Blade Show - June 6, 7, 8


May 30, 2014, 09:48 PM
Who else is going to Blade (

I'll be at the Knife Rights booth most of the time along with uggarguy, Doug Ritter, and Sue Ritter.

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50 Shooter
May 30, 2014, 10:06 PM
Where at?

May 30, 2014, 10:33 PM
Cobb Galleria, Atlanta

50 Shooter
May 31, 2014, 12:46 AM
I'll have to wait until it comes to L.A. to see ya HSO.

May 31, 2014, 06:36 AM
You'll be waiting a long time, then!

May 31, 2014, 07:56 AM
Blade has only been in Atlanta since 1996 (for several years before that it was in Knoxville). Blade Show West has been done in Oregon as an experiment for a few years. LA, not "Lower Alabama", doesn't have a knife show that is listed.

June 1, 2014, 09:15 AM
I made it there the last two BLADE shows on Fridays - should be able to do it again this Friday. The best entertainment is the feeding frenzy at the Busse tables! If you see it, just remind yourself, they are grown men...

I hate driving to Atlanta!


June 4, 2014, 09:22 AM
I'll stop by the booth Friday afternoon.

June 4, 2014, 09:27 AM
Look for either of us when you do!

June 5, 2014, 12:18 AM
Have fun for those going. Will be yearning from here.

BTW Blade West last show was in 2008. Not enough participation.

June 5, 2014, 06:03 AM
I guess I'll miss this one after all... sigh!

June 8, 2014, 09:07 PM
I'm back from Blade. hso will be along some time later in the week (I assume) to tell you more. I saw several cool things in the small amount of time I was out of the Knife Rights booth, but I wanted to stay in the booth as much as possible to help KR with fundraising, increasing awareness, and gaining new members.

However, the force is strong with hso, and he uses his Jedi mind control abilities to get manufacturers and custom makers to donate knives to KR for fundraising. So he walks around and gets to see all the cool stuff.

But I'm worn out. Y'all have a good night, and check out the Knife Rights Ultimate Steel ( if you haven't already.

June 8, 2014, 09:33 PM
The most impressive thing I've seen in years was the Lionsteel TiDust folder.

Lionsteel refers to it as produced by "additive technology", but we'd refer to it as 3D powder metal printing with laser sintering. They literally "print" the entire single piece handle using Ti powder in a carrier and then particle weld it with a laser as it is laid down. This allowed them to lay up the open basketwork body of the knife without machining! Amazing!

Even more amazing was that Lionsteel isn't completely satisfied with the result and knows they can do better for a more detailed and refined surface.

This is truly space age manufacturing technology applied to the production of cutlery and the most exciting thing I've seen in years in production knives (or much of any sort of knife). The implications are obvious.

June 9, 2014, 07:02 AM
The second cool knife was the Timberline 1911 bushing wrench neck knife.
I haven't had a chance to put it to the test, but it looks like it has what we need. I'll try to get a picture up.

Third was the Rat Worx "chain drive" auto. No surprise it won an award as well (I think the crazy action testing machine won it for them having cycled a single knife over 40,000 times before the end of Saturday). They use their own ring bearings in them, machine the blades and handles and actions. Nice folks also (and that means a lot to me).

June 9, 2014, 03:09 PM
Some of the bad -

Cammenga, the official supplier of the Tritium Lensatic Compass to the U.S. Military, has come out with a folder and a fixed blade that have one thing going for them (hint - it isn't blade materials, design, comfort, construction, or price). They have tritium inserts in the handles (and the NRC licensing to do it).

Hoffner Knives are a much better product at a better (too low) price, but the lock and construction need improvement. To Mr. Hoffner's credit he actively listened to the points I made about his folders and appreciated the advice to improve upon the liner lock, but he was uncomfortable with the advice to increase the MSRP for his knives by 20% to give people the confidence they were getting something of value. He's been training knife techniques for a long time and wanted what he'd like to see in fixed and folding knives for defensive use and went out and had them made. The ergonomics are excellent and the actions are fast. The blade shape and materials (440C and D2) are darn good. Locks are just too thin and he doesn't need 2 liners with G10.

