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Joe Kertzman

High-Performance Knives For Under $50?!

Leave it to BLADE® Magazine and BLADE field editor Dave Rhea to find quality, yes, quality, production knives for under $50 each.                        (shown below is the 5.11 Tactical DTP)


As Dave Rhea asks, “How does a knife company create a reliable, quality knife at low cost? According to Stephanie Young, Buck Knives marketing and communications manager, the key is to focus on robust, simple construction and tough materials. With the Buck Trigger folder as an example, she said there are several things for knife enthusiasts to consider—including Buck’s “Forever Warranty.”

“Forever is a long time and our knives need to last a long time,” she relayed. “EDC knives are truly carried every day and used more often than a task-specific knife.”alrt 01-6

The Trigger features a drop-point blade because it functions well in a variety of situations, she said. The Trigger gets its name from the choil that transitions into a flipper “trigger.”

(at right is the TOPS Knives ALRT)

“Robust, simple construction with tough materials need not be expensive,” Young explained. She added … Click here to subscribe and find fascinating articles like this at your doorstep monthly, or pick up the February 2016 issue of BLADE on newsstands today.

(Shown here are the BuckTrigger (top) and Bubba Blade 7-Inch Tapered Blade Flex Fillet Knife)865 Triggerbubba blade

Wisconsin Assembly Passes Knife Law Reform Bill


A Knife Law Reform Bill, including Knife Law Preemption, AB 142, has passed the Wisconsin Assembly by a voice vote, according to Knife Rights and kniferights.org.

AB 142 removes all restrictions on switchblades and concealed carry of knives from Wisconsin statutes, with the single exception that a person who is prohibited under state law from possessing a firearm may not go armed with a concealed knife that is a “dangerous weapon.” Knife Law Preemption means that all laws more restrictive than the new state law will be voided and knife law will be consistent throughout the state.T8746

An amendment was added to AB 142 that retains political subdivisions’ ability to “[prohibit] the possession of a knife in a building, or part of a building, that is owned, occupied or controlled by the political subdivision.”

The primary sponsor of AB 142 is Rep. Kathleen Bernier, and her co-sponsors are Reps. Joel Kleefisch, James Edming, Bob Gannon, Cody Horlacher, Chris Kapenga, Jesse Kremer, Scott Krug, Thomas Larson, Jeffrey Mursau, John Murtha, Keith Ripp, Jeremy Thiesfeldt and Paul Tittl.

The Senate version of this bill, SB 102, has passed the Senate Committee on Judiciary and Public Safety and a vote of the full Senate in the coming days is expected.

Knife Law Preemption repeals and prevents local ordinances more restrictive than state law that only serve to confuse or entrap law-abiding citizens traveling within or through the state. Preemption ensures citizens can expect consistent enforcement of state knife laws everywhere in a state.

Iconic Knives Of Europe


I received an email from Roberto Mazzarella of knifeplanet.net saying he did some research on traditional European knives, and contacted museums and associations to find one traditional knife for every European nation. He, of course, found out that some nations have many knife patterns they claim as their own, and others were a little more difficult to uncover. But his research did result in a fascinating and diverse array of European knives. He agreed to allow me to link to his resulting article, “Around Europe in 47 Knives: The Most Iconic Knives of Europe.” Whether you agree with his findings or not, it’s at the very least neat to look at the knives.spain

As Mazzarella states in his opening paragraphs,  “Knives have been around since caveman chiseled stones to meet their daily needs. Nowadays, thankfully, knife making has progressed quite a ways. In Europe, knife making and knives have a rich, deep and complex history, dating back to cavemen themselves. Therefore, the continent is home to thousands of diverse and unique knives and knife making cultures stretching from medieval Belgium to Ottoman Turkey. Being such a diverse and unique area, however, we wondered how knives differed around the continent. For example, is an iconic knife in Belarus the same as a knife in Bulgaria? Is there an iconic knife from Albania? german-jagdnicker-compressedDue to the fact that there has never been any in-depth research of this kind before, we took it upon ourselves to find these answers. We contacted local knife makers, museums, knife collectors, and local historians from every country in Europe. This never-before done research took over a month of grueling research and labor.” bularian-karakulak-compressed

See the entire article here.

