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Cutco MLM Review: Is Cutco a Pyramid Scheme?

By: JosiahDec 11, 2023Network Marketing
Cutco MLM Review: Is Cutco a Pyramid Scheme?

Cutco is the ground-level brand in front of Vector Marketing – a Multi Level Marketing company. Cutco “distributors” are mostly college kids who are drawn to Vector’s vague job descriptions, and end up selling kitchen knives and pocket knives to their family and friends through their respective regional Cutco division.

But is Cutco an MLM? Is there really some good inside the company?

And how much do all these knives cost, anyway?

Let’s dive in and find out.


This Cutco review has been thoroughly researched with information and testimonials that are available to anyone in the public. Any conclusions drawn by myself are opinions.

  • Possible to make some money
  • Anyone can join
  • Extremely low commission
  • Strains relationships
  • Stronger alternatives exist

Why Listen To Us

My name is Josiah, and this is my Dad, Joel.why listen us

Together, we make up the team here at Scamrisk.

If you’ll let me bother you for two minutes, I’d like to quickly explain why I’m even here writing this review.

In early 2020, I had just graduated from college & had no real career prospects.

I knew I was destined for something more, but I had no clue how I was going to make it happen.

I had this sinking feeling in my gut all the time… like the “big man upstairs” had accidentally given me the version of life where I’d be mediocre forever, instead of the one where I was, ya know – happy & fulfilled.


I had fiddled around with some different online businesses in college:

Some random MLMs, a bit of affiliate marketing, a (failed) dropshipping store or two, all the usual suspects.

Even my dad had been involved in MLMs back in the day… selling knives & other random nonsense people (probably) didn’t need.

All I really wanted was to find something that was going to actually work for me.

Maybe those things had worked for others, but for me it all turned up a fat “0” in the bank account department.

So I searched! And searched… and searched… and searched…

And eventually, I somehow stumbled upon a program that promised to help me build an income online (read about it here if you’re curious).

I didn’t really want to be “rich”.

The thought of making a reliable $5K per month & not having to worry about clocking in to a 9-to-5 ever again was all I needed.

Sure, there were people in the program doing high-6 and low-7 figures per year… but that wasn’t what I was out for.

I just wanted to provide freedom for myself, and if I was lucky, take my family along for the ride.

Fast forward a few days and a few phone calls & I was enrolled!

Here’s the first “money making website” I put up:

why listen us gif

I built that site in 2020, and it still makes me $1,500 per month. It’s a basic 5 page website I built based on a template the program provides.

The best part to me? My dad and I get to do it all together!

So between the:

  1. Ease of reaching $5-$10K per month in income online

  2. Straightforward-ness of the system to do it

  3. Fact that I get to do it w/ my family

Is why I recommend local lead generation as my #1 business model for making money online.

Sure, it takes some work and dedication – but anyone that tells you that there’s a business out there that requires no work is selling you a lemon.

I’m not saying you need to sign up for the same program I did, but I would definitely recommend giving the business model a peek!

Chances are you heard about Cutco Cutlery because someone - a friend or family member - introduced you to the company. Maybe you attended an online workshop or webinar, or maybe an in-person information session.

And now you're wondering "is Cutco a pyramid scheme".

Your head’s probably spinning. This might be the first time you’ve heard about a real way to make money outside of a typical job.

Some people say you can even work from the beach doing things like this…

Living The Beach Lifestyle

So first off, congratulations!

You’ve just entered a whole new world...the world of making money on your own terms.

However, you came in through the wrong door.

Because Cutco Cutlery is - plain and simple - an MLM. Throw whatever fancy name you want on it...multi-level marketing (MLM), network marketing (NWM), direct sales, or anything else, it’s the same concept:

You pay some money upfront for the “opportunity” to sell products.

The products are typically low-quality but with high price tags (because fancy labels and stuff).

You’re told that the key to building your own successful business is selling these products to friends and family, and getting them on a subscription (so you get “monthly recurring revenue”).

Unfortunately, like most people who get taken in by these types of schemes, you’ll quickly discover that the well runs dry faster than you imagined.

After all, they make it sound really simple. “Just get 5 people you know onto this magic widget, and things will just grow from there.”

