How many knife people are in the US?

Dec 18, 1998

I guess I'm feeling a little strange. I don't run into many people who share my interest in knives.

It might be comforting to know that there are 30,000 knife enthusiast out there. What percentage of the public is into knives? How different am I?

Could someone in the industry share a little market research? Does anyone know the subscription base of the big knife magazines?


From my small and unscientific sampling, I find that most of my fellow Yanks don't know how to release a lockback, let alone a liner lock, and consider a Spyerco Delica an exotic and expensive knife.


I'm always surprised when people fumble with the liner lock and say, "how do you close it?"

I was really proud of one new custom that I got. I showed it to a guy that has some similar interest. He looked at it and said "cool" but I could tell from his expression that he was a little freaked out.


Whenever showing a folder to a new person, I always get nervous and ready to grab for it the moment they start trying to force the spine down without releasing the lock. I don't know what's scarier, what they're doing or trying to get the knife away from them. Some folks even wave me away and say "I got it" as they keep pressing!

OK, so, I'd love to know an answer to this thread, too...


(Why else would a bear want a pocket?)
FWIW, in my experience the highest concentrations of knife knuts are:

- males
- law enforcement & military types
- including wannabes (see above)
- hunters
- gun owners
- martial artists
- fine art appreciators/collectors
- ancient or modern weapons buffs
- people accustomed to using good tools

or some combination thereof. Don't know if that helps at all, though.
Both of the major knife magazines have a distribution in excess of 30,000 and the other one weighs in at about 5000(est). Seeing that most serious knife people buy both of the major mags the numbers are less than the total distribution.

In short we are a small group of dedicated individuals.


Although I have found that most knife people are men, I have found that with non-knife people its the women who are more interested and less intimidated than the men when I use one of my knives in front of them. Most of my male non-knife friends are horrified at my little knives.


I know where over 2,500 are

plus the nearly 10,000 lurkers

Best Regards,
Mike Turber
BladeForums Site Owner and Administrator
Do it! Do it right! Do it right NOW!

If you feel lonely down there, try coming up to Canada. We are undergoing a megatrend of political correctness of tremendous proportions. At least in the urban areas anyway.

I carry an Endura, you should see the looks when I whip it out, use it and put it away. Someone will usually say something like "that's quite a weapon" or something else stupid like that. I usually respond with "This? This is a is NOT a weapon." I, personally, never carry a knife for the purpose of using it as a weapon, as I am not trained in the proper use of a kife as a defensive weapon.

Did you know that they've banned crossbows in the city I live in (Ottawa). The city newspaper did a whole story on the availability of knives to youth gang members. Front page stuff, with a big picture of a real 'nasty' looking knife. The knife had a double edge, with a split down the middle, and two little edges pop out of the handle when a lever is pushed. It seems, according to the article, that gang members are attracted to this one particularly deadly knife. (Which turns out to be a cheap reproduction of a 'Klingon' knife, of STAR TREK fame). The author went on about how they were able to purchase a knife from a knife store without producing identification. Apparently, the media here have the belief that we should have some sort of registration for knife purchases.

Pretty scary. If the media wants to create a demand for something they have the ability to do it. Not a good city for a knife enthusiast.

We are moving backwards. It won't be long before no one will know how to survive with the basic tools. People today assume that if a tool is primitive that it is evil, and has no purpose any more.

It is sad.

I wish people could get over the appearance of objects. It is not the look that makes them more deadly. I don't know if the Klingon knife would be any worse stuck in my chest than a bread knife, or even a butter knife for that matter.

At least south of the border, it seems you folks hold onto your rights more vehemently than us.

Sorry, didn't mean to rant.
In the part of the USA that I live in (OKlahoma). There are a lot of people that want to borrow your knife (because they can't keep from losing theirs) and you always, always ask them what they want to cut with it before you let them use it. (A hard lesson learned) No matter what the number is today, it will increase as time goes on. There will be more people learning about the knife industry. Good knife stories are shared with a friend whether he is a knife person or not.

