Is Cutco Knives A Scam? The Edge of Deception – Cutco’s Slice of The Truth?

The Cutco Knives Scam Explained

I’d like to share a story with you. It’s a tale of opportunity and exploitation. An epic adventure about you, a dream of making money on your own terms… and a gleaming blade sharp enough to cut copper. It’s the legend of Cutco Knives 😀

Okay… so the real story of Cutco might not be so dramatic, but if you’re looking for an unbiased review, you’ve come to the right place. If you’re wondering if Cutco Knives is a scam… that’s also a topic we’ll discuss. The truth may surprise you.

Disclaimer:
Please note, I am not a member or an affiliate for Cutco Knives (or Vector Marketing). This review has been researched with information and/or testimonials that are available online in the public domain. Any recommendations and/or conclusions are strictly opinions and may not apply to, or agree with, all persons or situations. See full disclaimer for more info

What is Cutco


Cutco Knives is a manufacturer and distributor of high-quality kitchen cutlery, knives, and kitchen accessories. They also produce and sell sporting, hunting and pocket knives.

Founded in 1949, Cutco (a joint venture between Alcoa and Case Cutlery originally called Alcas Corporation) manufactures their products in Olean, New York (visitor center and factory pictured below). Today, they claim to be in the homes of 16 million satisfied customers.

Cutco Corporate Head Office

Cutco knives are known for their high-quality and durability. They are also semi-famous for being able to cut through rope and leather. Their real claim to fame however, is that they make a pair of kitchen scissors (shears) that can cut though a penny.  Yes… a penny. More on that in a moment.

So the question is, why is a company that’s been around since 1949, who sells an exceptional product… being called a scam?

Vector Marketing


Cutco is what’s called a single-level direct sales company. Contrary to what some have said, they are not a multi-level-marketing company, or a pyramid scheme. As a Cutco Sales Rep, you cannot establish a downline and earn commissions from them.

In the early days, Cutco had hundreds of these small, independent, direct-sellers.

One of these sellers was named Vector Marketing, and from 1981-1984, Vector Marketing sold significantly more than all other independent sellers.

So, in 1985, Cutco purchased Vector Marketing making them their premier seller, and in cookie-cutter fashion, they duplicated Vector's success all over the continent. 

Today… if you see an Ad or receive a call from someone offering you a job to sell Cutco Cutlery… it's coming from Vector Marketing (not Cutco).

Vector has also had it’s fair share of controversy over the years.  Along with a handful of lawsuits, including the state of Wisconsin ordering Vector to stop providing dishonest information to students, the Washington Post conducted a survey of 940 Vector recruits in 1996.

Almost half reported that they earned no money, or even lost money by working for Vector Marketing (again… not Cutco).

In 1996, The Washington Post reported that of the 940 Vector recruits surveyed, nearly half earned nothing, and some even lost money.

In fact, the dubious practices of Vector Marketing even inspired a group of students to form a group  called SAVE (Students Against Vector Exploitation).

Despite the negativity surrounding Vector Marketing, they still operate today and are the premier seller of Cutco Cutlery.

If you're reading this review for the income opportunity (rather than the Cutco prodcuts) but you're not sure selling is your thing, you can also earn money by doing simple things online like surveys with sites like surveyjunkie.com. You can also make money visiting websites, watching videos and searching the web with Inbox Dollars.

Of course, surveys won't pay nearly as much as sales, but if you'd like to make money online they're a good first step.

If you want to make significant money but tend to be more on the introverted side or again… don't like sales, being able to leverage the web to work exclusively from home (and multiply your efforts in ways that are not possible with direct sales) is what you need in order to get what you want.    

Is Cutco Knives A Scam?


Could Cutco Be A Scam - Proceed With Caution

Now that you know a little of Cutco’s history, I can tell you that yes, Cutco Knives is a scam.

Really?

Think about this… 

It’s no coincidence that a company who makes scissors so powerful that they cut through pennies, was also formed during the third year of the Cold War.

And it's obvious that Cutco is a covert US defense contractor and manufacturer of small weapons that were once used by Cold War spies.

They never cared about students or independent sellers. Not then, and not now!

The Cold War is over of course, but a secret agent's need for a knife that springs from their sleeve, or a blade that pops out of their alligator skin boot, is still very real.

And if you think that sounds like a tale straight from one of Ian Fleming's James Bond novels… well, that’s because it's a far-fetched yarn that could only be a made up story…

…. which of course, it is. 

I'm sorry, just having a little fun. I couldn't resist… 😀 

To be very clear… NO, Cutco is NOT a scam.

Reviews are not the most gripping pieces of literature, so every once in awhile I like to add a little color to brighten them up… I hope you don’t mind.

The cutting through pennies though… that part is absolutely true.

So… Cutco is NOT a Cold War weapons manufacturer (well… that we know of). 😀

Joking aside, when it comes to the Cutco Knives scam, there is plenty to discuss.

First (and to be clear again), as I'm sure you can tell, Cutco Knives (the company) is not a scam. Neither is Vector Marketing. They've both been around for many years.

However… some people disagree with their predatory sales and recruiting practices, which is why Cutco is often called a scam (NOTE: Being called a scam is of course, not the same thing as being a scam).