Is There Knife Law Common Sense?

According to the American Knife & Tool Institute (AKTI), at least some legislators show “common ‘knife law’ sense.” On September 30, 2015, the AKTI presented Senators Mike Enzi, R-WY, and Ron Wyden, D-OR, with the “Common Sense Award.” The award is designed to honor Members of Congress who have worked across party lines to further common sense legislation.

In its first ever presentation, AKTI honored Senators Enzi and Wyden for their tireless work on the Knife Owners’ Protection Act (KOPA), a bill that will ensure federal protection for lawful knife owners from the current patchwork of state and local knife laws.0781bdeb-0e49-44ee-9873-1e65203dbb06

“Knives are essential tools for hunters and various occupations and the right to carry them with you when you’re on the road is something that should be protected,” Enzi said. “With thousands of knife laws across the country, our legislation provides a common sense solution that respects the rights of states while providing the protection that knife owners need to ensure they can travel without fear of prosecution.”

Click here for the rest of the story.                       Shown in the image are AKTI board members presenting the “Common Sense” Award to Sen. Ron Wyden.  From left to right are Dan Lawson (Microtech), Sen. Wyden, C.J. Buck (Buck Knives), David Fee (Benchmade), Bill Raczkowski (Gerber), Morgan Taylor (Taylor Brands) and Mark Schreiber, CRKT.

Japanese Swords Remain Iconic


In the December 2015 issue of BLADE®, Leon Kapp penned the first part of a two-part series on historic, iconic Japenese swords. He concludes the series in the January 2016 issue, which is hitting newsstands and subscribers’ doorsteps October 6th, 2015. In the first part, titled “The Sun Rises On Them Still,” Kapp begins:Fig 6 Takeshita Yasukuni katana

Fig 3 army mounting 1944It was seven long decades ago on Sept. 2, 1945, that the Japanese signed the agreement formalizing their surrender, for all intents and purposes officially marking the end of the Second World War. The ceremony aboard the deck of the USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay took all of 23 minutes to close the book on a conflict that extinguished more lives and destroyed more goods and property than any before or since.

While the world has changed much since then, one of the most iconic symbols that existed long before and throughout World War II—and continues to resonate today—is the Japanese sword. To read the rest, see the December 2015 and January 2016 issues of BLADEFig 14 lieutenant with kyu-gunto

Classy Tactical Folders Evolve!



Britton_140606There’s a chapter in the new KNIVES 2016 book called “Some Class Tacts,” and it’s chock-full of color images of the finest handmade, high-end, dressed-up tactical folders in the world. Knifemaker Ken Onion uses the term “Genticals” for such knives (Gent’s Tacticals), but in this case, Class Tacts seemed to sum them up. Whatever you want to call them, whether “Sunday Go To Meetin'” knives, dress tacticals, Genticals or Class Tacts, today’s versions of tactical folders using high-end materials are gorgeous.

And it’s amazing how many different configurations can be made, different versions of dress tacticals. No wonder they remain so popular. It’s no trend, it’s a movement, and Class Tacts are here to stay.



Want to See More?

T7174See them all in the brand-new KNIVES 2016 book, and enjoy!

Are More People Forging Today?

10_260I was watching American Pickers on the History Channel last night, and the stars were looking at an anvil, and Mike said something to the effect of, “More and more people today are going back to the basics and learning to forge, and learning the art of glass blowing and things like that …”

And it got me thinking about how my wife, Tricia, and I do this art tour every year where they give you a map and you go to artisans’ houses for kind of an “open house” art tour. And there’s usually a glass blower every year.

And then there’s that other History Channel show, Forged In Fire, and it seems like new knifemakers keep coming out of the woodwork …

What do you think, are more people forging today than in recent past?

Shown in the image are Finnish brother knifemakers Jakob (forging) and Simon Nylund.


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