BLADE Magazine

BLADE Show West 2023: Ready To Rock SLC… Again!

BLADE Show West

Get a sneak peek at all the happening at the 2023 BLADE Show West.

Last year’s show was much better than expected and show officials are anticipating more of the same except more of it for BLADE Show West 2023’s encore appearance October 13-14 in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Set once again for the plush Salt Palace Convention Center in the heart of downtown, the show will host return engagements from most of last year’s leading exhibitors plus a large additional group of some of today’s best and brightest knifemakers, bladesmiths, knife companies, knife suppliers and others.

BEAT THE LINES! Get Your BLADE Show West Tickets Now!

Also in the offing is an entertaining slate of seminars highlighted by new ones conducted by BLADE Magazine Cutlery Hall-Of-Fame® member Devin “Hoss” Thomas, ABS journeyman smith Mardi Meshejian, knifemaker David Carver and AmeriBrade grinders, along with popular returnees conducted by the likes of Cutlery Hall-Of-Famer Steve Schwarzer and Squid Industries, the latter the balisong-festooned 4th Annual West Coast Flipping Championships.

ABS master smith Shane Taylor (left) and knife guru Steven Garsson (right) needed no cheering up at last year’s show.

Drinking it all in will be knife enthusiasts from the local area, surrounding states and those even further afield eager to partake of the BLADE Show brand of knife show, Western style.

“The crowd was way more than I expected,” Cutlery Hall-Of-Famer Bill Ruple noted of last year’s event. Added award-winning maker Mike Tyre, “It was extremely busy. Both days were non-stop people.” Ruple and Tyre, along with an all-star cast of makers and other exhibitors, will be among those returning this year.

The Salt Palace Convention Center received high marks from attendees last year in terms of overall atmosphere, amenities and easy accessibility to most everything, including hotels, parking and restaurants. “The venue was excellent. My hotel was really upscale with great parking,” Tyre observed. “The show was a short walk across the street.” Chimed in ABS master smith Steven Koster, “The hotel and food were very convenient and easy to get to … The show venue was nice and easy to access.”

BLADE Show West Awards

At a time to be determined on show Friday, the custom knife and factory knife judging competitions will be held. Exhibitors wanting all the details on how to enter should read the competition rules supplied in their exhibitor packets.

BLADE Show West hosts two knife judging competitions: factory and custom. WE Knife won Best Folder and Best of Show in the factory judging last year with the Nitro Mini, a collaboration between WE and knifemaker Peter Cary. (SharpByCoop image)

Categories in the custom competition are: Best Hunter, Best Kitchen, Best Damascus, Best Slip Joint, Best Fixed Blade, Best Folder, Best Tactical, Best Of The Rest, Best M.A.C.K. and Best of Show. Categories in the factory competition are Best American Made, Best Imported, Best EDC, Best Fixed Blade, Best Folder and Best of Show.

All award winners will receive trophies and coverage in the BLADE Show West recap edition(s) of BLADE®. The winners will be announced at 8 p.m. on show Friday at the BLADE Show West Awards After Party.

Things To Do Around SLC

As noted, many outstanding restaurants and watering holes are within easy walking distance of the Salt Palace Convention Center. The area is also home to an energetic nightlife scene, national parks, museums and other attractions.

Dennis Friedly will be among the show’s top art knife exhibitors. His knife celebrating his 50th year of knifemaking in 2022 boasts a 9.5-inch blade of damascus forged by Tanner McFall, a guard of damascus by Robert Eggerling and an ancient ivory handle. Gil Rudolph is the engraver. Overall length: 16 inches. (SharpByCoop image)

Meanwhile, the latest in custom and factory knives and accessories, tomahawks, swords, multi-tools, knifemaking materials and equipment, vintage collectibles, knife swapping galore, old friends renewing acquaintances and new friendships waiting to be made—you get it all and more at BLADE Show West 2023.

Plan Your BLADE Show West Adventure With This Salt Lake City Attractions Guide!

