If you close your eyes and imagine a workshop occupied by a Ranger and two Marines it would probably look a lot like the place that Cameron, Connor and Jeremy design and forge their custom blades. There are several polyester flags on the wall, which reflect the different paths of military service of each employee, constantly fluttering and flapping from a steady flow of wind and air blown by industrial fans and grinders. In between blasts from power tools you can hear an eclectic playlist ranging from Behemoth to Sturgill Simpson, courtesy of whoever got their hands on the shop radio at the beginning of the work day.
Like most good products, Toor Knives was born out of frustration with a lack of quality products available. It’s hard to come by a knife on the market that suits the different mission requirements of modern combat operations. So with a problem and a solution, Toor Knives began in the backyard of Connor Toor (CEO) and Cameron Toor (COO) in early 2015, experimenting with some crude finished products that ended up on the kits of their friends. Those initial “rugged, rusty pieces of steal banged into sharp, pointy objects,” as Cameron refers to them, would pave the way for the refined blades being crafted in their San Diego shop today.
When discussing making knives full time and transitioning out of the military, Cameron said it “hit both ends of the spectrum. It’s hard because it was the primary reason for leaving the military but easy because it gave me something to come home too and keep my mind off things. Not every vet is as fortunate as I am to have something like this to fall back on when they get out.”
Since they got the company up and running, the Toor brothers have taken on staff additions to help with administrative duties and production. Jeremy Sanders, who served with Connor in the Marine Corps, is the newest bladesmith and has already proved his worth, literally working his fingers to the bone. CFO and Executive Assistant, Saundra Wallace, assists with administrative efforts and customer relations at Toor Knives, allowing Sanders and the Toor brothers to focus solely on the design and construction of knives.
Although they have developed superior products and began reaping the monetary rewards for their hard work, the boys haven’t forgotten about their buddies who are still in harm’s way. In the 3 months before Cameron’s final days in 3rd Ranger Battalion, the guys crafted 35 blades with a unique design and engraved with their unit and individual serial numbers. The project was not only a parting gift from Cameron but also a memorial to Sergeant Joshua P. Rogers and Sergeant Cameron H. Thomas, who were killed in a raid on an ISIS-Khorasan compound in Nangarhar province, Afghanistan on April 27th, 2017.
When asked what design was their favorite so far, the “Ranger” had no competition. “Because of what it meant and how much hard work went into it in such a short period of time,” Cameron said, “as I returned to 3/75 when everyone got back the mood was a little strange. We hadn’t taken a hit like that in years, I don’t think anyone really knew how to act. When I presented the knives it was truly something special. The guys were in shock, they didn’t expect it at all. From what I could see, it was a real ‘pick me up’ and although it doesn’t bring our friends back, it at least gives them something they can keep on them at all times and take to the enemies of America in remembrance of Cam and Josh. For myself, it was almost a sense of closure to show the guys that even though I pulled out of that deployment last minute, I will still always have their back just like they will have mine.”