As a triskaidekaphobe, I couldn’t bring myself to hunt down all of BLADE Magazine’s 2013 Knife-Of-The-Year award winners. Thirteen categories? In 2013? Shudder. Truth be told TTAK didn’t score an invite to the Saturday night gala banquet—even though I was dying to see what knives everyone used to slice their rubber chicken. And I had to bail for the airport early Sunday. But enough about me. Here’s the official criteria: “All entrants in the Knife-Of-The-Year competition were judged on a number of factors, including utility, design, creativity, materials, aesthetics, feel and other traits.” Vague enough? Political much? Nah. Here’s a list of the winners . . .
•Overall Knife Of The Year®: Zero Tolerance 0454 [as above]
•American-Made Knife Of The Year®: Hogue Elishewitz
•Imported Knife Of The Year®: Fox Knives Modras [link to website, knife not found]
•Most Innovative American Design: Microtech D.O.C. Kill Switch [link to website, knife not found]
•Most Innovative Imported Design: CRKT Ken Onion Swindle
•Best Buy Of The Year: CRKT Endorser
•Kitchen Knife Of The Year®: Ken Onion Chef Works [link to video]
•Investor/Collector Knife Of The Year®: Pro-Tech Newport
•Knife Collaboration Of The Year®: Microtech Mick Strider
•Manufacturing Quality Award: Chris Reeve Knives
•Accessory Of The Year: CRKT Onion Survival Parasaw
•Industry Achievement Award: American Bladesmith Society (ABS) master smith Joe Keeslar for introducing the ABS and modern bladesmithing to France through annual workshops, as well as teaching bladesmithing in the USA via seminars and his books, for his award-winning knives, and for his leadership via several terms on the ABS Board Of Directors and as chairman of the ABS.
•Publisher’s Award: Joyce Laituri, marketing manager of Spyderco, for almost two decades of setting the standard for how to best promote and publicize a knife company’s knives-in this case, those of Spyderco. Her ability to work with the media in terms of providing Spyderco knives, knife imagery, knife information and other materials has been a model for all others in public relations to emulate. No one has done it better.
Also during the banquet, ABS master smith Wayne Goddard became the 50th inductee into the BLADE Magazine Cutlery Hall Of Fame©. Celebrating 50 years of making knives, Goddard parlayed the knowledge he’s gained in his knifemaking business into a second career writing about the process, including almost a quarter century as a columnist (“Question & Answer,” “The $50 Knife Shop,” “Steels” and more) for BLADE Magazine, and as an author of several successful books on the subject.