Blade Show Favorites * Mail Call * Survival Knife * Bayonets

TK: What was your latest mission?
After the Blade Show in Atlanta, I had the chance to fish with a buddy for a couple of days in the grab-bag, easy-and-fun way I grew up with, on slow, muddy rivers where every cast might get you a different fish—crappie, bass, catfish, bluegills (“brim” to folks down there). We caught ’em all! The filleting knives went to work, and we had a heck of a fish fry. I loved it.

TK: How was the Show?
As you would expect from the biggest knife show going, they had knives of every type and maker, for every purpose. I especially enjoy seeing all these old boys from the country, out there in places like Arkansas, Alabama, Kentucky, bring in the customs they’ve been working on for months at home. They work in the little shops out behind their houses. Every evening, after supper, they get back to work on their new creation. Sometimes it takes 100 hours. They design the knife, from the tip to the butt. They take a piece of metal and a piece of bone, and the next thing you know, they have a work of art. They take tremendous pride in their products and craftsmanship—something America needs a lot more of these days.

TK: Did you buy anything?
I bought one and had one given to me. They are Kiku Knives, true works of art from the highly-respected Japanese maker Kikuo Matsuda. These are both fixed blades, and the one he gave to me is a treasure. But I considered the second blade to be an absolute masterpiece when I first saw it, which was early in the morning before the show opened. That’s the only time I have to actually see stuff at shows. Anyway, I kept thinking about it all day at the show. Finally, as the show was ending, I had 30 minutes to myself and strolled down to his table and bought the knife.

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