OK, so just how many people own a pocket knife?

Sometimes we think the number of users and collectors of pocket knives are a decreasing lot. All the reasons for the “why” fewer folks have an everyday carry, isn’t the point here- instead, we can feel we’re all alone and everyone else is anti-blade.

In some cases, we’ve also allowed “society” to regulate us into a corner, all the while attempting to cast a stigma upon us for wanting to own our blades. Commonly, we are viewed as the outcast- the rebels, almost the militants of our society- all because we choose to own a knife.

And yet, do you realize just how many people across this great country of ours own a knife?

The American Knife and Tool Institute provided me the stats. Allow me to say, we are not alone.

35.6 Million Households Own Pocket Knives

24.8 Million own Hunting Knives

Lots of other folks are there- you just haven't noticed

Lots of other folks are there- you just haven't noticed

Folks, I don’t care how you slice it- that’s a lot of fellow knife owners. So, next time you feel like you are the last man standing- the last one holding out who is a knife owner- look to your right and then your left. Then glance behind you. You are not alone at all.

Popular Swiss Knife Maker Diversifying Product Line

What does a knife manufacturer whose brand is known worldwide do when times get tough? It diversifies.

logo_victorinoxVictorinox, the 125 year old Swiss knife maker, is now offering watches, shirts and perfume to bolster profits.

This old cutlery firm is the maker of the original Swiss Army Knife, first issued to the Swiss military in 1897.

In an recent interview with Reuters News Service, Victorinox Chief Executive, Carl Elsner said the new product line is breathing new life into the brand.

Two recent episodes- 9.11.2001 and the current credit crunch caused the firm to look outside cutlery for revenue by capitalizing on it brand’s recognition.

The firm posted a net profit of $436 million in 2008 evidencing its recovery from the decline in its knife sales resulting from the war of terror, and then came the current “credit crunch.” Mr. Elsener said in his interview this year has been the hardest year in the history of Victorinox.

safflash-2This old firm hasn’t rested on its laurels though. If you are a Swiss army knife fan undoubtedly you have noticed their recent innovations. Here’s my favorite-

$9 Trillion Pulled From Stock Market

Don’t let the talk of the recession put a cloud over our head regarding the future of knife collecting or declining knife values.

dowjonesConsider this- E*Trade reports at the end of 2008, cash in money markets and bank accounts reached right at $9 Trillion. You read that right, that’s TRILLION with a “T.”

Just think of all those investors who are now looking for another place to park some of those dollars. Plus, though I am not an economist- just a knife collector, we know we will have tremendous inflationary pressure as we begin to come out of this slump, knives can be a tremendous hedge against inflation.

On a related note- The results of the 2009 Knife Community Survey confirm, close to 50% of knife collectors are new collectors- close to 30% have only collected less than 2 years. I’m preparing the report on the survey now, but you will also be surprised to learn, close to 50% of the collectors are under 25 years old. These two stats provide a very healthy future for our wonderful hobby and it flies in the face of the belief that the vast majority of collectors are 50+ years old- that simply isn’t true.

Our hobby is very alive and well, I’m glad to report. Now all we need to do is tap a few hundredths of a point of the $9 Trillion and funnel it our way.

Published in: on April 22, 2009 at 9:31 am  Leave a Comment  
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Case lays off additional workers

caselogoBREAKING NEWS- The Pittsburg Post-Gazette reported today, W R Case & Sons Cutlery Co. of Bradford, Pa. laid off 78 more employees. This is the second workforce reduction this year.

YOU’RE FIRED-The heads of the knife companies might be next


Stop the presses.

Can you believe what is going on right now in Washington?

If you can believe it or not, the current administration fired the CEO of one of the Fortune 500 companies today. Doesn’t it feel like we are in the Twilight zone or what?

Unreal things are going on. First we had the congress wanting to put a salary cap on what a business can pay its executives. Then we had the government taking the bonuses back that were paid pursuant to a contract between a company and its employees. On Monday, we witnessed a CEO being taking out by direct government interference. There is no way a bunch of bureaucrats can do a better job than the private sector. No Way!

Unbelievable. I can’t sit back and quietly watch this happen. Before it is over, we’ll be told which of the government run businesses we have to work for, or worse our kids will.

All I can say is this- Arrowsmith watch your back. Now that we have the administration removing folks who are running businesses, no one is secure. Heck, before we know it we’ll be having to ask the government to be able to buy a pocketknife from a government controlled knife company, that is assuming they don’t shut them down totally.

6th Annual NW Georgia Knife Show


Future NKCA President

This weekend, the National Knife Collectors Association sponsored Dalton Knife Show finished strong and the Association declared the show a resounding success.

Even in the midst of a serve economic recession, knife folks turned out, both dealers and collectors. The current conditions didn’t seem to have a measurable impact. In fact, dealer participation surpassed the NCKA’s expectations. I don’t have access to the door receipts, but witnessed a good crowd overall for the show that started mid-day Friday and ran through 2:00 today.

