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My fellow edged devices lovers.  I need the iKC's help.  I am doing a little research for Knives Illustrated which is a bimonthly magazine about knives of all kinds, tomahawks, swords etc.  As a potential reader about firearms, knives, camping and other outdoor related subjects, what would a magazine cover have to have in order to attract you attention to pick it up.  Once the magazine is in your hands, what articles listed on the cover would cause you to open it up and look inside.  What subject matter would cause you to buy this magazine.

Any and all help will be greatly appreciated.  All impute will be reviewed.  My thanks goes out to you all.


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I have a Rough Rider in the Doctor pattern.  I like the knife and it is well made.

J.J. Smith III said:

I was cleaning out my desk, the other day, and found an issue of KI with an article on a RR lockback.  Article was positive...

Billy Oneale said:

I agree with Robert, please respect the other guys opinion or this will become the same as other knife forums that I avoid. I collect mostly USA if possible, but I will buy a foreign made one if I like it. I, like Toby am a big fan of Rough Riders.

Yep I hear all that, I couldn't stand it so got myself one of those Canal Steet Knifes, Kinda expensive, but used it in the field this year, cut up that deer slick as butter. Held the edge, and just whopped it on the leather and brought it right back. Don't take me wrong, would love to have a Randall. And will get one someday when I catch someone

not knowiing what they have. Just no way I can afford a 400-1000 dollar knive. So I still buy the great easterns, and put them away for my Grand Children. Just in hopes that they continue to do well in the Industry



Charles- I ain't exactly a "rich" guy either nor am I getting any younger but about 35 years ago, I began admiring Randall Knives (made in Orlando, FL) because of their fine craftsmanship and quality. They are also forged and handemade, not stamped and admittedly expensive, although prices vary. Finally, after waiting a long time, I was able to afford one that I had long admired and bought it for field use, not as a collector's item. So, natuarally stories of their founder Bo Randall (now deceased) and his various knife designs are of interest to me but I can understand why others could care less?

Many servicemen still wear Randall Knives with pride and they're use in many wars since WWII is well reknown as well as their use as a dependable hunting knife like mine.

 I too own and admire Great Eastern knives ( mine is a Northfield Brand) and own a  Canal Street Knife for the same reasons you seem too but these are not exactly cheap knifes either. They are well made knives that exhibit a high degree of craftsmanship and worth every penny in my opinion.

wow! it's taken me a bit to get caught up on this conversation, having read all 12 pages in the last several minutes. now that i'm up to speed i'm gonna see if i can't muddy the waters a little bit more by tossing my unsolicited two cents into the mix.

first off. age. i am 65 and a veteran. in my earliest recollections of childhood i recall having a barlow knife in my pocket. all of my friends carried a knife, also. we never gave it a second thought. carried 'em to school, too! throughout my stint in the army i carried a knife. during my 30 years as a teamster, working at various racetracks in california, i never left home without a blade in my pocket. one that i used daily to open packets of tickets, etc. if nothing else there was always a victorinox classic attached to my key fob. i simply cannot imagine not having some form of a sharpened edge on my person.

the world today is a completely different place from the world i grew up in all those long years ago. now we have at least one, more like two, generations of people who have never carried a knife as a child. and, unless they spent some time in the military, are even less likely to carry one as an adult. good luck carrying a knife to school nowadays!

now, on a daily basis, i carry a spyderco paramilitary 2 clipped in my right front pocket. a victorinox alox cadet deep in that same rt. front pocket. a vic classic on a key fob and a lakota teal in my left front pocket. i subscribe to the "two is one and one is none philosophy." when people ask, "then, what are 3 and 4?" i generally reply, adequate! (that line was shamelessly stolen, btw)

so, when you boil all this down, what do you get from me regarding a personal preference for the cover and content of a knife magazine? i suppose i would fall into the "all of the above" category? i like the traditional folder, leaning strongly toward bone or stag handles. any mag i saw on a rack sporting a knife on its' cover with gorgeous genuine stag scales would immediately trigger an involuntary reaching motion in my right hand and arm. that reaching mo would not be satisfied until it had grasped the magazine and some pages were turning. then, more than likely my feet would be walking in the direction of a cash register to consummate a sale.

*stick pole in water--stir briskly*

any magazine with a tactical folder clothed in carbon fiber or titanium on its' cover would evoke a similar response from me, too!

square one!

selling knife magazines to knife enthusiasts like me would be a snap. it would be kind of like selling heroin to a junkie or cigarettes to a smoker. the challenge it seems would be to cultivate a whole new generation of knife users and lovers? how you would go about doing that, especially in a post 9.11 world i haven't the slightest clue? one area i personally would try to home-in on would be the edc'ers (every day carry). those who take the boy scout motto of preparedness to the highest level. i fall into that category, also. no pun intended, but i want to know what's on the cutting edge with new tacti-cool knives and such? multi-tools and scout-type pocket knives fall into that genre of edc interests, as examples.

i'll close by wishing you luck in your quest for knife mag nirvana and how to trigger the buying impulse in humans. 
cheers, clint!

