Gird your pockets and pack your band-aids, because June is coming and that means Blade Show is happening soon.
It’s going to be a busy weekend packed with classes and demos, featuring over 900 exhibitors of all kinds including full production knife makers, a whole hell of a lot of custom makers, and even a few businesses that make everything from heat treat ovens to belt grinders.
You can see the full list of exhibitors here along with a floor map, but that’s not the only thing to look forward to come June 2nd.
Check out the Classes
Knife makers will have a lot of education to choose from this year, whether they want to learn about forging Damascus steel or how to sell knives online.
Among the highlights are two classes with Bob Kramer: one on designing kitchen knives, and the other on running a successful knife business.
Work Sharp is also hosting a knife sharpening workshop where you can bring your own knife and get some practice working with a variety of different sharpening implements.
If you want to get really technical you’ll definitely want to check out the Exploring the Performance of Pattern Welded Steels class with Devin and Larrin Thomas, and while you’re at it go see what the hell 3D printed canister damascus is with Steve Schwarzer and Ron Harman.
There will also be a knife critique panel including Lucas Burnley, Devin Thomas, David Lisch, Mike Quesenberry, and Luke Swenson who will look at one of your knives and provide a bit of feedback.
There will be at least two full days of classes running from about 8 – 5 on Friday and Saturday, so be sure to check the full class schedule.
Don’t Miss Out On the Demos
All demos are free for all Blade Show ticket holders, so don’t let yourself miss out on the balisong and cutting championships, or the Big Knife Bushcraft & Safety demo with Joe Flowers. Of course, the main event is arguably the annual meeting of the American Bladesmith Society, where work from a few members are put up for auction. There will also be several nervous knife makers packing along presentation knives for their test to become journeyman or master bladesmiths. The tests are closed, but the makers will be there and we can’t stress enough how important it is that if you meet someone going for journeyman or mastersmith that you ask before touching anything on their table.
There will also be various events and giveaways that will be announced throughout the show, so be sure to keep your ears open. The last event will be the Blade Magazine Knife-of-the-Year celebration on Saturday night in the Pit (just outside the show) where the awards for the best knives of the year will be announced.
Check out the full list of demos here.
Be Prepared, Get Distracted, Come Back Here for News
It’s easy to get distracted at these shows, so if there’s a particular maker you really want to see, make sure you find out where their booth is, and go see them as soon as possible. There will be shiny things trying to distract you all the way, but we can’t stress enough that you should find the thing you really want to check out first. But this is also one of the best events to discover new makers, or old ones you never knew about, so be sure to give yourself time to wander around and discover something different.
If you can’t make Blade Show this year, be sure to check back on our News & Events section in June for desperately incomplete coverage as we charge back and forth across the hotel trying to look at and talk to everyone while getting constantly distracted by shiny things.