BLADE Show West Seminars

1-to-2 p.m.: Fundamentals of Grinding
AmeriBrade will provide a general overview on grinds, technique and different equipment. The class will be interactive and the AmeriBrade team will answer questions and demonstrate suggestions to address common issues.
2:30-to-4 p.m.: How Much to Charge for a Custom Knife
Finding the right balance between charging too much and not enough for a knife can spell success or failure for any maker. If you want to learn what goes into the thought process of makers who set their prices properly, join BLADE Magazine Cutlery Hall-Of-Fame® member Devin “Hoss” Thomas for his seminar.
4:30-to-5:30 p.m.: It’s Not a Friction Folder: A Modern Interpretation
American Bladesmith Society journeyman smith Mardi Meshejian will talk about his innovative folder design and construction inspired by traditional friction folders and straight razors.

One of the best-attended seminars not just of BLADE Show West but all affiliated BLADE Shows is “Let The Pros Critique Your Knife.” ABS master smith Steve Schwarzer (right, seated at table) returns with a fresh batch of award-winning knifemakers to opine on the knives submitted by show goers for review. See seminar schedule for details.

12-to-1 p.m.: Let The Pros Critique Your Knife
Cutlery Hall-Of-Famers Steve Schwarzer and Devin “Hoss” Thomas and award-winning makers Jared Oeser and Luke Swenson will examine the custom knife you bring and tell you what’s good about it, what’s not and how it can be made better. This will be a limited-seating event. Bring one knife only. Questions from attendees will be entertained throughout.
2-to-3 p.m.: Folder Design
David Carver of Carver Knife Co. will teach techniques on making a folding knife that works well, looks good, and feels great in the hand and/or pocket.
4-to-6 p.m.: 4th Annual West Coast Flipping Championships
Hosted by Squid Industries, the event will feature head-to-head/live balisong flipping in an elimination/bracket-style competition.

*All seminars and the flipping championships will be held in Meeting Room 150.

Sample of Top Exhibitors

A few of the exhibitors set to show their stuff at BLADE Show West ’23 include such outstanding custom makers and bladesmiths as: ABS master smiths Bill Burke, Murray Carter, Steven Koster, BLADE Magazine Cutlery Hall-Of-Fame® member Steve Schwarzer, Shane Taylor and Shayne Carter; Cutlery Hall-Of-Famer Bill Ruple; Dennis Friedly; Todd Begg; Jim Dunlap; Duane Dwyer; Gavin and Grant Hawk; Johnny Stout; Keanison Knives; Mike Tyre; Jared Oeser; Enrique Pena; Princeton Wong; Luke Swenson; Tim Robertson; and a host of others.

The custom knife section of the Salt Palace Convention Center was jampacked with knife nuts at BLADE Show West ’22. The same is expected this year to see gobs of fabulous knives such as those by BLADE Magazine Cutlery Hall-Of-Fame® member Steve Schwarzer. His Shark Knife sports a 4.25-inch blade of mosaic canister damascus and an ancient ivory handle in fishy motifs. (Jocelyn Frasier knife image)

Domestic and international factory knife and knife accessory exhibitors will include Artisan Cutlery; Boker USA; Bradford Knives; CobraTec; Cold Steel; CRKT; Emerson Knives, Inc.; Fox Knives; GiantMouse; Heretic Knives; Hogue Knives; Kizer; Kansept; LionSteel; Microtech; Pro-Tech; Reate Knives; Rosecraft Blades; SOG Knives; Spyderco; TOPS Knives; WE Knife; White River Knife & Tool; Wicked Edge Precision Sharpeners; and many more.
Knifemaking suppliers set to exhibit include Damasteel; Evenheat Kiln; Knife & Gun Finishing Supplies; New Jersey Steel Baron; Nichols Damascus; Vegas Forge Damascus; and a number of others.

Check Out The BLADE Show West Full Exhibitor List & Floor Plan!

BLADE Show West Sponsors

BLADE Show West 2023 sponsors are Blade HQ (title sponsor), WE Knife, Nottingham Tactical, Wicked Edge, Hogue Knives, TOPS Knives and

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