That isn’t actually a bad thing, and they did clear out. This is my 7th Blade Show, and I have never seen the line to get in snake its way out of the parking lot and wind down the street. It was pretty impressive. I don’t think today broke any records for Friday attendance at Blade Show, but those that came came early, and came to buy. I have talked to several makers who report some of the most brisk Blade Show sales they have ever experienced. It matches my observations of the situation.
Good evening folks, this post is going to rely pretty heavily on our instagram feed (@theknifemag), but as much as anything this is because I think I have done as good a job getting photos our as I have ever done. I am trying to up my “Instagame”, and what better place to do that than Blade Show, which runs from today til Sunday.
This was my, and I am sure many peoples’ first really large gathering since the Wuhan Coronavirus came to ravage the country last year. It was strange to again be standing close to folks in a crowd, but it didn’t take long for the familiarity of a show environment to take over. The only time I thought about it after mid-morning was when seeing someone still wearing a mask. I am guessing that no more than about 2-3% of people were masked. I am going to go out on a very short limb and say this is despite the overall percentage of vaccinated people at the show was probably lower than the national average. But that is their choice as free people. Personally, I don’t know if I would have or not, were it not for Blade Show. But since I am not a fan of golfing during thunderstorms, I opted to get the J&J one-shot vaccine about a month ago. So I felt comfortable behaving “normal”. Or at least as normal as anyone whose life is far too wrapped up in knives can be.
Seeing Patrick Famin, a Frenchman now residing in Florida, brought home the point that most of the world is not through with the pandemic. There were very few foreigners at the show today. No Canadians in particular which is quite odd, but the ones I have spoken to all said that they didn’t want to have to quarantine at home for 2 weeks upon return.
There were a bunch of empty booths as well, most notably SOG, whose double booth area was a large patch of empty in the middle of the show floor. But there were probably 8-12 empty booths, and I do not know how many tables.
I was a bit of ping-pong ball today, bouncing from booth to booth and table to table. I had a chance to catch up with old friends, meet some new ones, and get my hands on some pretty fantastic knives today.
Speaking of old friends, it was strange not so see Kim Breed at the show. He took me under his wing at my first show 8 years ago, when I was a brand new Editor at The Truth About Knives. Ben Petersen isn’t here this week either. The two of them were my first real industry friends.
Todd is a fellow Beckerhead, and a maker whom I have known since my TTAK days. He bought me a beer and the two of us cruised the show, including the back room, for about 45 minutes this afternoon. Murph is a great guy as well, I met him for the first time at a Beckerhead Gathering at Ethan’s place a couple of years ago. Retired Marine and an all around good guy.
My favorite production knife of the day was the new-ish (2020 release but new to me) Hogue K320. I seriously fell in love with the ergos on it, and when coupled with my inherent fondness for Hogue Knives and the whole Hogue crew, I think it will be my next production knife purchase.
Julio Diez is a maker in California, with whom I have been social media friends for several years. He is a good guy and I always try to plug him when I can. He is also a designer for Condor, with about a half dozen Condor knife designs to his credit.