The next trend will be using rocks and sharp sticks. An arms race will start to see who can make the flimsiest, crudest tool. Prices for 3V will drop lower than prices for obsidian.
I don't think tactical or hard use style fixed blades have a chance of going anywhere since they are for better or worse a centuries old thing (not talking super thick 4 or 5 inch blades with synthetic handles). Also really doubt tactical or hard use style folders will fade because folders greatly out sell fixed blades and there will always be people who want a folder that can come close to doing what a fixed blade will do (real or imagined). Really some people like/need weapons and some like/need tough, heavy duty and all a manufacturer cares is how much it will sell.
Just like AR-15 sales being an all time high the past few years when those people could just be plinking and sport shooting with a .22 or air-gun, people will use tactical and heavy duty knives even if their day to day only requires a Case Peanut or Vic Classic.
The near future holds... more plastic on knives.
The distant future holds... laser-edged knives.
I don't think "hard-use" knives are a fad. I think they've been moving towards that ever since the first folding knives were made! They've just been trying hard to get closer to the strength and/or safety of a fixed blade in a smaller package. I don't know the complete history of folding knives, but I think the general path is:
friction folders ---> slipjoints ---> liner locks ---> backlocks ---> modern knives (OHO, framelocks, compression, axis, jimping, choils, etc)
I think the Buck 110 was considered for hard use and seemed overbuilt to many people, and still is, but it came out, what, about 60 years ago? I don't see a decrease in the number of humongous trucks and SUVs, either. I guess I do see an increase in cars with better gas mileage, but unless there are global knife steel shortage scares, I think we'll only be seeing even MORE tactical, overbuilt, hard use knives. Knives with fingerprint scanners, voice activation, self-sharpening systems, and automated report-writers.
Although I would love to see more affordable traditional knives on the market, I just don't think it's gonna happen.
I think interest will revert back to small to medium, plain-edge EDC knives. After carrying and using huge, heavy "tactical" folders for so long, maybe folks will begin to appreciate that a smaller knife can accomplish the great majority of tasks. I'm not against big knives in any way, but I think lots of folks (not necessarily on this forum) automatically go the large route because they assume it will be a better knife.
Hopefully, some more interesting scale materials will become more prevalent, too; not that there's anything wrong with FRN and G10. Maybe if there's a lot of competition in that regard, we'll start seeing some really, REALLY nice and reasonably priced EDCs in the near future.
What's next? I know what it is. Think I'm telling you guys, you are crazy. Let's call it "X." I'm stockpiling cheapo junk knives, and making the small alterations needed on them (a little spray paint there and there, etc) to turn them into "dedicated X" knives (for "pro X-ers only!") and am gonna make a boatload of money. And I got some random goofball who is going to be on basic cable TV doing "X" with a knife.
It's a gold mine.
Last edited by marcinek; 04-25-2012 at 05:00 PM.
The original hard-use knives, slip joints, will be rediscovered.
Traditional, PC gentlemanly slippies are already making a huge comeback, and I predict that as the world gets more PC the little underrated knives like the Peanut pattern will grow in popularity.
Carl! I don't think I've ever seen you outside the Traditional forum.
Next big "thing" in the knife industry? It'll be in two areas, I think. I've been giving this whole topic a lot of thought lately.
I'm hoping one area will be in good quality, less expensive multi-tools. It's already happening to some extent: Leatherman Wingman, Copilot, etc. are good examples.
I also think the Traditional patterns (slipjoints) will make a comeback, but with more modern materials. Case has a few models with G10, yellow & black Delrin, and other synthetics in their lineup, some of which have been sold for years. (They recently re-introduced their Two-blade Folding Hunter in yellow Delrin.)
GEC has been producing some really nice pieces in acrylic scale materials too.
Last edited by orca8589; 04-25-2012 at 07:35 PM.
Kershaw, Benchmade, & others for sale:
two things: survival SHTF-types and EDC. the big thing with EDC carry is a long slugging match in washington setting up rules and standards for allowing EDC blades for 50-state legality. an actual SHTF sitaution would be a really big thing.
Traditionals...and i think the knife world would be all the better for it too....get back to basics.......................FES
Survival is already the next big genre. I see "neo-tribal" as a possible next wave, at least as a sub-category. Machetes seem to be finally catching on outside of the niche market in North America, too.
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To the OP, upon reconsidering my answer, I think that it is just to difficult for a knife knut to answer. I like all kinds of knives (except recurves and serrations), so no matter where the knife industry goes in the next few years, I'll be there to find out!
I have noticed the bearing system flippers are starting to phase out the spring assisted knives. CRKT just put out a few that are really smooth, I just can't make myself spend money on a CRKT.
tactical and hard use will turn to NASA approved and Mars-use
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