Sam Cade
June 9, 2014, 03:15 PM
They have tritium inserts in the handles (and the NRC licensing to do it).

I think this is a fantastic idea.

June 9, 2014, 03:17 PM
Sorry Sam, but they're not even close to the first to do it and their knife was inadequate (Microtech). We'll see if they revamp the knives to make a usable product at a reasonable price point.

Sam Cade
June 9, 2014, 03:20 PM
I was just voicing my enthusiasm for the the idea of illuminated cutlery.

June 9, 2014, 03:21 PM
Ontario had some stuff you'll love...wooden handled machetes with removable fasteners! Nice too.

I suggested they offer "kits" in their heavier stock with uncoated blades and rough handle slabs so hackers like you could make whatever machete you liked without having to start from scratch.

June 9, 2014, 03:27 PM
ugaarguy saw the Kai/ZT offerings and will have a few enthusiastic thoughts to offer.

We were both impressed with Klecker's production knife offering. He picked one up and I was very impressed.

Saw SamO/JShirley knife at Spyderco and chatted with Eric about it. He's enthusiastic about it and I gotta say it fits the soapy hand well and would get some shower stalker off (of you) if ambushed.

Ontario's bushcraft knife was pretty darn nice.

Other comments later.

June 9, 2014, 05:49 PM
voicing my enthusiasm for the the idea o

Yeah, that's what stopped me in my tracks as I was rushing by. Sad their knife was so poorly done. Microtech was the first "production" company to mount trit capsules. They used shotgun sight tubes in buttons of some LUDTs and HALOs. Great knives with trit. After that another boutique manufacturer out of California tried it again. I don't think either one had the NRC licenses to do it though. Either before ore around the same time MT did it Spyderco considered trying it, but the license and the spill decon concerns put them off the idea.

If these guys go to a single capsule and improve their knives it would be cool, but I think their best course is to sell them as inserts that they put in place for better knife makers.

June 9, 2014, 06:30 PM
We were both impressed with Klecker's production knife offering. He picked one up and I was very impressed.
Indeed we were, and I did indeed pick one up. The knife we're referring to is the Klecker Knives Cordovan. Until I looked at it very closely I thought it was a handmade or mid-tech, not a full out mass production. I picked up the 3&5/8" blade full size NT-03. SRP is $115, and I've seen online dealers offering pre-orders in the $90 range. The 2&7/8" NT-03A Cordovan Lite can be pre-ordered online for about $75. Here's my personal NT-03:
In pocket knives Mr. Klecker also released the TG-14 Slice with a recurve tanto blade that matches the blade profile of his Trigger children's plastic knife kit that was released last year.
All three of these new production knives have Sandvik 12C27 blades, and 2cr13 steel handles.

The coolest production item Klecker Knives had was the KLAX series of hatchet heads, which won them the "Most Innovative Imported Product of the Year" award for the Ti version. These are hatchet heads that have an integral flip out clamp system which allows them to be securely hafted to any sturdy branch while in the field.
Now, just add a branch:

The KLAX(es) can be pre-ordered online from retailers at a small discount off of MSRP. However, if you really want to help out a small upstart buy one from them at full price through their Kickstarter funding effort -

June 9, 2014, 07:57 PM
We tried it on several 1911s this afternoon and the Bushing Wrench necker actually works.

Pin push, grip screw head, and a hex I can't figure out the purpose complete it.

Carries well around the neck in a secure Kydex sheath with a break away connector.

June 9, 2014, 08:54 PM
I asked "Why isn't anyone making a ceramic necker?" and look what I found from the folks at Stone River!

This is the smallest and in white (I pulled about 4ft of paracord off to lighten it). It weighs close enough to nothing that you don't notice it is there. There's a similar sized "tanto" and another about half again as much blade. Both are black.

Very nice litte cutter, but I wouldn't want to pry staples with it.

