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Knife Industry Statistics

The American Knife and Tool Instsitute (AKTI), the knife industry’s advocacy group, has compiled the statistics below.

U.S. Sporting Knife Industry – $5.9 Billion Economic Impact on U.S. Economy

  • 3,881 direct U.S. Employees at 61 Companies
  • 19,405 Ancillary Support Jobs in other industries
  • $986.87 Million Gross Revenues (2007) at manufacturer/importer level
  • $5.921 Billion Total Economic Impact on U.S. Economy

Source: 2007 Report – The AKTI State of the Sporting Knife Industry

Anglers and Hunters Spend Nearly $65 Billion Annually

  • 30 Million people fished in 2006 (16 and older)
  • Anglers spent $42 Billion
  • 12.5 Million people hunted in 2006
  • Hunters spent $22.9 Billion

Source: U.S. Department of the Interior, Fish & Wildlife Service, and U.S. Department of Commerce, U.S. Census Bureau. 2006 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife-Associated Recreation.

35.6 Million Households Own Pocket Knives; 24.8 Million Own Hunting Knives

  • 35,595,000 Million U.S. Households own an outdoor or pocket knife
  • Of all outdoor and pocket knife owners – 68.8% are men, 31.2% are women
  • Of total U.S. population – 22.97% of pocket knife owners are men, 9.72% are women
  • 24,775,000 Million U.S. Households own a hunting knife
  • Hunting knife owners are 60.46% men, 39.54% women
  • Of all hunting knife owners – 13.84% are men, 8.77% are women

Source: 2008 Doublebase Mediamark Research & Intelligence

Assisted-opening and One-hand-opening Knives are 80% of All Knives Sold

  • Courts in California, Texas, Illinois and Michigan have expressly ruled that assisted-openers are not switchblades
  • 90% of all hunters and fishermen use knives, often the same knives they carry every day
  • 80% of new knife sales in past five years were one-hand openers and assisted-openers
  • Multi-tools with one or more knife blades are considered one-hand-openers for purposes of this study. They are generally banned as carry-ons by airlines and school districts with zero-tolerance policies.

Source: 2007 Report – The AKTI State of the Sporting Knife Industry (unpublished data)

30-40 Million Public Safety, Non-Issue Military, Construction, Recreational Users

  • 900,000 active law enforcement officers employed (2006) – 90% own at least three knives
  • 2.1 Million EMTs, firefighters, security guards (2006) – 90% own knives or multi-tools
  • 2.2 Million active and reserve military servicemen/women – 90% own at least two knives
  • 7.7 Million construction employees (2008) – 60% own at least two knives, 35% own multi-tools
  • 17.7 Million campers (2005) – 70% own knives, 20% own multi-tools
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  • 6.9 Million boaters/sailors (2007) – 40% own knives, 30% own multi-tools
  • 4 Million Boy Scouts and volunteer/leaders (2007) – 75% own knives
  • 140 Million hikers, bikers, landscapers, gardeners (2008) – 20% own knives

Source: Estimate of total calculated by AKTI as range due to overlapping hobbies and job functions. 2008 Proprietary Report prepared for AKTI member company from data supplied by New York Times, Wall Street Journal, CNN Money, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Census Bureau, Congressional Budget Office,,,,, National Garden Association and other sources deemed reliable but unnamed per confidentiality agreements with AKTI.