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Your Monday Morning Carry: EDC Done Sharp and Edgy

We’ll take a slight departure from our Monday Morning Carry series to take a look specifically at knives — and one of the best places to see the best knives by the best makers.

Your Monday Morning Carry: EDC Done Sharp and Edgy

Scenes from the 2016 Usual Suspects Gathering

The first weekend in September saw the eighth annual Usual Suspects Gathering at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino in Las Vegas. If you’re thinking it’s the knife version of SHOT Show, then you’ve entirely got the wrong the idea. The Gathering is put together every year by a robust internet community centered around creating, collecting, and conversing about all manner of pointy/sharp/stabby stuff: the Usual Suspects Network.  In fact, you don’t have to go very far into the website about The Gathering to find out a bit about their mindset going in:

It’s not a knife show. It’s not an industry trade show. It’s not a 9 to 5 stroll through a bunch of crowded aisles filled with tables and people that you don’t know. It’s a huge family reunion with family members who you’ve personally chosen to call your own. There will be no strangers at The Gathering. Just hundreds of your closest friends and chosen family.

Sure, there’s a show too, but no boring, confusing aisles to navigate. The Gathering is set up in intimate quads, where a novice and two established makers or suppliers will join a major maker. A circular traffic flow guarantees that you won’t miss anyone, and makes it easy to re-locate them as well.

There will be plenty of knives, gear, lights and toys, but first and foremost, they’re all friends who you already know and trust because you deal with them and see them on the USN pretty much every day.

The knife community, like the gun community, has it’s own idiosyncrasies that newcomers have to navigate. While there is certainly a fair amount of crossover between the two communities, it’s nowhere near 100%. Since this was [shamefully] my first year at The Gathering, I walked around, listened, and generally took a lot of pictures. All it took was two red eye flights and one broken camera (thankfully fixable) to bring you a smattering of photographs from numerous manufacturers, both big and small, taken from the show floor.

It was a full house. Some of the knives were so highly sought after, you had to first win a lottery to even get the opportunity to purchase them. A lot of money was changing hands everywhere I looked.
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Hinderer Knives was showing off some great looking folders. Unfortunately most of the one-off custom pieces they had were sold before I was able to make it to their table.
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You probably know Hogue for their gun accessories, but they’ve also been making knives for the last seven years. They were displaying a slew of knives along with some holsters and other accessories like their laser grips.

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The people at Nick Swan Knives had great senses of humor, and I especially like the leather “World’s Okayest Coaster”
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American Kami was showing off a lot of tomahawks and aesthetically pleasing cutlery. They had knives too, of course. Stayed tuned for some more from them in the near future.
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Tracker Dan and Watson Knives were sharing a table.
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Before my camera went down I got a shot of a beautiful custom knife from Steel Flame.
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Richmade Knives (RMK) had a flair for the unconventional design.
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It wasn’t all knives though. At least half the displays featured EDC items and some of them had jewelry. Burnley was the only one with slingshots, however.

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It’s a good thing that I don’t want to get away from the people at KeyBar, because I couldn’t if I tried–those guys are everywhere I look.
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Bawidamann Blades and California Custom Knives were setup together, making for a wonderful mix of modern and classical designs.

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It will be another year until this happens again, but in the meantime you can visit the Usual Suspects Network online here.

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