When I embarked on this little journey that I call “Wicked Fishah”, I swore that I’d remain a ‘neutral’ blogger and not get tied down to any one brand, company, or service provider. I figured it’d be hard to properly review and write up products and services if I did so. I truly believed that I’d never become “Pro Staff” or “Field Staff” for anyone. Well, that has all changed and I have no regrets. I’m proud to say that I am, in fact, Pro Staff for Dexter-Russell, Inc. (Dexter-Russell Knives). Dexter is an amazing organization with superior products, and, in my honest opinion, the leader in the cutlery industry. Dexter also meets my requirements for promotion as their products are “Made in the USA”!
I remember as a young boy, having being gifted a used filet knife from my Grandfather. It had a wooden handle that was a little weathered and nicked, but the blade, though worn thin from many years of honing, was as sharp as I’d ever seen a knife’s edge. I remember that handle having a brand in it that said “Dexter” but it meant nothing to me as a teen. I kept that knife in my tackle box for years and years. It is now resting comfortably at my summer place in Falmouth, MA. I used it faithfully, but as of 2014, she has been retired to a collector’s box and replaced by a brand new Dexter SofGrip filet knife.
Dexter-Russell, Inc. is the largest manufacturer of professional cutlery in the United States. They are a brand borne of the Harrington Cutlery and the John Russell Cutlery Companies. Since 1818, the Dexter brand has held the reputation as a leader in quality cutlery in American homes and restaurants. Most recently, they’ve expanded their line to include “Dexter Outdoors”, which offers all of the necessary tools to outfit the outdoorsman and outdoorswomen in both the hunting and fishing world. As luck should have it, they are also located in my home state of Massachusetts.
Southbridge, MA, home of Dexter-Russell, Inc. is less than an hour from my home. So when I was given the opportunity to visit the corporate offices and manufacturing plant, I jumped all over it! Our tour was given by Mr. James Bellerose, Dexter Marketing Manager and Daniel Kenney, Dexter Digital Marketing and Pro Staff Manager, who is also the host of the television show “Go Fish with Dan Kenney“. Additional Dexter Pro Staff Members, Hugo Medeiros and Colby Brouillette joined us for the day as well.
The first thing you notice when you walk through the Dexter-Russell facility is the sense of ‘family’ there. The staff, while diligently working, was very friendly and genuinely happy to be there. You could feel the positive attitude and pride in the air. The smiles, handshakes, and the short discussions had throughout the day further solidified my feelings about the positive work environment. Dexter-Russell employs approximately 200 people at their Southbridge, MA location, making them one of the largest employers in the area and a very important asset to the local community.
You also witness what can only be described as a passion for perfection. Dexter-Russell, Inc. produces over 2,500 different products. Each and every staffed work station was not only producing, but proofing product. Specialized trained technicians diligently inspect their work as they go along. Even after a visual inspection by the technicians, the product is tested with specialized laser measurement and other calibrated test equipment. The testing of the product is repeated over and over, at each stage of manufacturing, by multiple personnel and test systems. This holds true all the way through packaging and shipping departments!
Dexter-Russell uses carbon steel, high carbon steel, stainless steel, or their proprietary steel called DEXSTEEL™ in the vast majority of their products. These alloys, coupled with special heating and cooling treatments, and precision grinding produce a blade that has been the ‘edge since 1818’. The blades truly exceed the performance and expectations of the end user. When properly cared for, the product should last you a lifetime! The handles are wood, plastic, or composite. Each type of handle material has its own properties and therefore lend themselves to different environments and uses. I prefer the Sofgrip handle. They are non-slip and very comfortable. They are the perfect handle for wet fishing environments. They help reduce stress and hand fatigue when you are fileting multiple fish. They also give you perfect control to make precision cuts.
On a final note, and to further illustrate why I believe in the mission of Dexter-Russell, Inc., all scrap from the manufacturing process is recycled. Whether it’s steel remnants, polishing brushes, or scrap wood, it is all either re-utilized or sent to recycling plants. Even the water used during many processes is captured, filtered and reutilized. Dexter-Russell, Inc. has an impressive recycling record for scrap and by-product!
If you are interested in purchasing Dexter-Russell products, you can find them online at http://www.dexter1818.com. You can always get good deals from their many distributors as well. Check in with our friends at Fishbone Knives at http:// http://www.fishboneknives.com/ for specials!
If you are in the New England area, the Dexter-Russell Factory Outlet Store is open Thursdays from 5:00PM to 9:00PM and Saturdays 8:00 AM until Noon. They are located at 44 River St. Southbridge, MA 01550. They can be reached by telephone at 508-765-0201 Extension 6573. Gift Certificates are also available.
Dexter-Russell Knives can be found on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/DexterProTour and via Twitter at @DexterKnives
Please remember to check in with Wicked Fishah at https://www.facebook.com/Wicked Fishah and via Twitter at @WickedFishah
Tight Lines & Tread Lightly! ~ Dave