Challenges of technology and Knife Collecting

The advantages of technology and, more particularly- the Web, to our hobby are tremendous. I see it everyday, both here and over at iKnifeCollector. In addition to allowing makers & collectors the ability to upload and respond to images and video, the Web allows us to span geographic boundaries- to connect, in a personal way.

Well, using technology has its pitfalls too. Bugs, server crashes, hacks, bankrupt providers, etc. Most of which are over our heads and out of our control, and are issues to dread.

Unfortunately, the Custom Knife Collectors Association recently experienced just such an issue with their forum.

forumcollageForums are online discussion areas where you can post and read messages from other users, usually in an organized thread layout.

Here’s what Kevin Jones, the CKCA President said about the interruption in service of their forum-

“…we have an issue with our forum causing a shutdown, from which we may not be able to recover.”

Talk about bad news.

The good news is they are already in the process of obtaining and setting up new v-bulletins forum software and should be up and running now.

Cutlery News Journal Word Cloud

CNJWordCloud2Word Cloud

Published in: on September 25, 2009 at 5:13 pm  Comments (1)  
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My computer & the online knife community


To all my friends here at Cutlery News Journal &




CNJ- YouTube Channel

iKC- YouTube Channel

Thanks Jim Prather for the idea and the cartoon, and for being my friend

A Message to all Knife Clubs- Where’s your clubhouse?

meetingKnife Clubs abound. Many are city and community clubs started back 20 and 30 years ago. Some are simply fan clubs of particular brands, but either way, anytime knife folks come together across the table at the local steak house in the name of knife collecting- it is a good thing. Through these activities our hobby is strengthened.

With today’s busy lifestyles it is difficult to go to club meetings. I know, I have never attended a meeting of our local club and yet I am involved in “knife collecting” everyday. I’ve thought about it…been invited to it…but for one reason or another it hasn’t made my priorities to go. My suspicion is this is the case for the majority of collectors who are members of local clubs too.

“And yet, most all collectors spend time online participating in knife collecting.”


Knife Club Websites- little time and no money

In an effort to help maintain their sense of community and provide benefits to their members many of these local clubs have turned to the web to locate their clubhouses. Usually one of the club’s more geeky members sets up a website. Upgrading, updating and adding functionality to that site, while a desirable thing, oftentimes goes undone- it requires time and in most cases a cash investment from the club, like adding a forum or providing for its members to have their own email addresses, adding the ability for their members to upload knife pictures or a chat feature, even adding the functionality of embedding videos- these are luxury items and rarely seen on knife club websites.

How about a new FREE clubhouse?

To the knife clubs of America there is an answer. Yes, there is a place where they can have a highly functional community clubhouse- not just a static webpage- exclusively for their club. (more…)

Blogging to the Knife Community

Do you like to write? Do you have an interest in collecting or knife related topics? Have you ever thought about starting a blog, like this one, where you can share your writings with those who will most appreciate and benefit from them? And yet maybe you held off because you recognized the challenges of building one from scratch and then trying to promote it.

No doubt, the most difficult aspect of starting anything on the web is traffic- eyeballs, to use geek-speak- getting folks to know you are there and what you are doing. Well, what if I told you I know a place where the hard part is already all done. The blogging platform is in place and ready, and more importantly, the readers are waiting to enjoy your posts.

Take a few minutes and allow me to introduce the opportunity you’ve been waiting for.

Listen to the old knives’ voices

One of the many fun things about collecting old knives is their ability to whisk us back to a place in time. These knives speak volumes of the when and where they were made or the significance of why they were made. All old knives have voices. And if we are quite for a moment we can hear them speaking to us.

Collectors today are but custodians of these knives. We are entrusted with them for only a short time and then they are passed on.

To the original owners these knives weren’t mediums of the past. Instead, they bought them fresh out of the box and put them to work. If a knife survived its originally intended purpose and wasn’t lost or destroyed, it then began its trip down through the years to us today.

Other knives were made to mark a date or happening. While not necessarily exhibition pieces, though some were, many were simply souvenirs or keep sakes commemorating something significant, and these knives’ voices speak out the loudest.

Today, I was spoken to. Even though I didn’t view this knife in person, it spoke to me nonetheless.

1933 World's Fair Chicago- A Century of Progress

1933 World's Fair Chicago- A Century of Progress

world's fairThis wonderful little knife commemorated the 1933 World’s Fair and the 100th anniversary of the incorporation of the City of Chicago under the theme of “A Century of Progress,” signifying its technological innovations.

It resides in a collector’s possession today and he shared it over at iKnifeCollector. I am sure there are thousands of similarly significant pieces out there- all of which are treasures of days gone by.

If you ever wonder what the attraction of old knives is- just listen and you’ll hear them speaking to you too.


Knife photo credit: Max McGruder; Poster photo credit:

Published in: on August 25, 2009 at 4:08 pm  Leave a Comment  
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The Newest Knife Collector Community

If you don’t know yet, there is a new cutting-edge knife collector community online. Check it out. We’d love to have you join us. It truly is the next generation knife collector community. It’s YouTube, My Space, FaceBook, Flickr and a Forum all rolled into one.

The Next Generation Knife Collector Community

I want to join a knife community. I’ve looked at a bunch. Searched the web- deep and wide- and it ain’t there. Not like what I’m looking for.

What I am looking for is a combination- 24/7 Knife Show, YouTube, Flickr, MySpace, FaceBook, Yahoo Group, Cutlery News Journal and knife forum- all rolled into one, all exclusively for knife collectors. (more…)

2009 Knife Community Survey draws to a close

surveyJust a quick note regarding the 2009 Knife Community Survey, we are closing it the end of this month.

Many of you are new readers of CNJ since we started the survey a couple of months ago and I want to invite you to participate.

Take 2009 Knife Community Survey. It is only 10 straight forward questions- nothing personal. No name. No email address.

Once completed, the survey results will represent the most comprehensive collector profile in the history of organized knife collecting. It will be a real-time snap of today’s knife collector. Moreover, the findings will provide valuable insights for all in the knife industry on a wide range of topics and trends.

Thank you for your support and participation.

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.”