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2011 Atlanta Blade Show: Part II, Company Exhibitors, July 4

June 21, 2011
The C.J. Case knife booth at the Atlanta Blade Show. Many companies have “standard” traveling exhibits that they take from show to show in late Summer and early Fall. The show season often starts with the Shot Show in January when many companies introduce new products that they hope to sell the following hunting season.

This show was first aired on July 4, 2011, and  may be heard by clicking on the following link:  http://webtalkradio.net/shows/hoveys-outdoor-adventures/.

  The Atlanta Blade Show and Cutlery Fair has always had a mix of exhibitors. In Part II,  I start with a tour of  Buck Knife’s new factory at Post Falls, Idaho, conducted by C.J. Buck, and then return to the Blade Show floor with conversations with importers, home-grown knife companies that are household names (and some that are not), a maker of kitchen cutlery who markets in an unusual manner,  a very nearly all  fat cooking segment  and conclude with makers of knife components and sharpening stones.

  Knife makers include companies that have been in the game for centuries and are still working with equipment from that era to others who have upgraded to ultra-modern facilities and those that mix traditional and modern techniques to make interesting, affordable knives.

Buck Knives moved from San Diego, California, to Post Falls, Idaho, to remain competitive by reducing costs, streamlining manufacturing methods and live in a less urban environment.

Laser cutting blanks for one pattern of PackLite knives prior to grinding, heat treating, annealing and finishing.

  Buck Knives is now a forth-generation family business, that progressed from hand-making knives to computer-assisted batch processing methods and hand finishing to make affordable knives in the U.S. There is still a lot of handwork that goes into a Buck knife with much more being done on custom and limited-production knives. I used some of their new PackLite knives to process an Idaho black bear after seeing the knives being made at the factory.

  My personal interest in knives is more about using them, rather than their artistic merit, rarity or cash value.  To test the knife, I  processed a crossbow-killed Idaho black bear with the new PackLites. The knife shown below is the skinning version. It combines optimum weight, blade shape and sharpness to make an effective skinning blade. From time to time I lapped the edge on cardboard to keep the hollow-ground edge razor-sharp when working on a bear or hog. To find out about these and other Buck products go to: www.buckknives.com. If you would like to view a video-silde tour of the Buck factory, “A Visit to Buck Knives’ New Factory at Post Falls, Idaho, ”  is available at: http://youtu.be/ey_ZdF1PwbY .

If at all possible, I like to use the knives that I write about.

 
 
To see a video of my bear hunt and learn more about the knives in use go to my YouTube video at: http://youtu.be/GSbemqFJTjQ. I also have follow-up videos on “Getting the MeatHome” and cooking bear meat. On the last video I cook a bear stew, a Cornish pasty and wash it down with cherry bounce made from wild black cherries from a tree in my  yard. 
 

Paul Iseard represents several knife makers from Sheffield, England.

 
The historic town of Sheffield, England, has been making knives since before the American Revolution. Many of these knives  found their way into the gold and silver camps of the Western states, Civil War packs, Victorian dress coats  and both new and old Sheffield knives may still be purchased today. Although many of the factories are now closed, some still operate under local ownership producing knives on the same machinery and benches where they were always made. For more information go to www.sheffield-trading.com or www.sheffield-made.com. You may also contact Iseard directly at sales@sheffield-traiding.com.
 
While not quite so old as the Sheffield production, Puma knives have

Chris Lalik with Puma's historic and functional boar spear.

been imported into the U.S. since before World War II. These knives very often have stag handles and a distinctive “European” look. European production has now become very “pricey” on the American market and the company now has some of its German-made blades handled and made into knives in China to reduce costs. These are still Puma knives, but marketed under a different brand.  The product that I chose to illustrate is their boar spear, which is a formidable instrument that some still  use to hunt wild boars. The sheath for the blade is made of  boar hide and the large ash shaft is leather wrapped. For information go to: www.pumaknifecompanyusa.com.

 
 

Chestnut scales and an extended locking back distinguish these knives.

Least one think that only foreign companies exhibit at the Blade Show, there are many more domestic knife makers than foreign exhibitors in the halls. Canal Street Cutlery is an exclusive maker of American-pattern pocket and fixed-blade knives that was derived from the personnel from the Custom Knife Division of Schrade Cutlery when that company folded. Each year they expand their line of knives. This  year they offered their first lock-back folding knife which is further distinguished as being handled with American chestnut. This folder also has a raised locking lever for easier operation for those who have  very large hands. These are quality hand-made knives that sell for reasonable prices.  For information contact WGardiner@canalstreelcutlery.com.   

 

From Top: Small slicer, cheese knife and pairing knife.

Cutco, a 40-year-old New York firm, exhibited for the first time at the 2011 Blade Show. They make interesting and useful kitchen knives offered with a lifetime warranty and re-sharpening service. In larger cities salesmen give in-home demonstrations. These products are not retailed through stores,  and the company does not advertise. Thses knives are sold because one person recommended them to a friend. They have small, medium and large kitchen knives, a very interesting design of cheese slicer that has many more uses that slicing cheese as well as hunting knives and some hand-gardening tools. Loren Horton represented the company. For more information go to: myCUTCOrep.com/LorenHorton or contact him  directly at lorenhorton@bellsouth.net.

 
Joe Culpepper offers bone and horn material from all over the world for use in making knife handles. These include 15,000-year-old Mastodon leg bones, as well as camel and Asiatic sheep horn. He has a website, www.knifehandles.com and another that features stingray products at www.stingrayproducts.com.
 
Now that you have your knife, or knives, you need to keep them sharp, and Dan’s Whetstone Co. offers Arkansas novaculite that is custom cut with wooden boxes made to fit each stone. These are oil stones, and I find that they work well when lubricated with olive oil. Three grades of stones  are typically offered, and these are also sold as sets with coarse, medium and fine  stones. For more information go to www.danswhetstone.com.
 
A 6-minute video of the 2011 Blade Show and Cutlery Fair is available by clicking on the following link: http://youtu.be/Y7JfFlDJhxE.      
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