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The Blade Show has officially ended.  This is possibly the first time I have left this show with mixed feelings. Great show, new knives, companies with awesome plans for the future.  The bottom line of any knife show is to focus first and foremost on these things.

Even before you go through the doors you are greeted by Knife Clubs.  Flint River Knife Club is one of the most active I know of.  If you are in the area near enough I suggest you visit a meeting.  They usually have a number of things going on, including the raffle for this knife.  A collaboration of 2 forged in fire winners .  Cross your fingers that I won this one please :)

Once inside my first stop was Great Eastern Knives.  Although new patterns were not the focus this year for GEC,bringing back some long sought after patterns certainly was.  For the GEC collector the reemergence of the whaler and the outstanding materials they used on them brought a WOW factor to 2018.  As always the warm welcoming atmosphere at this booth draws in the folks walking through the show

Just around the corner is a company that never stops offering the newest steels! The mule team line is one of my favorites.  It allows the Spyderco customers the opportunity to try new steels with a minimum investment.  Stayed tuned for a little more abut this line, one iKC member will be the new owner of one of these. Of course, there were Blade show specials!


The booth taking up the corner in this area of the show is always a stop for virtually every Blade Show attendee.  SMKW offers just about any style and name of knife you could be looking for but the new exclusive from Esee is what all the buzz at this booth was about today.  The JG5 was designed by James Gibson.  Inspired by adventurer, writer,conservationist George Washington Sears.  Better known to most of us as Nessmuk!

1095 with black oxide coating, micarta handles and a full tang this wide belly curved skinner is going to be a winner!  

 

Just a few steps down that same isle and you will find Battle Horse knives. The booth always stands out but it is the knives and the leather produced by this company that continue to be sought after.


A little father down this isle is one of my favorite family owned & operated companies. White River knives really get what it takes to have a company dedicated to the outdoor side of knifing.  For this company steels, usability and building a knife to last a lifetime or beyond are key.

Tags: 2018, Blade, Show

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There will be additions to this within the next few days, tomorrow Case, Greg Dash WE, Colonial and MORE>>>>

Mixed feelings?

Yep...will get to that as I finish adding to my Blade Experience

J.J. Smith III said:

Mixed feelings?

Case is sharing a line called the kickstart the brand’s patented Kickstart® technology.  From the website

The knives also feature a polished Clip blade with thumb stud, nickel silver bolsters, and a belt clip for ease of carrying.

Initially, Case Kickstart® knives will be available in seven styles:

  • Kickstart® Patriotic Kirinite™ Mid-Folding Hunter (#11216)
    • Featuring a stainless steel blade and Case oval shield
  • Kickstart® Amber Bone Mid-Folding Hunter (#03015)
    • Featuring a peach seed jigged handle, stainless steel blade, and Case 2000 script oval shield
  • Kickstart® Black Canvas Laminate Mid-Folding Hunter (#23138)
    • Featuring a stainless steel blade and Case bowtie shield
  • Kickstart® Yellow Synthetic Mid-Folding Hunter (#80265)
    • Featuring a stainless steel blade and Case oval shield
  • Kickstart® Dark Red Bone Mid-Folding Hunter (#07003)
    • Featuring a standard jigged handle, Chrome Vanadium (CV) steel blade, and Case oval script shield
  • Kickstart® Rough Black Mid-Folding Hunter (#60442)
    • Featuring a stainless steel blade and Case oval shield
  • Kickstart® Case 6.5 BoneStag® Mid-Folding Hunter (#65314)
    • Featuring a stainless steel blade and Case 2000 script oval shield

I was unable to get my hands on one at the show BUT I am travelling to a Case show at SMKW next weekend so will be sure to do it then and come back here with thoughts.

A great name for a company WEKNIFE is a china based company.  Please do not let that scare you off from what I have seen this is a company to watch.  With quality steel, ceramic ball bearings, titanium frames, they are not skimping on the components.  Best way to take a look at this company is on Blade HQ https://www.bladehq.com/cat--WE-Knife-Co--2234.

 Even though this was a short trip (just 4hours), no trip to the Blade Show for me would be complete without seeing our sponsors and friends. One of my favorites is the Greg Dash booth. While each booth has an energy of its own, this one is always like coming home.

Greg prefers to work in D2 but does work with other tool steels.  He has always told me the he only builds knives that are meant to be used hard.

A fantastic article on him is here

http://knifenewsroom.com/2016/06/custom-maker-his-name-is-greg-dash...

and here is one that was translated from Russian for us http://iknifecollector.com/profiles/blogs/meet-the-maker-greg-dash

This man makes that knife that just sits in your hand well and stays sharp.  If you ever get a chance to hold one you will see what I mean.

More tomorrow and then I will talk a little about why I had mixed feelings about this show and it's new owners

Marc Lacrimosa at Gear2Survive and Rangersurvival.com is always a great guy to stop and pass some time with.  He has contributed to the "I didn't get to go to Blade" contest we will be having this week.  Check out his page because honestly there is just too much there to cover.  Trust me, this is a one stop shop.

