Knife Show Etiquette

Attending a knife show is educational and fun. We discuss a few of the "rules of thumb" of knife show etiquette so that your overall experience will be enhanced and even more enjoyable.

Attending a knife show such as the Durban Easter Knife Show, is educational and fun. You can enhance the experience by knowing how to properly interact with dealers and other collectors in a friendly and relaxed atmosphere. If you are attending with younger members of the family, please keep being mindful of the nature of the items on display and the sharp edges they possess.

These are a few of the “rules of thumb” of knife show etiquette. There are others. Practice proper knife show etiquette and your entire show experience will be enhanced and even more enjoyable.

Follow these rules to get the most out of your next knife show adventure.

  • Respect others and wait your turn by refraining from blocking access to a dealer’s table when you see something of interest. Most shows have an hour of “viewing only” at the start of the show, to enable you to see all the knives on offer.
  • If you’re talking to an exhibitor and have no intention of buying a knife and see someone next to you who may be intent on buying a knife, politely bow out and give way to the potential buyer. Your conversation can continue after the sale.
  • Always ask an exhibitor’s permission before picking any knife/object displayed as a collector’s item or offered for sale on their table.
  • Always ask an exhibitor for permission to photograph any knife or their table.
  • If it’s a folding knife, after asking the exhibitor if you can pick it up if it’s closed and you want to open it, ask if you can do so (though most every folder maker will expect you to open it, check the action, etc). If you do open the blade(s), close it/them before handing the knife back to the maker.
  • Use caution when handling any knife. They are generally very sharp and when handled close to others, could pose a risk to a fellow viewer.
  • Let the dealer remove your fingerprints from a knife you have just handled. Everyone has his or her own preferences when it comes to knife care and the exhibitor may have specialised cloths available for this task.
  • Offer to leave a deposit if you are seriously interested in a knife. Ask the dealer to hold it for you while you consider your options.
  • Cash may not always be practical, but most exhibitors will have Zapper, Snapscan or credit card facilities available.
  • Ask for assistance from other collectors and dealers before you purchase a knife if you are not sure of its value. Most dealers accept returns, but that can be a hassle.
  • Be prepared to make an offer on that special knife – don’t regret that you let the knife of your dreams become a part of someone else’s collection.
  • Wash your hands before entering the show area to avoid leaving residue on knives you handle.
  • Do not set food or drinks on any display table.

Thank you in advance for taking the time to attend and interact with the knifemakers at the various shows around the country. We hope most of all that you enjoy the show and experience.