2020’s Biggest Knife Shows

With the crazy rush of new product that comes out before, during, and immediately after SHOT Show over, now is a good time to turn to our calendars and consider what the rest of the year has in store for us in terms of knife shows.

While some shows have closed their doors, taken a year off, or otherwise disappeared, many others continue to grow, building on the success of the previous year. We predict that, on the whole, knife shows may begin to favor custom work rather than production knives. That may have always been the case on some level, but it’s clear that production companies are rethinking the ways in which they debut their yearly releases; shows may become less of a primary stage for new knife reveals. In turn that may give more space than ever before to custom or small batch production makers.

Speculation aside, though, here are some of the year’s important shows for knife enthusiasts to follow digitally or in person.

Queensland Knife Show | February 16 – 17 | Ipswich, Queensland, Australia
Last year, the Queensland Knife Show opened for the first time and had an immediate impact. According to the showrunners, it already stands as the second largest knife show in Australia and hopes to build on its success this year.

Hawaii Custom Knife & Tactical Show | April 18 | Honolulu, Hawaii
A steadfast, smaller show, the Hawaii Custom Knife & Tactical Show is an intimate gathering that always draws big names. So far about 40 makers have been listed as attending the event this year.

IWA Outdoor Classics | March 6 – 9 | Nuremberg, Germany
Often thought of as the SHOT Show of Europe, IWA has been continuing to grow in importance and interest for knife users all over the world.

Oregon Knife Show | April 18 – 19 | Eugene, OR
A West Coast staple, the Oregon Knife Show has a traditional knife flavor, but not to the exclusion of more modern offerings.

Northeast Cutlery Collectors’ Association Annual Show | May 2 – 3 | Groton, CT
The NCCA is 38 years old this year, and like the Oregon Knife Show it has a classic/traditional vibe. It also runs a small awards show, with 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place prizes given to makers in three different categories.

Lehigh Valley Knife Show | April 18 – 19 | Palmer Township, PA
The Lehigh Valley Knife Show has its roots in the 80s and has persisted in different forms ever since. Given its location near some big names in the traditional knife game like Great Eastern Cutlery and Case, the Lehigh Valley definitely has a traditional knife flavor.

Blade Show | June 5 – 7 | Atlanta, GA
Easily among the top five most important knife shows of the year, Blade handily blends custom and production interests into one big, glamorous event.

The Knifemakers’ Guild of Southern Africa Annual Show | August 7 – 8 | Fairland, Gauteng
Around 50 makers will attend this important South African show in 2020. As a showcase for the rich knife culture of South Africa, it encompasses lots of different approaches and styles, but is very much a custom-oriented event.

The Gathering | September 3 – 5 | Las Vegas, NV
This is the 12th year for the Gathering, a show famous for its small-scale camaraderie. That unique vibe probably stems from the show’s roots in the Usual Suspects Network forum, a close-knit community of knife fans.

SICAC Paris Knife Show | September 11 -12| Paris, France
Paris may not be the first name that comes to mind when thinking of knife-centric cities, but SICAC has been going on for 30 years and attracts a global audience and list of exhibitors.

Adelaide Knife Show | November 7 – 8 | Morphettville, SA, Australia
Another custom maker-driven show, the AKS is one of the oldest shows in Australia. The 2020 dates mark the 27th year for this one.

New York Custom Knife Show | November 20 – 21 | Jersey City, NJ
The NYCKS caps off a busy year as one of the last big shows before the holiday lull. The show is sponsored by custom and production makers, so the goods on display should reflect both sides of the coin.

Knife in Featured Image: Spyderco Siren