And in your head, you think “How hard can it be? I know plenty of people, 5 will be easy.”

But then you do it, and you realize people look at you like you’ve joined a cult. You’ve become “that person”, who joined an MLM, and is now trying to sell questionable products or services to everyone they meet.

It puts a strain on your relationships, and you end up stuck between two worlds.

But it’s not your fault. These companies spend millions of dollars each year figuring out exactly how to brainwash and recruit people. And that’s why we’re here.

To help you find a better way before it’s too late.

So, what if there was a way you could build a passive income stream that’s actually passive?

An income stream that doesn’t require:

  • Inventory
  • Selling to friends and family
  • Selling to strangers
  • Recruiting people
  • Dealing with questionable products that weigh on your conscience

An income stream that brings in consistent revenues every single month (from a couple thousand dollars to well over $10,000)?

An income stream you could actually build in your spare time, and grow as large or as small as you want to, without having to spend hours a day chasing, selling, or managing anything?

If that sounds like something you’d be interested in, check out Digital Leasing. 

TESTIMONIAL - Still Getting Paid

This is nothing like MLM, and that’s probably a good thing.

However, if you’d still like to know more about Cutco Cutlery, keep reading.

What Is CutCo?

cutco reviews

Cutco Cutlery is a manufacturer of kitchen cutlery. The name Cutco comes from Cooking Utensils Company and was established in 1949.

Cutco manufactures a variety of everyday and specialized kitchen equipment. They are mostly known for their knives but they also have utensils, shears, flatware, cookware and sporting knives as well.

They have more than 600 employees that work in the factory and administrative headquarters.

And Vector Marketing is the marketing and sales department for Cutco Cutlery. But Vector Marketing wasn’t always the only direct sales company that sold for Cutco.

There used to be hundreds of small independent sellers back in the day. Cutco is a 65-year-old company that works out of Olean, New York.

It wasn’t until 1981, that Vector Marketing was founded and became an independent seller for Cutco and because they sold more than any other independent seller Cutco Cutlery Corporation decided to purchase them in 1995.

And just like that Vector and Cutco became one.

You won’t find Cutco products sold in just any store.

The only way to purchase these products is through in-home sales demonstrations, local events, or Cutco retail locations. As well as from their website.

Which is why you’ll often see a slew of ad’s for them. Positions such as a sales manager, and salespeople.

They need help with sales. And they hire a ton of people to train so that they can sell cutco products.

It’s likely you’ve seen their ad’s before when looking for a job. There are a ton of recruiting manager positions for Vector-Cutco in various locations.

These entry-level and part-time positions are very enticing to both high school students and college students.

What Is Vector Marketing How Close Are They To The Potential Cutco Knives Pyramid Scheme?

Vector Marketing Scam

Vector Marketing sells Cutco Cutlery**.** That's why some wonder about the closeness between the potential Cutco Knives pyramid scheme.

They hire reps that are just out of high school and in college that will make a commission on the products that they sell,

As a rep, you are considered independent contractors for Vector.

The structure of Vector Marketing is that you do in-home demonstrations displaying the knives and other products. You will be paid a base pay for doing these showings.

And of course, your always encouraged to share the products with your friends and family. If you make a sale you’ll make money in commission from the sale.

They will provide the necessary training that will teach you about their products, and improve your communication skills. Their goal is to build your confidence and provide you with skills that you’ll be able to take into your career.

Who Are Albert DiLeonardo And Bruce Goodman?

albert dileonardo bruce goodman who are they

Albert DiLeonardo is the current Vector East President and CEO, while Bruce Goodman is the current Vector West President and CEO.

As their titles indicate, they split the USA market in two.

DiLeonardo was trained by the founder of Vector himself, Don Freda (sounds like a mob boss), while Goodman was trained by a former Vector President of Marketing.

Both started as salesmen on the ground, proudly stand behind their business model.

What’s Inside Of Cutco MLM?

cutco products

Cutco has a variety of quality products, but the knife block sets are their most popular products. They all come with a “Forever Guarantee” and free sharpening at anytime.

