Blade Counts Count
Custom slip joints are hot again and have been for a while. Why are they so hot and how long will their popularity run this time?
“I have seen a bit of an uptick in pocketknife sales in the last couple of years,” notes custom knifemaker Stan Buzek, whose turnaround time on orders is three to four months. “I think this is due to the fact you can have both multiple- and single-blade slip joints,” as opposed to the single blades of tactical and other locking folders (though lockbacks are experiencing somewhat of a surge in sales, too).
A Bright Future Ahead For Slip Joints
Adds Johnny Stout, who has a backlog of six to eight months, “From what I’m seeing at the shows and online in the past few years, pocketknives are alive and well. I see a bright future for slip joints.”
“I have seen slip-joint groups on Facebook grow by 300 percent in the last three years,” Tracy LaRock states. “I also have a group called ‘Making Slip Joints and Lockbacks’ that has grown a lot recently, with many new slip-joint makers.”
As for his sales, Tracy says, “My books are closed but I intend to open them in early 2020 when I retire from the military. In the meantime I list available pieces in my Facebook group and on Instagram.”
Pocketknife Sales Are Up In General
“I think there’s an upswing in pocketknife sales,” Tom Ploppert agrees. “Plus, a strong economy hasn’t hurt anything.”
Tom says he continues to take orders and has no idea how far behind he is.
“I will write an order down. I do not take deposits. I will call when it’s your turn. If you commit, then we will discuss price and I will start on building it,” he says matter-of-factly.
Turnaround time notwithstanding, the exquisite slip joints by Stout, Buzek, LaRock and Ploppert are well worth the wait—though you might want to get a leg up now. The more demand increases, the longer you’ll have to bide your time until you can get your hands on one of these gems.
See More Knife Trends In KNIVES 2019
Get the KNIVES 2019 book here.
NEXT STEP: Download Your Free KNIFE GUIDE Issue of BLADE MagazineBLADE’s annual Knife Guide Issue features the newest knives and sharpeners, plus knife and axe reviews, knife sheaths, kit knives and a Knife Industry Directory.
Get your FREE digital PDF instant download of the annual Knife Guide. No, really! We will email it to you right now when you subscribe to the BLADE email newsletter.