That leads us to a discussion about deception and intent.

The Vector Marketing Interview

Although the operational side of Cutco and their marketing division are not a scam (meaning, they produce, sell, and deliver a quality product, as well as pay their employees, vendors, and taxes), their sales and recruiting practices have been called into question.

Merriam-Webster defines a scam  as a fraudulent or deceptive act or operation. Wikipedia defines a scam as a “confidence trick” or an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their confidence.

When a Vector Marketing “receptionist” calls to recruit you as a sales rep for Cutco, they do it in a way designed to gain your confidence, and sell you an opportunity in what some might consider a deceptive manner.

Vector employs telemarketers (also called recruiters) to get you in for an interview. The official job title they use is a “receptionist” and there are different levels (receptionist, VIP receptionist, Elite receptionist)

The receptionist uses a carefully crafted script to gain your confidence. (It should be noted here that the use of of script in selling is common to most sales professions from real estate to car sales and even retailers and fast food… “would you like fries with that?”)

Cutco Receptionist

Even the process of getting you on the phone is an actual procedure they refer to as “3X’s a day is the Champion’s Way”.

The 3X means they must call you 3 times a day… morning, afternoon and before they leave the office at the end of the day.

They are also instructed to call you twice in row, and if you answer the second time, a recruiter (receptionist) will work from a script…

“Hey thanks for picking up! I know it’s a little weird that I just called you twice… we’ve just been so busy here and I wanted to make SURE that I got a hold of you right away because you (filled out an application on line for example…) or else I would have never gotten a hold of you.”

Vector Marketing - Cutco Manual

Once they have you on the phone, a strategy of building rapport is used. It begins with some friendly banter which leads to,  

“Oh, I just got off the phone with someone who…
– also has a part-time job.
– also lives in your area.
– also goes to your school, etc.”

The purpose is to establish commonality. To further gain your confidence, they will seek a point of connection by mentioning your friend.

“you were referred by [friend].”

And, If you have no idea who this “friend” is, they again go back to the script. This time, they even include laughter.

“(laughter), Oh, [so-called friend] may have went through their phone and recommended whoever they thought wanted to earn some extra cash. Maybe you met them at a party…”

As the conversation continues and you ask questions, they (the recruiter) will tell you that they are only receptionists, and for any questions you have, the “canned response” is “My Manager is the best person to answer that” or “I know my Manager does cover that in the interview” or “Something as sensitive as that you should really speak to a Manager about”

It’s all part of a carefully orchestrated play to keep the “engine” running. The “engine”, in this case, is a steady supply of recruits and leads, which they of course need, because most people quit (if they show up for training at all).

And… with each new lead comes the opportunity to sell more cutlery, knives, wooden blocks, kitchen scissors, and so on (to the new recruit’s family and friends).

The Script Never Ends


Your journey began with the script, and as you progress to the second and third interviews (more accurately described as presentations), the script continues.  

I sold insurance for a short while about 15 years ago, and I can tell you… even though the conversation seems natural, everything is planned to the finest detail. In my case selling insurance… everything was scripted and had to performed on video before we were approved to go out in the field.

If you stick it out and become a Cutco Sales Rep, you'll learn this in your training. When recruiting and when selling Cutco, they have it down to a science.

You'll be presenting from a script, hitting your marks, asking specific questions to obtain a desired response, and memorizing canned responses to handle objections. 

Whether you consider this a deception, is up to you. One thing it is not… is sincere.

The truth though… if we call it a scam, is that we would also have to call every car dealership a scam, every insurance salesperson a scam, every real estate agency a scam, and so on… Because they all use a script. And, they all use tricks to gain your confidence.

Maybe it's capitalism at it’s worst (or it’s finest, depending on your attitude towards capitalism). But how often does advertising tell the truth? The realburger never looks like one pictured.

And… Budweiser will not get you your dream partner (If you do get your dream partner, it's YOU, not the beer.)

Truth In Advertising - Getting The Girl

Sales and marketing always walks a fine line between truth and deception. Even if it's subtle, or in jest. 

So, whether Cutco Knives and Vector Marketing are a scam, I’ll leave it for you to decide. I personally don't think they are, but I also can't speak for all recruiters (nor can Cutco). Some overly aggressive recruiters can easily wander into scam territory with false promises or statements.

I'm not saying it happens, but it's possible. At least you know the game they are playing. 

If it's a game you don't feel like playing, as mentioned earlier, you can earn money by doing simple things online like surveys with sites like surveyjunkie.com. You can also make money visiting websites, watching videos and searching the web with Inbox Dollars.

Again, surveys won't pay as much as sales, but they're a good way to get started if you want to make money online. 

For a bigger home-based paycheck, using the internet to multiply your time and effort in a way that's not possible with direct sales is what you need in order to get what you want.  

Cutco Knives Compensation


Being a single-level direct seller, the compensation structure for a Cutco Sales Rep is quite simple.

Unlike most direct sales companies, and MLM’s… Cutco offers a guaranteed wage of approximately $12.50 to $17.50 per appointment (depending on location). Notice I said per appointment. Although each appointment (or presentation) is approximately one hour… this rate does not translate into an hourly wage.

