Spartan Blades and KA-BAR Team Up for Pineland Cutlery

Spartan Blades and KA-BAR are working together to found a new company, Pineland Cutlery. The new brand will be based in North Carolina and blend the strengths of both founders.

The Pineland Cutlery partnership aims to build on the strengths of both KA-BAR and Spartan. Orlean, NY-based KA-BAR has been in the business for more than 100 years, and enjoys wide distribution and expansive production capabilities. “Our merger with KA-BAR will expand our distribution both in the U.S. and internationally,” explains Curtis V. Iovito, Co-Founder of Spartan Blades and President of Pineland Cutlery.

In practical terms, Pineland Cutlery will produce and distribute knives in three general tiers, reflecting both the premium nature of Spartan’s output and the more wide-ranging offerings from KA-BAR.

The Gold Grade or Elite knives will be the high-end tier, with much in common with what Spartan produces under its own label. “These are a continuation of Spartan Blades premium blades,” says Iovito. Made in North Carolina, the Gold Grade knives will feature custom engravings and S35VN or Damascus blades.

In the middle in terms of pricing and materials will be the Silver Grade or Professional knives. “This line will be the expansion of Pineland into new distribution networks,” Iovito explains. “[It] will leverage KA-BAR’s manufacturing capabilities in Olean, NY, allowing for more affordable options.”

Finally, the Bronze or Field Grade knives will round out the catalog. Knives in this tier are slated to be produced all over the world, including Germany, Italy, and Taiwan. Ideally this means Pineland Cutlery products will make their way into the hands of international users who may never have had easy access to Spartan products. “This will allow for increased distribution to some of our overseas retailers and distributors.”

Iovito is also clear that the partnership stemmed from more than just logistical concerns. The way KA-BAR conducts business and functions in its community also impressed. “We were pleasantly surprised by the mixture of history and youth at their facility. The family atmosphere at KA-BAR was impressive and real,” he says. “It is rare for long-established companies to escape from ‘We have always done it this way’ syndrome. Not an issue at KA-BAR.”

KA-BAR is just as excited about the partnership. “We have an unwritten policy that we only work with people we genuinely admire and respect,” says KA-BAR’s Joseph Bradley. “I can’t think of anyone we admire and respect more than Mark Carey [Co-Founder of Spartan Blades] and Curtis Iovito.”

According to Bradley, we can expect more news from Pineland in the near future. “It is going to combine the best of both companies. We have already begun to go to work on products and we hope to see knives very soon.”