Murray Carter called out the increasing impact television was having on the knife industry in his 5 from the Grinder piece.
I think one of the most significant things in the past couple of years has been the Forged in Fire TV series on the History Channel. It is already in Season 3, and looks like other TV producers are interested in the same theme. It has brought a new awareness to the forged blade, it has brought the concept of bladesmithing to the living rooms of many people across the world who never knew that knives could come out of any other setting than an industrial or factory setting.
I think that social media and the TV have both done a tremendous service to the industry of bladesmithing.
Forged in Fire. Knife or Death. Bushcraft Build-Off. Survivorman. Whatever show Bear Grylls drinks his pee on. All of these have had an impact on the knife world, despite the lamentations of the “old guard”. One can point to a few downside issues, but writ large I agree with Carter-san – the positive exposure is a tremendous benefit to the industry. Even if someone’s first exposure to an outdoor knife is one of the orange, plastic-handled monstrosities that are sold at the big box stores. If they catch the bug they will be back for something better.
History Channel’s Alone is one of the gold standards for knives on television. David Andersen has done yeoman’s work pouring over promotional material, documenting the knives carried by each of the contestants. If you missed his post on Season 5, which premieres tonight at 10pm ET, you can catch it here.