In fact, when you include the props needed to for demonstrations, fuel to drive there, parking if required, and your time to and from appointments… your hourly rate is closer to half (or less) of what your per appointment rate is.

Nonetheless… it’s more than most direct sales companies offer, which is usually a big ZERO.

In addition to your guaranteed wage, you earn commissions on your sales.

  • $0 – $1,000 (sales) = 10% (commission)
  • $1,001 – $4,000 = 15% 
  • $4,001 – $7,500 = 20% 
  • $7,501 – $12,000 = 25% 
  • $12,000 – $24,000 = 30% 
  • $24,000 plus = 30% + (the “+” is unspecified)

To get paid you must submit a completed qualified presentation report every week to your office manager for tracking purposes.  

In addition to that I should also mention, you are required to sign a standard Sales Representative Agreement, and put down a security deposit ($200) for your demonstration knives.

Making Money Selling Cutco Knives


Cutco has a high employee turnover rate. One reason is because they are aggressively recruiting people who were not looking for a sales job in the in the first place. People, 85% college aged, sign up reluctantly. And, once they realize what they've got themselves into, feel buyers remorse.

Another reason is because people just don’t like to sell. They especially don’t like selling to their family and friends, which Cutco encourages.

The opportunity is made to sound great, so of course… they get excited, and fantasize about the freedom and earning potential. But they lose interest quickly when they realize it's a lot tougher than it sounds. 

Sales, particularly in-home sales, is not an easy game. It requires a unique personality, an uncommon energy and the ability to handle regular doses of rejection.

While some people are suited to it, and will certainly make money selling Cutco Cutlery, the majority are not.

It's true, hard work can be a game-changer, but as someone who spent 10 years in B2B (business to business) sales, and a few more doing both Amway and insurance sales… I feel compelled to say, “DO NOT beat yourself up if sales is not for you”.

Seriously… I spent many years, feeling guilty and miserable because I refused to accept that I hated my career. I made selling my life, but it was actually a distraction that made me intensely unhappy, steered me away from the career I actually wanted, and it even ruined some relationships.

I'm not saying that will be your experience, but if you think selling is not for you… it’s not a big deal. Take from it what you can learn, and move on.


Don’t like selling? Check out my number one recommended program to make money online.


What I Like About Cutco Cutlery


  • The Cutco brand is known for being high-quality. As both a consumer, and a seller, this is extremely important. Half the sales battle is won simply by having a solid product to sell.
  • If sales is your thing, the guaranteed wage (per appointment) is more than you will get from most (if not all) other direct sales companies. It’s not a lot of money, but it’s something… and it will cover some of your expenses.
  • Whether you enjoy sales or not, whether you make money selling Cutco or not… everyone can benefit from the sales training they provide. You may never have a career selling products, but throughout life, you are always selling yourself. It might be a job interview, an important client, or your boyfriend/girlfriend’s parents. Possessing a decent set of people skills will make your life a lot easier.
  • Aggressive and deceptive recruiting tactics. Of course, each manager is responsible for the culture within their own branch, and some will be more honest than others. A few may even be more sincere and helpful. But, Vector Marketing has a reputation, and if you’ve been recruited by them, make sure to go in with your “eyes wide open.”
  • It’s a limited opportunity because it’s not suited to most people. And, because Cutco and Vector Marketing know that, the recruitment process and lead generation strategy has become a revolving scheme. It’s a numbers game, and you, your friends and your family are only numbers in my opinion.
  • Although you qualify for some tax deductions, unlike a real sales job, there are no reimbursements for your vehicle, your insurance, your meals, your cell phone, etc.
  • Cutco knives are expensive. They’re impressive, particularly when compared to a typical family’s knife set that never gets sharpened. But to be honest, who needs a steak knife that cuts though leather? Who needs shears that cut through coins? They may last for years, but really… for most people, I'm not certain Cutco solves a problem that a $15 knife sharpener can’t.

Where Do You Go From Here?


Do you need an expensive set of kitchen knives? Do your friends or family need an expensive set of kitchen knives? Maybe you do, I'm certainly in no position to judge. (update: in one of the comments below, Dusty mentions that Cutco Knives are great for someone who has difficulty cutting due to a medical issue such as a muscular disease. Someone with an injury or arthritis for example would also benefit)

In most cases though, I think the answer is no (it's not a necessity I mean).

Most people don't “need” an expensive set of kitchen knives. They would be nice to have though. 

Therefore, it's not a product that sells itself (despite what they tell you). Making decent money selling Cutco requires some aggressive tactics and a lot of appointments. You'll be hunting down leads, making a lot of calls, driving (or taking an Uber) to a lot of different homes, and talking to a ton of people.

One big advantage to selling Cutco Knives though is that you won't have to defend the product. It might not sell itself, but the quality does speak for itself and if you enjoy person-to-person sales… it's a product you can be proud to sell.  

There's no way around it though. Selling is all about running numbers and for the right person it's a great career. Some people are also very helpful and ethical when it comes to sales.

