Knives at IWA'2019

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Sergiusz Mitin
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Mar 27, 2019 12:55 pm

Knives at IWA'2019

Post by Sergiusz Mitin » Fri Mar 29, 2019 7:42 pm

Knives at IWA'2019

Hello all!

I'm new here – at this board – but not in the world of the blades.
Right now I would like to share my impressions after visiting IWA'2019 where I was interested mostly in knives and sharpening accessories, not only of course but really mostly.

First I have shared my impressions at BladeForums. The most of that board users are Americans and I considered pretty appealing to tell them about our European events, especially so important and prestigious.
Unfortunately my report didn't caused too big interest, seems quite silly threads something like “beer and blades” excite Americans much more pushing any sensible threads lower and lower on the board until they become totally forgotten.
Not excluded that my statement “the golden age of American knife manufacturing seems to be over” is not too pleasant for American forum members as well...

Yes, I know – American people are proud of their Blade Show in Atlanta and Shot Show in Las Vegas. I have never visited one nor another, so I can't compare these events with IWA in Nuremberg (Germany, Bavaria) but I can say certainly – IWA & Outdoor Classics is the biggest and the most prestigious show of guns, ammo, accompanying accessories and so on here in Europe.
With no doubts this is the biggest knife show in Europe as well.

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Here are exposing their knives the most famous knife manufacturers of entire world, also American companies. Must say that individual knife makers attend this trade show certainly less and this is the noticeable difference between IWA and typical knife shows in Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Russia and another European knife shows organised by national knifemaker associations.

The knives, multi-tools, axes, swords, sharpeners and other knife accessories were exposed at more than 400 exhibitor stands. Of course not all of them were knife manufacturer stands, some companies are only trading knives – FRANKONIA or HALLER for example. Some others are offering knives next to their product main line but not manufacture them – like GLOCK, WALTHER, BROWNING and so on. Sometimes it's unknown even what company is really manufacturing knives for them, so there is nothing to talk about.
Let's speak about real knife manufacturers.

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IWA floor plan - the very most of knife manufacturers traditionally order their stands in Hall 5

IWA'2019 was 26-th edition of this trade show what I have visited in row, my first visit took place in 1993. Observing European knife market within so long time I can compare comparable things and select certain trends what rather are not random or casual.

The main and the most clearly visible trend is not too comforting for American knife manufacturing companies. They have stronger and stronger competition from Chinese manufacturer side. Seems “the gold age of American knifemaking” - this is medial recapitulation of last quarter of XX century – is over and the world center of knife manufacturing gravity moves to Far East. The greatest part of liability for such situation rests on... American knife manufacturing companies although this looks pretty paradoxical. Commissioning the production of more and more their models to Far Eastern – Japan, Taiwan, China - cooperators they in a natural way made them available the newest technologies, materials, machinery and so on. There are some American companies what never had any own manufacturing facilities and all offered under their brand name knives where really manufactured at Far East.

Now please look at this problem from Chinese manufacturer standpoint. Using high technologies and modern top grade materials to make high quality knives for American brands, they should be completely crazy to do not try earlier or later to promote their knives as their own brand. And they did it! Some Chinese companies already are worked out and strengthened their position at American marked and now they aim to less absorbent and more conservative European one. More pragmatic and less fascinated with American knives as well...

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Chinese knife manufacturing companies fighting for European market are exposing their products at each year bigger and more convincing stands

Why I could foretell them success in this way?
It's quite simply task, not mandatory to be any diviner at all – the proverbial dog is buried in price relation to real value.

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Just one comparison, for example only – Chinese made DEFCON Kabuto versus US Idaho made legendary Chris Reeve Sebenza. The same materials and closely comparable execution quality at more than four (!!!) times lower price (according eBay.com). The general design and finish is strictly individual matter for everyone but real world utility features are also closely comparable and anyway are not lower.

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SPYDERCO is my icon of American knife manufacturing, why – it's separate question. Their Zoomer is close to ideal general use outdoors knife made on highest level of quality and of modern premium grade materials... at Taiwan.

