Every cook — professional or amateur — understands the importance of quality kitchen tools. And, that’s especially true when it comes to knives. A well-made knife makes slicing, dicing, chopping, mincing, and peeling a breeze. And a good, sharp knife is also a safe one. So, where do you go to find world-class culinary knives? Germany? Japan? Well, I would start right here in Utah — in Park City. That’s the home of the New West KnifeWorks Mountain Man Toy Shop.
New West KnifeWorks is the brainchild of Jackson Hole-based Corey Milligan, a former restaurant line cook who wanted to create knives made in the US that were comparable — or even superior — to the world’s best knives from countries like Germany, Japan and Switzerland.
“New West KnifeWorks makes knives like we cook. We use the best ingredients and prepare them with the patient hands of an artist. Our aim is to bring more joy to everyday chores by making tools that are as beautiful as they are useful,” says Milligan.
He got into the knife biz originally by making custom, art show-worthy knife blocks, winning awards at shows such as the Kimball Arts Festival in Park City. From there, he started making artisan knives, and today has four shops in four states as well as a very robust online sales program. His knives have been raved about by celebrity and local chefs alike.
Park City chef/owner Briar Handly of Handle and HSL restaurants said of the New West Teton Santoku simply, “This blade is a work of art.” Forbes called New West KnifeWorks “the best kitchen knife brand you never heard of.”
What does Milligan himself have to say about his knives? He told me, “We just want to make the most badass s**t that anyone has ever seen.”
Yes, these knives are truly badass, but beauty is another thing that sets New West knives apart from most others. Not only are they world-class in terms of quality and durability, but they are eye-poppingly gorgeous. The state-of-the-art G-Fusion handles of New West knives are durable and strong, but also lightweight and very comfortable and come in a rainbow of hues with names like Huckleberry, Lichen, Sunburst, Peacock, and Shoshone — and they even come in black.
Those beautiful G-Fusion handles are made with “G10 — an aerospace-grade, fiberglass epoxy composite material that is virtually bomb-proof.” As for the blades of these amazing knives, they are made in the United States — Idaho, in fact — with S35VN “Powder Metal” steel. It’s a high-carbon, alloyed steel that is tough, sharp, stain resistant and holds an edge like no knife I’ve ever worked with. And for the record, my culinary knife collection contains some of the best knives from Japan and Germany. But my go-to kitchen knife has become the very versatile New West KnifeWorks Light-Speed 8 — an 8-inch chef’s with a relatively narrow blade width that is a joy to use.
Among the culinary knives that you’ll find at the Park City New West KnifeWorks Main Street Store are 8” and 9” chef’s knives, a 6” petty utility knife (their best seller), a 7” santoku knife with an image of the Tetons etched into the blade, 6” deli knife, 9” bread knife, a range of paring knives, 7” fillet knife, and more. There are also chef knife sets available, along with steak knives and custom knife blocks.
Milligan believes in giving back to the communities that “we are lucky enough to be a part of.” He has New West KnifeWorks stores in Park City, Napa Valley, Jackson Hole and Victor, Idaho.
Since 2018 his company has donated in excess of $48,000 worth of donations and products to support organizations ranging from The Utah Olympic Legacy Foundation and KRCL Community Radio, to Stripping for a Cure, the St. John’s Hospital Foundation, Children’s Learning Center, and Park City Education Foundation.
With New West KnifeWorks, Corey Milligan has invented the art of sharp.
625 Main Street, Park City
Subscribe to Utah Stories weekly newsletter and get our stories directly to your inbox