Sales is hard work though, which is why many today are automating the process online. For those who don't enjoy person-to-person sales, it's possible to sell something once online… sit back, and have it do all the work for you?

Okay, maybe “sit back” isn't exactly accurate because it takes time to get to that point in the first place. But there is no question that the internet allows you to leverage and multiply your efforts in ways that in-person selling can't.

I certainly don’t want to discourage you from selling Cutco. If you think it’s a job for you, it's worth giving them a shot (and it's a great learning experience). 

I will suggest however (having spent many years in sales), that there are easier (and somemight say more legitimate) ways to earn extra money in my opinion. From a part-time job or babysitting, to mowing lawns and as mentioned above, starting your own online business.

Cutco Knives may be the real deal, but Vector Marketing is the one that may stab you (not literally of course, just my attempt at a clever play on words) 😀

The truth is though, if you're not sure about selling… you won't know unless you try. 

If you already know it's not your thing and you just want some extra spending money, you can do that with online surveys with sites like surveyjunkie.com. You can also make money watching videos, searching the web and visiting websites with Inbox Dollars.

Of course, surveys won't make you rich so what if you still want to make decent money without becoming a salesperson or recruiting others?  

As mentioned above, you have options. 

If you want to be your own boss and not deal with the BS, then creating a full-time income online is what you need in order to get what you want.  

My Top Recommendation For Making Money Online


Getting a job, even if it's selling Cutco Knives, is a step in the right direction. There's a lot they can teach you. However, they can't provide financial freedom. To truly build multiple streams of passive income, online marketing is the undisputed king.

Finding a legit system with all the scams out there, though, can be a pain. I spent many months testing different training programs and my number one recommendation is Wealthy Affiliate.

I hope my Cutco Knives Review was helpful. If you have any comments, questions, or a personal experience with Cutco that leads you to believe they are (or are not) a scam,  please share in the comments section below.

Cheers,
Jay

Important Comment Disclaimer: 
The views, information and opinions expressed in the blog comments are solely those of the individuals involved  and do not necessarily represent those of Gig Hustlers, its owners, employees, or writers. Gig Hustlers is not responsible for, nor does it verify the content provided by individual commenters.

Leave a Comment

51 thoughts on “Is Cutco Knives A Scam? The Edge of Deception – Cutco’s Slice of The Truth?”

  1. I can appreciate all of the information that’s displayed here which I believe to be about 95% accurate. However, you are not forced to buy anything as a sales rep! They encourage that if you buy something, it will help you to sell, however it’s actually the opposite. They will give you free Cutco products after you’ve sold a certain amount of products in the first 10 days. Also, vector marketing didn’t find me, I found them. I never spoke to a recruiter, I found them online through a job seeker when I was looking for a work from home type of job.

    Reply
    • Thanks for the update Amy, I appreciate it. It’s helpful for others as well so I appreciate you taking the time to share 🙂

      Reply
    • You Definitely 100% Have to do unpaid weekly meetings and unpaid training and buy the $200 demonstration kit. You can get a refund for the kit, but they make it a pain for sure on purpose. Also if you go too many weeks only making the per appointment money they start researching your appointments looking for reasons not to pay you. You can also earn opportunities to go to conferences or trips all of which you actually pay for.

      Reply
  2. I think you did a good job looking at both sides of the argument, Vector is not for everyone but it can definitely be a life changing opportunity for a lot of people. I am a manager at Vector and I have been working here for about 1 year. The people are great, it is the best environment in which I have ever worked, and the product is the best I have ever seen. Tons of my family and friends bought Cutco from me and as far as I know, none of them have regreted their purchase. So we can all agree that the product is quality. As for the Vector side of it, I understand where people are coming from but there are a few things I would like to clarify. In today's Vector no rep is required to purchase a sample set or go to any homes for demos. Everything can be done virtually from home. So reps do not lose any money when they get started. As for the deceptive recruiting tactics, the quote in the article is used in the phone approach. Managers use this approach to get potential recruits into the informational interview. During the interview, recruits are given all the information about the job including that training is unpaid, that the $18 is per appointment not hour, and that they are responsible for getting their own customers from their own personal network. So every recruit that comes to training knows exactly what the job entails. In my experience, Vector has been the best decision of my life financially as well as personally. Through Vector I have been able to remain debt free through 2 years of college at a private university, if I was working a typical part time job I would be in at least $15,000 in debt at this point. Also it introduced me to the idea of personal growth which helped me get through some mental health problems in the past year. So even though it is not for everyone, it is a great opportunity for many college students that is not available almost anywhere else. Thanks for reading my opinion, I hope it was informative.

    Reply
    • Thanks Cale, your feedback is definitely informative and I appreciate you sharing your insight and personal experience with Vector. I absolutely agree it can be the right opportunity for the right person and a learning experience for someone who might not be the right person but will benefit from the training and experience in their future careers.

      Reply
    • I love the monthly credit purchase plan. I like that they mention it like it’s a Cutco credit account but it’s a monthly charge to one of your credit cards. The really best part is taking advantage of relationships to make money. The company is not the scam it’s the recruits they transform in to scam-formers they are more than meets the eye.

