Major knife brands and custom knifemakers value the work of the American Knife & Tool Institute promoting knives as essential tools.
The knife community stepped up with overwhelming support of the new venue of the “Free to Carry” fundraiser of the American Knife & Tool Institute (AKTI). The nonprofit’s event was held as a nine-day online auction in early August.
“This was the fifth annual fundraiser for our organization to raise money for our legislative initiatives at the state and federal level,” said John Sullivan, Director of Compliance at W.R. Case & Sons Cutlery and President of AKTI. “We’re excited that a much larger audience was able to participate than in the past. New people were exposed to the quality and variety of industry products available from our members and the creativity of custom work.”
Leading knife and tool industry brands including American Outdoor Brands (AOB), W.R. Case & Sons Cutlery, Chris Reeve Knives, CRKT, and SOG Knives & Tools, plus sales organizations J. Harding Associates and The Evans Group, sponsored this inaugural online fundraiser.
Unique one-of-a-kind knives from well-known custom knifemakers Tony Bose, Richard Rogers, Brian Tighe, Matthew Lerch, and Ken Steigerwalt sold well above estimated value. The auction provided a rare opportunity for individuals to own a knife by these sought-after makers, plus exposed more people to the artistry of custom knifemakers.
“A genuine thank you to the individual makers for participating. Each knife represents huge amounts of their personal time,” said Mark Schreiber, President of CRKT and event co-chair. “Several of these makers have faithfully donated every year because they believe in what we are doing to promote the industry and help individuals feel confident to carry and use knives.”
“The knife industry has been very good to me, said Tony Bose, a Blade Magazine Cutlery Hall of Fall inductee. “This is just a small way I can give back, and support the good work that AKTI is doing.”
“Supporting ‘Free to Carry’ is just one more way that the knife industry shows appreciation for AKTI’s legislative successes and the organization’s efforts to promote knives as valuable tools,” said Curtis Smith, Vice President of Marketing at American Outdoor Brands and co-chair of the fundraiser. “We sincerely thank William Henry, Spyderco, Chris Reeve Knives, W.R. Case, Fox Knives, SOG, Spartan, Leatherman, Master Cutlery, Al Mar Knives, Work Sharp, WE Knives, CRKT, Willey Knives, The Evans Group, BokerUSA, Benchmade, Smith & Wesson and WithArmour for the knives and other outdoor items they contributed.”
“Thanks to ‘Free to Carry,’ we are now able to plan for the next legislative session and keep working on several knife law initiatives that will benefit our consumers and the industry,” said CJ Buck, CEO Buck Knives and chair of AKTI’s Legislative Committee.