Chris Quinn of GP Knives gives his view of knife trends for the upcoming calendar year.
Chris Quinn of GP Knives is familiar with the ebb and flow of trends and styles in the knife industry and advises to approach the ’24 market with an appreciation of that ongoing phenomenon.
“The knife industry is quite the rollercoaster,” he related, “and what could be popular in the future is anybody’s guess and depends on a lot of things, but mostly the economy at the time. We are a disposable income industry. Over the past year, as inflation and interest rates continued to rise, our industry has had a noticeable slowdown. That said, items that continue to sell well are either hard to get, limited production and exclusive, or a good deal. I don’t see that changing anytime soon.”
Economical & Political Tides
Considering the economic influences and the fact that knife prices naturally rise in step with costs related to materials, production time, scarcity and maker branding, then keeping a keen eye on value is a watchword for the new year.
“2024 is an election year,” Quinn commented. “They are always tricky to navigate. Who’s next in office has a direct effect on the shooting and cutlery industries.”
With this influence, he looks forward to a couple of developing style aspects in the next year.
“The more fidgety the better,” he smiled. “A large percentage of knives aren’t used for more than fidget toys these days, or at least they need to function that way to impress the end user. Popular fidgety locks like Demko’s Shark Lock or WE Knife/CIVIVI’s SuperLock or Pro-Tech’s button lock are all the rage. The smoother and faster the opening and closing a folder can be the better. Traditional folders are hanging in there, but EDC is king. Also, the automatic category continues to grow as we see more and more states loosening their laws on ownership and carry.”
Summarizing, Quinn related, “I don’t have much in the way of predicting styles of knives and don’t see longstanding industry leaders lowering their prices soon, but I do see smaller makers getting more competitive to take the space the giants have abandoned.”
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