As I talked about earlier, each booth visited has it's own energies.  Colonial Knife Company has some high powered energy and it is 100% Steve P.!  Fourth generation (I hope I have that right Steve) knife maker and 3rd generation Colonial Knife Company.  This man can run circles around me on my best day, hold three conversations and not miss a beat.  Everyone he speaks to knows he was engaged and with them in that conversation.  Most of the ones I was able to hear while I was there are the military men and women stopping by to say "I carried that knife for years and years, it saved my life many times"  They are at the table to buy a replacement.  Some have misplaced it, it never came home from a war or they just want to retire it.  

The new Cobra OTF was not where I could get my hands on it at the show but I believe it will be the next auto for our collection.

Now for a part of this discussion that is all me.  My thought, my feelings and some will say my rant.  Blade Show is the worlds biggest knife show !  It is where every knife collector wants to go at least once and it truly has something for everyone with over 700 vendors.  It is second only to SHOT Show for the people that build our knives!  It is THE knife show! With thousands of attendees you will hear as many opinions.

Along with those opinions you will hear hundreds of rumors.  Goodness knows in a short 4 hours I heard some doozies! A few I hope and pray will come to pass, some had me hoppin mad and a little disgusted so I took a little time out of my short visit to verify a couple of them.

It was all over the internet that Mark Zalesky at Knife Magazine was denied his paid for and reserved table.  Imagine my surprise when I saw Marc and found that it was true!

The other was about one of the vendors that has to ship in his merchandise and fly into the show.  He has a manufacturing company to run after all. Let me set the stage just a tiny bit here, they pay in the neighborhood of 1200.00 to have a table at this show, some more some slightly less. At a minimum of 1000.00 per table the lowest they could make just on vendors would be 700,000.00. We will average out 6000 guests paid 20.00 per head  $120,000.00.

When this returning vendor arrived he found that his pricing no longer allowed him a table or even one chair.  Yes, he could rent them on site.  For a 3 day show you could rent one chair for 149.00...imagine what they want for a table.

The knife community is SO awesome, a vendor close by had an extra table in the truck and brought it in for him.  The local dollar store carried a few inexpensive chairs that folded so he could ship them back with anything else that had to go.

1 bottle of soda 2.25, one bottle of beer 7.00.  What all this added up to me, is something I had never seen at this show.  The promoter seemed to be saying to us all, this show is about the money.  It may have always been so but they at least were conscious enough to treat the vendors with the respect due someone paying that mush for 10 feet of floor space.  Why does that matter to us?

What if the vendors lose faith that their reserved and paid for table will be there when they show up?

What happens if the vendors say, I can go to 3 shows for what it costs me to be there?

What happens if the rumors begin to effect how the attendees feel about going?  Insult my favorite vendor, maybe I don't want to support you to do that.

What happens if another company comes up and says, hey I can finance the first one, let's give them some competition?  Then you have vendors going to one or the other, not the same effect as having them under one roof is it?

Please do not misunderstand me, I had a pretty good show.  I go to Blade just as a knife collector and to visit with friends within the community we see at no other time.  Sometimes I book our annual knife there.

With all of that aside, the part that gave me the mixed feelings? At this show the people putting it on, for the first time, made clear that they have no regard for the knife community as a whole, it was about the money.  That was my perception.  It was solely based on the fact that changing up a vendors ability to have a good show at the last minute also changes the collectors ability to have the best show.  That is my opinion.

OK, for the next few days I am going to add some reviews, videos and general info I find out there that I think you might like.  I will also put them in the individual groups that are fans of a particular knife.  Stayed tuned because there is a pretty good "I didn't get that at Blade" contest coming up soon

Nicely done Jan.  Thank you.

That's pretty much what seems to be happening at the local shows as well, Jan.  The local venues are getting smaller because  the event centers are raising prices, just because they can.

What they did to Mark is nuts.

Let the attendance drop for a year or two...knowing the owners, they'd raise the prices before they'd address the issues.

JJ,

Next month when the new Sharper Life comes out I will get you a link to it.  I actually wrote an article on the shows in it.  It seems to be a rinse and repeat situation, less people attending, raise the prices but they always do come around to focusing on the vendors and the collectors visiting the show

It sounds like the same old story these days, everybody gets squeezed just as much as possible.

Jan's calling 'em like see sees 'em! Go Jan!!!

I was amazed and humbled by the support of the knife community over TableGate -- pretty awesome to know that folks in all parts of the knife community will stand up and put in a good word for you when something isn't right.

Both the Blade Show and Blade Magazine were sold just before the show opened, so there's a new sheriff in town. I've been assured that I'll be allowed space at next year's show so we'll see how that shakes out. The new owners are the publishers of Gun Digest, and while they're obviously interested in making a profit they seem like a much better fit than previous owners F&W Media. I wish them well and hope to connect with them soon as we were unable to find each other at the show. (No wonder -- no table!)  :)

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