Carbon Fiber the Real Star of 2019 Blade Show .pdf
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Carbon Fiber the Real Star of 2019 Blade Show
Every year Blade Magazine assembles custom knife makers and large-scale manufacturers for their annual Blade Show.
The 2019 edition of the show recently concluded in Atlanta, Georgia. The highlight of the show was the annual Knife of
the Year awards.
Needless to say there were plenty of great knives considered by an anonymous panel of judges. When the awards were
finally given, one thing was clear: carbon fiber was the real star of the show. Many of the winners sported carbon fiber
handles in a variety of shapes and sizes.
The overall Knife of the Year was awarded to an Italian company known as Fox Knives. The company also took home the
same award in 2018 with a carbon fiber knife they call the Suru. This year's winner was their Radius model with its
innovative opening mechanism that is currently pending patent approval.
Carbon Fiber is an Ideal Material
If you know anything about composites, you know that carbon fiber is an ideal material for building knives. Blades are
still forged from metal, but everything from handles to locking mechanisms can be made with carbon fiber. It is strong
enough to handle the punishment yet light enough to make a carbon fiber knife considerably less weighty.
Most of what you see on the outside of these knives is pretty standard fare. Your typical carbon fiber body and handle
are in basic black. You can see the weave of the carbon fiber material in some models, even if it has been polished to a
glorious shine. And of course, the designs are very sleek and sophisticated. There is little doubt that carbon fiber makes
these knives as good-looking as they are strong.
The big question for us is how these knife handles are fabricated. Are knife makers using manual layups, or do they
prefer some sort of pressed carbon fiber or injection mold process? Maybe they are 3D printing the parts. Who knows?
Not Just for Airplanes and Boats
One of the things we most appreciate about products like carbon fiber knife handles is that they demonstrate that the
material is not just for airplanes and boats. While it is true that the aerospace and marine industries are the two largest
consumers of carbon fiber, they are not the only consumers.
Strolling through the 2019 Blade Show revealed a whole host of carbon fiber products that had nothing to do with flying
or boating. Some of those products did not even relate to knives.
For example, take the carbon fiber wallet. It is made from a series of carbon fiber fabric panels cut to size and sewn
together. It remains soft and pliable because the fabric is not impregnated with epoxy resin.
Elsewhere in the consumer world, carbon fiber is an exceedingly popular material for sporting goods. For example, we
have all heard of carbon fiber bike frames, right? They are just the start. You can take a trip down to your local big-box
sports retailer where you'll find carbon fiber golf clubs, tennis rackets, baseball bats, surfboards, etc. The list goes on and
A Carbon Fiber Future
There's little doubt that carbon fiber was the real star at the 2019 Blade Show. Many of the innovative designs that
caught the attention of both visitors and judges were made possible through the creative use of carbon fiber.
The future is here, and it is made of carbon fiber. The more we learn about this space-age material and what it can do,
the more ways we are discovering to make it part of our daily lives.