Blade Show 2023 Day 3: Goodbyes amidst the chaos…

Sunday at Blade Show is always strangely bipolar. I have mentioned it before, but for some guests, Sunday is their only Blade Show experience. For exhibitors, it is Day 4 if you count Thursday’s set-up day. Between long hours on the floor, followed by more hours spent at the Pit, most are running on fumes. I ended up chatting with Rob “Filo” Cabrera until about 1:30am or so, and it was 2 before I was back at the room finishing my Day 2 post.

I had missed out on dinner with Rob, his family, and the Outlier Knife Co. crew, having been stuck for longer than intended at a Kizer reception. So it was nice to have a chance to visit after all.

The lines were almost non-existent when I arrived at 8am. It was sparse enough, and we were running low enough on magazines, that I decided to forgo my usual passing out issues to folks waiting, and instead divided up available free copies between the racks that we had placed around the show. Special shout out to Jantz Supply, AKTI, Knife Rights, and the Moran Foundation for giving us a tiny piece of valuable real estate in each of their booths.

I ran into Heather from PNW Bushcraft at the ESEE booth on my way to our own.

ESEE’s Shane Adams and I compared our personal PWN gear, he has an extremely tight piece of kit that holds a knife, tiny whistle, waterproof tinder, and Thrunite flashlight. His even has the Death Bunny logo. (I have shared my convertible vallet/pocket organizer plenty, and will be again, so I am skipping it here).

I saw the opportunity to get a picture with Seth Ercanbrak and Jim O’Young at the WE Booth

Seth is a phenomenal representative and my primary WE contact. The guy has even called me back from the top of a mountain in the middle of an Elk hunt.

I also took another picture of Tina and Angel, because, why not? They are nice ladies and have made working with WE easy over these past few years.


I next made a beeline for Pappy O’Machearley‘s table, as I owed him the balance for my new mini-trapper, but also because I did not remember to get a picture with him and the knife yesterday. Situation remedied.

Chuck Cook (with knifemaking son David) recently did a 5 from the Grinder, which you can see here.

5 from the Grinder: Chuck Cook (Scout Knives)

I was so tired that I embarrassed myself by not remembering he had already done one, when I asked him if he wanted to participate in the series.

It’s ok, I set the bar very low today…I was vertical, and the sounds emanating from my mouth hole vaguely resembled intelligible speech.

Anything more would have been a bit too much to ask today.

Unlike earlier in the weekend, I saw that there was not an extensive line at the Demko Knives booth, and I struck up a conversation with John Demko. He showed me their new Armiger fixed blade.

It comes with an interesting sheath with a softer, non scratching center section, with harder, screw-on, rigid edge pieces for support and stability.

John agreed to participate in 5 from the Grinder in the near future, and hopefully brother Andrew, and fellow designer Mike Wallace will participate as well.

I also met Matt Bondo, who will be my contact person at Demko for routine communications.

Hogue has a new knife, the Mysto – a Magnacut, ABLE Lock folder, designed by Scoot Bruhns.

Randomly ran into Buck Knives’ Ken Vitale…

…a fellow midwesterner, and Buck’s Product Manager.

John Demko recommended I stop by Ocaso Knives, who produces designs by Andrew Demko and Mike Wallace. Ocaso was founded by Vic Valdez, a former VP at Cold Steel, who like the Demkos, left when the company was sold to GSM Outdoors.

Nearby, I saw Ryan Hoover’s wife Amber, working with a young boy on fast draw knife technique. (Hard Ready Brand )

Amber is a fantastically nice person, and a heck of a martial artist in her own right as you can see in this video…

Rosecraft Blades won Import Knife of the Year for their Clinch River Swayback last night…

So the jovial mood at the booth when I arrived this was well understandable.

Another random meetup in an aisle – new Cutlery HoF inductee Steve Schwarzer and Dominic of MaxLVL EDC YouTube Channel.

Yue Dong, othewise known as DoctorEDC on Instagram, is also a founder of Vosteed Cutlery.

This was my first time meeting Yue, despite having corresponded with him for more than 5 years.

He gave me a protoype fixed blade to test. I don’t know much about it, but I will find out more.

Finally, I made the rounds to say some goodbyes. Craig at TOPS (above)

Tim Stetzer (My Tactical EDC)

And as always, my former TTAK colleague David C. Andersen. (Nordsmith Knives)

It wouldn’t be Blade Show without him.


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Have a good one everybody.  Much more Blade Show Content to come.


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BTW…In case you were wondering, the answer is I got more sleep last night than the time it took to drive home. 3:30 vs 3:15. I’m gassed.  I am going to bed.