      Reply
  3. Hi jay,

    I felt this was a very well done thorough unbiased article on cutco/vector but having gone through the interview, training, and selling process of CUTCO (through vector) I believe it is somewhat deceptive and in the end uses/exploits the sales rep(especially since they are targeting a very naive group). I first found issue with that until you get into the training you do not really know what it is about. I have to say i was skeptical but optimistic about it at first and i did like that i was selling what i thought was a quality product. I found great issue with the fact that you must ask for referrals (or else you will run out of numbers to call) without those being referred consenting to having their contact information given out, i find this a very deceptive tactic. For me this alone was enough to make me eventually leave the company after about a dozen appointments since i felt this crosses a line, especially to ask this from family and friends since vector is basically using your family/friends to network through for their own gain. I also found issue with the (in my area at least) $18 hr pay since it’s $18 an appointment and they do not compensate for time spent calling potential clients and if clients go over the one hour mark. I also feel that a minimum wage job anywhere else would be more worth it because of the consistent hours and that there is no need to cross ethical lines. Furthermore within the training they try to convince you that “anyone can afford cutco” which is not necessarily untrue though i feel if there was strong evidence to show that families spend more money Over time on worse knives they would have told us and include it in our script toward clients (as in quantitative data). I also have problem with the script since it acts as if this is always some sort of training run (at least with the only script they provided) even though it really isn’t and you get commission for this. Lastly if you are “hired” by vector you are not an employee of CUTCO/vector but more of a free agent, and with the high turnover the managers tend to be very fake/disconnected. Furthermore throughout this whole process i couldn’t help but feel somewhat used (for example when they push for you to put as many contacts as possible so they can send a faux personalized spam message to get more recruits). Overall i think that the product speaks for itself but vectors role is extremely controversial (and in my mind) crossed ethical lines whether it’s with the hiring of mostly teens or the reliance on friends/family/clients to give out contact information without them previously consenting.

    Reply
    • Thanks for sharing Aleksander, that’s a lot of great insight. I worked for a short time with an insurance company in the early 2000’s using a similar model and I can certainly relate to your experience. The product was good, I just wasn’t on board with the marketing, recruiting and sales tactics. Having said that, I think I was in my thirties at that point, but there were a lot of younger people there just getting started in life, and that experience probably helped them in whatever careers they went into later.

      Thanks again for your feedback 🙂

      Reply
  4. Hi Jay

    Very interesting article. I was one of the sales guys but way back in 1974. Vector unheard of back then. I had one supreme advantage, I’m English and. Londoner, so I only had to open my mouth and that was that! My conversion rate was between 70 & 80%. I think the culture back then was very different and there were extra commissions payable if you became a team leader of 4 or 5 and more if you became a group or area manager. The knives are really good and match those from Japan and Germany. They did come with a sharpener for the straight edge knives but the serrated ones you had to send back for sharpening which I think was free back then. But I’m not entirely sure my memory is that good nearly 50 years on!! I’ve still got my full set and although the ones with what I believe were called the Double Dee edge (serrated) have dulled somewhat they still cut well.
    They were well crafted and have stood the test of time and as you say Cutco is a well respected brand name. I’m proud to have sold it and many of my friends out there still have their sets and swear by them. And lastly just before I returned home I came third out of I don’t know how many thousands of sales people combined in the 3 west coast states in total sales from Jan to June 1974. And I’d never sold a thing before and it allowed me to continue in sales here in England for the next 10 years. So yes maybe I was born to it, I just needed a nudge with a great product which certainly did what it said on the box!!

    Yours Colin Moss

    Reply
    • Hi Colin, thanks for sharing your story, and what a great story… conversion rate of 70% to 80% ???? A lot of people reading this will be envious. And 1974? You’re getting close to the year I was I born and I’m not young anymore, lol. I really appreciate taking the time to read and add your insight and feedback.

      Regards,
      Jay

      Reply
    • They still offer free sharpening, but you do have to pay shipping. Give them a call, and they should sharpen the Double-D blades for you too.

      Reply
  5. Are Cutco knives good? HMM..I have my own set (since 77 or 78) and my mother’s set which she purchased in the 50s.. She is missing some after use by 10 kids but the ones from her set do work. Cutco should use this in their advertising/presentation book.
    Denise

    Reply
    • Hi Denise, thanks for your insight and I agree, your experience with Cutco knives seems to be consistent with others who have owned and used them for decades. It reminds me of another brand called ElectroMaid which I’m not sure is around anymore. My Mom still has a skillet from the 70’s that works, lol.

      I appreciate you taking your time to share and provide feedback 🙂

      Reply
    • I’d just like to say I enjoyed this review however there are a couple of inaccuracies. The commission levels are 0-1000=10%, 1001-3000=15%, 3001-6000=20%, 6001-10000=25%, 10k-20k=30%, there are more levels above up to 50% once a rep reaches 150k in career sales. There is also no security deposit for the sample kit used to sell (there used to be quite some time ago but not in the last 10 years or so). I’ve been with the company for 3 years and am currently at 45% myself with a little over 100k in sales working between semesters in school.

      Reply
      • Oh sure, there's no deposit. But the lead trainers sure as hell try to convince you that you need to BUY your showing set because he "Needs to leave state for another class of trainees".

