About MKC

The Story Behind Why I Started MKC

In the last two years, Montana Knife Company has been fortunate to grow beyond what I could have imagined, gaining recognition throughout the hunting community and the country.

As a result, you may think we're a huge company with dozens of employees running a complicated operation. In reality, we're just a small group of hunters and fishermen creating American-made tools that help us do what we love.

We design with hunting in mind, and we build reliable tools that last. We're passionate about making affordable, high-quality knives that serve the needs of real working people.

I’m Josh Smith, co-founder and Master Bladesmith for Montana Knife Company, and this is the story behind why I started MKC.


Josh Smith

Josh grew up in Lincoln, Montana on the edge of the Bob Marshall Wilderness.  At the age of 11 Josh’s baseball coach, Rick Dunkerley, began teaching him how to make knives.  In the very beginning, Josh would go to Rick’s shop where he learned to remove stock blades under the guidance of Rick.

The History

Discovering Knife Making

I started making knives when I was 11 years old in the little town of Lincoln, Montana.

For Christmas that year, my parents bought me a blade by Rick Dunkerley, my little league baseball coach and an excellent bladesmith. Not long after that, Rick gave in to me bugging him and invited me up to his shop to teach me how to make knives.

What I Love About MKC

One of the things I love most about MKC is that the company has a Master Bladesmith at the helm. Most bigger knife brands are run by people in suits, not by knife makers with a passion for the craft. These executives may know business, but they have no idea how to make what they're selling, let alone how to use it.

I'm also proud that we've grown our company the old-fashioned way: no debt, and just hardworking people who actually use the products they're selling. MKC is a testament that the American dream is alive and well.

MKC Challenges

Here in western Montana, we're not surrounded by much industry or even other knife making companies. It's a challenge to find and attract people with the right background and experience for this kind of work, especially since the cost of living here has risen.

But Montana is an amazing place, especially for hunters. I grew up on the edge of the Bob Marshall Wilderness hunting and fishing, and we name our MKC knives after the places, animals, and mountain ranges of Montana. We’re sticking around, and we hope to attract others who love this place as much as we do.

Why I Started MKC

Back when I was making custom knives, the blue-collar people I interacted with every day — who are just like me — couldn't afford them. Those types of knives run in the thousands of dollars and are more like expensive art pieces. While I love making them, they aren't practical for the people I know.

At the same time, I didn't see stores carrying truly high-quality knives built for the average man or woman to actually use in the field. Instead, they carried knives made with cheap, low-quality materials not worthy of the hard-earned money people spent on them.

Where MKC is Headed

Moving forward, we want to grow Montana Knife Company into one of the biggest and most respected American-made brands in the country. We'll employ great people and pay them well, and we'll never ship production overseas (and I don't say NEVER often).

Most importantly, we'll continue making working knives for working people at a quality they can be proud of and a price they can afford.