New Trend for '99???

Are there any guru's out there that would like to try and predict what the hot new trend will be for this new year? Hey, don't want to find myself making two dozen neck knives only to find out that everyone is now into horizontal belt rigs ;-)

Fighters, folders, even hunting to take a 'stab' at it???;-)


oh yeah, hey spark, Thanks! it works!
I'll take a stab..... exotic metals as blade material become even more pre-eminent. I note in the last few months that major knife rags have featured articles on forging Stellite and Boye's dendritic cobalt folder. I see cobalt alloys as competing with titanium and ceramics for the distinction of best non-ferrous alternative for blades with more and more makers producing cobalt knives.


Bald is beautiful! Rub a dome for luck today!

Oct 3, 1998
I predict more small thin FB's coming into production. Hopefully not in ATS...


"There are 2 kinds of people in life. The ones who don't post on this forum and the ones who are going to heaven" ;)
Dressed up tacticals with exotic handle material sort of Sunday carries emerge into the future.More small fixed blade hide aways in 3" to 4" blade lengths. I also predict a big name in factory knives is going to go belly up.Small folders in G-10 or Carbon Fiber with more then one blade could also be hot this year.My ramblings

The hopeful discontinuation of bead-blasted blades

Talk is cheap. Free speech is not.

Maybe I'm not too far afield
Sal mentions in another thread that Spyderco will be showing a new model sporting a dendretic cobalt alloy blade! Very interesting!


Bald is beautiful! Rub a dome for luck today!

I'd like to see an increased acceptance of BG-42 by not only custom makers but on some of the designer-series and limited run factory stuff.
Belt Knives are starting to pick back up.
I see newer alloys for blade materials .
Folders are as strong as ever. Exotic damascus knives of all types are strong.

I have had a few requests for bigger knives.
5 " bladed folders with thin ti slab handles.
Cpm 420v blades are picking up FAST.

I see dressed tacs as a trend for a year or two.

High end Autos are always in demand as well as daggers and fighters (folding and straight)

I think collectors are tired of the same old same old. The makers who have commited to change in design are always busy. Moving in the better function, design, materials area
will create a revolution in the industry.
More knife designers are being picked up by folks like Outdoor edge, CRKT, BUCK and other companies who can read the future trends.

There is a changing of the guard in the knife industry at this time. (and about time)

Fresh ideas and designs are forcing the industry grow in a big way..Giving the collector more to choose from and good customer service will keep the growth
moving forward..

Web Site At
Take a look!!!

I think we will see some dendritic cobalt and even some dendritic 440C being used as well as 440V. I don't think there will be much manufacturer use of stellite because it is so tough to work with. But who knows.
My reply from a similar thread on knifeforums:
Well, some trends have already revealed themselves. The
knife industry has grown and become pretty competitive, and
there's pretty big money to be made. The manufacturers, in
the fight to distinguish themselves from each other, are
doing a few things:

- New locks for folders. A much overdue trend, since the
linerlock is simply a failure in my opinion. The rolling
lock is getting a face lift and some polish, the integral
lock is moving to factory folders, and the Axis is showing
much promise.

- Blade Shapes Get Goofy: Really distinct (but often
beautiful and/or efficient) blade shapes are another way to
distinguish a knife. Goofy shapes, in the tradition of the
folding hobbit, Spyderco Khalsa, and Cold Steel Scimitar
knives should continue. But Benchmade isn't joining the
fray, so it'll be interesting to see how much of a foothold
this brings.

- New steels. Spyderco ushered in 440V somewhat quietly a
couple years ago. Benchmade has gone retro, with M-2
products (adopted by Bud Nealy also). Other manufacturers
are threatening to look at A-2. Overall, steel is a fruitful
place for a manufacturer to look to distinguish itself, and
the CPM steels will hopefully be at the top of the list. In
the meantime, we here on the forums are leading the charge
to look at cobalt alloys...

- Tactical fixed-blade trends continue. Benchmade's
concealment sheath for their new fixed blade is a sign that
fixed blades will not only stay "tactical", but become more
so. Boker's Nealy knife says the same thing. The
manufacturers are continuing the tactical trend, and
distinguishing themselves on this front by improving on the
sheath, an area that's been overlooked for too long.

