Wednesday, February 24, 2010


Are assisted openers passé?

I sold a lot of them several years ago, but the trend seems to be tailing off. The number of prospective customs asking about them is down. I don’t carry an assisted opener. My Spyderco or SOG opens fast enough for me. And somehow, despite the quality seen in Buck, SOG, CRTK and so many others they feel delicate to me. I guess the CDI* factor is cooling off.

I haven’t noticed manufacturers reducing the numbers of assisted openers made, but I suspect they often lag behind everyone else. It takes time to bring a new knife on line and while closing a line is easy, you got to have something to replace it.

Assisted openers are illegal in Canada and knives are just about illegal in England. The scarier trend is seen in Spyderco’s new catalog. They have been making for a couple years that they call slip-its, non-locking pocket knives. But now they are making small blade slip-its. This is in response to cities, like Cleveland and Chicago; they have laws against knife blades longer than 1.5 inch. Of course these laws only apply to non-criminal.

By the way…Benchmade is making all their knives in the USA. I found only one or two Harley brand knives identified as imports.

* Chicks Dig It

Monday, February 15, 2010

Forcasts: Weather and Economic

The federals report the economy is picking up, but the knife index say not yet. I don’t know about you but I trust knife index better that anything the fed puts out.

What is this index? It’s difficult to explain as Lucy use to say to Ricky. It’s a complicated formula that looks at the amount of quality knife sales ($25 bucks and up) minus the square root of E raised to the power of cheap knife sales (under $25 bucks). This sum is divided by the sum of linear inches of knives re-sharpened. You look that number up on the T-A chart factoring outside temperature and total number of attendee to the knife show and well, there it is.

And right now it doesn’t look to great.

I think knife sales are a great indicator. Most people have one or two. Most people don’t mind adding another one to the collection if they have a few extra bucks to spend. So depressed knife sales points to a depressed economy.

A couple weeks –ends ago I went to a show outside of Pittsburg. We took a chance; the forcast was for light dusting of snow. My wife and I arrived just in time to settle in to the Red Roof Inn befor the dusting grew to clumping. We woke up to 21 inches of show, a semi plowed parking lot and no electrical power. At least my knives were safe. They were at the show where they had electricity heat and guards.

The hotel had one cracked snow shovel that the 20 or 30 of us had to use to dig out our cars. Finally the motel, in response to out pathetic cries for help, broke out their ultimate snow removal tool: a long handled coal shovel. Woo Hoo! Now we’re making progress. I’d shovel until I got tired and pass the shovel to the next guy, who would shovel until he got tired and passed it on to the next guy.

It was one of the few times I was convinced a bigger knife would not have helped me.