The crowd of buyers ranged from the hard-core serious collectors on Friday to the general public on Saturday and Sunday. The NKCA reached out to the Boy and Girl Scouts in the area and I saw several youngsters in attendance over the weekend.

There was a good mix of knives for sale from everyday carry knives, to high-end antiques and customs. I even saw several antique knife displays available also.

Additional information from the show will be topics later this week, but allow me to say, the show was FUN. Make plans to attend one of the others scheduled throughout the year.

Published in: on March 15, 2009 at 4:37 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Steps to Economic Recovery outlined in a Cutlery Publication


 “Recovery from a business depression involves a readjustment in the basic factors of our industrial structure. This process requires time and leadership. It can be hastened or retarded by what business men do. The period required to get back to a normal rate of activity varies with each separate cycle, and the experiences of former times do not furnish an infallible guide as to what will happen now.”  

Interestingly this quote is from an article in Paine’s Cutlery Journal dated January 1931. The article continues by pointing out the required steps to “readjust” from the economic period of that time-

  1. Prices, especially raw materials, must come down until they are more in accord with supply and demand factors and at levels more favorable for purchasers.
  2. Inventories of raw materials and finished goods have to be reduced and in many cases even below normal amounts.
  3. Money rates must be lowered and supply of funds available for businesses must be ample. Businesses need to have no fear of being handicapped by lack of credit facilities or high rates of interest in the near future.
  4. Production must be adjusted to consumption.
  5. Purchasing power must be built through savings and strict economy.
  6. Excess liabilities as represented by items such as large broker’s loans, installment payments outstanding, borrowing by member banks from the Federal Reserve Banks have to be liquidated and brought down to a more nearly normal basis.
  7. A saner attitude of adjusting operations and policies to facts rather than relying on unjustified and unfounded hopes must be adopted.
  8. A determination to act aggressively in remedying bad or unwholesome conditions have to be replace a policy of letting affairs drift in hopes that they will right themselves.


Published in: on February 6, 2009 at 8:20 am  Leave a Comment  
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W R Case lays off workers

WR Case Lays Off 31 Factory Workers

As reported on wbrrfm.com– W.R. Case & Sons Cutlery Co. has laid off 31 employees, all factory associates. Case communications manager Fred Feightner says because of the economy, they have had to adjust their business plan. He says the biggest problem is attitude – people and dealers are afraid to spend money right now. Feightner says the company doesn’t foresee any more layoffs, but it all depends on the economy.

Published in: on February 3, 2009 at 6:01 pm  Comments (2)  
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Knife Industry Not Immune From Downturn

The effects of the current economic downturn continue to spread. The NY Times reports today that all walks of life are being impacted, including folks in the cutlery industry.

And, while some of those individuals being directly impacted include folks being forced to leave the knife industry, others are coming into the industry, as a result of a layoff.

As reported in this story in today’s NY Times, Charles DiGisco, of Randolph, N.J., is one casualty of the downturn who is no longer working in the industry. He lost his job as a vice president for sales and marketing at Master Cutlery, a knife maker. 

On a positive note, as reported on CBS’s 60 Minutes– Mike O’Machearley is now making knives for a living after being laid off from DHL. He is a self-employed knife maker, and as a result of the publicity of the CBS segment (and the knife community) has received dozens of orders.

Life happens- so it is all in how we respond to it that determines our future. 

“Every adversity, every failure, every heartache carries with it the seed of an equal or greater benefit.” 
                                                                                                    Napoleon Hill

And there is no doubt, our industry and hobby will benefit from all the seeds being planted right now.

Published in: on January 27, 2009 at 8:35 am  Comments (1)  
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Gun & Ammo Record Breaking Sales Continue

800px-houston_gun_show_at_the_george_r_brown_convention_centerWithout getting into the politics of it, have you been following the stories on gun sales in the last couple of weeks?

CNJ ran a story a month and a half ago, and it appears the gun and ammo sales are still up measurably.

The contributing factors are two-fold according to Victor Bean, the organizer of the show held last Saturday in Jax, FL.

The Jacksonville.com news reports-

“Bean attributed what he called a record turnout and the massive upswing in business to two factors — a rumored crackdown on gun ownership by the incoming Obama administration and a possible rise in crime precipitated by the economy’s sharp downturn.”

 I suspect, being a “gun show promoter,” he is hyping it for his next show, but according to the Jax paper attendance on Saturday was 5000 folks- up from about 2000 in Sept for the same show.

Here’s another from this past weekend in Louisville. Different show circuit. Different promoter. Kenny Woods’ Gun & Knife Show

Here’s what Google News has pulled back on the increase of gun and ammo sales, as of 8:42 Monday nite. It is kinda scary actually.

So, what does this spending money on ammo and guns mean for knife sales? Not sure, but one retailer said, his knife sales were down. He attributed it to folks spending their money on guns right now.

Published in: on December 30, 2008 at 6:30 am  Leave a Comment  
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