Monday, December 16, 2013

The History of Modern Specialties Company

The Modern Specialties Company was founded in 1930, Chicago, Illinois, by August J Lurie.  Modern was his original name for the company.  Lurie was the inventor of Modern’s unique line of utility knife and safety knife products, including the specially designed replacement blades.  Modern’s early success was based on his innovatively designed and patented products.

A.J. Lurie invented the first safety knife and trademarked them “KuttO”as well as his utility products which he trademarked “UtillO”.  He patented some of Modern’s products which include patents US2128151, US2187590, US2241608, US2978807, US3178812, US3184843 and his currently known patents range from the years of 1938 to 1965.  Mr. Lurie became very ill at age 94.  He went to the office every day until that time.  He was hospitalized for three years until he died in Chicago, Illinois at age 97 in 1979.   

Modern Specialties was originally located at 4140 Harrison Street and was later moved to Ogden Avenue in a new building that Lurie built for the company.  Modern Specialties went up for auction in early 1981 as Lurie’s primary funds were in the care of the Northern Trust Bank with a million dollars going to Michael Reese Hospital and another million going to Mt. Sinai Hospital.  Robert Dean and Gerissa A. French bid on Modern Specialties and won.  Robert Dean French, a retired naval commander, moved Modern to its prime location at 661 West Lake Street in Chicago, Illinois.  The trademarks were renewed and the trademark “Modern Roofer” replaced the “UtillO” trademark.

The company’s goal is, and always has been, to provide quality products for the best value and to provide complete customer satisfaction with the best possible customer service.  Modern has a A+ BBB business review rating.  The Modern website is and a free smart phone App is available in the Apple IOS marketplace as well as in the Google Play, Android marketplace.

                Modern’s products are still built to the same original specifications, today

Wednesday, August 28, 2013


MODERN SPECIALTIES                             Press Release


Chicago, Illinois - August 21, 2013

Rozar Pictures
Movie Shoot at
661 West Lake St. transforms
Modern Specialties Building for a day.
At 9 am on August 21st the film crew of Rozar Pictures arrived at the Modern Specialties building, home of KuttO safey box cutters and Modern Roofer Products. By changing the signage at the building's entrance, they transformed the loft office building into a Women's Health and Fertility Clinic with a new,
made-up address-6114 W. Lake Street.
Police buzzed around outside keeping onlookers in check. By mid morning, the film crew brought in trucks and other equipment for the shoot, and filming started in the early afternoon. By 5 pm they were gone, and the building had been restored to its original form. One would never guess that the polite and efficient Rozar Pictures filming crew had even been there!
The sci-fi film, Jupiter Ascending, starring Mila Kunis, Channing Tatum, and Sean Bean, will be in movie theatres next year.
There was a lot of excitement at the building on that day but now Modern Specialties, a veteran owned small business in Chicago's West Loop, is back to manufacturing USA made quality products.

Since 1930, The Modern Specialties Company, a veteran owned small business, has manufactured outstanding industrial hand tools.   Visit Our Website
Thanks for taking the time to read our blog post.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Wouldn't you want to reduce your cut injury accidents by 100% and also have a knife with a lifetime guarantee? 
                                                                                              Read on:          

Featured Article
Wouldn't you want to reduce cut injury accidents by 100%?
How about a knife with a lifetime guarantee?

Training and Knife Safety
Training and safety go hand in hand

Training is the key to preventing accidents. Most cut injury accidents can be preventing by applying these safety rules when using a utility knife.
Always inspect the knife before use.
Draw the knife away from your body when cutting.
Don't work with a dull blade. Dull blades require more pressure increasing the possibility for injury.
Don't overload the knife's work load capacity.
Don't store the knife with the blade extended.
Always wear protective equipment.
Our KuttO knives have safety guards that enable the blade to be extended safely without subjecting users to thumb strain and wrist pain cause by other safety type knives that are heavy weight and contain spring loaded retracting blades.
Our Utility knives are made out of heavy duty steel and come will a lifetime guarantee. Knives made out of plastic are likely to break and zinc cast knives are heavy compared to our special design.

Let's Get Social
Did you know that we are also on Facebook, Twitter?
Follow us on Twitter and Facebook at 
Save 100%

If you are in the domestic United States and are purchasing $500 or more of our products per shipment, you are qualified for free shipping with Net 30 day payment.  Call 1-800-648-5801 for more information. 

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

About the K-917 Blade

About the K-917 replacement blade.

The K-917 blade is 3/4 x 1 1/2 which is the same size as the K-9 blade.  It also fits in the MS25, MS27 and MS20 KuttO safety box cutters.

The K-9 blade is named after it's thickness .009" thick.  The K-17 is also named after it's thickness of .017".  The K-917 is a combination of both.  It's size is the same as the K9 blade but it is thicker and more heavy duty as is the K-17 Blade.

Please check out our blades page at or give us a call at 1-800-648-5801 for more information.

New Product Available at Modern Specialties. Notched U102 Blade.

The U102-5U bowtie shaped utility blade is now available.

The U102-5U blade fits in all Modern Specialties knife handles as well as some select utility knives such as our MS100 knife and others.  The blade has two cut outs on both the top and the bottom so that it can be rotated in four directions and fit in multiple utility knives.

The pricing is the same as our regular U102 blades which we offer in both plastic safety packs and red paper packs.

Call 1-800-648-5801 for more information.

The U102-5U Blade Fits in Utility Knives

Our new utility blade fits multiple utility knives.  The utility blade is specially adapted so that all possible four ends of the cutting surface can be utilized for heavy duty and difficult cutting.  The hole and slot combination gives the user the advantage of being able to fit in some other types of utility knives.  The blade may not fit in every style of utility knife.