Knife Collector Communities on the Web- SharpFans Yahoo Group

Weekend Edition

camp-cooking-dutch-ovenWant the recipe for some good clean knife fun? Take the company of fellow collectors, add a dash of raffles and knife pictures, and then throw in the Web and a little technology, mix it all together and what do you have?

A wildly popular online knife collecting group, of course!

That’s where our next guest comes in. He started a knife club that has grown to almost 1400 members in less than 2 years. The good news is his knife club doesn’t have to worry about finding a large enough meeting room because they meet virtually. It is an online knife club.

Really it is an understatement to call this a knife club. Its membership rivals most any group and some associations, on and offline. You may have heard of it- it is called SharpFans. 


Firen Skyshadow founded this Yahoo Group back in September 2007 and now it is one of the largest knife groups on the web. A Yahoo Group is a cross between an email list and a forum. Folks can post messages that are then sent to the other members, as well as read there on the group’s yahooogroupshomepage. Plus, members share photos, upload files, share favorite links, vote in polls and keep a group calendar.


“SharpFans is an international Family club with members all over the world. We have members in India, Australia, Iraq, Afghanistan, the UK, and elsewhere. We welcome children in the club and keep our forum clean and respectful.

We talk about everything from knives to recipes and try to have a good time.”                                                                                                                         Firen Skyshadow, Founder



I caught up with Firen yesterday to ask him about SharpFans and all that is going on there. 

Q) What got you interested initially in starting a yahoo knife group? And how did you choose its name?

knivestvliveA) “I started SharpFans after hearing Steve Koontz on SMKW’s Knives Live Show always speaking of their Fans. I thought we would see how many Fans there were and started a Fan Club. The guys on Knives Live always say that “Knife collectors are sharp people” so it only seemed right to call their fan club SharpFans. Steve Koontz and Knives Live took to the idea right away, and has been invaluable in promoting SharpFans on the show, even flying me out to Tennessee last December to appear on the show with them to receive our first club knife. Our members donated the funds to do this out of the goodness of their hearts.


Beau- SharpFan's President

Beau- SharpFans President

When I formed the Group, I made my dog Beau our president for lack of another member. When I offered to change it, the members decided that they want a dog for president. Hence, not only are we the only Knife Collectors club on the web with a dog for president, but Beau is the only dog to ever donate his personal Club Knife to the National Knife Museum in Sevierville TN.”



Q) What was your original goal for the group, and has it developed along that plan, or taken a life of its own?

A) “I wanted a Forum where we could talk about knives, collecting them, and the Knives Live show all in one place. I didn’t realize that so many people would take me seriously. It has developed along the lines I hoped it would, but it has taken on a life of its own. SharpFans as a group have helped so many people in so many ways, that I am convinced that God’s hand is at work through us.”


Q) Do you have any plans for SharpFans you can share with the readers of CNJ?

A) “Plans for this year are to open our own website and expand it to have other features that Yahoo doesn’t have. Besides the general knife forum, I would like to see a trading section where vendors and knifemakers can answer questions for everyone to read. Yahoo Groups does not allow selling on the forums, and doing so can cause hard feelings in the Group. A separate section is needed for these and other reasons.

I would also like to have a prayer section. We have a lot of members who need our prayers from time to time, and a section where people of Faith can share would be a nice addition. As a Pastor, I see the need, but as a group manager I realize that it could take away too much from the main forum about knife collecting.

Right now membership is free, but we are hoping to sell hats and t-shirts along with attracting some advertisers to help pay the costs.”


Q) How much time do you spend with the group and what is your role now that it has grown to over 1000 members?

A) “This is a full/part time job. I spend at least 6 hours a day doing club business, but it varies from day to day. With all the other work I do behind the scenes, it adds up, but I don’t really keep track.”


Q) What do knives do you collect, or are you a user more than a collector, per se, and what got you started into knives?

A) “I am a user collector, but I do have a few knives that caught my fancy when I saw them. My primary love is fixed blade fighters and hunters. I also love tacticals, especially assisted opening and autos. I love Rough Rider knives, and since my budget doesn’t allow me to collect them all, I collect canoes. I’ve always been one to collect what other don’t, and I like the canoes lines and feel. The way I see it, years from now when trappers are easy to find, my canoes will bring a good price because few of us collect them. I may be wrong, but my gut tells me I’m not.

Mainly I collect what I’m not afraid to take out in the woods and use because of value. If I spend several hundred dollars on a knife, I want to use it, not keep it locked away. Sometimes I buy a knife for a user and then find that it needs to be put up. A good example is my SOG Agency I just purchased. I bought it online, and when it arrived I discovered that I had bought #0011 of 1,000. Since SOG only numbered the first 1,000 and provided a certificate I was in luck! Though I would love to use it, I’m not foolish either, it is in the safe. Now I get to buy another one unnumbered so I can use it. This time I’m going for the Agency with TNI coating.”


Q) Anything else you’d like to share with us?

A) “SharpFans is an international Family club with members all over the world. We have members in India, Australia, Iraq, Afghanistan, the UK, and elsewhere. We welcome children in the club and keep our forum clean and respectful.

We talk about everything from knives to recipes and try to have a good time. If you don’t see a subject on our forum, use the search box and look. There’s a good chance that the subject has been covered before. If you want to see more talk about a certain type or brand, then jump in and start posting about it. The members will pick up on it and respond. Also, if you know something about a certain knife, tell us please. We all enjoy learning new things.

Right now we are almost halfway into our second year, and are experiencing the “terrible twos” to some degree. As we grow and learn there are bound to be some bumps in the road, but we have a great base of good caring people who make our Club a “Family First, and a Knife Collectors Club second”. That is the way we like it and that’s the way it’s going to stay

We were formed as a Fan Club for Knives Live and Smoky Mountain Knife Works, and that will continue to be our focus. There are plenty of other knife collectors forums out there, but there is only ONE SharpFans.”

If you are interested in joining SharpFans check them out.

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. EXCELLENT article — very well written and informative! I’ve been a member of SharpFans for 6-8 months and learned some things here about the group’s startup I wasn’t aware of previously.

    I like your website — good balance of short, informative articles that help me better understand this hobby + the light-hearted chuckles occasionally posted to remind us to not take this life so seriously. Thanks!

  2. this is a excellent artical that ever wrote on the group.we all get along plus we havethe respect of each other. and i have learn about all kinds of art and knife collection. thanks

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