2018’s Biggest Knife Shows

The beginning of the year is an exciting time for the knife community. A fresh start brings another calendar year’s worth of new releases in both the production and custom worlds. A competitive, crowded market means knife makers of all stripes need to stand out with innovative products. Knife shows are often where those products make their debuts. If you want to keep your finger on the industry’s pulse, it’s important to know when and where the big shows are happening.

The following list is far from comprehensive – there are hundreds of other local shows and knife events – but here are some of the world’s most important knife shows of 2018 to mark on your calendar.

SHOT Show | January 23 – 26 | Las Vegas, NV
SHOT still reigns as the biggest knife show of the year. This industry-only event gives manufacturers the definitive platform to debut their core 2018 lineups. Visit KnifeNews starting January 23rd for our live coverage of the SHOT Show 2018 Knife announcements..

Tactical Knife Invitational | January 27 | Las Vegas, NV
This smaller, exclusive custom knife show follows hot on the heels of SHOT. TKI is the place to go for high-end collectors, who enter lotteries to purchase some of the most sought-after custom knives in the world.

Hawaii Custom Knife & Tactical Show | February 17 | Honolulu, HI
Renowned West Coast dealer Plaza Cutlery hosts this show, which features a close-knit atmosphere of recurring guests like Ken Onion and Chris Reeve Knives.

IWA Outdoor Classics | March 9 – 12 | Nuremburg, Germany
IWA is the largest industry show in Europe, and it was the debut show for several important 2017 knives including the Hinderer XM Slippy and the Benchmade Proper. Visit KnifeNews starting March 9th for our live coverage of IWA new for 2018 announcements.

East Coast Custom Knife Show | March 16 – 17 | Fort Lauderdale, FL
This is a classic destination for collectors, with a strong lineup of custom names showing. The ECCKS was normally held in New Jersey, but has relocated to Florida in light of ongoing legal struggles for knife owners and collectors in New York.

Lone Star Knife Expo | March 24-25 | Dallas, TX
In less than ten years the LSKE has become Texas’ biggest knife show. More than 50 tables showcase the wares of makers from all over the country.

Oregon Knife Show | April 7 – 8 | Eugene, OR
Eugene Oregon plays host to this important show for traditional knife lovers. However, the OKS has also become a place for production knife companies like Spyderco to mix and mingle.

Northeast Cutlery Collectors’ Association Annual Show | April 28 – 29 | Mystic , CT
The NCCA Show is nearing its fortieth year, and has proven to be a well-known spot for collectors to meet and interact with their favorite custom craftsmen.

Solvang Knife Show | April 28 | Solvang, CA
This biannual meetup is very exclusive, with makers able to display by invite only. Similarly, buyers and collectors must register and be among the 150 applicants accepted to be able to attend the show.

Blade Show | June 1 – 3 | Atlanta, GA
Positioned right in the middle of the year, Blade is the number one destination for custom knife makers. A massive show floor houses the definitive variety of veteran and young makers in addition to your favorite production companies.

The Knifemakers’ Guild of Southern Africa Annual Show | 2018 dates TBD; 2017 dates ran from August 18 – 19 | Fairland, Gauteng
Some of the biggest talent in the custom knife scene today calls South Africa home. This show provides a platform for established and up-and-coming makers in this part of the world to strut their stuff.

The Gathering | August 30 – September 1 | Las Vegas, NV
USN’s yearly meet-up could be described as the biggest little show of the year. Makers and collectors come together as friends to celebrate their love of all things sharp. 2018 marks The Gathering’s 10th anniversary.

SICAC Paris Knife Show | 2018 dates TBD; 2017 dates ran from September 15 – 16 | Paris, France
It may be held in Europe but SICAC is a major destination for big-name makers from all over the world. Heavy hitters like Michael Walker and Ron Lake could be found at this show.

International Custom Cutlery Exposition | 2018 dates TBD; 2017 dates ran from September 22 – 24 | Kansas City, MO
This specialist show is a joint effort between the Knifemakers’ Guild and the American Bladesmith Society. It is an important event for more traditional methods of knife making like forging.

California Custom Knife Show | October 20 – 21 | Garden Grove, CA
Plaza Cutlery’s second show of the year takes place in their home state of California. Tickets are sold at the door and it showcases makers both custom and production.

Adelaide Knife Show | 2018 Dates TBD, 2017 dates ran from November 4 – 5 | Fullarton, South Australia
An Australian knife show with strong variety, the Adelaide Knife Show turned 25 last year and features custom knife raffles.

New York Custom Knife Show | November 16 – 17 | Jersey City, NJ
NYCKS is the last big show before the end of the year. High-end production knives are shown alongside custom work from well-known names.

Knife featured in image: Demko AD-15