European IWA Show Draws Knife Companies from Around the World

The IWA OutdoorClassics Show is happening this weekend, March 8 – 11. Although it encompasses much more than cutlery, the show can fairly claim to be the biggest production knife event in Europe. Chances of some big news from at least one manufacturer are a distinct possibility.

While it is a bit of a different beast, from a knife nerd’s perspective IWA is sort of the European equivalent of SHOT Show. There isn’t quite the same sensational flow of news from all quarters, but often more than one maker keeps a couple of big reveals for the Nuremberg, Germany-based event. For companies who do much of their business in Europe, IWA is the show to be at. Outfits like Opinel and Mora routinely announce their yearly news at the show. The popular Mora Eldris was first leaked just ahead of the show, and IWA provided European customers and buyers their first hands-on impressions with the blade.

Additionally, we’ve seen an increased awareness from manufacturers all over the world of the limitations and requirements of the European market. More than ever, companies are creating options that cater to the stricter knife laws in many parts of Europe, with smaller knives and slipjoints designed to abide by those restrictions. These knives have proven to be popular with global audiences – many people who own knives like the Benchmade Proper or the Hinderer XM-Slippy picked them up out of interest, not need.

2017 was the last year IWA really knocked folks’ socks off. It marked the debut of important releases like the aforementioned XM-Slippy and Benchmade Proper, the latter of which went on to become an international hit for the company. In 2018, things were more reserved. There were no major bombshells; instead, many companies took the opportunity to share their existing SHOT Show catalogs with a global audience. For anybody that followed that January show, there was a lot of now-familiar product at the IWA booths. However, news still came out of Nuremberg, including a new WE Knife Co. Integral and the Kizer Domun.

So it looks like things could go either way in 2019. KnifeNews will be providing coverage of any significant releases. IWA OutdoorClassics opens up on Friday, March 8, and runs through Monday, March 11.

Knife in Featured image: Mora Eldris