        Can't have their own hires having knives without bleeding them somehow.

        Reply
  6. I tried Cutco sales back in college but I was very shy so it was not a smart move for me. I would recommend it for anyone who is outgoing enough to do cold calls/sales. I have had the knives for 20+ years and they are the sharpest in my kitchen. I actually did the Google search looking for a seller lol.

    Reply
  7. I have a festival business and am always on the lookout for product lines to sell. I’m one of those talkers you mentioned – standing at the front of the booth striking up conversations.
    Would Cutco allow me to “enhance” my line with their products? Or would I have to be an exclusively-Cutco booth?

    Reply
    • Hey Steve, great question. You would definitely have to discuss that with Cutco as well as the company where your booth is located. Every so often I’ll see a booth in places like Costco and even if Cutco said it was okay, Costco would likely be the final say. If I had to guess though, it’s probably not something allow as it would be a difficult to policy to manage with a lot of grey area. Your product might be a good product and compliment Cutco but someone else might have a competing product or a low quality product that Cutco wouldn’t want to be associated with in which case they’d have to explain every time they approved or decline such a request. That’s a lot of time and energy for something that doesn’t benefit them financially and it’s easier for them to just have a blanket policy forbidding it.

      It never hurts to ask them though. The worst thing they can say is no.

      Reply
  8. In the early 1980’s, I was deep in debt and needed an additional job. I got “scammed” into a Vector Marketing Cutco tutorial and they got approx. $100 from me, which they only mentioned at the end of the class as they handed me the set – yes, I can cut pennies with my scissors. I was so mad at myself at the end of that evening for feeling I got scammed that I never answered another one of their calls and never provided them with a contact list of family and friends, which they tried to get from me that evening, making it feel even more like a scam.

    Here it is, 35 years later, and my $100 Cutco set is well worth close to $1,000. I use the knives daily, especially the table knives (bought more of these since I only started with 2 or 4), never needed a knife sharpened, and absolutely LOVE the entire set. If I had been older then and the internet were available like it is now, I would have known they were a quality item and would have tried selling them.

    I have heard of issues with some knives my friends bought in the last 10-20 years. Cutco repaired a broken tip of a paring knife by cutting the blade back to eliminate the tip… which doesn’t seem right. Though the knife works, it’s shape is changed.

    It’s nice to hear they only require a deposit now on a rented set, and that they will sell a set to their salespeople for 75% off. I wonder how hard it is to return that demo set and get that deposit back, especially after wear and tear of cutting pennies, etc. Overall, I would prefer to sell Cutco over other items if I were looking to do something like this again, but only because I now have decades of experience with the knives.

    I still wouldn’t hand over a list of contact information for my friends and family unless I’ve sold someone a knife, and only what information that person said I could provide.

    Reply
    • Hi Barb, thanks for sharing your story. I agree, if I were to sell something in person I’d consider Cutco as well. It’s definitely a product you can stand behind. I appreciate you taking the time to read and comment 🙂

      Jay

      Reply
  9. Thank you, Jay, for an exciting roller coaster review. I assume that you consider your readers are intelligent; by their comments, they read your entire article where you concluded that Cutco is not a scam and Vector Marketing is not a scam. You are spot on. Not everyone is cut out for Cutco! My apologies, I could not resist!

    (I finally figured out that the letters WA stood for Wealthy Affiliates not Washington!)

    As in any industry, church, or organization, people exist who do scammy things.

    In the end, there are three areas to consider in the economy of relationships in or out of business:

    What’s the truth?
    Are people involved trustworthy?
    What level of vulnerability are you willing to extend yourself based on the first two questions?

    As a 56 year young senior citizen, my experience has witnessed that personal “eye to eye” contact will be diminished in future business dealings. I predict that most people younger than I am will be uncomfortable sitting and talking without a phone in their hand for a whole day. Time will tell if my prophecy is correct.

    Jay, I agree with you. I think Cutco (Vector Marketing) do provide the youth an education in the art of “one to one” presentation! Also, I have bought Cutco. Their pizza cutters are amazing!

    Sadly, I know people in their 70’s and 80’s who have had “bad apple” experiences so they have a prejudice against Cutco. They consider it a scam and rely on the failures of others to prove that the business is not legitimate. You can’t convince them otherwise. Even reality won’t convince them! 70 years in business and the military trusts Cutco to manufacture Ka-Bar?

    Have a wonder life all! It’s not about luck. It’s about willing the good for others. Love is a decision!

    Blessed Virgin Mother, Mary under the title of Our Lady of Good Success, triumph and reign!

    Nothing succeeds like failure on the cross!

    Reply
  10. Not here to comment about the way they do their business or Vector Marketing, but solely about the quality of their knives, which I have written review about, since I was really interested if Cutco knives are scam because of all the stuff you can read about them online. The answer is pretty simple. Their knives and scissors are really good, but just little bit over priced. You can get even better stuff for the same money, but Cutco knives are still good quality knives for every day use.

    Reply
  11. I’m 60, and was just reminiscing about my freshman year at Hofstra University, when I briefly became a Cutco sales rep. I later heard that my ex-husband and our son sold Cutco as well! So it’s sort of a rite of passage for college kids.