- JOE'S DESIRED TREND: Extend this sheath innovation to
light utility knives.

- JOE'S DESIRED TREND: Manufacturers should look to
distinguish themselves based on edge geometry. Thin-edged,
high-performance edge geometry for both fixed blades and
folders are my wish. This area becomes even more fruitful if
the manufacturers follow the "new steels" trend above. A
thin-edged utility knife in 420V that would outcut
everything and hold its edge forever, that's where I'd
look. I believe there's a big untapped market for people who
want a light utility knife that will outcut everything, stay
sharp for a long time, but doesn't need to pry or otherwise
be really tough (ala Cliff Stamp's and other's pet projects

- Tactical Folders Wear a Tuxedo: leading-edge knife buyers
are weary of the tactical folder look, although they
continue to like the idea of a readily-deployable,
one-hand-opening hard-use folder. Over the next couple
years, "Tacticals" with bolsters and nice handle materials
may become more popular, probably with non-ATS-34 steel

- What Will Benchmade Do? Benchmade isn't always the
absolute leader when it comes to bringing out a new feature
(e.g., new locks, new steel, etc.). However, once Benchmade
does come out with a feature, it often sets a
trend. Benchmade can take a feature from obscurity to
you-better-have-it-to-compete very quickly. This year,
Benchmade is setting itself apart with its lock, and this
should be good for a couple years as they retro-fit old
models to use the new lock. Hopefully, they will also
re-examine their experience with M-2, and either restructure
it, or push hard to look at other steels. Blade shape wise,
I'm not sure where Benchmade is, I don't expect them to go
with the blade shapes I've dubbed "goofy", so I'm not sure
where they'll be going -- hopefully, to full flat grinds and
high performance edges.


[This message has been edited by Joe Talmadge (edited 05 January 1999).]
At the risk of covering things people have already added, I think we will see a decline in the incidence of:

1) Bead-Blasted blades (I'm with you, Bill -- good riddance!)
2) Geo-tantos (as David already said)
3) Liner Locks (thank goodness)
4) Super-thick, poor-cutting, sharpened prybars

I think we will see more knives designed with an emphasis on cutting as their primary function, and thus have considerably better edge geometry. Hopefully (IMHO), their will be more emphasis on utility than self-defense, as that is what the vast majority of knives are used for (maybe not carried for, but actually used for).

I think we will see continued lock evolution, as we have seen in Benchmade's AXIS and Spyderco's Martial.

I think sheath knives are coming back.

I think the newer steels are going to be seen more often: BG-42, CPM440V, the cobalt alloys, VG-10, etc. Personally I like the variety of different makers using different, but high quality steels. Beats the heck out of everything being ATS-34...

These are my predictions, and for the most part, are what I would like to see.

One last thing I would love to see is more colour in handles/coatings/etc. Black is one of my fav colours (yes, I know it's not really a colour), but I already have PLENTY of black knives.

in all things, take care


Clay Fleischer

"10,000 Lemmings Can't Be Wrong!"
First and foremost I believe we will see a move away from linerlocks. Secondly I believe we will see fewer tantos. (when I first started getting serious about knives I was a tanto fanatic. While I still think it is a good design for purely defensive work most tantos don't lend themselves to utility.) And finally I think we will see a move to different steels besides ATS-34.

I hope we will also move away from beadblasted blades Yuck!
A lot of good predictions. I concur with most. In defense of Linerlocks; I believe a problem with linerlocks are often inconsistant manufacturer. Not all factories or custom makers have equal knowledge. I also believe that Frank's new "SecurLok" will bring the Linerlock back to it's full potential. Though the "SecurLok" is difficult to manufacture in terms of tight tolerance, it is pretty cut and dried once tooled. The alchemy and mystery about the linerlock "tang/lock interface" are not there. Spyderco is also willing to license other factories to build it and will even supply some of the parts to save tooling costs. This may turn around the Linerlock dislikes.