June 9, 2014, 09:08 PM
Picked up the Gary Wheeler damascus also.

June 10, 2014, 12:44 AM
Kershaw deservedly won "Best Buy Knife Of The Year". They won it for the $59.99 MSRP Emerson CQC-7 3.25" blade frame lock they're having made in China. It's a darn nice knife that's apparently coming out of the same factory that's nailing the heat treat on the 8Cr13MoV blades and doing a darn good job on the overall build on Kershaw's other frame locks that are made in China.

However, the Emerson name recognition overshadowed two other Kershaw knives at the same $59.99 MSRP and nearly identical size as the Emerson, that I think are even better values. Those knives are the 3.3" blade Strobe frame lock (that's a folding version of their US made Matt Diskin designed Diskin Hunter), and the 3.5" blade Dmitry Sinkevich designed Nura 3.5 frame lock (also available in a 3.0" version for $5 less). These are both fresh designs, and they're the first Chinese made Kershaw flippers with KVT bearing pivots. They aren't US Made ZT's with KVT bearings, but they're incredibly nice at 1/4 the price. Both the Strobe and the Nura 3.5 are already available on pre-order from online knife houses for just under $40.

June 10, 2014, 07:30 AM
The full list of winners at this year's Blade were -Publisher’s Award: Mark Zalesky
Industry Achievement Award: Aldo and Edda Lorenzi
2014 Accessory of the Year: SOG Blade Light Sheath
2014 Kitchen Knife Of The YearŽ: Kai USA Shun Dual Core
2014 Investor/Collector Knife Of The YearŽ: Pro-Tech Ultimate Godson 2014
2014 Collaboration Knife Of The YearŽ: Spartan Blades/Les George
2014 Best Buy Knife Of The YearŽ: Kershaw/Emerson CQC
2014 Manufacturing Quality Award: Lion Steel
2014 Hall of Fame Inductee: Goldie Russell
2014 Most Innovative Imported Knife Of The YearŽ: Klecker Knives Tri-Klax
2014 Most Innovative American Knife Of The YearŽ: Spartan Blades Integral Frame Slipjoint
2014 Imported Knife Of The YearŽ: Spyderco Rubicon
2014 American Made Knife Of The YearŽ: Zero Tolerance 0562CF
2014 People’s Choice Knife Of The YearŽ: RAT Worx MRX
2014 Overall Knife Of The YearŽ: CRKT/Ken Onion Hijinx

I only disagree with a few of these.

SOG Blade Light Sheath - Really? LEDs on knives and cutouts on sheaths aren't exactly ground breaking.
Emerson - Really? An approved Chinese copy done through Kershaw instead of the unapproved knockoffs that have been around for years (of a wide range of quality from cheap junk to hard to tell the difference from the original)
Klecker Knives Tri-Klax - This is a "because we can/solution in search of a problem". How much better is this $115 axe head/multitool than just carrying a hawk head with you in the woods?
Spartan Slipjoint - Cute, but not even close to most innovative this year.
Hijinx - Well, maybe. Very nice knife, but that concave handle?!?! At least tied with other really good options.

June 10, 2014, 11:51 AM
And here is where hso and I will disagree.

Emerson - Really? An approved Chinese copy done through Kershaw instead of the unapproved knockoffs that have been around for years (of a wide range of quality from cheap junk to hard to tell the difference from the original)
The key thing here is to remember that the Kerhaw/Emerson won the award for Best Buy Knife of the year, not an award for innovation or creativity. So, why is the Kershaw/Emerson CQC-7K such a great value? See my comments above regarding Kershaw's quality on their Chinese built frame locks. Add to those comments that this is an authorized Emerson from Kershaw who may have the best warranty of any production knife maker, that it's a frame lock that's probably stronger than the liner lock on Emerson's own US made production knives, and you can pre-order it right now for $38 or less. It's a tremendous value. My only disagreement with this award is that the KVT caged ball bearing pivot Nura and Strobe frame locks from Kershaw are the same price, and that makes those just a little better value.

