Historically a premier choice of culinary professionals, R.H. Forschner has grown in size and stature since its name was carved in steel in 1855. Renowned for their extremely sharp knives, manufactured by Victorinox in Switzerland by skilled craftsman, they provide professionals in the food processing and preparation with superior quality, value-priced cutlery that enhances performance and increases productivity.
Victorinox Swiss Army is known the world over as the creator of the Original Swiss Army Knife. What many people do not know is that the company started out in 1884 as a cutlery workshop. By the time this fourth generation family owned business delivered the first pocket knife to the Swiss Army, they’d been selling fine cutlery to professionals for years. The name “Victorinox” had been a staple in European Commercial cutlery for over 50 years at the time they were approached by New York’s R.H. Forschner – known since 1855 as a builder of scales for butchers – to be their sole cutlery importer.
Richard H. Forschner had been patenting scales and scale parts as early as 1900, selling his inventions to butchers to weigh their products. To bolster the scale business, Forschner also marketed knives he imported from Germany. As political tension leading up to World War II mounted, R.H. Forschner's German supply of cutlery was cut off. Representatives from the company went in search of a new supplier and approached Victorinox. In 1937, Victorinox agreed to be the new supplier of cutlery to R.H. Forschner. In the seven decades since, they have become North America’s dominant professional brand. In 1957, when new owners acquired R.H. Forschner, they dropped out of the scales business completely and Victorinox knives became their primary product offering. In the decades following its alliance with Victorinox, Forschner competed with other companies that also sold the Swiss cutlery, but in 1972, R.H. Forschner became the only company with rights to distribute Victorinox cutlery in the United States.
When Forschner became a publicly traded company in 1981, Victorinox owner Charles Elsener became a minority owner. In 1996, they changed its name to Swiss Army Brands Inc., and in 2002 sold all its remaining shares to Victorinox. In 2011, Victorinox decided to make the name on the doors of their factory in Switzerland the name that all of their products are marketed under: Victorinox Swiss Army. The name on the blade may have changed, but the quality knife stays the same.
Nowadays, you will see the RH Forschner name on many of the company's professional cook's tools, including turners and servers. We still market the cutlery as Victorinox Forschner so chefs and butchers know they're still getting the same quality cutlery they came to depend on.
Crafted in Switzerland, Victorinox’s functional line of culinary cutlery is the tool of choice for professionals and enthusiasts alike. From the bustling meatpacking plants, to four star restaurants to the serious home chef, Victorinox Swiss Army is the iconic name for unsurpassed quality and enduring professional design.