Maker Profile: Scott Stout

JACKSON, Wyo. — August 24 is National Knife Day, which rubs up with New West KnifeWorks’ 25th anniversary. That calls for its biggest sale of the year and the best time to expand your collection of American-made knives and tools. Now through the end of August, save 20% on all G-Fusion and Ironwood Chef Knives, Fixed Blade Field Knives, Utensils, Tomahawks, and select knife sets.

New West KnifeWorks is highlighting one of the people that makes these hand-crafted specialty knives. Meet Scott Stout. He’s been a knife maker with New West KnifeWorks since the summer of 2019. A notoriously early riser, Stout arrives at the factory most mornings around 4 a.m. He is a friendly character, warm and relaxed.

Stout grew up in Leadville, Colorado. However, he bounced around the US and briefly resided in the Midwest. He was never satisfied without the mountains. Like many others living in the Jackson Hole area, Stout explained that he is a skier “here for the turns.”

He spent more than 15 years as a homebuilder specializing in detailed tasks like laying tile and finish carpentry. He liked “making things just right.”
The transition to knife making was a welcome one. He gets to work inside all year. Note: if you haven’t been to the Jackson Hole area, you may not know that it snowed at least one day every month during the year 2020— inside all year is a good thing.

Stout loves the NWKW factory culture. He said he “had a real freedom to explore, be creative, and try different things.” He developed a method for making chopsticks from scraps of leftover G10 and Ironwood knife handle material. This is perhaps the company’s most playful solution to eliminating waste and diminishing its carbon footprint.

When asked which part of knife making is most enjoyable, he said “sharpening. I enjoy sharpening.” He’d previously preferred the mechanical aspect of assembly, the part of knife making that employs an old hand press to fasten the brass rivets to handles. Stout waxed philosophical and explained that the sharpening process was relaxing; it was Zen, “the art of doing – not doing,” he said.

Visit New West KnifeWorks’ biggest sale of the year online and in-store at 625 Main St. to get your own Zen-sharpened knives and specialty kitchen tools.

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