The Ultimate Set comes with 32 pieces and an oak block that you can purchase in a honey or cherry finish, and the Homemaker Set which has 10 pieces.

Now, with Cutco all of the reps are going to make base pay – you get paid a weekly check as long as you work.

Reps earn a base pay between $15-$18 when they show Cutco knives to a qualified prospect. This isn’t an hourly pay rate, but generally showing the products takes any where from 45 minutes to an hour…or maybe longer, especially factoring in travel time.

These showings can be done in-person or virtually.

But you’ll make more money when you actually sell products – and you’ll make more from recruiting you family and friends.

Cutco does recruit people and is actually one of the largest recruiters of undergraduate students in the United States.

They send out job and interview “offers,” which are really just MLM invites. You don’t need any work experience, so basically anyone is able to become a “distributor.”

This is one of the reasons why they are often looked at as an shady company by many people.

Some would call this a smart recruiting strategy, but others consider it predatory. And that's why people wonder, "is cutco an mlm".

Cutco Cutlery’s Compensation Plan

If you go to Cutco’s official website, you’ll see that they emphasize that the business opportunity they offer isn’t a “get-rich-quick” gimmick.

Instead, it claims to take pride in qualities such as perseverance, effort, and commitment.

As such, Cutco states that the money you make from this side gig is highly dependent on your persistence and grittiness to sell.

The commission structure is shown in the table below based on the number of sales:

Cutco Cutlery's Compensation Plan

According to my research, Cutco uses two types of compensation plans:

  1. Basic Cutco Compensation Plan
  2. Cutco At Home Compensation Plan

With the Cutco At Home Compensation Plan, there are two ways you can earn:

  1. Sales Commissions
  2. Bonus generated from your downline sales

is cutco a pyramid scheme


Crazy enough, Vector Marketing’s BBB rating is an A+, even through its consumer reviews are at a 1.81/5.

There have been a few lawsuits filed against Cutco, and it seems like they get sued every couple of years. Each one being worse than the last.

In 1990, the Arizona Attorney General sued them for their recruiting techniques, calling them deceptive.

Then again in 1994, they were ordered to stop deceptive recruiting practices by Wisconsin consumer protection investigators.

In 2008, they got hit with a class-action lawsuit for the company’s scam claims. They weren’t paying their sales representatives minimum wages and this case settled for $13 million in 2011.

In 2014, they faced another class-action suit for unpaid minimum wage in various states, including New York, California, Florida, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, and Ohio.

And also in 2014, they were sued by one of their distributors for not getting proper training. She was drugged and raped while on a sales call.

Then in 2017, Vector Marketing had to pay $6.75 million to settle another class-action lawsuit. They didn’t pay sales representatives that attended the training. In this same year, another class-action lawsuit was filed by division managers. They believed they should be compensated as employees, not contractors.

Other Concerns

Listen, most people are not knocking Vector, and Cutco has quality products.

But with all of the law-suits dealing with payment, most people don’t want to risk not getting paid.

And even if you do get paid it’s not going to offer you any type of substantial money, unless you’re able to book showing after showing and make sales.

And to do this you’d have to be doing more than part-time work. With a base pay of just $15-$18 per showing won’t be sustainable.

How many showings will you have to do just to make $100 for that week?

How many Cutco products will you have to sell?

Face it…this is modern day door to door sales. People hate it.

But what if you got involved in something that people actually like…something business owners actually need. ESPECIALLY after the pandemic they all went through!

Cutco has long been accused of being a pyramid scheme due to their recruiting styles and Cutco employees not making much money.

However, they’ve been able to dodge such claims because they do offer products and their other employees do make some money enough to be considered “full time”.

Still family members seem to get countless phone calls from their relatives who get roped into it all.

How do they get roped in? Some say that Cutco targets college campuses to get students their “first job“. It’s usually a division manager who does the recruiting but sometimes other newbies do too.

The fact that they can get paid for dialing phone numbers and work on their own schedule is what appeals most. However, most are disappointed when they find out it’s just sales.

But hey, it could be worse…it’s not like the labor laws on wall street at least.

Still, we recommend you look elsewhere if you’re looking to make real, sustainable, money online.

