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.