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Shooting Industry July Digital Edition - Page 22

Lethal Lethal force Insights Into Defensive Knife Sales Massad Ayoob P urpose-built defense knives are natural sellers to gun shop customers who live in, or travel to, places where concealed carry of firearms is not possible. One way to sell more defensive knives is to emphasize their versatility. “Versatility” and “purpose built” don’t usually belong in the same sentence, but in retailing, it’s important to remember — added value sells. If a knife is fast and easy to open for reactive selfdefense, it is fast and easy to open for routine cutting tasks that go far beyond the personal-protection market. You’ve likely noticed the graying of the customer base, and that many of your customers feel the pangs of arthritis. An assisted-opening knife from any of several makers sells itself once the customer has handled a display sample. Kershaw Knives has led the way here, with a wide line of assisted openers and effective display knives. Visit The ultimate assisted opener, of course, is the auto- Once customers have handled edgeless display samples, knives sell themselves. matic knife, once known as the switchblade. I must em- Kershaw Knives has a wide line of assisted openers and effective display knives. earing in mind that versatility equals added value, and added value equals more sales, remind your customers that while not every utility knife may be suitable for self-defense, most purpose-designed, self-defense knives are suitable for mundane, everyday cutting tasks. Recently introduced to the extensive Benchmade line are the particularly interesting Emissary and T-Rod. The Emissary is light and thin enough for carry in an executive’s suit pants, and features the AXIS Assist locking mechanism with safety. The 3-inch clip-point blade is a straight edge, with a thumbopening stud on each side. B Knives To Consider Capturing buyer imagination is the ingenious T-Rod. Carried as a sheath knife set up for day-to-day cutting tasks, its twoposition blade switches into a T-shaped, push-dagger configuration that gives it its name. It’s the kind of “why didn’t I think of that?” design that triggers instant impulse sales. Visit The Kukri knife has long been famous for its cutting power — think “one-stroke decapitation” — but has always been the size of a small machete. Cold Steel has introduced a Kukri blade in their Rajah series that is scaled down to manageable folder size. I predict the new Rajah III will catch the eye — and often go home in the pocket — of your most jaded foldingknife customers. A knife like the Cold Steel Rajah brings “new” to the table. Being the “first on your block to own one” has always been a driving force in retailing. In this case, it also brings intrinsic value: The angled, deep-bellied blade design of this miniature Kukri may just be a new concept in management of routine cutting chores that the knife user will want to try out. In addition to utility, this will be something “new and different” the knife hobbyist will want in his collection. Visit Benchmade: Something Different Cold Steel: New Blade Design Some years ago, ex-cop John Benner, head instructor at Tactical Defense Institute (TDI) in West Union, Ohio, came up with a radically designed sheath knife intended as a The new TDI folder from Ka-Bar, with the radical angle of the original TDI, last-ditch defense weapon for police officers. With its fixed allows faster, easier opening, and is highly efficient for thrusting or slicing. blade almost at a right angle to the handle, it was designed Ka-Bar: TDI Folder 22 JULY 2011 Read SI DIGITAL

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