McRae TerrAssault 2

Blade Show – Recap

We are going to start off our Blade Show coverage with an overall summary and then, over the next few days dive into the details.

Blade Show 2010, was by all accounts the Best Blade Show to date…with more than 5,000 attendees it was busy, but that would just be an understatement – you could literally feel the Buzz in the air as soon as you entered the hall with the feeling of electricity everywhere – at times, and at certain booths, it was nearly standing room only.

Several Knife makers and Companies spent time chatting with us about what’s new as well as what’s coming, while other Knife makers provided Knives for in depth hands-on reviews which will be posted in the coming weeks. Other companies we spoke with promised to keep us updated on new projects and products.

One of the questions we promised to answer is Custom vs Production? This is a long standing question, and often gets mixed answers. There is definitely a difference. A Hand Crafted Knife takes time to get each grind, angle, and surface exactly the way the Maker/Designer wants it to be. Hand crafted knives can be built one at a time to fit the buyer’s hand exactly or made with specific parts, such as the Horn of an Elk, Deer, Big Horn Sheep or other material the buyer may choose to have the handle built from. Additionally, the metal the hand crafter/maker uses can also be personally selected, and hand forged. Naturally, this will increase the overall cost of the knife, in many cases up into the thousands of dollar range. On the other hand, production knives are just that. A plate of steel is placed under a computerized cutting tool, the blanks are then sent through a series of steps in order to finally produce a Knife. These steps include roughing up the metal to accept various coatings and colorings, shaping the sides and removing burrs, as well as grinding the edges, and drilling holes to attach the handle to finally turn the Knife into a complete product before it is boxed and shipped to the end-user. Production Knives are often less expensive, but can still be of high quality depending on the manufacturer. Later this year, we will tour a couple of the manufacturers and share with you the inside story.

Of particular interest, are the recent Pakistani knock-offs that have surfaced – which brings us to Off-Shore, vs American Made debate.

Are off-shore knives of lower quality than the American made knife? This is a really good question, because not all off-shore made knives are of low quality. For instance, Japanese made knives, which are crafted in the traditional method are of extremely high quality, and often higher value, depending on who made the knife, while knives made in Taiwan, and China are often of inferior quality and price. Many large chain retailers buy these because of the price point since they can buy low, sell at a moderate price, make money, deliver the goods, and continue to keep their doors open. However, if an off-shore knife company follows the exacting standards (metals, cuts, shapes, grinds, etc.) provided by his US buyer, there are often minimal differences when compared to the same knife made in USA. Such actions may result in a lower per unit cost and allows the end user to pay a lower price. However, at the end of the day, many of us just want a knife made in USA and are willing to pay a little more for it. If in doubt, ask where the knife you’re interested in was manufactured. Most companies will list their country of origin on their website. However, it is important to note that many of the collectible knife sets you find in the shops along the highway are low priced, and made in China. They were never intended for use as a Knife or Tool, and are mostly designed, painted, and crafted with gift box, mantle or curio cabinet in mind. These knives are not meant for use, therefore the quality is not high.

Sniper Bladeworks, logo design and heavy-duty thick knives definitely attracted our attention. Take a look below and you’ll see what we mean. This is a serious knife and what a kewl logo…they offer custom design, colored blades & handles to order – we’ll keep you posted on any updates they provide.

Ernie Emerson, from Emerson Knives Inc, has promised a lengthy interview and discussion. His newest knife, “Roadhouse” is sure to be a best seller. When he described it to me he said, “Roadhouse” It will literally make you think of Leather Jackets, and Jack Daniels dripping off the blade.

Duane Dwyer from Strider Knives provided several knives for in depth hands-on evaluations, which once completed will be posted for your review.

Chris Reeve Knife Co – It is here, where one finds some of the most unique knife designs and people in the industry. Chris Reeve is an industry leader, and not surprisingly won several Blade magazine awards this year. Well done Chris! We like Chris’s Kitchen Cutlery and will be ordering a set shortly.

Bill Harsey Master Knife Designer, collaborated with Spartan Blades and their Collaboration won this year’s nod from Blade magazine.

Greg Mooney, President of Benchmade Knife Co gave us plenty of time, and information to mull over for the time being. He also promised to keep us posted on new projects/products. The Eddie Killian Axe, is the design that most intrigues us, with the versatile handle end which can be used as a Pry tool, or to remove nails, as well as its length, and ease of fit and feel in the hand, are one item we can find ourselves carrying for a number of reasons. Well done Eddie and thank you Benchmade for building this kewl tool – of special note is the Marc Lee GLORY Knife, an Eddie Killian design, made by Benchmade Knife Co. This knife is in memory of Marc Lee, a young Navy SEAL, KIA in Iraq. This knife is doing quite well for Benchmade and has received numerous positive comments by SEALs who see the knife in the Benchmade Booth at various shows, and displays. This Knife is available in a very limited edition (only, 251, this was Marc’s BUD/S Class No#) Marc Lee GLORY ‘Collector’s Knife’ – you can learn more about this knife on Benchmade’s website, or by visiting the Marc Lee Foundation’s website.

Michael Janich & Spyderco – just before Blade Show we announced that Michael Janich is now working at Spyderco – Mike told us he is very happy to be with Spyderco and told us even while he was with MOD (Masters Of Defense) his favorite carry knife was a Spyderco. He said, “I feel like I’ve come home now that I am with Spyderco.” Michael provided us with Spyderco’s new Jump Master knife for our review – and explained this knife was inspired by 82nd Airborne Jump Master’s. We’re looking forward to sharing our review with you in a few weeks.

5.11‘s new stuff, well maybe not New, but there was a 5.11 Knife, which was numbered with certificate of Authenticity, 511 of 511 found in Blade Tech’s booth – This author nearly gave away his wallet to see if there was anyway he could bid on it – he’salways been a 5.11 fan, and this would definitely be a One of a Kind 5.11 thing to add to his other one of a kinds. Well actually it would be his first one of a kind, but who’s counting.

SUREFIRE – what a shock, SUREFIRE had a nice display at the Blade Show naturally displaying their lights, but of course their Knife was on hand as well.

We spoke with many knife maker’s, designer’s and knife companies and will continue to share more info as the weeks peel away…Knives are often considered a singular interest item – some folks believe in them, and will never leave without one or more on hand; while other folks do not put as much stake in them or their importance…often it’s not until you miss/need one, that you want one or wish you had one – Stay tuned & Stay Sharp…

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