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European knife making companies also do not stay in the same place. Italian LIONSTEEL almost each year surprise American Blade Show jury with quite innovatively designed knives. Of course I'm not diviner but I think their new ROK folder with concealed pocket clip has real chances to get next prize at Atlanta this year...

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LIONSTEEL make very good quality knives for German POHL FORCE company, founded by Dietmar Pohl – former chief-designer at German BÖKER company – about dozen years ago. Dietmar is knife designer, not manufacturer. I know him in person for about 20 years and clearly know that not each his design if fine for me. Anyway he has plenty of fantasy an far not each European production knife manufacturer can hold up to it. Italian LIONSTEEL can, nothing to say more.

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Another German knife designer's Dirk Wanger cooperation with LIONSTEEL is the little but very functional hunting / utility / neck knife Pronto. Preproduction prototype pictured, however currently the knife is in regular production line and is available at Dirk's website. German LOHMANN Niolox steel blade, walnut (another kind of wood as well as G-10 laminate should be available to choose) handle, Kydex (pictured) or classic leather pouches – these are the futures what I can reveal.
The thing what could look pretty curious at first look – German knife designers are ordering production not in their native Solingen but in Italy. The answer is more than simple – quality! Seems Solingen couldn't be considered as capital city of European knifemaking anymore...

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Another Italian knife making company EXTREMA RATIO certainly likes cool-looking bomb-proof military styled knives. I'm not too partial for such style, however I'm aware that it have pretty wide circle of admirers. Anyway I must say, that Austrian (BÖHLER) steel blades are flawlessly thermally treated and general execution quality stands on the highest level.

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Here is American Indian styled Nessmuk knife made by Finnish BRISA company - 80CrV2 carbon steel blade with scandi grind, curly birch handle, leather pouch with traditional Scandinavian low carry suspension.

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BRISA offers also wide range of modern styled hunting / outdoors / utility knives, here are their new series ones.

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If someone is looking for calmly and non aggressively designed, very well executed utility knife with balanced steel blade for reasonable price – really worth to take attention.

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Russian knife manufacturing company KIZLYAR Supreme started about dozen years ago importing to Russia China made knives. Today they have their own production facility in Kizlyar (small town in Dagestan, Muslim autonomy in Russian Federation at North Caucasus). Kizlyar could be considered as some kind of “Caucasian Solingen”, the place where knifemaking traditions exist always and for ever. Company works with modern steels and natural materials like wooden handles and leather pouches. Pictured guy looking a small bit like Viking and small bit like J.R.R. Tolkien's dwarf is company's development manager Victor Agre. The knife in his hand is Shark with German PGK steel blade, walnut wood handle and leather pouch.

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Russians like big and thorough things including knives, however if someone would like somewhat smaller, lighter and more handy ones – also has what to choose from.
I suppose KIZLYAR Supreme company is not too familiar for European users, so more than likely I will try to tell more about them.

Of course it's impossible in the relatively short article to tell all about knives and oter items at IWA. If you are interested – please visit next year Trade show:
https://www.iwa.info/en

Dotanuki2K
Posts: 123
Joined: Mon Dec 31, 2012 1:23 am
Location: U.S.A.

Re: Knives at IWA'2019

Post by Dotanuki2K » Sat Apr 06, 2019 7:37 pm

Welcome to the Forum.

If you are complaining about the lack of responses on BladeForum (who were quite kind and polite to you), wait until you see the number of responses you are going to get here.

If you have never been to an American Gun and Knife show, you shouldn't be commenting or comparing them. Your anti-American bias is quite obvious. I am an American by the way.
Your post on the IWA' 2019 doesn't show anything different or unique from our local Gun and Knife shows, let alone a national event. So why should your post generate any great excitement from us?
We have an American here on the Forum that makes knives as a hobby, that compares to, or surpasses anything shown here.
As for what you have shown.
You do realize that now, as opposed to the past, we have:
A poor chinese peasant making knives by hand in a homemade forge in the back of his hut.
WE now have:
A poor russian muslim peasant making knives by hand in a homemade forge in the back of his hut.
Are you a salesman? Because this looks like what you are peddaling now.

