AKTI: Knives Are Big Business

Image: Wikipedia

No, dammit, I said “Knives Are Big Business.” Whatever; the point here is that the U.S. sporting knife industry has achieved market penetration (pun intended) that many specialty industries can only dream of.

According to industry group the American Knife And Tool Institute, the sporting knife industry directly or indirectly employed more than 20,000 people in 2010, and added nearly $4.5 Billion to the U.S. economy.

More than 35 million U.S. households owned a pocket knife as of 2007, and more than 24 million owned a hunting knife. More than 30 million Americans hunted or fished, and 90% of them carried knives while hunting and fishing.

I’m not surprised by any of this, but I was surprised by another statistic: 80% of new knife sales are one-hand openers, assisted openers, or multi-tools. But maybe I shouldn’t be shocked: if my own purchases are any guide, this 80% number might even be a little on the low side.

As we wade through the confusing morass of laws that govern and restrict the carry and ownership of edged tools, it’s comforting to remember that we’re in the majority here. Most Americans own a pocketknife, and huge numbers of us hunt and fish with them. Numbers are on our side; we just need to keep it up.



  1. Kahless1984 says:

    They call that a pocket knife!?
    maybe a cargo pocket knife!
    awesome site by the way.

  2. Paul810 says:

    “35 million U.S. households owned a pocket knife as of 2007”

    I would think it’s much greater than that. I know most polls say 40+ million households have firearms. I can’t see more households owning firearms than a simple pocket knife.

    1. Chris Dumm says:

      As big a number as 35 million sounds like, I think you’re right. How could a household *not* own a pocketknife?

      1. jwm says:

        I have to agree. The simplest to own and easiest to carry tool in human history and only 35 million households have 1? Maybe there’s only 35 million househoulds in America.

    2. BLAMMO says:

      Many of the people who might answer “No” to the question “Do you have a pocket knife in your household?”, probably own three they’ve completely forgotten about.

      1. Pat says:

        Or only answering to the question of carrying on them at the time.

  3. DP.Science says:

    The real question this article leads to is this: Who were the 10% of hunters and fishers who DIDN’T carry a knife? Did they dress their buck with a spork? Fillet that fish with a iPhone?

    1. Sam L. says:

      Guides, DPS; guides. Or bearers.

    2. jwm says:

      Those are the guys that are telling their wives they’re going hunting or fishing.

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AKTI: Knives Are Big Business

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