With nationwide discussion about weapons and safety, many knife-forging citizens wonder if they can post or sell their passion on the ever-popular social media platform, Instagram.
Not-so-short answer: When it comes to content, a lot is allowed—for the relevant exceptions see below. But your ability to advertise knives depends on the knife’s purpose—culinary knives only.
Instagram, owned by Meta (formerly Facebook), details guidelines for posts and ads starring knives and explains when it is – and is not allowed. Let’s dive into the “can and can nots.”
What blade posts & content does Instagram allow?
Boasting a hashtag of #knives, Instagram currently houses over 4 million knife-related posts and images while the post-label of #tacticalknife (i.e. more in the weapon category) is attached to a whopping 231+ thousand. Both hashtags are visible and active, neither is shadow-banned. That means, Instagram is still a great place for people with similar, knife-loving interests to come together!
When abiding by the rules and regs on IG, consider focusing your posts on knife design, coatings, or wraps to highlight your products or share your favorite stunning pieces. Knife accessories like holsters, covers, storage, etc. are also a great idea for Instagram posts or advertisements – and within the guidelines.
It’s also welcome to post knife safety information, material, courses, etc. on the growing platform. Whether potential customers are looking for tactical or hunting knives, for example, they may be searching for the inside scoop on how to use them safely – which positions YOU as both an expert in the creation of such beautiful tools and someone who cares about user safety! (queue the Marketing strategy!)
What knife content is not allowed on Instagram?
Now that you’ve gotten the info you need for the green light… what’s NOT allowed on Instagram?
Generally, a lot of knife content is allowed. You get into trouble with IG content moderators when they think your content is related to one of these areas:
- graphic violence
There are other unwanted areas, too, but these are the most relevant for you bladesmiths. See the Instagram Content FAQ here for more details and an up to date list.
In all this, it’s important to remember: Fair or not, you’re playing Instagram’s game and got to stick to their rules. When in doubt, stay away from the fringes. Because: there is no due process, it’s entirely up to Instagram if to shadow-ban you, or close your account. It’s happened before. Read about banned Instagram accounts of knife makers here.
So, now that you’re good on content—what about ads? Can you run advertising for your knives on IG?
Running Instagram Ads for Knives depends … on the knife
If you can run an ad for your knife depends on what it’s for. If it’s for eating, yes. If it’s for anything else, no.
That means in particular, ads for tactical knives are forbidden, including for self-defense. Trying to run such ads could possibly result in a temporary ban of your IG account – OR a potential permanent suspension.
Note that this restriction on knife ads sadly also includes hunting knives and other craft-related knives.
To reiterate: you can post and run stories and reels about tactical knives—but you cannot run ads for them.
BONUS TIP: When posting advertisements related to knife safety or accessories, set your ad audience to a minimum age of 18 years.
What’s the Solution for a Successful Knife-Maker Business?
Knives always will be a bit controversial—they’re a tool for cutting. And Instagram, like any social media platform, has the upper hand in applying its rules. That means, use Instagram as a channel to promote your content—but make sure it doesn’t destroy your business if they ban you.
Possibly the best way is to lead your customers off the platform to your website or eCommerce store – where you set your own guidelines.
Best of luck in your knife-forging endeavors!