Blade Show Day Two 2019

Outside the weather raged torrents of rain, but inside the Blade Show it was sunny and knifey.  It’s still hard to imagine all the vendors and shoppers packed under one roof, but it isn’t all knives.

scissors, art scissors
Grace Horn’s Scissors

Grace Horn showed off her custom scissors.  And they flew off the table like umbrellas during a deluge.  I especially liked the tall elegant pair that had a benign demonic look to them.  Grace is an unusual knife maker.  You can follow her on Facebook.  She did measure my right thumb to get an idea of an average size opening for men’s scissors.

Another table had nothing but knife sheaths.  If you heeded a Randall or a Loveless or just about any other sheath, you’d find it there.

knife sheaths
You need it?  You could find it.
I stopped at Darrel Ralph and looked at his ZEK hatchets.  Darrel tells me he had been thinking about hatchets since 1998.  I think he finally came up with a winner.  The kydex sheath locks the hatchet head in place and has a belt clip so you can wear it.  A secondary strap locks the sheath closed so you will not accidentally lose your tool moving in or out of a vehicle or in the brush.  He had several styles including a nice carbon fiber handle, but I went with the micarta grip that had a rounded profile.  I found it fit my hand better.


Hatchet, Belt Axe
Never know when you might need to chop something or somebody

Speaking of Shadow Tech, they have introduced several lines of folders.  I especially liked their Sidekick, a gentleman’s knife.  Well, it could be a gentlewoman’s knife as well.  It sports a stud and a hole, but it actually opens with a flipper.  The blade opens and is locked in place with a liner lock.  It doesn’t have a clip, because it is not a tactical knife.  It’s well made and I think I’m going to enjoy it.

Sidekick, Shadow Tech
They call it rose, but it looks purple to me 

Sharpening blades can be terrifying to some, but there are easy options 
At one table a vendor had a pile of paper shavings, several knives and more simple sharpeners than you could imagine.  In this day and age when sharpening systems require a mechanical engineering degree to set up and use, his simple pull-throughs turn a dull knife into a sharp edge.  It may not be the zenith of sharpness, but if your edge can cut curly paper shavings, it’s sharp enough for most of my needs.
Doug and friend drawing door prize tickets
Doug Marcaida, best known for Forged in Fire and his expression, ‘It will keel!’ was at Russian Blades and has designed a fighting knife based on his Filipino system.  You could mug with him and get your picture taken, but I took a pass on that.  He’s a tremendous martial artist, but also a shrewd business man.  He showed us several karambit-style knives he designed as rescue tools for Europe, where such knives are illegal.  In the absence of an edge, a ‘blade’ consisting of a seatbelt cutter, screw driver, oxygen bottle wrench is allowed.  Of course, you could still use it to control and apply to pressure points, but Doug never said that.
I got my hands on a DART (Direct Action Response Knife).  Doug developed this knife with the Italian knife company, Fox.  It’s a karambit style, with an Emerson wave opener, but a non-curved blade.  I looked for these for several years but couldn’t find them.  All Fox would say was a “…family disagreement prevented continued manufacturing.”  Well, it seems they are back and I have one!

Direst Action Response Knives
It looks like a Karambit, but…..
Instead of a curved blade, it’s more of a drop point tanto

Could I summarize the Blade Show in blog or two?

Look, you could spend the day just visiting the big commercial knife companies, like Spyderco, Cold Steel and Buck, and you wouldn’t be disappointed.  You could also spend the day talking to custom designers, the makers and technical support people.  There are demos on the floor as well as classes, lectures and helpful people everywhere.


The Blade Show has become too large to be summarized by any one blogger.  Each of us is a blind man inspecting an elephant.  If you are a knife fancier, come and attend.  It’s the greatest knife show on earth, possibly the solar system.


Here are few more photos.


collectable knives, pocket jewelry
Think of them as pocket jewelry 

Tiger handles
It takes two to truly understand the image