Blade Show West Cancelled for 2010

Blade Magazine cancels the Pacific Northwest knife event

F+W Media President, David Blansfield, cites economy for canceling this year’s show. Blade Magazine is owned by F+W Media.

“Given the state of the exhibitor economy at present we have decided not to produce Blade Show West in 2010, but we will produce the event in subsequent years when we’re confident exhibitors will be able to support it.”

David Blansfield President, F+W Media

The good news is their 700 exhibitor Atlanta Show, the world’s largest knife show, scheduled for June 4, 5 and 6th 2010 is not affected by this decision and is full steam ahead.

2009 Blade Show- everything I hoped for!

2009 Blade Show

2009 Blade Show

The Blade Show is the real deal.

Very few things in life live up to my expectations (sad, but true), however, the 2009 Blade Show was everything I hoped.

I could feel the excitement the minute I stepped into the huge hall. Imagine standing in an indoor football coliseum-sized room crammed full of folks buying, selling and talking knives!

The room was totally high energy. Everywhere you looked was cutlery- from knives dating back to the Viking age, to cool customs and traditional pocket knives too, but the center of attention was the tactical knives. Thousands attended along with 700 exhibitors and most everyone had good traffic, and yet it was the knife companies displaying their hottest new tacticals that saw the throngs of consumers lined up three and four deep that dominated the show.

The tactical excitment was very contagious, and this coming from an old knife guy- pun intended- the latest hi-tech designs are off the charts. Needless to say, I heard the siren’s song too and bought my first-  from Mantis Knives. It is their just released Jyro. Way too cool.

After spending almost 20 hours in the exhibition room, I was overwhelmed with the friendliness of everyone there- from the executives of the major manufacturers, to the established custom maker and other attendees. It was close to a class reunion, even though the 2009 Blade Show was my first!

I’ll be reporting over the next week about other impressions and happenings, but wanted to provide you a high-level perspective of this killer show. The folks at Blade know how to run a show. It was perfect. I appreciate them allowing me to record the show from a collector’s and industry perspective.

For the knife fan with all the toys

Earlier this week, we reported Victorinox diversifying its product line by offering non-knife items, like perfume, watches and other personal items.

For the knife fan with all the toys

For the knife fan with all the toys

Now they are really stepping out with a joint venture with Airstream– maker of high-end recreational travel trailers. The two are now offering the ultimate knife guy’s toy- great for hitting the show circuit in.

This special edition Airstream commemorates Victorinox’s 125 anniversary. It comes loaded- the Airstream way and is only a cool $59,000. I’m sure they are only offering this as a limited edition so better hurry to reserve yours today.

Now there is no excuse for not taking the whole family on the road with you.

Just think, you will have it paid by saving on the hotel rooms for the shows- 789 nights stay at $75 per night room charge and you will have paid for this puppy. Sounds like a deal to me. This assumes you can park it somewhere for free and doesn’t include the extra gas you’d burn pulling it.

OK, so most of us won’t live long enough to stay that many nights at shows, but my gracious, we can’t cost justify most of our knife purchases either and we bought them anyway :).

Thanks to KC’s Tech blog for making us aware of this opportunity.

Published in: on May 21, 2009 at 5:14 am  Leave a Comment  
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State Officials Canvass Recent Knife & Gun Show

oregonknifeclubshowHow would you like to be walking up and down the aisles of a show only to have half a dozen government officials all of a sudden barge in and then come up to you?

That is what happened recently at a show in Lubbock, Texas, as reported in the Lubbock Avalanche- Journal.

Representatives of the Comptroller’s Office of the Texas came in and went around approaching people who were there asking if they had a sales tax permit, including buyers, who were approached and asked if they were planning on selling any of the items they purchased.

While the state said it is a common practice to canvass events such as this, folks at the show felt intimidated by the officials’ tactics.

Interesting story. It goes on to say, a lawyer was called in on behalf of the show promoter resulting in the officials packing it up and leaving rather quickly after only an hour of being there.

Published in: on May 1, 2009 at 10:15 am  Leave a Comment  
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Countdown to the Blade Show

bladeshowentranceIt may surprise you, but the upcoming Blade Show in Atlanta will be my first. May and June are very busy for my company, but this year I was able to work it out to go- even got the blessing on the home front.

My expectations are very high, that much I can tell you. It will also represent the first time I have seen this side of knife collecting, the custom and production side- as opposed to the antique focus, like a NKCA show, or Parkers.

I know it is still a ways off, but I’m counting it down on my digital clock here at CNJ Central, plus Blade just released updated info today and that got me thinking about it again.

bladeshowInstead of linking to all the different areas, exhibitors list, seminar schedules, etc., I am linking to their main page and you can take it from there.

