Question of the Day: What’s Your Favorite Knife Store?

Chris’s recent post trumpeting his latest find, Northwoods Knives, got me to thinkin’. I’ve bought almost all of the blades in my modest collection over the intertubes. While I’d picked up the odd Kershaw at Wally World and found a decent, if over-priced selection at a local army surplus joint, I’d never really looked around to see what other retail resources exist in my midwestern neck of the woods. So utilizing that big, evil don’t-be-evil search engine, I summoned my best Google Fu skillz and turned up…gpknives.com. And wow, am I glad I did . . .

Formerly known as Grand Prairie Knives, their brick and mortar store is located in the St. Louis exurb of Troy, Illinois at the intersection of two interstates. A little out of the way, perhaps, but easy to get there and well worth the trip.

Walk in and it’s freaking knife heaven. Any and every brand of blade you can think of from Almar to Zero Tolerance . . . and everything in between, all cleanly and clearly displayed. The couple of iPhone pics I snapped just don’t do the place justice. And just to drive home my abysmal level of ignorance, Chrissy — the friendly, knowledgeable member of the family who owns the business — told me that gpknives.com has been around for about 20 years now.

It’s probably a good thing I’ve been in the dark so long. Otherwise I’d have dropped a huge chunk of my disposable income there. That, despite their prices being extremely competitive. But this being the 21st century and all, you don’t have to live around here or drive for hours to buy from gpknives.com. Obviously. They have a very nice internet portal as well as a presence at the usual social media outlets.

The thing about walking into a top flight knife store like gpknives.com is, you can’t walk out empty-handed. It’s like going to “just look” at puppies. There’s no way you’re getting out of there without at least one.

I was really good. Seriously. I didn’t have all afternoon to smear up their counters pressing my nose against the glass, so I made a bee-line for the blade I’d wanted ever since I saw it at the SHOT Show: the Ken Onion-designed CRKT Swindle. But while I was there, I also got to fondle a couple of his other lovelies like the wonderfully light titanium Eros and the new Ripple. I restrained myself, but it wasn’t easy.

A full review will follow soon. Watch this space.

Anyway…after making a short question unbearably long, what’s your favorite knife store? I know mine. Now.

comments

  1. Ben says:

    Hands down Smokey Mountain Knife Works in Sevierville, TN. Nowhere near where I libre, but well worth a decent drive. Easily the best knife store I’ve ever been in.

  2. pastubbs says:

    I got a Ripple recently at blade show and I have to say its the smoothest action on a production blade I have ever seen even better then my 0560. Its now my EDC blade well at least one of them I usually tote a 0350 with it.

  3. Bob says:

    My only options are the internet. That being said I like to buy direct if I can.

  4. Jim says:

    BladeHQ!!!

  5. Jeremy says:

    Smokey Mountain Knife Works. I grew up 45 minutes from that place. I’ve loved it since I was a Cub Scout. I got the catalogs in the mail and scoured every page and whenever I went to the store, I’d spend HOURS looking at everything. I just went back there a month ago (I no longer live in TN) and the place has DOUBLED in size from when I was in high school.

  6. Pat Carver says:

    I was wowed by the selection at Country Knives in Intercourse PA. Check out the website.
    http://www.countryknives.com/

    Whenever I get into Las Vegas, I make a point of stopping at Bonds House of Cutlery AKA Knives and More.
    http://www.bondshouseofcutlery.com/

  7. Nathan says:

    I found GP over a year ago. I’ve seen that they have the best prices on Benchmade and ZT. The rest are competitive with everyone else. Last week I bought a Swindle from them. It came in Monday. If I also didn’t get a Paramilitary 2 on the same day I’d probably not have it out of my hand.

    As far as knife shops in my area, the closest one is an hour and a half away on Pier 39 in San Francisco. Hopefully there will be more when I move to Wyoming in August

  8. David says:

    http://www.willeyknives.com/

    Truly fine knife porn going on there. They have a rock’n sharpening service which puts them above most everyone else.

  9. Eric E says:

    It’s hard to beat the Smoky Mountain Knife Works. I live about 10 minutes away, and stop in to see what’s new. Beyond the knives for sale, the antique knives they have on display are really cool.

  10. Aharon says:

    My favorite brick and mortar store would be Hawthorne Cutlery in Portland Oregon. The owner Dave and the cast of locals who go there to hang-out and socialize are very interesting characters with great stories to tell and things to learn about.

  11. C says:

    A lot of people beat me to Smoky Mountain Knife Works. It’s too far for me to make a special trip, but one can find ways to occupy.

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Question of the Day: What’s Your Favorite Knife Store?

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