Mick, Does this bring back memories of an old video that was once sent here?

Sergiusz Mitin
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Mar 27, 2019 12:55 pm

Re: Knives at IWA'2019

Post by Sergiusz Mitin » Sun Apr 07, 2019 10:41 am

Wow, what the really interesting response, worth to assume step by step.

““Welcome to the Forum”'

Thank you a lot :)

““...I am an American by the way...””

Great achievement, my honest congratulations! So please draw some benefits of the fact that English is your native language (instead of mine) and try to understand what you are reading and especially what you are writing – this shouldn't hurt, probably.

““...you shouldn't be commenting or comparing them...””

Am I?

““...Your anti-American bias is quite obvious...””

Really? Is the statement “the golden age of American knifemaking seems to be over” anyway more anti-American than the statement about “golden age of American knifemaking” was pro-American 1/4 of century ago? In my honest opinion both are right, each at suitable time. Something begins, something ends – this is quite normal, the only endless and unlimited thing I know is human stupidity.

My complaint about BladeForums is dominated by pretty silly, completely senseless threads like “beer and blades”?
Isn't it truth? Please look at this thread – this is still at the first page on the board and seems will jut there forever.

““...Are you a salesman?...””

No, I'm retired doctor-engineer by qualification and currently journalist testing, evaluating and reviewing knives from the world's most famous knife manufacturers longer than 25 years. For more than 10 years I was the moderator at KnifeForums.
And who are you if this isn't any secret?

As to ““...poor chinese peasant...”” and ““ ...poor russian muslim peasant...”” - really, please be so kind and try to understand what you are writing about.
By the way – why have you forgot to mention ““poor Finnish peasant...””, ““poor German peasant...””, ““poor Spanish peasant...””, ““poor Swedish peasant...”” and ““poor Italian peasant making knives by hand in a homemade forge in the back of his hut””?
Nevertheless everyone knows that only American knifemaking companies can manufacture high quality knives using premium grade materials and hi-tech equipment... in China.

Or simply take your cell phone, more than likely made by ““a poor Chinese peasant making phones by hand in a homemade forge in the back of his hut””, shot the next poor quality pictures for “beer and blades” thread and be happy.

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the blade master
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Re: Knives at IWA'2019

Post by the blade master » Wed Apr 10, 2019 5:44 pm

hi dot how you doing


Mick, Does this bring back memories of an old video that was once sent here

aye I remember it well

whilst reading this guys post the first thing that struck me was the way this guy was
having a go at you guys why I don't know but that's the nature of the beast I suppose
nice to give goose a mention there :D how is he doing by the way or the others have you heard
anything of them latley.
all the best
mick

Dotanuki2K
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Joined: Mon Dec 31, 2012 1:23 am
Location: U.S.A.

Re: Knives at IWA'2019

Post by Dotanuki2K » Thu Apr 11, 2019 10:52 pm

Benjamin Franklin once wrote;
Beer is God's way of showing that he loves us. :D
Ben was an American also. ;)
Hey, at least it wasn't a "Beer and Guns" thread. :GG
Something you might find at a American Gun and Knife Show?

You know the quickest way to generate a lot of replies on a thread is to start a flame war (start insulting each other)!
You see I also, was a moderator many decades ago on a Sword forum. This is where Mick (our current moderator) and I met.

I am a retired old-timer also, :wheels: as far as work goes, where I was the lead fabricator making custom fabrications. So I understand working with all metals, not just Knifes and swords.
I am also a high ranking martial artist who holds multiple instructor rankings. I am listed in "Who's Who in American Martial Arts" and "Who's Who in American Martial Arts Elite".

Mick, I'm glad you reminded me, I haven't talked to them in a while, it should be time to get back in touch.
That includes my old friend Moon also! :D

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the blade master
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Re: Knives at IWA'2019

Post by the blade master » Thu Apr 11, 2019 11:17 pm

moon eh now there,s one I would like to meet plus a few more I,d like to meet too
from across the pond

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