Friday, May 31, 2013

Blade Show Opening Day

I got in line around 9:40.  The show opened at 12 noon.  Fortunately the fellow in back of me was interesting and we spent the time yakking.  Turns out he’s a high end commercial photographer.  We’ve both seen the end of film as a media and the growth of digital media.  While most of his work is wedding and architectural photography, he occasionally takes photographs of a few knives and was a lot of fun to talk with.  He likes high-end knives ~ Microtech, Chris Reeve and Benchmade.

line up for entrance to the Blade Show
We're lining up to get in.  Toyland for adults.
We got in and started walking.  It’s row after row of knives, sharpening, manufacturing supplies, and of course, more knives.  Frankly, after a while it all blends together.  Especially with sore feet.

The crowds at the Blade Show
The floor isn't packed yet, but it's beginning to get crowded.

Still, I picked up a few new knives.  My wife and I both got Covert Defenders from TWBrands Gear.  Covert Defenders are neck knives made from G10.  No metal.  They can be resharpened with an emery nail board (!) and one’s include in the pack.

neck knive from TWBrands at Blade Show
The knife is entirely made from G-10.  No metal.
You’re not going to shave fir sticks to start a fire or skin a deer out with it, but I sure wouldn’t want to get slashed with it.  I’m told you can get it sharp enough to slice a tomato.  It fits into my personal belief that I should be ready.

My wife bought several Cutco Knives.  Cutco, as you may know, owns Ka-Bar and makes quality knives.   Yes, Cutco is expensive but their quality makes the price reasonable.  I hope to write a little bit more about them later.

I like some of the new knives coming out from CRKT.  The Swindle has a lot going for it, but the crazy spring-loaded clip wants to hold the knife perpendicular to your body.  That’s kind of odd.  CRKT indicates the knife will distort the fabric and lay flat until you reach for it.  The hand pooches the pocket outward and the Swindle become very easy to grasp.  I don’t know.  Too many of CRKT theories sound good and work okay standing at the counter, but stoop down or sit striding a bike and the theory self-destructs.

One of my last stops today was Shadow Tech.  They make all their knives in Ohio and have some very interesting designs.  I picked up their newest.  It’s so new it doesn’t have a name yet or is on their website.  At least that’s what I was told.  (I did check their website and it’s called the QRT and you can find it there.)
QRT from shadow tech
This may rival Ka-Bar's TDI knife.

The knife is designed for police and military.   It has a lot of the functionality of a push dagger, but doesn’t torque in your hand.  The finger hole really locks the knife into your grip.  The blade is 1095 steel with a Rockwell C of around 58.  That’s a good value for knives that may be used a pry bars, scoops and God knows what else.

Tomorrow is another day.  I still have to meet with some people and I anticipate a few more purchases.  I still haven’t found the neck knife I want.  Everything in this hotel and show is very expensive, so I really have to think about what I’m purchasing.

More tomorrow I hope!

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Pre-blade Show

It’s Thursday evening  and I’m settled into my hotel room at the Blade Show.  The drive was relatively painless and uneventful.  No drama when driving is a good thing!

My wife and I went down to the hotel bar to grab a pre-dinner beer.  Let me recommend Sweetwater IPA.  It’s excellent, unless you think Bud is the beer to die for.  The beer has an amber cloudiness and the hops give it a strong citrus/grapefruit aftertaste.  I know, sounds weird, but I’ve had a lot of IPAs and this one is excellent.

It’s doubly weird to sit in the bar and watch people pull knives out of pockets, parcels, bags, boxes and sometimes thin air.  They click them open and closed, pass them around and none of the staff seems to notice.  If you’re a hoplophobe, you’d feel like a long tail cat in a room full of demonic rockers.  But then you wouldn’t be reading this blog either.

Our next stop was Ted’s Montana Grill (as in Ted Turner in case you need to drop a name) for buffalo bison steaks.  They were so tender you could cut them with a fork.  Expensive?  Look, if you come to the Blade Show, bring a little extra money and enjoy a meal out.  The food was excellent and the service good.

We returned and I found out we could purchase our VIP passes at 9 AM tomorrow.  The VIP pass gets you in the show a couple hours sooner.  I can’t wait.  If they had a midnight showing I’d be camped out in line.

I’m looking for an artsy neck knife.  Of course I want to visit most of the knife companies, as well as the custom makers and still get in the lectures.  It’s clear I need to clone myself so I can be in two places at once, so the next few days will be busy.

More later.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Blade Show 2013

There are two important US shows for the knife world.  One is the Shooting Hunting and Outdoor Trade (SHOT) Show.  That’s usually in Las Vegas in January.  Most of the commercial manufacturers will have their new products on display.  A knife that doesn’t capture the interest of the retail market at SHOT will find itself circling the drain.