Klecker Knives Tri-Klax - This is a "because we can/solution in search of a problem". How much better is this $115 axe head/multitool than just carrying a hawk head with you in the woods?
The Klaxes may be a solution in search of a problem, but, once again, let's look at the award they won: Most Innovative Imported Knife of The Year. Is the overall package innovative? Yes, absolutely. The innovation is that the integral clamp allows for secure hafting of the head to a handle more quickly and more easily than hafting a conventional axe / hatchet head AND this quick and secure hafting is so simple that it can be accomplished by even a neophyte. Those are the innovations. If the goal was practicality the 3D printed titanium handle from LionSteel wouldn't have won an award, because it doesn't do anything functionally better than a folder with a handle comprised of injection molded plastic scales over sheet metal liners.

See even the moderators here don't agree on everything. :D

June 10, 2014, 02:31 PM
Mapedition Knives:

Yes, they look a lot like Mad Dog knives, but in hard chrome coated D2 blades with FRN handles over full tangs at just over $100 each they impressed me a great deal. I'm not going to rehash the controversy about them already discussed on THR, but they actually produced a good batch of knives. Balance was fine. Grinds were fine. Edges were sharp. The guy in the little MaxP table of knives crammed into the corner of the MaxP booth wasn't any more knowledgable than the cheat sheet provided to him allowed, but the knives spoke for themselves anyway.

The sheath needs to have the "loop" removed and replaced with an improved attachment, but that's easily done and the thing fits on a belt as is.

June 10, 2014, 02:38 PM
Guardian Knives:

Excellent manual and auto folders!
CPM-154 blades properly centered and sharpened.
Manual folders were smooth as anything out there (rolling on Rat Worx ring bearings).
Comfortable in the hand and pocket.
Pricey, but there's a lot out there that impressed me less at the same or higher.

June 10, 2014, 04:12 PM
Kershaw-Emerson in route.

Sam Cade
June 10, 2014, 04:17 PM
Re: Kershaw-Emerson.

I have little doubt that Kershaw/KAI can do a better job at building an Emerson knife than Emerson can.

June 10, 2014, 06:39 PM
That's a fact. I have a Chinese knockoff that was better from 10 years ago.

June 11, 2014, 05:51 PM
While we're on the subject of KAI USA being able to build a better Emerson than Emerson, I also handled the ZT0620 Emerson. It's essentially a CQC-7 tanto with a conventional V grind rather than chisel grind, the blade has been bumped out from 3.3" CQC7 length to 3.6" Emerson Journeyman length, and the Emerson liner lock has been replaced with a frame lock. Additionally the blade steel options are upgraded from 154CM on the Emersons to black DLC coated ELMAX on the base model G10 front scale 0620, or satin stone washed on the carbon fiber front scale 0620CF. Yet, the base model ZT0620 is $50 less than a black blade Emerson Jouneyman. So, not only can KAI USA build a better Emerson than Emerson, KAI can build it with better materials for less money.

June 11, 2014, 06:15 PM
Emersons were always problematic from a quality standpoint, but then the "production" Emersons weren't intended to be perfect (just sad they fell so far from it so frequently) and he was known for tough and interestingly practical combat folders. Just about everyone has made a better version of their production knives, though.

June 11, 2014, 07:49 PM
I can attest to the mind-blowingness of that Lionsteel. That thing was beautiful, both in view and in hand.

HSO, and Ugaarguy, it was nice to meet you both! Ugaarguy, I will be getting a hold of you about that li'l beauty you showed me.

June 11, 2014, 07:51 PM
Good to see ya here! Didja sign up at KR and get in on the fundraiser?

June 11, 2014, 07:56 PM
Here's a pick of the walnut handled 5160 steel Ontario Bushcraft I mentioned earlier (Sam, you'd love this thing).

June 11, 2014, 08:05 PM
I signed up before ever going to Blade! Been a member over there for a couple years and sign up for the fundraiser every year. I'm not as lucky as Guyon, he seems to always win.

