First BLADE Show West Opens its Doors in Oregon

Today is opening day for the very first BLADE Show West, a new West Coast counterpart to the Atlanta-based summer Blade Show.

Over 200 exhibitors have flocked to the Oregon Convention Center to display their latest products. Given the show’s location in Portland, Oregon, it’s no surprise that we’re seeing local companies like Gerber, Benchmade, CRKT, Kershaw, and Zero Tolerance showing up, alongside Oregonian makers like Murray Carter of Carter Cutlery. It’s not all locals though, of course. Spyderco is there, as well as Cold Steel, Tighe Knives, Chris Reeve Knives, and more. Many associate BLADE Show with new knife releases. Whether the companies and makers attending will have never-before-seen products to show off or simply bring their most recent releases remains to be seen.

Either way, as with its bigger, more eastern brother, there will be a series of awards given to makers in custom and production categories at BLADE Show West. The categories are a little different than those at “Eastern” BLADE, and are the same for both genres of knives:

Best in Show
Best EDC
Best EDC (Non-Knife)
Best Fixed Blade
Best Folding Knife
Best “Weird” Knife

In addition to the products on display, a series of lectures and presentations are scheduled throughout the three-day event. A discussion on slipjoints, information about nitrogen steels, and a practical knifemaking demonstration are among the events on offer.

Blade Show proper has been going on for 35 years, and even when it wasn’t in Atlanta, the show was primarily held in Mid-Western and Southern locales. Blade Show West isn’t aiming to be a one-off deal itself; according to the showrunners, it is planned to become an annual event as well.