The next biggest is the Blade Show in Atlanta, Georgia in a few days.  Most of the commercial manufacturers will be there and use it to introduce tweaked and new knives driven by the SHOT Show.   It’s also a show about custom knife makers who may only make 20 true handmade custom knives a year.  It’s also a show about knives, blades, swords and their utility and artistry.

Spyderco Dragonfly ~ It's a cute as a bug! 

Like Spyderco’s Joyce Laituri say, “It’s more fun talking knives with knife people.”  I agree.

I’m leaving for the show and I’ll update my blog when I can.  I can’t stay for the entire show and there are more than a few lectures I would like to catch.  So I may not have much time for blogging. 

Tell me you’ve never attended the SHOT Show and I’m not surprised.  You need some access through a commercial endeavor.  But the Blade Show is open to the public.  Take the time and attend.  You’ll never be the same.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Exposed Knives

Fast and Furious is back.  I think this is the sixth one in the series so I can assume someone is making money on the franchise. 

It’s got everything an action film should have: handsome guys, well proportioned, good-looking women, incredible stunts and of course, cars doing things that would disintegrate your car and kill the driver.  And action, non-stop action, constantly increasing action. Just in case I didn’t get the point across, more action!

I’ll catch the film when it’s delegated to TV.  It’s not that I have some intellectual bias against action films or some inability to suspend disbelief.  On the contrary, I’m still worried about the movie character with the nuclear reactor in his chest and I can’t wait to see what happens next.  It’s just I can’t get cranked up about any movie where the cars and the stars are indiscernible.

Fast and Furious cover art
They're fast and they're furious!  How many knives do you see?

Take a look the at hottie under the “U”.  She’s wearing a knife in front on the outside of her low riders.  That’s another strike against the movie.  Pocket clip knives, when worn as knives should be worn on the inside with only the clip showing.  Wear it as a fashion statement and it will be lost by the time you need it.  Strike two. 

Clip it worn outside of hip huggers
The knife's shape is unique.  It has to be a Spyderco Delica!

So what’s the knife?  I think it’s a Spyderco C11 stainless steel Delica.  It’s a nice knife.  VG-10 steel, large thumb hole, saber grind blade and the stainless steel handle is drilled and tapped for up/down and left/right carry.  Add a partial serration and you have some powerful cutting ability in a closed package 4.25 inches long. That's a lot of good reasons to carry a Delica.

It’s also four and quarter inches of stainless steel that will jab her in her exposed gut every time she sits down. Which should be a lot.  You gotta sit down to drive the car.

She would have been better off with the Emerson Delica.  With Ernie’s wave incorporated into the blade, she could alternate between:

  • Two handed polite opening,
  • One handed thumb hole opening
  • Waving it open.

The options depend on the scene.  Oh, wait that’s character development which should never interfere with the action.
Oh!  I forgot suspension of disbelief.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Boker Nano

I’ve seen it in several knife magazines and it always attracts my attention: the green-handled Boker Nano.  It took a little work, but I got one.  

Green Handled Boker Nano
The Nano comes in a nice foamed line box.


It’s a sub 2-inch curved blade made from 440C steel.  The blade locks open utilizing a frame lock.  The green handle is one of those almost indestructible engineering plastics, Zytel.   
Front of Green handled Boker Nano
The elongated opening slot lets your thumb find the right place for leverage.

The clip is removable and reversible for tip up or down.  The knife is set up for right hand carry.   
Back of Boker Nano
The back side of the Boker Nano.  The clip can be changed with two screws.

The overall open length is 4.75 inches which gives you a relatively large handle for griping.  It’s a compromise between size and usefulness, but I think even with my larger hands I can get a good grip on it.

Normal grip on Boker Green Handled Nano
Normal grip felt comfortable.

My grip choked up on Boker's green handled Nano
Choking up on the Boker gave a solid feel!

It takes a little practice to open one-handed, but not so much you give up.  Spend a half hour in front of TV driving your spouse crazy opening and closing the knife and you’ll have it.  Spend two hours and you could be in divorce court.  But you knew that already.

It weighs in at 2.9 ounces, mostly from the heavy steel blade.  You could take the clip off and save a little weight, but I like knowing my knife stays where I put it.

I find Boker an interesting company.  It’s German and their knives range from cheap junk to high end Damascus steel made from WWII Panzer tank barrels.  The Boker Nano is from the Boker Plus line.  

I think these knives are under-appreciated and give you good quality and value for your dollar or Deutsche Mark.