    What I remember the most is my mother’s reaction. She was horrified. “Don’t they give you any leads??” she asked. I told her we were supposed to build our own lead bank.

    I had sold Girl Scout cookies and chocolate to support school teams, but my mother thought I didn’t stand a chance of succeeding with Cutco and encouraged me to stop wasting my time — before I even got started. With that type of support (and the fact that our family was basically quite timid and not the least bit entrepreneurial), she was right. I was doomed to failure. Never sold so much as a bacon-turner.

    But here’s the thing: All these years later, I see Cutco as an excellent opportunity for a college kid to experiment and see if this type of selling is for them. They may have a hidden talent for persuasion. They may “think outside the box” and come up with novel ways to get sales. YOU NEVER KNOW UNLESS YOU TRY. There’s no risk to it. You learn how a direct-sales company operates. This is important, especially for business majors. I hope Cutco stays around for another couple of generations. My grandkids are only 3 and 1, but I believe in them and will gladly buy some merchandise and help them build their lead banks.

    Reply
    • Thanks for sharing your experience. I love your perspective as well and I have to agree. As I’ve mentioned, this type of selling won’t be for everyone… but like you say, you won’t know unless you try. There are other benefits as well, even if you discover it’s not your thing. The skills someone learns here are valuable in so many areas of life, whether its a job interview or convincing their kids that brushing their teeth is crucial, we are all always trying to “sell” something, lol. Having sales experience is also helpful for those times you’re on the other side, like negotiating at a car dealership and recognizing the tricks and tactics they’re using.

      Also, many companies people work for as they get older will have a sales team and being able to understand their challenges and relate to them is a big advantage for so many reasons. It helps inter-office cohesion and relationships (which is also helpful for managing stress in the office and positioning yourself for a promotion). And, knowing what we don’t like doing allows us to appreciate the jobs and careers we do like after having been on the other side so to speak… so the experience is valuable.

      Anyway, thanks again for your insight and I really appreciate you taking the time to share your story and perspective,

      Jay

      Reply
  12. Do people always buy 2 knives? How do people manage if the knife need sharpening?
    How do Cutco products compared to products in the same price range?

    Thank you

    Reply
    • Most people dont want to waste time sharpening knives… so they buy cutco which you do not have to sharpen for 7-10 years if used properly. Its half the price of top brands but twice the value. And if the knives ever do go dull you can send it back to them and get them sharpened for free, although you still have to pay for shipping.

      Reply
    • Cutco is known to have a very good product. As far as negotiating on price I think it would depend on the individual you were buying from.

      Reply
    • I can answer this question as both a Cutco Sales Rep and I was also an AM in one of the offices for a while. Reps are encouraged to give away free product with every purchase, at first they start with preset deals and they as they gain confidence and experience they are shown how to make deals on their own. They are also encouraged to call and talk to a manager if a better deal is wanted. The catch is, when a Rep gives away free product it come straight out of their paycheck. It’s pennies to the dollar but it adds up. Therefore some rep try to not give away as much as they could.

      A tip for anyone looking to purchase cutco, if 25% of your total order is not being given to you for free, ask for a better deal.

      As a rep i pride myself in giving every single costumer the absolute best deal possible. I would be open to helping anyone look at Cutco options and I openly acknowledge it is not for everyone so I’m not going to force you into a purchase. If interested comment below.

      Reply
      • HA! I lost 1 table knife from my set. My rep “paid” for one, so I could buy the 4 set instead of just 1. I jumped on it, because it’s nice to have backups in case of loss. I own 11 right now. LOL.

        Reply
      • Gavin,
        I would like to talk to you about purchasing some Cutco products.
        I love Cutco!
        Please let me know how to contact you. Thanks

        Reply
  13. I have lived on this planet for 74 years, and I have learned that many of the direct sales companies consider their “reps” their customers. When their “reps” have to shell out money – $200 for Cutco – to buy their “demonstration” product, in reality, the company doesn’t give a rip about whether or not the reps sell any product, the company has already made a $200 sale.

    Reply
    • You make a good point and for most MLM’s I can’t argue with it. But just for clarity, Cutco requires a $200 deposit for your demonstration knives which is refundable. But I agree, in a lot of MLM’s their sellers are also their best customers. Having spent more time than I should have in Amway, I (and my downline) were definitely our best customers. Thanks for reading and sharing 🙂

      Jay

      Reply
      • Hi Jay, just updating you that, at least in my area of the country, reps no longer have to pay a deposit on their knives. I guess Vector realized that it’s hard for a college student to come up with an extra couple hundred dollars. However, if the rep doesn’t return their knife set at the end of their time working there, their manager is responsible for the cost.

        Reply
        • Thanks Seth, I appreciate the update 🙂 That’s a little risky for the managers though, I don’t imagine they were to excited with the policy change.

          Reply
    • This is not true. As a current sales rep/manager for the company, I can say that I never had to purchase any start-up kit of any sort. You are given a $400+ sample kit that you are responsible for. You are asked to return the kit when you are not doing demonstrations. We give the reps the option to buy the kit if they would like for a 75% discount but it is not mandatory.