Ron....Thanks for your reply.  On your theory of more is better (for knives) works for me and is a good rule...most of the time.  Some things should remain at one...like wives....knife and gun laws etc.

Being a cop all of my adult life with a wife and two kids, most of this time, I always ended up working part-time jobs.  One of those was to escort someone to pick up the coins in laundromats, refill the coin machine and take out the bills.  In one particular laundromat about once a week I ran into a man who was a patron.  I counted eleven folding knives in pouches on his belt.  In addition to that he had one small fix blade and one North American Arms .22 mag. revolver.  I have no idea how many knives he had in his pockets but my guess would be.....more than the above.  I always hoped he would stay away from deep water as he would sink very quickly.  However, being a knife lover I knew how he felt.

As for the younger generation and knives, I can say the future of knives is in good shape.  All of my nephews, my granddaughter, my grandson, my son and my daughter like guns and knives.  One of my nephews and his wife....there is one in every family....will not allow a gun in the house....but they like to shoot....and will not allow my Great Nephew to have a toy gun.  Well Julian will pick up a cucumber, tinker toy or any other item and pretend they are guns and knives.  His Dad says there is no fighting it.  I am chipping away at them.  My wife volunteers with the five year olds in Sunday School.  She said all of the boys take the legos and make guns and run about play shooting them.  I think there will be a future for knives and firearms as there has been for the last 10,000 years.  The problem for the media is how do we get their attention.  I believe it will be in a form they will read and that will be on their smart phone, I-pad etc.  Thanks again Ron.  I will forward your ideas to Bruce.  

Clint,  This discussion has been going on for a couple of weeks now.  Any feedback from Bruce?


Bruce, like me, gets many emails a day.  When he gets emails from me he saves them and opens when he is looking for my next article.  I have saved all of the input from you wonderful fellow knife lovers and will send them in this week.  Many things Bruce and do and influence and some he will not as we all have a Boss to be nice with.  I will let all know when I get a reply on your collective suggestions and input.  Thanks J.J.


one thing that i have noticed re: knife magazines is that they are really hard to find. i know that you've said that your mag is in barnes & noble and was in the now defunct borders books. well, just last week i was in a barnes and noble in pasadena, ca. specifically looking for any knife literature on their magazine racks. none was to be found. absolutely nothing at all! looking for knife books is equally frustrating. at the same barnes & noble they hard a grand total of 3 books on knives. they used to have 4 but i bought one of them a couple of months back.

that brings me to my biggest peeve pertaining to knife publications: i look but i can't find them! the same goes for brick and mortar stores that sell knives. take case knives for instance. there are only 4 case authorized dealers within a 50 mile radius of where i live. the nearest of those being 20 miles away! and i live in southern california practically next to the rose bowl in pasadena, as a point of reference.


my question to you (and i suspect the answer is obvious, but i'll ask it anyway): why is it so difficult to find Knives Illustrated on store shelves? the question of what to put on the cover seems moot if folks can't find the publication in the first place.

also, on the more is better philosophy...was this the guy you saw in the laundromat?...


No this is not the guy I saw at the laundromat.  Danny Trejo has played a bad guy in many movies.  He spent time on robbery so no firearms for him.  So guess if Trejo goes to a gun fight he will have to bring a knife.  This picture is from the movie Machete.  I like the B movie so I bought the DVD.  I like Trejo as an actor.

Ron the fact is magazines are a dieing breed.  I notice my granddaughter who reads a great deal but from the Internet and not a magazine.  I think this is the thing to come in the next 15 years.  Some of the magazines are regional due to the whole-seller.  You can find Tactical Knives and Blade but not KI.  Then in a different area of the USA you can find KI and not Blade etc.  Kroger Grocery stores carry KI in most of their stores.  One time they have KI and the next the don't.  The next month I go back and they have KI.  I know KI is sold in other countries such as Australia.

So there is no clear answer but demand rules.  X-amount of space for x-amount of magazines.  I see several magazines like (my opinion) GQ which is worthless for me to read.  I am never out of my 5.11 gear long enough to think about a tux or like clothing.  Thanks Ron.  I hope this helps.

thanks, clint!

i really appreciate your response. i'll keep looking for KI on magazine racks. ralph's, which is a kroger subsidiary, is what i have in my neighborhood. i'll have a look-see the next time i'm in their store.

cheers, my friend!

where you get this mageize


Here in the central part of the USA you can find them at Barns and Noble.

tom white said:

where you get this mageize

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