I notice a lot of members, at least a lot of new members, don't subscribe to any knife magazines.  For those who do not subscribe or otherwise purchase knife magazines, I was just curious why not?  (That's a sincere question, by the way, there is no judgment implied.)

For those who do subscribe to knife magazines, I'm curious as to which one or ones?

At one point, I had subscriptions to Blade, Knives Illustrated, Knife World, & Tactical Knives.  Tactical Knives was my favorite because they also tended to feature non-tactical outdoor knives by contemporary manufacturers (like TOPS & ESEE, for example) as well as really great authors like Brian Griffin & Steven Dick.  Tactical Knives folded a few years ago, which was a bummer, but Knives Illustrated has, fortunately, somewhat moved into the void left by Tactical Knives, especially with authors like Joshua Swanagon, Joe Flowers, & Reuben Bolieu (there actually has been a lot of overlap with authors among both of these publications).

I subscribed to Knife World until it folded.  When it was resurrected as Knife Magazine, I tried to get into it, but the oversized format just turned me off, primarily because they're just harder to store.  It's unfortunate, but I likely would subscribe if Knives had a standard 8.5" x 11" or so format.

I subscribed to Blade Magazine up until two or three years ago.  It always irritated me when the magazine would refer to a well-known knife maker as "Blade Cutlery Hall-of-Fame knifemaker" Bob Loveless (or whoever) when the person held this status.  In my eyes, it was Blade's way of taking ownership of the accomplishments performed by the knifemaker, even when the magazine had zilch to do with the knifemaker's success (which was usually the case).  There came a point at which I realized I was only interested in one or two of the knives featured in Blade in any given issue (sometimes not even that).  Add to that the editor Steve Shackleford's propensity to being a jerk when someone disagrees with his often very narrow opinions, & I found no reason to continue subscribing to Blade.  I had hopes for the magazine when a new editor came on board, but it looks like she might be gone now & Shackleford's back, so I won't be.

Knives Illustrated is the only knife publication to which I currently subscribe.  They have great authors, & I like that they focus more on outdoors/bushcraft knives than any other publication ever has, at least in the last decade or so, including Tactical Knives.  Unfortunately, Knives Illustrated has begun to focus quite a lot in the last year on knives that are outside most knife enthusiasts' budgets, with the most recent issue being the worst case of this that I've seen.  Most of the featured knives were made by smaller manufacturers (as in, spendy & unavailable), & the knives ranged in price from $145 to $600, with the bulk of the knives being in the $300 range).  I can't afford that, & I'm guessing I'm not the only one.  I've read plenty of article about Chris Reeve knives, & even high-end art knives, none of which I'm likely to be able to afford anytime soon -- but only because these articles were interspersed between articles about knives by Kershaw, CRKT, Buck, Boker, Cold Steel, Schrade, as well as TOPS & ESEE & White River Knives -- knives that might require some saving up, but still within the realm of purchase possibility.  I will likely continue my subscription to KI, but I've already sent them a letter to the editor, & I'm not against cancelling the subscription in the future -- which I'll do if the magazine becomes mere clutter.

Knife publications are certainly in a difficult spot right now financially, & obviously many problems flow from there.  No publication is likely to survive without a strong & interactive online presence (the kind advertisers like & will spend money to advertise on), but there is a question as to how long hard copy publications will be able to continue, even for Blade, the best-funded of these publications -- especially as younger generations become the target demographic. 

In any case, I would encourage knife enthusiasts to subscribe to a knife publication, even if just for a year.  Alternating subscriptions are also viable -- Knife Magazine one year, Knives Illustrated the next, Blade Magazine the next.  I'm not concerned about supporting the knife industry (many articles & write-ups are clearly advertisements in another form), but rather about knife writing, as well as knife enthusiasts being informed consumers.  While knife companies are definitely beneficiaries of the existence of these publications, knife collectors, users, & buyers also have quite a bit to gain by reading, thinking about, questioning, and even testing some of the assertions made in these publications.  There's a lot to learn, especially when the reader can separate objective information from mere advertisement.

What do you think?  I'd love to hear others' opinions on knife publications -- & I'm sure I'm not the only one.

Tags: Blade, Illustrated, Knife, Knives, Magazine, Tactical

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Sorry, I guess I was wrong again, I thought there was a lapse in publication.  I defer to Mark & Bryan, as Knife World was the publication I knew least about.

I agree, some of the magazines are far too ad-based.  Blade is the worst, in my opinion.  The ads that bug me most are the ones that pretend to be blade reviews.  There is a lot of overlap in this regard, especially when you give a knife to a knife-lover, sometimes it's just honest infatuation. 

