Blade Show 2023: Day 1 review

Howdy Folks…

Day 1 of Blade Show 2023 is in the books, and it looks like the show is back to pre-pandemic levels. 2020 was cancelled, 2021 had a bit of a funky survivor vibe, and last year looked close to normal. But this year was as packed as I have ever seen it on a Friday.

The fact that the primary line wound around the corner is nothing new.

But there was a secondary line for the back ballroom, that even wound around the block outside as well.

And then…came the VIP/Early bird opening…


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Knife Magazine (@theknifemag)

It was a good first day, with peak traffic seemingly around 1:30pm.

My day started by visiting the folks who responded to my Instagram post with their booth number, including my friends at PNW Bushcraft.

They made the pocket organizer/valet tray I carry, and Heather made me an old-school knife roll this year…


Some of the others I visited included Chapman Lake Knives, Jason Fry (our March 2023 cover maker), and Bill Tyc.


I met Alex Harrison of Night Watch Knives, and a 5 from the Grinder participant.

Ryan Hoover is on my very exclusive short-list of trusted personal defense experts, and a person I have very much enjoyed getting to know. My former Krav instructor respects him greatly, which was my introduction to Ryan.


You can find more about Ryan at his Hard Ready gear brand. (or Fit to Fight for his defense training).

I was really impressed with Jordy Wallace (FocusWorks EDC) and his Bob the Boxcutter. He has his first folder design for sale at the show.

I stopped by the Kizer booth, which for the first time in several years was manned by actual Kizer employees (who had previously been barred from travel during covid). I was finally able to meet Neo Feng, who is one of their Marketing leads, and who has been my primary point of contact for the past several years.

I also met Sherif Manganas, (Manganas Steel) who is one of their designers.

I really dug his Grazioso prototype. I look forward to getting my hands on one when they hit the market.

I did buy one knife…

Just a little dual use light-defensive/bird and trout style knife from South African maker Bertie Rietveld (Rietveld Knives).

I actually fell completely in love with one of his $3000 art pieces, but this was much more obtainable.

I am going to take a minute to just blitz through a bunch of selfies and other random shots from the afternoon, but first, this was the highlight of my day…


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Knife Magazine (@theknifemag)

Very, very on-brand.

He was actually on the way to teach a bushcraft class.

Bobby Bushcraft was filming an interview with EJ Snyder for the Greg Medford Show.

I spent some time with the Cammengas of White River Knife and Tool, a great American company…

Earlier in the day…

with Josh Swannagon and Bobby Bushcraft, two of the guys I most enjoy hanging with here and at SHOT.

Bob DeMarco, of the Knife Junkie Podcast, actually went to my High School, though he graduated ahead of my arrival as a freshman.

Chef Craig Kuhns and Ethan Becker.

After a long, exhausting day on the show floor, I spent the evening  at a private party at Topgolf, hosted by the folks at WE Knives.

Lots of networking opportunities. Among the folks I met was Logan, whose Knife Thoughts blog I share from time to time.

I had my longest conversation to date with Zac, of Zac in the Wild YouTube Channel

But most importantly I met Tina and Angel, who are the two women I coordinate images and information with when I write about WE Knives for the magazine.

It was nice to finally meet them after so many years of correspondence.

That is about it for tonight. I am going to head to the Pit now, to continue my “networking”.

Have a good Saturday everybody.