The once-a-year Kershaw Factory Sale started this morning as long lines of knife guys (including your correspodent) queued up to enter the Holy Of Holies. TTAG’s Joe Grine and I stood in line outside for more than an hour with temperatures in the low double digits.
Was it worth it? Oh, god yes.
The scene inside was simply glorious: hundreds of determined knife afficianados scouring tables full of invisibly-blemished Kershaw, Shun and Zero Tolerance blades at discounts of 50-75% below street price. Chinese-made Kershaws were also there by the crate and priced between $10 and $30 each, but I had my eye on the US-made goods.
Shun kitchen knives were deeply discounted, typically 50% off street price, and my friend Joe Grine bought enough of them to equip the next season of Top Chef. I’m happy enough with my Ginsu Chikaras right now, and even the world’s finest Santoku makes a crappy EDC knife so I moved on…
After I dropped off my old Skyline for a free sharpening, I hit the ‘Made In USA’ tables where the deals were so sick and so overwhelming that I had to pass most of them up. Here are some of the missed opportunities I’ll regret for the next year:
- An entire 10-foot table covered with US-made Scallions for $17 each. I grabbed two of them right away, but I later put them back in favor of a fancier US-made knife with an S30V blade.
- US-made Leeks were around $30, in a variety of colors.
- US-made Skylines were on sale in endless quantities for $20 each, in every color you wanted as long as it was black.
I wanted to fill a whole bag with Skylines and Scallions to give as gifts, but I ended up only grabbing one extra Skyline.
Like a diabetic in Hershey Park, I staggered around the sale for more than an hour cherry-picking and and replacing knives until I had as many outstanding knives as I could afford. I picked up my old Kershaw Skyline from the free sharpening window and looked for the cash registers.
It didn’t take me long to find this serpentine checkout line, but it took me the better part of an hour to get through it. I ran into TTAG regular ‘Fido’ while I was waiting, so it wasn’t a complete loss.
All in all, this knife sale was AMAZING. I’m hooked, and I’m definitely going back next year. If any of you live in the Portland area, the factory sale continues throughout this weekend (December 7-8, 2013) and I definitely recommend you check it out if you’ve got a half-day to spend. Mapquest your way to 18660 SW Teton Avenue, Tualitin, OR 97062, dress warmly, and bring lots of money.
If you’re into knives you’ll have a blast just looking, and if you only buy yourself a single $20 Skyline you’ll still score a fantastic knife and save yourself at least twenty bucks.
If you’re in law enforcement or active-duty military you can even skip the waiting line! Bring your agency or military ID to the back entrance off of Teton Ave. (where you see the satisfied shoppers staggering out of the factory with bulging bags of blades) and they’ll let you right in. And thank you for your service.
Tune in over the next week for a peek at what I did grab.