June 11, 2014, 08:12 PM
Chameleonbear? One and the same from the ESEE Forum?
SmokyMountainDA there.

Sam Cade
June 11, 2014, 08:12 PM
There are lots of things to like about that knife.

Interesting how it is using threaded standoffs to secure the scales like the RAT series does.

June 11, 2014, 08:17 PM
Chameleonbear? One and the same from the ESEE Forum?
SmokyMountainDA there.
Indeed one and the same. Nice to see a couple familiar faces around here.

June 11, 2014, 09:18 PM
Good to see you here ChameleonBear. Welcome to THR.

June 11, 2014, 10:03 PM

You're going to see a change in fasteners from rivets with OKC.

June 11, 2014, 10:08 PM
L.T. Wright:

Remember Blind Horse? Well, L.T. is back with what you'd expect from him, great hand ground knives made by real people who care about making knives. What I handled was in D2 and A2 with micarta.

I've become partial to smaller knives and this 2 and 3/4" knife was remarkable.

June 11, 2014, 10:12 PM

Good Oogly Moogly, but they make impressive knives!

Tony Marfione had a litter of his customs along with the production knives and you just can't say anything bad about his work. You can't say much of anything negative about the production knives either.

Sam Cade
June 11, 2014, 10:20 PM
You're going to see a change in fasteners from rivets with OKC.

On the 1-18" machete and derivatives?

That is great news! Those rivets have been falling apart at inopportune times since 1942.

June 11, 2014, 10:24 PM
Brous Blades:

Smooth, stylish, sharp, impressive.
I handled the Bionic and the Division and I simply didn't handle a smoother more comfortable or confident folder (but you'd expect that at the custom knife price).

June 11, 2014, 10:31 PM

I handled the FX350 and was floored at an MSRP of $37! Contoured CNCd G10 handles, proper frame lock, deep carry clip, solid feeling construction. Did I mention a $37 MSRP?

Ok, the blade steel is 9Cr17Mov, but at the price it is still impressive as all getout. Since you can pick it up for under $30 I'm quite impressed.

I think Coast is coming on with some good designs that are well built at an affordable price.

June 11, 2014, 10:33 PM

I don't get it, but they seem to. That's probably my limited understanding of the value of a knife that can inject a gas charge, but...

June 11, 2014, 10:37 PM

Ray Ennis is one of my favorite knife makers and one of my favorite people. He's also the guy that's been producing "sharpened prybars" longer than pretty much anyone out there. More, he's done as good a job as anyone out there and he's been doing it with 440C!

Also, his knives are well balanced whether big fighters, survival, or honkin choppers, the grips are comfortable, the knives cut, and he's a great guy.

You should watch his grinding videos if you want to see a man that is one with the steel and the grinder.

I'm biased, but then I've abused one of his Ronins for almost 20 years and it ain't broke yet (btw, you'll see the Ronin in a couple of his new knives).

Did I mention he's a great guy?

June 11, 2014, 10:41 PM

I don't get it.Glad I'm not the only one!

And coast is the same Coast that makes flashlights right?

June 11, 2014, 10:45 PM
Yep, but they pointed out they started making knives first.

June 11, 2014, 10:47 PM
Pro Tech:

I can't say anything bad about Pro Tech, but I can say a lot good about them.

Great autos, fancy or plain. Fancy is very fancy with beautiful deep engraving, perfectly ground blades, solidly and elegantly constructed knives. Plain is pretty darn nice too.

June 11, 2014, 10:51 PM
Swiss Bianco:

Great unique Vic SAKs. Excellent clever original knife designs (one of Sam C's fave neckers).

Roger made the 1911 bushing knife work for Timberline.

I try to keep up with what he's doing with Vic SAKs, but it is nearly impossible. He takes the best features you wish you SAK had in one package and then...puts them in one package.

June 11, 2014, 11:06 PM

Walter Brend is another one of my favorite knife makers. I don't know that there's anyone drawing a breath that can grind any better than Walter. I also don't know that anyone has more artistry in their grinds than Walter. Well balanced knives. Property heat treated. Well ground. Beautifully proportioned. Comfortable. ...

