Knife Artist- Mr. J. J. Smith III

Millions of knives are used everyday. You may have even used yours today too. We cut, stabbed, sliced and carved, but how many of you used your knife to scrape? Yes, you read that right, I said scrape.

Allow me to introduce Mr. J. J. Smith III– a master scraper. When I first saw his work I incorrectly assumed he whittled, but he informed me- he scrapes.

Two things you will find interesting- one is what he crafts and the other is what he crafts with. Better yet, I know of no way to explain his talent other than to show you.  He works with his hands and his knife to scrape some of the most unusual art I have seen.

Bowl of Peach Pits

Bowl of Peach Pits

Let’s start with what he uses as his raw material.

Rumor has it he “carves” while watching his daughters practice soccer.

Now let’s see what little creatures and creations lie beneath that outer shell of the seeds.


Published in: on August 25, 2009 at 7:00 pm  Comments (1)  
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CNJ Top Stories- Staff Picks

cnjstaffpicksLast week we published the CNJ top stories ranked by our readers, well today it’s our time. We did our polling in our office and finally agreed on our favorites for the last year.

We hope you enjoy; we did- as we strolled down memory lane. A lot has developed since some of these ran in terms of web communities and knife collecting. Gotta little history, some humor, little forecasting, economic advice and top secret CNJ sources…just about a mix of everything for your reading pleasure.

Cutlery News Journal’s entire staff production team 🙂

Letter to the Editor & a message to the older collectors

The State of Knife Collecting on the Web (precursor to iKnifeCollector)

Where is the next generation of knife collectors? (precursor to iKnifeCollector)

Men’s Fashions Changed Pocket Knife Styles

Wrench & Tool Knives

Steps to economic recovery outlined in a cutlery publication

The year 1900, here I come- Google Time Travel

Vacations and Outdoor Knives

The Dilemma of the Everyday Carry Knife

Hunting ain’t no fun when you can’t find the game

Are you a user, then give a little bit.

New Study proposes knives need to be less pointed

Collecting- A Psychological Perspective

Still own stock- better sell and buy knives now! (published Oct. 08)

Knife History References & Resources

CNJ Sources and Resources

Published in: on August 19, 2009 at 11:22 am  Comments (1)  
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Top Stories of Cutlery News Journal

topstories320x240You guys have voted and the results are in. Listed below are the most popular stories for the last 12 months as reported here on CNJ. Our subscribers know we cover knife company history, current knife company and industry news, audio interviews, interesting knife factoids, trends, surveys and polls, along with a periodic editorial too.

Exclusive interview with Perry Miller, President of the National Knife Collector Association

Pocket Knives and Tool Knives in the early 1900s

Famous Knife Factory Fires

A master whittler

Knife Collector Communities on the Web- SharpFans Yahoo Group

A Thanksgiving Treat- More knives than you can shake a stick at- National Knife Museum Video Tour

All the types of knives and the firms that made them

CNJ Interview with YouTube’s Cutlerylover

Introduction to Great Eastern Cutlery’s Knife Patterns

Smoky Mountain Knife Works Executive Killed in Accident

American Cutlery Company History Trivia

U S Customs attempts to outlaw assisted opening knives

CNJ Audio Interview Series- Custom Knife Maker Mr. Tony Bose

Next up: CNJ Staff Picks for the year

A Tribute to Knife World Magazine

knife-world-logoWe are extremely fortunate. In the big scheme of things our world of knife collecting is but a speck in the universe of collectibles and yet, we have several monthly publications tailored specifically to our hobby.

My sentimental favorite is Knife World. I got started on it because I liked old pocket knives and to me, Knife World was the best fit. I have not been disappointed in a single issue. 

Knife World is balanced in its articles. Obviously, I lean toward Knife History- all things related to the who, what, when, where and why of the knives and the companies that made them. KW is the only pub that allows an emphasis on early American cutlery history.


If you are new to collecting, or aren’t familiar, here’s what KW is all about-

“Each month, KNIFE WORLD offers a wide variety of information about knives …new knives, old knives, military knives, custom knives, factory knives, special issue knives, knife books, and more. You’ll learn about knifemakers, knife companies, knife values, knife history, and read stories of interest to all knife enthusiasts.”

Knife World isn’t about glitz, glamor or glossy cover stock. Instead, it is about quality content. 

Mark Zalesky Knife World EditorOne of my favorite sections is Mark Zalesky’s Irons in the Fire. There he lets it all hang out. No sacred cows. All is fair game. Fortunately he hasn’t taken aim my way yet, but may well one day.


You can also go to and do an index search. Then you can order back issues til your heart is content. In the past they have published knifeworld_2042_4126163The Best of Knife World. These are truly gems. Find them if you can. There were three editions published.

I am fortunate to have most of 20 years of issues. I love to take the time to grab a few, hop in bed and read the dusty things. The articles are timeless. And while some of the past articles are more “meaty” than others, almost all have interesting knife factoids.

When you have time read how it all got started and KW’s history.

I’m thankful to have Knife World and hope you are too.