But then there are those articles that have the "I didn't put the blade through x/y/z testing, but I'm sure it will hold up just fine" types of statements.  This is the most egregious when it's something along the lines of "I didn't field dress a boar with it, but I'm sure the edge will hold up just fine without the need to resharpen," or, "I didn't subject the knife to salt water, but I'm sure it could take it without rusting."  Pretty sad how any of those kinds of statements are still around.  Especially when it's incredibly likely that the author was provided the knife without cost from the maker/manufacturer.

Besides, it's much cheaper to provide one knife & get a 3+ page review (advertisement!) than to pay for a half or even quarter page ad in color & high gloss.  It's quite effective, too -- notice how much more likely you are to want, or at least consider or give more thought to, a knife after reading an entire article about it!  But also notice how many times an ad for a knife company immediately follows an article about a knife made by that company.

I get it, publication is expensive.  But so is selling out, because that's when the integrity of the entire publication is compromised.

As I said, Knife World was the publication I knew least about, and apparently I know even less about Knife Magazine.  But Knife World did not appear to be in the pockets of the knife companies, at least not writ large the way the other publications have seemed to be.  I hope Knife Magazine remains true to Knife World's form.

G'night, y'all.

And after performing a little research (I'm trying to learn more about Knife Magazine), I see that Knife World and Knife Magazine are, in fact, separate entities based in different states, and one is active (Knife Magazine, of course) while the other is "forfeited" (Knife World, I'm guessing listed that way because it's no longer paying its annual corporate filing fee).

At least I got one thing right.  ;)

dead_left_knife_guy said:

And after performing a little research (I'm trying to learn more about Knife Magazine), I see that Knife World and Knife Magazine are, in fact, separate entities based in different states, and one is active (Knife Magazine, of course) while the other is "forfeited" (Knife World, I'm guessing listed that way because it's no longer paying its annual corporate filing fee).

At least I got one thing right.  ;)

I don't understand the confusion here, so let me attempt to clarify things. Both Knife World and Knife Magazine are/were based in Knoxville, Tennessee, Knife World since 1977. (True, Knife World was founded in St Louis in 1975, it was purchased by the Price Brothers and moved to Knoxville in 1977. You can read all the details about the early days right here:  http://www.knifeworld.com/knwotusi.html ) (That's me at far left in the 2002 photo.)

I was editor of KNIFE WORLD from 1997 to 2015. In June of 2015 I purchased KNIFE WORLD from owners Doug Price and the estate of Houston Price (who died in late December 2014).

For the November 2015 issue we transformed KNIFE WORLD into KNIFE MAGAZINE. There was NO lapse, not one day -- the new publication was delivered right on the old KNIFE WORLD schedule and we fulfilled all of the paid-for KNIFE WORLD subscriptions with KNIFE MAGAZINEs without asking an additional penny of anyone, despite the much higher production costs. That is how we do things.

That year, 2015, the entity "Knife World Publications" was closed out and everything it represented transferred to a new business, "KnifeGuy Productions". (I am the "Knife Guy" in KnifeGuy Productions.) KnifeGuy Productions publishes KNIFE MAGAZINE, owns and maintains the KNIFE WORLD archives and brand, and sells books under the name Knife World Books. (There is no business entity "Knife Magazine" to look up, it's a product published by KnifeGuy Productions just as "Knife World" was published by Knife World Publications.) You will note that our mailing address, phone numbers, and website (for now) are unchanged from the Knife World days, and that myself, Kim Knott, Bernard Levine, and Frank Trzaska are still on the masthead, along with Houston Price's widow Carolyn Price. I am going to attach here an item that prints in the TOC of each issue, along with a note that reads "In loving memory of Houston Price" -- about which we could not be more sincere.

None of these details should be particularly relevant to most people, I just want to make sure that there isn't any misinformation floating around in cyberspace -- the place where misinformation is perhaps more common than accurate information.


One of these days, maybe, we can have a discussion about advertising and how it affects a publication's content. I could get into a bunch of trouble with other publications, so I'd better not go there without thinking very carefully about what I say.

Here's what I would suggest though, if you want to evaluate about how much a magazine's editorial content is influenced by advertising dollars... don't look at how many articles are on knives by companies that DO advertise, look at how many articles are on knives by companies that DON'T advertise. (You don't really expect a publication to **AVOID** publishing articles about the companies that actually support them, do you?) But if a magazine doesn't run articles about companies that DON'T advertise, that should tell you something...

Second point: look at the front cover of the magazine. If what you see there is an ugly current-production factory made knife rather than something eye catching and beautiful, artistic or historic... what do you suppose convinced the magazine to put it on the cover? (Simple answer here!)

That's all I'm going to say for the moment, other than we're proud of the product we produce and our place in the knife community.


Just from a timeline perspective and what happened as Mark transitioned Knife World into Knife Magazine.  The discussion here on iKC might help




I agree Bryan.  I just dont see our hobby being the same if we lost the "in print" references and materials

Overall, I would recommend to folks to continue to support the knife community as much as possible, to ask the questions and provide the feedback, and enjoy!  "Knife folks" are simply the best folks out there - thank you for your involvement in this awesome hobby!