In defense of ATS. There are few stainless steels in this "SuperStainless" arena. 1.00% or more carbon. Al MAr antied in with RS-30 @ 1.15% back in the mid 70's. 440C, ATS-34 (154CM), ATS-55, BG-42, MBS-26, VG-10, 440XH, AUS-10 and the CPM's are the major players. Not everyone can get it all. Not everyone can work with it all. Everyone playing in this arena should be given credit just for taking up the fight. These are tough materials and they don't like to change their shape. We often times make the mistake of trying to always determine the "best" and shun the rest. Perhaps we should learn to appreciate all of the super steels for they each have "ups and "downs".

I predict that the industry will continue to evolve, improve and refine. Newer and better stuff for us to work with and play with.

I predict that legislation problems will continue to be an incovenience and the value of AKTI (American Knife & Toll Institute) will be recognized.

Strider - regarding the belly up? hope your wrong. Do you have inside info or just a "gut feeling". Any one in parfticular? Don't want names, just % of accuracy of prediction.
Sal --

If I understand the SecurLok correctly, it has to be engaged by the user manually. I like the idea, but I think people will prefer automatically engaging locks, such as the Axis. I know I will. Still, it is an improvement and I am glad to see it, though I still don't care for linerlocks particularly.

I agree on the steel issue and tried to express that in my earlier post. I like having the variety of fine steels, rather than all high quality knives coming in, say ATS-34.



Clay Fleischer

"10,000 Lemmings Can't Be Wrong!"
Clay's right, a safety feature on a liner lock (which I assume the SecurLok is) is a good feature, but for many uses it would have to engage automatically to really sell me. Otherwise, I have to engage it manually, which ironically is the least convenient to do when it's most needed -- in an emergency. Besides, if I need to really engage the safety manually, I might as well just buy an opinel, which has better edge geometry than most folders anyway ( 1/2
there). If I have to disengage the safety separately from the lock when I want to close the thing, we're now talking about a real pain.

For a safety-backed liner lock to work for me, the safety would have to engage automatically when the knife opens. In other words, like most other lock types, the knife should be locked open safely automatically. And when I close the knife, I should have to disengage just one part -- if I disengage the safety, the linerlock itself should automatically disengage too.

Seems like a lot of bending-over-backwards, to save this lock type! Liner locks must be *really* inexpensive to manufacture, if it's worth all this effort.

How about a BM/James Mattis collaboration on an auto suitable enough for everything and
not menacing in appearance?

C'mon,you know you want it


You're correct about Stellite being a bear to grind and an alloy that "eats" belts to quote Kit Carson. But the newer Talonite (available from Simonich) isn't that hard to grind opening up cobalt to many more makers.

Dendritics are out there is 3 flavors: 440C, cobalt and D2. David Boye makes the first two and Gary Kelley the later. I expect more folks to follow in either making their own, enlisting a foundry (as Boye does) or buying stock (such as available from Boye).

In stainless, I also like my CPM 440V and BG-42 blades. Want to try out CPM 420V too. The classic tool steels are and will continue to be great.


Bald is beautiful! Rub a dome for luck today!

I agree very much with Sal. A knife made with a Liner Lock is a very safe knife,....if it is made properly.

In the last several months I've read a bunch of posts bashing Liner Locks. What needs to be done is, check the knife either before you purchase it, or if purchased through the mail, check it when you receive it.

If the lock will not secure the blade when you put downward pressure on the spline,

The majority of Knifemakers are just like me. We are NOT tool and die makers. We DON'T have CNC equipment. We are not machinist. The Liner Lock is one folder we can make with manual equipment. You know "Skill Not Technology".

If I find a problem (and I still do), I just keep taking it apart and tweak the lock, or I throw it away (been there, still do that).

The problem is, a lot of people purchase a knife because of a maker's name and reputation, or an article in a magazine... not his quality. Then, when there is a problem with the knife, it's the locks fault not the maker.

You need to put the blame where it belongs.
The workmanship is the problem, NOT the type of lock.


How's this?
Custom laminates G-10,phenolics,polycarbonates,carbon fiber.
Crucible v steels in knife sizes.
Hard titanium alloys 57+RC
A major exsplosion in new knife makers.
And CPM 3V becoming the #1 carbon blade steel for edge holding and strength.

Side note;If you realy like 440V knives get them now it is no longer made.