Blade Show 2016: Saturday Afternoon update

I decided to take an hour to grab a bite to eat and try to get out a quick update. I am not going to spend a great deal of time typing, rather I am going to try to bring you some of the sights of “Blade Show”. Some of these shots have already appeared on our social media feeds (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) but since not all of our readers are participants in said forums, I figured that sharing them here doesn’t hurt.


I am being careful to not end up with another major facial scar.

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David with Leo Espinoza, President of TOPS Knives

I am glad to have made some acquaintances at the TOPS Knives booth, a company with whom I had been totally remiss making contacts. David however is the networking king, and leveraged one of his contacts at Condor to gain a personal introduction to TOPS President Leo Espinoza and others. I am more than thrilled to begin to plug what has been a glaring omission on our part, namely a paucity of posting about a really awesome American knife company.

Companies don’t always let you photograph prototypes, but TOPS had no such reservations. Here is a cool Balisong that will hopefully hit shelves before Christmas. I like it because it isn’t just a straight, pointy blade. Instead considerable thought went into designing one that is actually a good, functional knife – not just a thrusting weapon. It will be usable for the 99.5% of the time that you aren’t being jumped by a gang of ruffians.


With a traditional drop-point blade and ergonomic handles, this prototype from TOPS promises to be a different kind of balisong.

There are few people I could segue to off of “being jumped by gangs of ruffians” but a transition to Robert Young Pelton might be one of the few that isn’t out of line. Robert is the founder of DpX Gear, author, and world adventure traveler. He is a certified badass, or maybe just certifiable for travelling to some of the hot-spots he does. Regardless, he is an authority on the tools you need when things go south, and he designs knives like the HEST-(Hostile Environment Survival Tool) series of blades with that in mind.


Robert Young Pelton is a certified badass.

We paid a visit to Derek at the Benchmade booth where we got to see some of their new releases, including the Crooked River folder from their Hunt Series.


David chats with Derek from Benchmade

I immediately took a liking to this knife both because it is very good looking and comfortable in the hand, but also because of the name. Cuyahoga County, OH contains Cleveland, my hometown. Cuyahoga translates to “Crooked River”, and happens to be the river that caught fire in the 70s. While it is far from the only river to catch fire in the industrial midwest, it has been the most iconic, and is embraced by Clevelanders the same way we embrace our sports teams breaking our hearts. At any rate, it is a knife I am meant to test, and I look forward to Derek sending me one.


The Benchmade Crooked River. A stylish and modern take on a traditional clip-point hunter.

I will leave you a final image before I return to the floor. Only at Blade Show is the sight of someone walking around with a sword strapped to their back largely unremarkable. The only other place I can think of is at a Renaissance Fair. At any rate, I only thought to snap the picture because I had a minute to dwell on it as the escalator was going up. It is the Blade-Showiest Blade Show image I can think of.


Bladeshowiest image of the day. (so far)

Thanks for reading everyone. If there is anything you want us to make a point of checking out for you, please let us know.


  1. Overload in CO says:

    I find the Crooked River unbalanced. The heavy bolsters don’t center the weight as much as make it feel nose heavy.

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Blade Show 2016: Saturday Afternoon update

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