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.