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A Cut Above: All-American R. Murphy Knives


american made knives - factory tour

Last November, we launched R. Murphy Knives here at The Grommet and  have since remained taken back with these USA Makers.  We sent three Grommeteers to visit the R. Murphy Knives factory in Ayer, Massachusetts in order to share a closer look at how these knives are made.

Founded in 1850 as a cutlery business, the local company was family owned until 1954. Today, Mimi Younkins and her husband-business partner Mark Furman run the company, which still uses a handcrafted manufacturing process with machines about a century old.

american made knives - R. Murphy

The Grommet discovers R. Murphy Knives

“When I first walked in there, I was curious, very curious,” Bobby, our resident knife enthusiast, recounted to me. “I was blown away by the precision of everything -- and the thoughtfulness that went into the production of each knife.” He had watched the knives being prepped in the sea bath.

American Made Knives

What’s more impressive is that the knives are made with local materials whenever possible (but the factory does go for regional and national when necessary). With its local factory, inclination for local materials, and local employees, I think R. Murphy Knives is a local treasure (with fans spanning both coasts) and very much a part of our local manufacturing history.

Here are a few more pictures taken by our wonderful Video Director, Jesse during The Grommet's visit to the R. Murphy Knives local factory:

The Grommet | American Made Knives

The Grommet | American Made Knives

The Grommet yours R. Murphy Knives

American Made Knives

If you’re interested in a set of your own R. Murphy Knives (and are a supporter of buying American-made), take a look at their Chef Collection and Shellfish Collection. Plus, be sure to watch the original Grommet video of R. Murphy Knives, here.


  • Eve Says:

    Do you have a cost effective beginner's set.
    I have replaced 3 knife sets. They have no edge. Smash tomatoes. Are not efficient . Any ideas?

  • Caroline Says:

    Hi Eve, thanks for your question. If you're looking for a new set of chef knives, the R. Murphy ones will stay sharper than most stainless steel knives and certainly will be able to cut tomatoes. Each knife in the set is available individually as well.

    But what you might want to try is to get your knives honed (using a sharpening steel) or take it to a place, where they will sharpen them for you -- both Williams-Sonoma and Sur La Table do it for a fee of 10-ish per knife.

    Hope this answers your question!

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