The history of Ernest Wright reflects everything Sheffield Steel has become famous for. Highly skilled craftsmen making supreme quality products. A lot has changed since the heydays of manufacturing, but we’re proud to be here and able to pass on the heritage of an ancient craft.



The Wright family have been involved in the boring, hardening and tempering of scissors since at least the 1800’s.

As far back as records go, Walter Wright – a renowned ‘Little Mester’ of Sheffield – specialised in finishing scissor blades as an outworker and was also referred to as ‘Master Scissor Putter-togetherer’.

A scissor putter-togetherer is the proud title given to the holder of a five-year-to-fully-apprenticed skill set and trade, known and still used by our craftsmen today.​

Black and white image of two men working at the grind stones
Black and white photo of three gentlemen in suits with a chisel laying over the edge of the image

Philip, Graham and Ernest Wright Jr in front.


Since Walter Wright moved into the scissors industry, successive generations have joined the trade. Walter’s son, Ernest, followed in his father’s footsteps to ultimately found the company in 1902. After him, Ernest Wright junior and his sons Graham and Philip Wright all took their turn in running this family business. Finally, fifth generation scissor maker Nick Wright stepped in, until his untimely passing in 2018.

Although not a family operated business anymore, its new owners are fully committed to keeping the Wright-heritage alive. It’s their ambition to prove Ernest Wright is not a museum of a disappearing craft, but a vivid company that produces the finest quality of scissors by hand for a discerning, worldwide audience.


During the first five decades of the century, the company grew steadily, forcing it to move to yet another location, this time on Talbot street.


The arrival of the Second World War meant a slight detour, where we produced surgical equipment in order to avoid merging with a larger company. But by the end of the war, cutlery was in such high demand that the stage was set for the boom that the company experienced in the post-war era.

Old photograph of scissor makers working together
Kutrite Group catalogue with various tools


From the 1950’s right up to the 1970’s, Ernest Wright and Son Ltd. continued to thrive. The new Kutrite trade name was introduced in 1954, and set the brand apart from its competitors.

Through growth and acquisition, the company rose to become a formidable force in both UK and world-wide scissors and tool production and supply.

Employing over eighty workers and exporting to forty five different countries by 1977, Ernest Wright and Son was one of the largest scissors manufacturers in Great Britain. In the year of the company’s 75th anniversary, Ernest Wright Jr. retired and left the company to his sons Graham and Philip.


Right about the time Graham and Philip took over, globalisation set in. Fueled by an economic crisis we saw production move elsewhere, mostly to Asia. Throwaway became a popular term. People liked this new cheap replaceability of goods.

Traditional and Made in Sheffield became rather untrendy.

Where once 40,000 workers were employed in the Sheffield cutlery sector, with about 70 scissor-making companies alone, there were just two left by 1990. And both were a shadow of their former selves.

In 1988, Ernest Wright and Son Ltd went into receivership, only saved by a distant relative stepping in.

Portrait of Phillip and Nick Wright holding a large pair of scissors


Philip Wright managed to take over the business again in 2000 and ran it into the millennium. Relying solely on outwork from larger local businesses, now the company was called Kutrite of Sheffield.

In 2008, Philip’s son Nick joined forces and took over the company in 2012. Nearly going into receivership again, the documentary “The Putter” went viral in June 2014. It reached almost a million views, mostly in the United States, and orders poured in immediately. On top of that, the BBC put a wonderful portrait of another one of our Putters on their international homepage. It rallied half year’s worth of orders, something that hadn’t happened in quite a while!

Then there was the hugely successful Kickstarter campaign to fund the development of an improved version of the famous 1962 Kutrite-model. But it was not to be.


After several setbacks, the Kutrite-project came to a standstill. Both our master-putters fell ill for over 8 months and the new blanks had some major issues. But nobody was prepared for the untimely demise of Nick Wright, in the midst of his efforts to renovate the machinery and deliver all orders in time. Ernest Wright and Son Ltd. went into receivership once more.

Multiple pairs of Ernest Wright Antique Storks lined up on a workbench
Ernest Wright staff group photograph


Paul Jacobs and Jan Bart Fanoy, two Kickstarter-backers, could simply not accept the fact that after 116 years, the art of scissor-making was on the verge of disappearing from Sheffield. In 2018 they took action and bought all assets from the Receiver with the single objective to rescue a great brand, product and heritage. Among the first things they did was to re-hire Eric and Cliff, the remaining master putters and take on Sam Clark, a new apprentice. Former employee Pam Addy came back and Peter van Mameren was put in charge of running the factory.


In today’s world, where everything is moving quickly across multiple screens, we see a renewed interest in real, supreme quality products that reflect -and deserve- the love and attention that has been put into them. And judging by the fantastic emails we receive from people around the world, we are confident that we can bring Ernest Wright back to its former glory and keep the heritage alive. Doing it the Wright way!

Close up of the Kutrite scissor

The seamstress promoting fair fashion

Modern fashion moves fast. People are buying more and more, but clothes are worn less and discarded faster than ever before. Nowadays, clothes have increasingly short lifespans because of the poor-quality, blended fabrics used. And because trends change quickly, clothing styles soon end up becoming obsolete…

A very old pair of Ernest Wright scissors next to an old knife

Giving old scissors a new lease of life

Things that belonged to our parents and our past family members hold a special significance. There’s an emotional attachment that adds to the function of something. It’s a unique feeling of the past generations that simply can never be replicated by “new things”.

A black and white portrait of Frank Turton outside his factory

Continuing the ‘Legacy of Gentleman Frank’

FRANK TURTON Born in 1886, Frank Turton was to become a pioneer industrialist. A 1901 census records him as “Frank 14, scissor grinder”, and a …

Portrait of an Ernest Wright employee

Honouring the craftsmen

STRAIGHT FROM SCHOOL Cliff and Eric started work straight from school, at the ages of 15 and 14. They swept the floors and made the …

Paul Jacobs, co-owner with Cliff and Eric Ernest Wright's longest serving employees

Keeping the heritage alive

We wanted to do anything to save the tradition and craftsmanship, so before we knew it, Jan Bart and I were on our way from the Netherlands to Sheffield.

Man modelling a kilt

Handmade Kilts

Making kilts is completely different from tailoring or dressmaking. You start by cutting out 8 yards of tartan cloth and press, pleat, sew and steam the fabric into shape.

Ernest Wright employee holding a pair of scissors sideways to check the blades


‘The Putter’ is the name of a short documentary that went viral but we have more fascinating footage.

The Daily Telegraph Saturday Suppliment with pair of Ernest Wright Turton Scissors

One of 20

Proud to be one of the 20 household items to buy once and love for ever (according to the Daily Telegraph).


Kutrite pattern

The Kutrite pattern of flat kitchen scissors was originally designed by Philip Wright in the early 1960s and was produced until the 1980s. It was a homage to the brilliant Turton pattern.