What Does The Internet Have To Say About A Potential Cutco Pyramid Scheme?

What Does The Internet Have To Say

Let’s hear what the people have to say

“I was tricked into “working” for them by a former close friend and I can say with certainty that it’s a pyramid scheme, I was suspicious when I was told I’d get paid by-appointment and that I had to hock stuff to my family and friends.

Anybody that does “pay-by-appointment” like that and requires you to either recruit new “team members” or hock shit to family and friends is likely a multi-level-marketing scheme. It’s probably one of the least shifty of the MLM’s that I know of but it’s still most definitely multi-level-marketing and if I were you OP I’d cut my losses and split.

I worked with them for about 2ish months before realizing how I was barely breaking even and making next to no money. After I quit I got into contact with people that used to work in my office and we all kind of came to that realization we were in a marketing scheme, or had been convinced of such by family and friends…”

This next one sounds a little exaggerated.

“I went to the interview (without prior knowledge of the company) and I thought I wouldn’t get it because I was late 20 minutes (I wasn’t familiar with the area), but they took me in and treated me for a serious interview which I thought was weird considering my gaffe.

Then they said that I came just in time to watch a video to get a better understanding of the company. I thought no big deal, I mean I’m just spending my time here so far. It was a bullshit vague video that lasted 30 minutes. As soon as it ended and the lights were flipped on, the person next to me immediately turned to me to get me to buy something.

At that point I looked at the person and I said “are you serious?” He looked at me dumbfoundedly, “Are you seriously about to ‘sell’ me something during an interview?” He was trying to shush me (group interview) and trying to keep the conversation quiet.

I got up and said loudly to him “Thanks for wasting my time with this bullshit. If I would’ve known I had to actually pay for this crummy product that I never heard of before, I would’ve never showed up.” I left promptly, ripping the application up that he had for his ‘order’ and let it litter the floor as I left.

Some people, not all, followed me after.”

Is Cutco A Pyramid Scheme?

Scam or Legit

So, is there a Cutco pyramid scheme going on?

Technically, no.

You can make money with this program, but it’s definitely not as easy as the company makes it sound.

There’s a ton of work to be done upfront, no real guarantee of success, and – most importantly – the actual commissions are pretty small.

Now, there’s nothing wrong with front-loading the work and making the money later.

But if you’re grinding it out for 3 months and then your reward is a $50 commission, it’s not really worth it.

What if, instead, you could do that same 3 months of work (in your spare time), and your reward was a $500 to $2,000 payment that came in every single month?

And what if you actually didn’t need to wait 3 months? What if you could get started today and have your first payment in a week?

And what if you could double it next week?

Well, that’s the power of Digital Leasing. 

And, unlike an MLM, you can legitimately do this from anywhere. It’s a true lifestyle business.

Your laptop and an internet connection is all you need.

Some of the most successful students in this program run their entire 6-figure businesses from:

  • A camper in the middle of the woods
  • A beach chair on the water in Mexico
  • A small villa in Greece

TESTIMONIAL - Saying Goodbye To Our Jobs

They’re able to travel around, living their lives first, and focusing on their income second.

Because even if they stop working for an extended period of time, the money keeps coming in.

So adventure, memories, and experience are the top priority.

And they never have to worry about how to pay for the next trip, or consider asking for time off.

If this sounds more like the type of life you want to lead, just click here to find out more about Digital Leasing.

How Much Does Cutco Cost?

how much does vector marketing cost

Selling Cutco knives as a sales rep certainly has its costs.

Cutco’s knife sets can cost customers over $4000 – which is a nice profit for the salesperson…if they can manage to pull off such a high-ticket sale.

The problem for the sales person is that they have to buy a set before they can go out and make sales calls - although sales reps for most direct sales companies often report being able to even hunting knives for half the price.

And perhaps the worst cost of all to the sales team is the time they often spend making very little money.

Cutco Refund Policy

vector marketing refund policy

According to this experience, there are decent refunds in place in case a consumer wants a refund for their knives – although it did take months.

It is difficult to find any mentions of a refund on the Cutco website, although it is understood that the sales team can get their money back when they return their test kit at the end of their Cutco career.

Are There Alternatives To Cutco?


