What’s your life game? I discovered long ago my life plan involves knives. Folding knives, fixed blades, pocket knives, survival knives, tactical knives, it doesn’t matter to me. As long as it has an edge, I’m interested. Join me as I write about life, knives and the things seen from the knife edge.
Wednesday, January 22, 2014
At the Show
It was a pretty good knife gun show. I ran a sale on most of my fixed blades
hoping to sell the Buck gut hook, the two knives from TOPS and Benchmade’s Bone Collector caping knife. I even
entertained ideas of selling the damascus blade from Mr Maan. No luck.
Finland’s Marttiinis sold well and quite a few of the folders hitched
rides to new homes, so it was a good weekend.
My goal is to help each customer find the right knife for
them, even if I don’t have it or carry it.
Your knife should meet several personal criteria. It should feel good in your hand and deploy
from your pocket or sheath the way you want it to. It should be able to provide the all the
performance you are capable of demanding of it.
Your knife should be a quality product, but I know that quality is
handmaiden to purpose.
If you’re heading for a two-week, self-guided Alaskan hunting
trip, you might want something better than the knife you found in the '2 for $3' bucket. But if you’re looking for gag
gifts (heavy on the gag) those knives might be right for you.
At this show I thought I’d try to have a little fun with some
customers. Sellers attempt to qualify
potential customers into: tire kickers, buyers and circus audience. Tire kickers might become customers if
treated right, but circus audience will always be interested only in
entertainment. I firmly believe their
spouse gave them a fiver and told them “Don’t come back until suppertime.”
There are a few subgroups not represented by the above big
I exclude most children from the above categories. I like talking to kids about knives. They aren’t buying unless dad has more money
than sense. Who would buy a fifth-grader
a $200 Benchmade? But I do enjoy showing
them how a knife works and asking about their fledgling knife
If I had started putting
away nice pocket knives when I was in fifth grade, I could have a very nice,
and perhaps impossible to duplicate, collection now. But even then I carried, used and eventually
lost everything I bought.
I also enjoy the quirky, but harmless fellows that frequent
these shows. One of my favorite is the
guy (women have more sense) who opens every knife on the table. I had some spectacular openers this weekend. They would politely and quietly pick up every
knife and with two hands open the blade on each knife to about 45°,
stare at it for 10-15 seconds, close it, put it down and move to the next. I like to ask if they're looking for
anything particular and the answer is always the same, “Nope, just
It makes me wonder if there is
a knife watching society somewhere and members are making a life list of blades
Someone from the circus audience asked about American made
knives. I showed him the Bucks, a few
Gerbers, lots of Benchmades and a couple of Kershaws. He almost beamed with pride and then he said, “These are pretty expensive knives.”
“Yes, sir,” I said. “They’re
American knives made by American workers paid an American living wage.”
He walked away strangely deflated. I guess he thought companies had American
workers accepting Chinese wages.
Another audience member worked his way down the line and stopped
at the Benchmade knives. He had
indicated he was a knife collector but he looked at the blue Benchmade boxes
and said, “I’ve never heard of Benchmade.”
Usually that statement is a tell that a purchase of any knife
will not be made today.
“That’s because they are too much knife for you,” I said.
That answer seemed to make a lot of sense to him and he left
the table smiling.
I often regret I’m not a
sociologist. I think there is room for a ground-breaking study of the knife shopping segment of the gun show
culture. At the very least there’s a
lifetime of potential grants here. First Peek. Every year the Western Reserve Cutlery Association (in Ohio) holds a big knife show/expo and they sell an Expo knife. Each year a different knife is selected. Here's this years.
Two-bladed pen knife
The Expo will be April 26 and 27 at Breitenbach Winery.