Published in: on February 20, 2009 at 6:30 am  Leave a Comment  
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Pocket Knives and Tool Knives in the Early 1900s

cutlerymakersofamer1919headingContinuing our series on knife names and classifications in the early 1900s. For you into the history of our knives and knife manufacturers, looking back reveals a highly competitive and, yet, diversified cutlery market. We began this series with All the types of knives and the firms that made them.

Next, we looked at kitchen knives and the tremendous variety produced. Today, we are looking at the classification list of Pocket knives and Tool knives, as set out in the official directory of the cutlery trade published as The Cutlery Makers of America in 1919.


Knives used around the Kitchen in 1919

kitchen2What is the most important tool used in the kitchen?

We here at Cutlery News Journal vote: The Knife, of course.

If you agree, then let’s be more specific- What knife, or better yet, which knife?

I think you will be surprised by all the different kinds of kitchen knives that have been made.

As a side note here- have you ever thought about the names given to knives? Why certain names were given and what they mean? And when they were first used?

Off the top of head, I would say that the majority, if not all, knife companies assigned numbers to identify knives and patterns. Some knife companies had very sophisticated systems, like Case, where the handle material, number of blades, pattern number, etc. were used.

But, what about the names? Where did they come from and why were certain names used, as opposed to others?

You may be surprised to know that back in 1919 an Official Directory of the Cutlery Trade of the United States was published. It classified the kind of knives and blades made. This list was published in The Cutlery Makers of America.

Today, I’ll will show the names of all the knives identified by this official directory used in and around the kitchen. You will find these interesting. Some of these knives are still known by these names, but for others, we would be hard pressed to identify them today.

My favorite is the Chicken-Killing Knife (more…)

The Rules of Knife Collecting

sportsrules_coverIn the Weekend Edition of CNJ, we determined knife collecting is a sport. And, by definition, a sport is governed by a certain set of rules or understandings.

“Rules,” you may say, “there are not any rules associated with knife collecting.” 

Oh, contraire, but it does. I will admit they weren’t easy to find, but find them I did, though I had to go back and do some digging. 

They weren’t in any of our current knife books or price guides though. Instead, I had to go back to one of the grandfathers of knife collecting’s published works to find them.

Instead of calling them “rules,” Mr. Dewey Ferguson, labels them commandments. Actually, he called them the Nine Commandments- To a Successful Future in Knife Collecting, and these were first published in 1969. 

  1. Do unto fellow knife collectors as you would have them do unto you.
  2. Do not develop an “I know it all” attitude.
  3. Do not sell a damaged knife without first telling the purchaser.
  4. Do not price a knife or offer to trade a knife and then change your mind in the presence of the customer.
  5. Do not take advantage of a less experienced collector.
  6. Do have respect for exhibitors when attending the shows.
  7. Do not make promises and then neglect to keep them for a man’s word should become his most prized possession.
  8. Do read all literature available on the hobby of knife collecting.
  9. Do not counterfeit knives. Just remember: Knife collecting and trading does not determine the destination of your future. You determine the future and destination of knife collecting and trading.
Published in: on January 14, 2009 at 6:30 am  Leave a Comment  
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Knife Collector Online Video Conferencing

Apple iSight Webcam

Apple iSight Webcam

In our CNJ Knives and Technology Series, we are looking at changes brought to our hobby as a result of technonlogical advances and inventions.

To begin with, let me ask- How would you like to see your knife friends when “talking” to them online? Right now you log into a knife forum and write a post or reply and, you know the routine- you wait for someone to type their reply.

Wouldn’t it be cool to have a “live” video discussion instead?

Sounds too futuristic? Don’t be surprised. The technology exists now, but just hasn’t made its way to any knife forum yet ( We do it in business now. It is called Video Conferencing). 

Basically it works like this- at a set time a group of collectors will “dial in” and have a real discussion- real time through streaming video. Live chat right then and there. 

You say, “What in the world would this be good for? Why would I want to be able to actually see the others in the group?”  Want to show your knife friends that knife you just bought? Now you can. Also, we travel hundreds of miles now to “have meetings,” don’t we? Obviously, it could easily be used for groups and association board meetings too. Granted, it would be tough to do with dozens of participates, but for a handful of folks to talk and see each other, it is very doable now. 

CNJ Knife Collector iChat Group

How about an iChat Knife Collector Group?  (more…)

Published in: on October 5, 2008 at 6:29 am  Leave a Comment  
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New CNJ Series- Knife Collecting and Technology

Over the next several weeks, CNJ will be publishing a new series on Knife Collecting and Technology. All collectors have benefited from the technological advances, as has knife collecting as a hobby.

This new series will focus on a number of related topics from how we have been impacted, how you can establish a web presence; the different online resources available; how to further increase your relationships; determine what your goals for your online presence, and much more.

In addition we will look at the popularity of online knife forums, their individual web rankings & memberships, range of topics and their targeted audience.

Knife websites are also growing and we will look at different knife and collector sites, their targeted audience and their individual web rankings. 

You may be thinking about either establishing an online web presence, or increasing your visibility, or simply developing a website to share your interests and collection and we will talk about that too.

This series will focus on two main areas: Forums and Knife Websites, their target message, their target audience and their web rankings by search engines. Secondly, we will focus on providing collectors practical tools for establishing and or increasing their online presence.

Published in: on September 27, 2008 at 8:55 am  Leave a Comment  
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