Last month 11,000+ people descended on Atlanta, Georgia, for the biggest knife show in America. BLADE Show 2022 boasts 900 exhibitors from 17 countries, all displaying some of the coolest knives on the planet. Not to mention EDC products, bushcraft products, blunt force trauma weapons, guns, etc. You never know what, or who, you will see there.
Inside BLADE Show 2022
I have been a knife writer for years, and BLADE Show is perhaps my favorite time of the year. Hosted by BLADE Magazine, it is the largest knife show of its kind in the United States and still growing. Taking place at the Cobb Galleria in Atlanta, Georgia, it used to only occupy the main hall but has expanded to fill the second hall as well.
The show features everything from up-and-coming custom makers to all of the large corporate brands and everything in between. If you are curious about what Benchmade, Spyderco, TOPS Knives, Spartan Blades, the newly branded Outlier Knife Co., etc., have coming out for the year, this is the place to find out.
Likewise, if you have ever wanted to hold a custom knife from a master bladesmith, you’ll find them here. Just make sure to ask before you pick up a knife.
In addition, throughout the show, there are free demos on the latest knife sharpeners, forges, presses, grinders, etc. And, if you were a fan of Forged in Fire: Knife or Death, you would really enjoy the cutting competition that takes place outside on Saturday.
For me, BLADE Show is an opportunity to catch up with old friends in the industry, it’s like a family. Or, in the case of Dark Timber Custom Knives, a knife cult. That’s an inside joke. I wish I could list everyone here because I have so many great friends at so many great companies. However, the list would be way too long, and I know I would forget someone.
But I did get to acquire some great knives and other products for coverage. So, keep an eye out.
An Unexpected Surprise
The highlight for me was stopping at the TOPS Knives booth. When I got there, President Leo Espinoza handed me a custom version of my knife, the C.U.T. 4.0. The knife is a handmade version of the production model, done by Leo himself in the Custom Shop.
It features beautiful file work on the spine and belly of the grip. And the handle scales are constructed of a piece of bloodwood that some friends and I backpacked out of the Amazon Jungle. To say that this knife has a lot of personal meaning to me would be putting it mildly.
If you couldn’t make it to BLADE Show Atlanta this year, don’t worry because it comes around yearly. Also, if you’re out west, you can attend BLADE Show West, which is coming to Salt Lake City in October.
If you’re even remotely interested in knives, you owe it to yourself to attend a BLADE Show at least once. You’ll thank me.