      Reply
      • Hi Jared, thanks for stopping by and sharing. This is good to know and definitely sets Cutco apart from many other MLM’s.

        Jay

        Reply
  14. I’ve used Cutco and I have sold Cutco through Vector Marketing. Yes, the product works amazingly and it can help individuals who have muscle diseases to use these knives with ease. The downside is that it is illegal to deface coins, which made me very uncomfortable to sell for them so I stopped.

    Reply
    • It’s a penny, what about all the places you go and can put a penny in a machine that smashes it and prints words on them? Fairs, museums etc have this all the time.

      Reply
    • False: This is from U.S. Treasury Website. Pay attention to last sentence…

      Is it illegal to damage or deface coins?
      Section 331 of Title 18 of the United States code provides criminal penalties for anyone who “fraudulently alters, defaces, mutilates impairs, diminishes, falsifies, scales, or lightens any of the coins coined at the Mints of the United States.” This statute means that you may be violating the law if you change the appearance of the coin and fraudulently represent it to be other than the altered coin that it is. As a matter of policy, the U.S. Mint does not promote coloring, plating or altering U.S. coinage: however, there are no sanctions against such activity absent fraudulent intent.

      Reply
    • Any United States coins in your possession actually belong to the US Government. You are allowed to possess the coin of the realm (that you are ‘borrowing’ (or being rewarded with for the labors of a ‘job’), in order to carry on the ‘trading’ needed to live your life (e.g. $1 dollar in coins to buy a loaf of bread on a good day). If you lose a penny on the ground – too bad for you (but it’s only a penny – right). If you cut a penny in two and still keep it in your pocket, it’s ok, but you try to give it to anyone as a ‘whole penny’ for a transaction, it is ‘defaced’ (gee, I have 99 cents for the loaf of bread – will you take two halves of this penny to make the one dollar, it’s still ok because both pieces are there?) [ READ John’s correct comment from August 28, 2019). Not much different than if you lose it in the couch, or on the ground, or bury it in your back yard and forget about it – ‘it’s only a penny’. Not illegal to cut it in two, since it was only yours ‘for-now’ unless you try to spend it after you cut it in half with your CUTCO scissors, or a hacksaw… If you melt a 99% silver dollar coin to make a ring for your finger, you can’t spend it as a ‘dollar’ anymore, but you’re not subject to legal action, because after you ‘altered’ it, you didn’t try to spend it.

      Reply
    • It’s only illegal to use defaced coins as currency. If it was illegal to deface coins all those mechanical squeeze machines you put a penny in to squeeze with multiple quarters and then crank out a souvenir would be illegal.

      Reply
  15. I really was thinking of a new product for Cutco. Since I have had several of their knives for years and have never had a problem with any of them, even my fish skinning knife.

    I m wondering. Should a sometimes inventor get involved with Cutco or perhaps investigate another company. Perhaps one with less of a questionable marketing reputation?

    Reply
  16. Jey
    Brilliant review. I think you got the training from Cutco Knives as a receptionist! The way you drive the reader to WA is very tactful. You have transformed a negative review into a positive one. Also, we get to know about Cutco knives as well.
    Thanks, for a Great review

    Reply
    • Lol… I definitely recommend WA, but it’s an entirely different business than Cutco Knives. Cutco is suitable to for an extrovert and someone who enjoys person-to-person sales. This review is definitely not intended to be negative. There is no question that Cutco knives are great quality and the training you get is valuable experience. It’s not going to be for everyone, but WA is not for everyone either. And, as far as deception and sales “tactics”, that’s really at the recruiter’s level and possibly the culture within an individual branch (and that particular manager is responsible for that, not Cutco).

      WA on the other hand is online, and suitable to someone who is the complete opposite (again, not for everyone). It’s for someone who doesn’t mind spending their time at home. That’s probably the reason I enjoy it so much. I prefer my alone time, sitting here with a coffee and working on my online business. Having spent a lot of years in sales though, I’ve worked with people (and one I can think of in particular) who were talkers. They couldn’t step into a grocery store without starting a conversation with someone… it was just their personality and if they were selling Cutco they’d probably make a fortune (and go crazy if they had to sit at a computer trying to build an online business).

      Thanks for stopping by Prabakaran, and for the compliment… I think 😉

      Reply
  17. Jay,
    What a great article and review of Cutco knives. I have heard of the knives mostly because of the cutting the penny deal but not the whole selling and independent rep thing and the Vector marketing. The thing that does sound positive about selling for Cutco is that it sounds it’s a good training program with some very nicely defined scripts so if you are dedicated to following those you could probably make some good coin. Thanks again for the great article, Mat A.

    Reply
    • Hey Mat, I agree. I would look at Cutco more as an education than a job or money making opportunity. The experience alone is a good indicator if that type of work is for you or not. And, if you’re younger and still deciding on a career… you may learn from this that dealing with people, objections, rejections etc constantly is not your thing… which might help narrow down your choices and pick a more suitable path.
      Or, you may discover it’s exactly your thing and make some money here.
      Thanks for stopping by and the kind words 😀
      Jay

      Reply