campgrounds many a night.”

While the knife market has never been more crowded, Wright believes times have never been better for somebody to break into the industry. “It’s easier today if they think things through and do it smartly. Social media gives you a major opportunity.” In interacting with fans on social media channels, Wright has shaped his lineup over the years. He started with hunting knives but transitioned into the outdoors and bushcraft arenas as his business grew. The Pout House, his company fan association, has helped put prototypes and new steels through the wringer before they make it to market. Everything plays into the slow, steady development of the L.T. Wright line, which now encompasses dozens of models.

Fixed blades are a hard market to innovate in, but Wright confirms that there are plenty of new things in store. His simple, sturdy Genesis is the flagship, but Wright branched into new ground with the Cookcraft line. The Cookcraft models marry kitchen knife performance to bushcraft knife design ethos. The headline model in that series, the Camp Kitchen, secures a broad, 7.5-inch AEB-L blade in a classic, rounded outdoor fixed blade handle with thumb scallops reminiscent of the Genesis. Wright tells us that the most Cookcraft knives find themselves in outdoor, camp cooking scenarios rather than the home kitchen. “We sell tons of our cooking knives to people who camp.” Wright has also collaborated with YouTuber Chris Tanner of PreparedMind101 to produce the JX2 Jessmuk.

Further developments will follow in a steady pace from Wright and his team. “We want to bring out new models every now and then. I’ve got a whole drawerful of drawings.” In addition, he confirmed that a folding knife from L.T. Wright will eventually be a reality. “You’ll be able to get an L.T. Wright folder in the future. But our rule is to wait to release something until we’re 100% ready to make it all the time.”

Knife featured in image: L.T. Wright Knives JX2 Jessmuk