That might explain why so many companies keep coming to him to design knives or grind blades for them.

Yep, I like Brend knives.

Sam Cade
June 11, 2014, 11:23 PM
The Wasp injector knife is perfect for giving someone (or something) a fatal case of pneumothorax or a nasty embolism.

There are some Youtube videos of Tom Walker killing some pigs with one.

June 12, 2014, 12:02 AM
I'll agree that the CRKT / Onion Hi Jinx was a cool knife. The quick summary is that it's $500 MSRP for a screwed together slab titanium handle scales frame lock with a bronze washered and bronze caged steel ball bearings pivot, flipper opening, and a Uddeholm Sleipner Steel blade. The knife is made for CRKT by LionSteel in Italy. If you want one grab it now from Knife Works now for $300 ( before Roger comes to his senses. Knife Center has them available for pre-order for $400 and the wide variance in pricing leads me to think CRKT may put an MAP or similar price control structure on these.

Even at $300 I'm not sure that the bronze washers plus bronze cage on the steel ball bearing plus Sleipner blade is $125 better than the Zero Tolerance 0801. The ZT 0801 is nearly identical in materials and construction with the only differences being that the ZT has plastic caged steel ball bearings with no washers and the blade is Uddeholm Elmax rather than Uddeholm Sleipner. Maybe I'm biased since I did buy a ZT 0801 at Blade. :confused:

June 12, 2014, 07:22 AM
I'm prone to agree that the CRKT is far more reasonable at $300 than anything like $500. I'm not sure why you need bronze on bronze except as an exercise in ensuring longer life than bronze and smoothness on anything else. It is slippery, but I sure can't tell a difference in "slipperyness" between it and any number of other quality bearing materials used in knives.

June 12, 2014, 07:25 AM
fatal case of pneumothorax

Ohhh, I understand what's going on, I just don't "get it".

Open a big hole in the chest wall and lung and the critter crashes. Shoot a stream of gas in at the same time and the critter crashes. Does the critter crash so much more quickly quickly enough to make any difference? The pig hunt video on youtube doesn't seem to indicate that compared to other pig knife kills, but that's just the one I've seen.

OTOH, the Wasp was originally promoted as being particularly effective on sharks and I do "get" the idea that if you shoot an expanding gas volume into a swimming apex predator at the very least it makes swimming on the attack impossible (great, unless it already has you in its jaws).

June 12, 2014, 09:37 AM
I'm not sure why you need bronze on bronze except as an exercise in ensuring longer life than bronze and smoothness on anything else.
Apparently the bronze washers sit on the outside of the caged bearings and in theory are sacrificial replacement items that prevent the stainless steel ball bearings from abrading the titanium handles. Given how abrasion resistant most titanium alloys are, and how little friction greased ball bearings generate in the first place it sounds excessive.

June 12, 2014, 10:25 AM
Ohhhhhh, if the bearings aren't phosphor bronze and they bear directly on the 6Al4V Ti frame they can gall the Ti and cause problems. I thought they had bronze bearings, which would be very slick, and it was excessive to have bronze on bronze.

I'll retract then based on your explantion. Yes, bronze washers would help greatly between steel bearings and Ti alloy surfaces.

June 12, 2014, 04:31 PM
Ohhhhhh, if the bearings aren't phosphor bronze and they bear directly on the 6Al4V Ti frame they can gall the Ti and cause problems.
Really? Do you think adding thin bronze or even steel washers between the plastic caged, steel ball bearings and the 6Al4V Ti frame of my ZT0801 is a good idea?

June 12, 2014, 07:21 PM
steel - depends on how well made the steel is finished and how hard/wear resistant the steel

nylon - yes, but not as good as teflon

teflon - yes, but not as good as phosphor bronze

phosphor bronze - the "gold standard" for pivot bushings and washers for as long as I've been collecting knives

Then there's copper and brass and ???

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