Mark, again, I'm sorry, I didn't mean to spread any misinformation.  I was trying to be clear, however, about how little information I knew about Knife World / Knife Magazine & the transition from the former to the latter -- so hopefully no one would take my word over yours, because yours is far more reliable when it comes to these publications.

That little bit of research I alluded to involved performing business entity searches on the websites for the secretaries of state for Missouri & Tennessee, that's all, & wasn't assuming or asserting anything more than could be publicly gleaned from those websites, & wasn't trying to negate the personal investment & legacy you have with both publications. 

To help you understand my confusion:  What little I knew was from things I'd heard from people online & from other knife club members, all of whom followed Knife World more closely than I did, and would therefore likely have more accurate information than I did (not necessarily true, but I had no reason not to believe them).  Much of my information was gleaned around the time of your acquisition of Knife World -- almost 3 years ago now, apparently -- and so my memory of the information conveyed may not be entirely accurate either. 

Additionally, most of the information I've learned about specific knife publications occurred as I read the publications themselves, over the course of a little more than a decade at this point.  I don't consider myself a historian of any of the major (or minor) knife publications, though I certainly can recall some aspects of the magazines that I read over the years.  And I'll say it again, Knife World was the one about which I knew the least about -- from which you could accurately infer that it's the publication I read the least.  

I've never worked for or even published with any of the knife magazines I'm discussing here, so I would not have the information that their publishers, owners, or even authors would have.  And I don't claim to have this insider knowledge anymore than I would expect anyone here to know about, say, the knife club I was part of, or any of my former employers.

I come from this from the perspective of being a knife collector, enthusiast, and user.  More than that, I am one who is ALSO a knife magazine reader/consumer.  I did spend 5 years editing a monthly knife club newsletter, which is on an entirely different scale than any of the knife magazines, but I'm also bringing a critical eye.

I initiated this discussion because I noticed that many members here at iKC don't subscribe to any print knife publications.  I was curious as to why that was.    

I have some opinions about the several knife magazines that are still around, & it only seemed natural to include some of these in my post.  I'm open to admitting that I'm wrong when I'm wrong (which clearly I was in several respects when it came to Knife World / Knife Magazine), and that my knowledge isn't very nuanced when it comes to Knife World / Knife Magazine.  Again, I hope you'll understand that the source of my confusion is that I am not an insider, and a lot of misinformation makes its way around the web.  It's frustrating for those in the know, but also to be expected, & managed accordingly.   

And the fact that Knife Magazine does not appear to be in the pockets of the knife industry is something to be proud of, & it's too rare.  I'm here at iKC for the same reason (that & the fact that the other forums get quite ugly quite quickly).

Ironically, it's the most recent issue of Knives Illustrated that has been bugging me, & my comments about Knife World / Knife Magazine were not at all my main focus.

I never meant to offend anyone here, just to get a discussion going & to express my opinions in the process.  I hoped it would be an interesting & informative discussion.  

And on that note, so far the only real reason I've seen for people not subscribing to knife magazines are the prohibitive shipping costs to Canada (totally understandable, by the way, international shipping is often not just expensive but slow).

I'm still hoping more members will chime in!

I do also DLKG so lets bring back the original question


Guess I should go back and edit my profile, because of this topic, because I no longer carry a subscription.

The reason was a financial one...I could no longer afford to subscribe to a magazine that MAY have an article that was actually of interest to me. 

To those that complain about advertising...I actually spent more time following up them and chasing down leads on a particular knife.

The trend of increased focus on tactical knives and decreased information on traditional patterns really put me off.

While I enjoyed flipping through the pages, stopping often to drool over knives that were well out of my interests or the content of my wallet.

Every once in a while, now, if I'm out shopping and stop by the magazine rack, I'll thumb through, and if there's something that catches my eye, I may drop it in the cart.

Knife Magazine is the only one I subscribe too now.  I really like the historical articles.  I used to subscribe to the others but I find I have very little interest in tactical knives other than a few historical ones like the Case V42 I inherited from my Grandfather.  I miss a couple of regular items that appeared in Knife World such as Irons in the Fire and letters to the editor.  I do appreciate the the heavy stock and quality printing in Knife Magazine but I'm not really a fan of the size.  For the record, I have the same complaint about Wine Spectator and Whiskey Advocate.  They are too big to stuff in my carry on and I don't like folding them.

I have a very strong preference for print media, I despise reading in depth articles on computers.  One pet peeve of mine is magazines that continue articles all over the place, particularly if the photos and text are not well synchronized.  Knife Magazine has avoided that for the most part, usually only have to flip to the back for some of the longest articles.

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