On day three of the Blade Show, I decided to spend most of my time strolling through the aisles checking out cool knives.  There were approximately 900 booths at the show this year, making it virtually impossible to see everything, but here are a few of my highlights.

The Sabersmith

Woman holding medieval mace and hammer

Picture this:  You’re standing in line at the grocery, waiting for an elderly woman to tediously count out the dozen or so coupons she brought to save $3 on oatmeal cookies and eggs.  It’s agonizing, and when things couldn’t get any worse, she remembers that she has additional coupons in her car and heads out to the parking lot, walking at a snail’s pace, to retrieve them.

How could you expedite this process?  Well, demanding that the clerk check you out first by waving around a 5-foot medieval mace would be a good start.

The Sabersmith (real name Tim Lawler) crafts a number of “beyond battle-ready weapons,” such as axes, swords, hammers and daggers.  His booth is quite an eye-catcher, as it resembles a a medieval torture arsenal.

Neck Knives

Spartan Neck Knives, one gold and one black

The neck knife works just like it sounds.  A great tactical and outdoor knife, this uniquely-shaped blade can be easily hung on a sheath around the neck for quick access. Neck knives are often issued to the military, because they are excellent tactical weapons in dangerous situations.  Neck knives are also popular with policeman, who use them frequently during rescues.  These neck knives are made by Spartan and retail in the ballpark of $200.

A dao suited for a monk

A Dao or long straight knife used by monks

The CAS Hanwei booth had some pretty sweet knives, but I was particularly interested in this Jie Dao, which is used by Shaolin monks.  The dao doesn’t have a sharp point, as monks are forbidden from carrying weapons, and it is used primarily for domestic purposes, such as gathering firewood, clearing a path in the forest and even shaving.

The most well-known story about the Jie Dao (which translates as “the sword of abstention from killing”), is a gruesome one.  According to legend, Huike, who was the successor to Bhodidharma, cut off his left arm with a Jie Dao in order to demonstrate his sincerity to the Dharma.

Sutton Hoo Helmet

A gold and silver armored helmet from the 7th century

Also catching my eye at the CAS booth was this extraordinary-looking helmet, a replica of the Sutton Hoo helmet, which was recovered in 1938 from an Anglo-Saxon ship buried in England.  The ship dated from the early 7th century and historians suspect that the helmet belonged to King Renewald, who died in ad 624 A.D.

And last, but not least, here are two lagniappe pictures from the CAS booth, one of axes and pole arms and the other of a stack of katana swords.  Check by tomorrow for my last installment of cool knives I saw at the Blade Show.  You can also read some of my other Blade Show posts here.

Axes and polearms

a stack of Katana swords


Daniel Lawton

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