Blade 2014: Day 2 Wrap-up

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Look who I found wandering around…

Day 2 is in the bag and I am whooped. The show is so big, and there is so much to see, I doubt I have looked at a third of it. But I can’t begin to quantify all that I have learned. As you all know, I am working hard to expand my knowledge base beyond my bushcraft and woodworking background. To this end the weekend has been an amazing networking opportunity.

I have met so many wonderful people. I want to give a particular recognition to Ben from CRKT, Derrick from Benchmade, CJ from Medford, the guys at Wilmont Knives, and John from Case. All of these folks went out of their way to spend a considerable amount of time with me and answer all of my questions.

Of course there is also Will Woods. We have been internet acquaintances for a long time, but now I am happy to think of him as a friend. He has been there for me all weekend, explaining the jargon, answering questions about steel, blade geometry, and any number of other topics. He has a couple of ideas bouncing around for future posts, and we look forward to his future contributions to the blog.

But enough of that. You all didn’t surf over to listen to me blather on about the personal aspects of the show. Here is tonight’s dose of knife porn.

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Calvin Powell is one of the up and coming knifemakers at the show.

Calvin Powell of CJ Custom Knives is a young knifemaker who is making waves. Unlike so many younger makers, Calvin is not going after the tactical market. Instead his energy is focused on making older style knives with more than a little artistry. Between his file work on the spine of his knives, the Damascus steel, and the beautiful scale materials (coral, mammoth ivory, and others), his knives are every bit as impressive as makers twice his age.

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A selection of Wilmont tactical knives.

Wilmont Knives is a custom knife making company located near Ft. Bragg, North Carolina. They are a veteran owned and staffed business turning out burly tactical knives from Parkerized 1084 carbon steel. Not only are their knives my favorite in the tactical genera, the staff were just really nice folks whom I hope to cross paths with again soon.

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ARA series rescue knife from Antonini Knives of Italy

The ARA series recue knife from Antonini is one of the more unique knives I have seen at the show. This example was made for the Vatican Fire Brigade, and the only one (Vatican edition) in the States. The knife is also made for general release without the Vatican detailing.

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The Alden from Helle Knives of Norway

The Alden, by Helle Knives of Norway is the Scandinavian interpretation of a Kephart knife. I do not know if they were influenced or if it is a case of parallel evolution. After all, the mid size drop point geometry is extremely suited for bushcraft work, and the Scandinavians have a rich history of bushcraft. At any rate, all of their knives have nice wooden handles and a price point that puts them in the relatively affordable range ($120-$250).

That’s all for tonight. A half day left before I roll north to Knoxville. Thank you to everyone for your comments, input, and feedback.





  1. Matt in FL says:

    The proportions of that Alden (and others similarly shaped) just seem off to me. It looks like a knife that had the tip snapped off and was reground to be usable again.

  2. Roger says:

    I’ve got to say this. That Vatican Rescue Knife from Antonini looks like some junky flea market find. Those serrations just scream unusable to me.

    1. I understand your point. I don’t think it is the greatest tool ever, but it seemed pretty well constructed. My friend Ian (who reviewed the Glauca V1 by Extrema Ratio) has spent a lot of time doing law-enforcement training with several European agencies and thinks very highly of the various Vatican protective services. They know their tactics. It would make sense that they know their gear as well.

      But obviously I haven’t tested the knife, and you may well be right. I will try and see if I can convince the US importer (who was the one at the show) to send me a production model to put through its paces.

  3. For me too this The ARA series rescue knife is unique. I have seen this knife for the first time. But what is the connection between this knife and Vatican Fire Brigade?? I mean how that knife is serving purpose to fire brigade?

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Blade 2014: Day 2 Wrap-up

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