The muggee is the one that needs the automatic. Ray Kirk
Hard to say "how many?". Although the comments suggest that AKTI may be a solution and if all "knife people" join AKTI, we may even know "how many?"
Sal... I would not get my hopes up on that one. There are estimates that one in three households has a gun, yet the NRA has a mere 3 million members. It seems the dedicated knife nuts or gun nuts will be the ones to join the organization. THe rest will ride on our efforts.
Well, it seems that my original hunch was correct. I'm a nut.

Happy 4th.

Maybe it's because I'm here a lot (today my wife told me I was obsessed with knives, can you all believe that?) or that I live in Alaska and a lot of folks carry knives here but I guess we are a small dedicated lot. I still get weird looks from non-knife lovers who always ask, "Why do you need more than 1 knife"?

I tell them, "Because". Makes sense to me.


I don't know anybody who subscribes to a knife magazine; I know few people who've ever bought a single issue -- but I know a lot of people who are interested in knives and always want to see what I'm carrying if they haven't seen it before. Many of them are women, btw. I don't know many people who are knife knuts in the sense that we are -- they don't hang out on this forum, for instance -- but quite a few of my friends and acquaintances own more knives than they have any rational need for, so in that sense they're collectors. One woman has around fifty lock-blade folders and maybe fifteen daggers and a few hunting knives and tomahawks and things, another woman has a smaller but selective collection of switchblades, one man has about twenty hunting knives and has never hunted in his life -- he has a few daggers, too, maybe five or ten ... I think the number of people who like knives is far greater than the number who subscribe to the magazines.

Mike, isn't that 10,000 figure the average number of lurkers per day? I think we have a lot more lurkers than that if you include those who don't visit the site every day (surely most of them don't).

-Cougar Allen :{)

I'm also curious as to Couger's question.
Surely they do not lurk every day. Does the number go up when the moon is full?

"curiosity killed the cat. But, he was n't bored to death."



"Cet animal est tres mechant;quand on l'attaque il se defend."("This animal is very mischievous: when it is attacked it defends itself")
The way I look at it some people collect stamps, some collect baseball cards, others collect autographs and some collect beanie-babies. Whatever bakes your cookies as long as its legal and makes you happy. Personally I think collecting beanie-babies is weirder than knives IMHO. Theres just something about knives for me and the great thing is that there are so many different styles, shapes, etc. Not all of them do "it" for me but when one does, I'm in love all over again. (Hope my wife does'nt read this and think I'm talking about something else!! Nudge, nudge, wink, wink, say no more, saaaaay no more!)
I have been in love with knives from the age of seven. I have a few that have been with me for a longtime and a couple I have had for only 20 years or so. I started carrying my dads old Western hunting knife when I was 8 and we lived in Florida. I have one cousin that shares the same feelings about knives and guns that we do.

There was a small family get together not long ago. My aunt asked if she could look at my big knife. I had just gotten my 15" Ang Khola from H.I. and took it down to show my cuz. I can tell you it is quite a sight to watch a 70's year old Cherokee woman fondling a Kuhkuri.


The civilized man sleeps behind locked doors in the city while the naked savage sleeps (with a knife) in a open hut in the jungle.

[This message has been edited by Yvsa (edited 07 July 1999).]
My cuz had bought me a little 3" blade file knife at one of the gun shows here. It is a nice sturdy little knife with a nice scabbard that encloses most of the handle.

It was vey handy and I made it my daily carry as well as my Kabar Barlow. I had to go into the production office one day at work and the lady that had a question for me pointed toward it and asked,"Is That A Lethal Weapon?"
I told her that it wasn't anymore lethal than my Barlow which I showed her. I then told her that neither one of them was .... Nearly as Lethal as the Large Screwdriver with the 12" long 1/2" square blade that I was carrying in my hand at the moment.
Let alone the assortment of the other large sharp and blunt tools in my toolbox that could Kill !!! ....
She shut up then and my little knife was never questoned by anyone else there again.


The civilized man sleeps behind locked doors in the city while the naked savage sleeps (with a knife) in a open hut in the jungle.