Yes, there are plenty of MLM companies to choose from if you want to pursue this business model.  Here are just a few:

What Is Our #1 Recommendation To Make Money Online In 2024?

Digital Leasing

The ScamRisk team has spent months researching, reviewing, and vetting dozens of business models and thousands of programs.

While there may be no “perfect business”, the research IS conclusive:

Digital Leasing is the #1 online business model for those just starting out.

Whether you’ve never made a dollar online, or you’ve been in this space for a while but never really “made it,” Digital Leasing is for you.


1) It’s Flexible: got an hour a day? You can do this. Ready to drop everything else and dive in full time? You can do this. Yes, the more time you put in, the faster you see results. But even with a little time each day, you can move the needle in a Digital Leasing business.

And because this system is so flexible, you don’t have to constantly be working to make more money. It’s called PASSIVE INCOME because if you stop working, the money doesn’t.

Imagine taking 3 months off to just tour around Europe, rent a cabin in the woods to write a book, hike the Appalachian Trail, or live on the beach and surf all day.

This is only possible if you have an income stream that’s not tied to your time.


2) You Own & Control EVERYTHING: With MLMs and Network Marketing, you don’t really own anything. You have no control over the quality of products. You don’t even own your “team”.

Look at the fine print for most of the agreements folks sign when they join one of these companies. At any point, the company can change your commission structure, reduce your profit margins, or kick you out entirely.

With Digital Leasing, you own the assets, which means you have all the power and all the control.

TESTIMONIAL - Feeling Blessed

3) Little To No Startup Costs: It’s possible to get into Digital Leasing with zero dollars upfront. Because, using the strategies outlined in this program, you can get a client to pay you BEFORE spending a penny out of your own pocket…even before you do any work.

Even without getting paid in advance, you can have your first Digital Rental Property up, running, and generating profits for less than $100.

TESTIMONIAL - Scott Lead Gen

4) No Inventory: Alright, so most MLMs don’t make you buy the products and fill your garage with them anymore (unlike the good ol’ days), but you’re still in a physical products business.

And physical products always have physical limitations. Even if you don’t have to manage the inventory, you still have to deal with supply chain shortages that cause major delays.

Imagine finally landing your first customer, and then losing them after one sale because they had to wait 6 weeks to get their order.

With Digital Leasing, a 100% online business, you never even have to think about that risk.


5) Easy To Duplicate: Ok, here’s the best part: once you have your first Digital Rental Property up and running, you can literally DOUBLE your income with a few clicks, a couple keystrokes, and a single phone call (and you don’t actually need the phone call).

Remember: each Digital Rental Property is worth $500 to $2,000 a month in semi-passive income (over 95% profit). Every time you decide to create another one and increase your income, it gets easier.

Because you have more knowledge, more experience, more results, and more momentum.

If you wanted to double your income with an MLM, you’d have to double your customers OR double the average order size of your existing customers. And, guaranteed that’s a lot harder than a few clicks and a few minutes of your life.

TESTIMONIAL - Lance Lead Gen

6) Make Money Helping Real People: This part is what makes it all worth it. In an MLM, your “upline” might convince you that what you’re selling improves people’s lives, but deep down, you likely know that’s not true.

Most of the time, you’re either selling a dream or a poor-quality, overpriced product with a fancy label.

And that makes it pretty hard to sleep at night.

But with Digital Leasing, you’re actually helping people by solving your clients’ biggest problem:

Small, local businesses need more customers, and with Digital Leasing, you are unleashing a flood of happy, paying customers for these businesses.

You make money by helping them make money.

Not a big, faceless corporation either…a small business owner who’s using that money to put food on the table for their family, start a college fund for their kids, or take care of a sick parent.

Once you see how Digital Leasing makes a real impact in the lives of real people, you’ll sleep like a baby with a big smile on your face.


Now, the choice is yours.

You could continue browsing, looking at opportunities like Cutco which could one day make you money.

You could continue researching, never making a decision.

OR, you could take a look inside, consider what you really want, and join a program that makes your dreams a reality. At the same time, joining a community of over 2,000 successful students that are living life on their own terms thanks to Digital Leasing.

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