Published in: on April 15, 2009 at 5:30 am  Leave a Comment  

Best of Show- NCKA Knife Show

Weekend Edition

We are all winners when knife folks support the knife community by taking the time and preparation to enter knife show contests.

Earlier this week, we focused on knife displays and their benefits to collectors and the exhibitors. There is also another contest held at most knife shows, and it is the Best of the Show Custom Knife. So, without further ado allow me to present the two Best of Show winners of the NKCA’s show in Dalton earlier this month.


Gary Kennedy Hunter & Trapper Display

Gary Kennedy's Hunter & Trapper Display

Gary displayed an excellent collection of Case hunters and trappers.



Doug Casteel's Dark Shadow (click to enlarge)

Knife maker Doug Casteel of Monteagle, TN describes the knife and making process for us-

Doug Casteel- Best of Show Winner

Doug Casteel- Best of Show Winner

“First, the blade is 12 inches long and overall the knife is 16 1/4 inches. The handle is of Picasso marble and resembles bare winter trees at dusk in colors of black and gray.

The blade is carved and pierced in a scroll pattern. The pattern was first cut into the steel with a graver and the material between the scrolls was removed with drills.  Once this was finished, I detailed the holes to match the scroll with small burrs and diamond carvers, this took a very long time. I use very fine pure sand and blast the areas I wish to texture.  These areas are then rubbed with black enamel until the proper shades of black and gray are complete.”

Knife Shows are about more than buying and selling knives

Case-Nashville Cutlery Co. Display

Case-Nashville Cutlery Co. Display

Today’s knife shows represent mostly commerce- buying and selling, but they haven’t always been so. Knife shows used to feature something else that is mostly missing now- Knife displays, such as the Case Nashville Cutlery Co display shown here.

Folks bringing displays used to be a larger part.

Recently, the National Knife Collectors Association began encouraging collectors to share their collections, or significant parts of it, with the public and fellow collectors. Many collectors have rare knives that are not in circulation.

Best of Show Knife Display

Best of Show Knife Display Award

At the knife show in Dalton, Georgia this past weekend,  several collectors and dealers did just that- they took the time and energy to prepare the presentation and brought them. The NCKA had a contest to determine the Best of the Show Award.

David Mullins, the NKCA Vice President, asked me to judge, so I grabbed the grading sheet used by the NKCA and took to the displays.

The important factors evaluated in display judging.

  1. Educational Factors: This category includes a title for the display, and if the title accurately matches the collection being judged.
  2. Labeling: Is there adequate and proper labeling of the knives (types of handle materials, date made, stampings, brands, etc)?
  3. Rarity of Knives Displayed: Completeness of display relative to availability. Condition of knives relative to availability.
  4. Collector Importance and General Appeal: Is there demand for the knives displayed? Related items in display (photos, letters, documentation, catalogs, ephemera, etc)? Creativity of display? Neatness and overall appearance.

A point scale is used for each of these areas.

I’ll display if you will too

Displaying a collection is very rewarding. Other collectors will appreciate the time, energy and money required to amass the collection. Plus, I witnessed first-hand the joy of each collector who brought a display as they told me about the significance of their collection.

Don’t worry that your collection may not be the best in the world. The best collection might not win anyway, if the display isn’t organized, labeled, etc. It is true only one will take home the first place prize, but the other winners, as I saw it, are the others who brought their collections and enjoyed sharing them with folks who genuinely appreciated the knives on display. That’s what it’s all about anyway.

Coming up on CNJ- The Best of Show winner.

Published in: on March 19, 2009 at 6:14 am  Leave a Comment  
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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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6th Annual NW GA Knife Show


NKCA's Dalton, Ga Show

NKCA's Dalton, Ga Show

Do you have it down to hit the “Dalton Show” coming up next weekend? If not, come on. The Dalton Show gets better each year and this year represents its 6th birthday.

Also, CNJ is going to be there. Yes, that’s right. Dalton marks the first show in the history of Cutlery News Journal we will have a table to do knife news business.

tc-with-cherry-blossomsThe staff and crew of CNJ are excited to attend this year in their official capacity. Over the years our trip to Dalton has always been an elephant expedition, and it is good hunting ground. This year, however, we are there on official business, and yet, we’ll still have our guns loaded in case we see a trophy.

Show details- 

National Knife Collectors Association Sponsored Northwest Georgia Knife Show 

Friday, March 13 – Sunday, March 15th

North West Georgia Trade & Convention Center in Dalton, Ga. (90 miles north of Atlanta)

Hotels, times, costs, etc- visit the NKCA

Hope to see you there. Look us up. We’ll be reporting live from this remote location. Please come by and say hello. 


Published in: on March 4, 2009 at 7:50 am  Comments (1)  
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