Day 1 is in the can and while prior shows prepared me for the whirlwind of sensory overload that I was to experience, it is still one of the more overwhelming 7 hours of my year.
I stayed up late getting my post out last night. Even though David arrived late to Knoxville, we were having too much fun showing off our collections to each other and putting some of the knives through their paces to go to bed in a timely manner. So we each made the drive to Atlanta on about 4 hours of sleep. And then we hit the show floor.
I suppose one could make a beeline from the entrance to a specific vendor if you would like, but that is not what I would recommend. Blade Show is such a unique experience, the first thing you should do is simply walk around and try to take it all in. During my first lap, I actually tried to avoid making eye contact with people I knew, just to gather the lay of the land and get my bearings.
I ran into David, who had beaten me to the floor, and we started making the rounds together. We visited several makers we knew, starting with Big Chris and Kim Breed.
David has gotten to know Big Chris better than I have, and he was able to get him to do a 5 from the Grinder a while back. Chris is known for making blades that are thin. strong, and incredibly light. They really feel alive in the hand. Even though I have already made my “big” purchase for the show (keep reading), his fillet knife is still on my list as a possible second purchase.
We talked to Kim Breed, who is probably the maker whom I have gotten to know most in my tenure as Editor at TTAK. There are others, but fact is David has done an amazing job of networking over the past few years, and I continue to be dazzled by the connections he has made.
We split up again, David went to grab a bite to eat and I stayed behind. My wanderings led me off the floor and into the lobby, where I saw TV Host and Survival Instructor Creek Stewart signing his new book Survival Hacks. I have been a fan of Creek’s for a while, and we have shared some of his videos and articles in the past. It was cool to talk to him for about 10 minutes. I am not sure what the avenue will be, but he expressed interest in collaborating with TTAK on something to be announced. I am open to suggestions. It is a neat opportunity and I will definitely be following up. I also purchased a copy of his new book, and will do a review as a future “Survival Saturday” post.
I ran back into David and we hit the floor again. We visited LT Wright, where David introduced me to LT’s staff – many of whom David considers friends at this point. LT gave me a new and better sheath for my D-2 Canadian Belt Knife. The original was too big. This one fits great. I was glad to strap it to my belt and carry it the rest of the day.
We stopped by First Edge and visited with Rick Shepherd, with whom I have been corresponding and speaking with for the past several months. I have already been testing their 5050 Survival and 5150 Field Knife, and at the booth we got to see their new line of folders. These knives have the same Elmax blades as do their fixed-blade cousins, and are available in assisted open or automatic.
There were several dozen other stops throughout the rest of the day, but two are worthy of documenting here. First is an up and coming maker from Cookeville, TN, Dee Kistner. I had asked Kim Breed if there were any makers could use some exposure in a 5 from the Grinder piece and that he thought were on the cusp of becoming more widely known. He suggested Dee without skipping a beat. David and I swung by his table, and spent several minutes talking and looking at his work. After examining his knives, I can see why Kim is bullish on Dee’s future.
Finally, I stopped by to see Murray Carter of Carter Cutlery. I have long lusted after one of his knives, and was ready to pull the trigger. First however, I was able to do a mini-interview with Carter-san, where he essentially dictated a 5ftG piece to my phone as a voice memo. I will pull the pictures together myself. Just having Murray Carter do one is itself a feather for TTAK’s cap. I don’t mind transcribing the audio.
More importantly, I found the knife I had been looking for. I can’t believe that I dropped the $600 of my own money it took to get it, but I was ready for an upgrade from my “Good Enough” Wusthof Classic Chef’s. I bougtht my Murray Carter. Even better, since the transaction was in person and not over the internet I even got to witness Carter-san giving the knife a final sharpening.
I wish I could get room service to send up a bunch of onions and tomatoes. I want to try this knife out.
Finally, I want to thank you all for reading. I am sorry that this is so late, but you don’t need to wait for one of us to make a formal post to see what we have been up to at the show. Follow our Instagram Feed, Twitter Feed (both @knifetruth) as well as our Facebook page for real-time content from the show floor. While we are on the subject of Instagram, there is a slight change. Instead of maintaining separate Twitter and IG threads, David and I are both going to just post on Instagram and make mention of whose post it is. Since IG posts to both twitter and Facebook, it will be easier to keep all 3 updated with fresh content.
Let us know what you would like to see more of and we will try to oblige.