When they put up their new 2017 calendars, many in the knife world breathed a sigh of relief. Election years are sometimes the most challenging for the industry. There were exceptions, but for most knife manufacturers and retailers five years of consecutive growth came to an abrupt end in 2016. Not only did a heated run for President steal knife buyers’ attention, but its unique circumstances precipitated a shift in sales from blades to bullets.

2016 was also a year to forget for many custom makers. Demand subsided and prices took a hit as cautious speculators and collectors transitioned from buying to trading. 2016 caught many off guard, but the events came as little surprise to Anthony Sculimbrene of Everyday Commentary and the Gear Geeks Live podcast. Sculimbrene, who has been tracking the knife world since 2011, warned that growth would subside and the seemingly unending rise in prices would soon be coming to an end. The market for custom knives was in a “bubble,” Sculimbrene said. As it turns out, he was exactly right.

So with a look ahead, we enlisted Sculimbrene to help spot some trends that buyers can expect to change the knife world in 2017.

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