By Christopher Cogley
As the market expands, the knife industry is responding with a huge assortment of knives for all purposes
It seems the concept has finally caught on. There was a time when the only people who carried knives on a regular basis were military and service personnel or ranchers and outdoors enthusiasts. But more and more people in small towns and big cities across the country are beginning to see the benefit of carrying a quality, reliable knife with them everywhere they go, and the offering of new knives at the 2016 SHOT Show proved that the knife industry is responding to that demand with an increased assortment of everyday-carry options that meet the needs of a wide range of consumers.
In addition to the new tactical and outdoors knives that were launched this year, nearly every major manufacturer has released at least one new folder with a 3.5-inch blade, which seems to have become the go-to size for everyday-carry knives. And while the sizes might be relatively standard, there is definitely nothing uniform about the selection. From different handle materials and improved locking mechanisms to modern designs and new blade treatments, there have been so many new features released this year that it’s a safe bet that even those enthusiasts with the most complete collections will be able to find a new reason to clip a knife into their pocket every day.
Boker has added three new elegant and effective folders to its collection of high-quality knives. With a 2.55-inch blade and 6.75-inch overall length, the Davis Hunter II Backlock was designed by W.C. Davis to be a smaller version of the Davis Hunter, with a satin-finished CPM S-30V blade and a backlock mechanism copied from its big brother. SRP: $239. Boker has also released a smaller version of its Kwaiken Titan. The Boker Plus Kwaiken Mini Titan features the same VG-10 blade and titanium handle wrapped in a sleek, modern package that has made the original such a popular everyday carry, but the Mini puts all that functional design into a knife with a 3-inch blade and 7.25-inch overall length. SRP: $189.95. For the more aggressive customer with a taste for titanium, Boker has released the Boker Plus Scoundrel, designed by American Bladesmith Society Master Smith Steve Kelly. With an SRP of $199.95, the Scoundrel features a solid titanium handle with a Hinderer lock stop that keeps the 3.18-inch VG-10 blade from overextending. (bokerusa.com).
|Boker The Plus Scoundrel features a solid titanium handle.|
Thirty-five new knives join Browning’s hunting and Black Label Tactical lines. The new Overtime knives for hunters include 3 3/8-inch D2 high–carbon-steel fixed blades designed for skinning and caping. Both models feature a handle with laminated G-10 scales and include a leather belt sheath. SRP: $114.95. The Hell’s Canyon Speed has a 3.5-inch fixed blade made of ATS stainless steel with a carbon-fiber insert. With an overall length of 8.75 inches, the Hell’s Canyon features an aggressive, minimalist design with a drop-point blade and comes with a polymer belt sheath. SRP: $79.99. For tactical customers, Browning is expanding its Black Label collection with two new versions of the Stacked Deck folding frame-lock knives. Both the modified spear point and tactical wharncliffe versions feature 3.5-inch VG-10 stainless-steel blades and sculpted matte titanium handles. SRP: $179.99. Browning’s new Pandemonium Full Auto knife features a 3.5-inch modified tanto-style blade made of 440 stainless steel with fully auto deployment. The U.S.-made Pandemonium features checkered black G-10 scales on the handle and has an overall length of 7.75 inches. SRP: $309.99. (browning.com).
The much-requested interchangeable blade knife from Buck is finally back this year with the introduction of the 550 Selector 2.0. Originally launched in 1990, the Selector developed a huge fan base because of its practicality and ease of use. The Selector 2.0 is based on Buck’s Open Season hunting line and includes an interchangeable drop-point, partially serrated drop-point, and gutting blades that are all made from 420HC steel and heat-treated with Buck’s patented process. SRP: $125. Buck has also released a new set of throwing knives this year. The 073 Kinetic Series was originally created in 2005 at the request of Chuck Buck, but it was never introduced into the market. Now, after extensive testing and a few refinements, these blades are finally available. Made from Buck’s signature 420HC steel, the knives are well-balanced for throwing and have an overall length of 9 7/8 inches. The throwing knives have an SRP of $95 and include a genuine leather sheath. (buckknives.com).
A new family of folding knives designed by legendary knife makers Grant and Gavin Hawk have glass-filled nylon handles with aluminum accents and feature blades made from carbonitride titanium, which is reported to be 10 times harder than untreated steel. The Heat has an overall length of 8 inches and an SRP of $49.99; the Wildfire is 7.25 inches long and has an SRP of $46.99; and the Sizzle is 6.5 inches long and has an SRP of $44.99. Camillus has also released the new M-13 machete, which has a stylized 13-inch full-tang titanium blade complete with a gut hook. SRP: $39.99. (camillusknives.com).
The line of popular rubberized handled knives that Coast released last year is getting a welcome addition with the introduction of the DX318. The everyday-carry folder features a 3.75-inch 7Cr17 stainless-steel partially serrated blade housed in the trademark handle, with a comfortable TPR grip. The DX318 has a new feature, however, in the double-lock mechanism, which adds an additional level of safety and security. SRP: $25. (coastportland.com).
|Coast The DX318 is an everyday-carry folder that features a 3.75-inch 7Cr17 stainless-steel partially serrated blade.|
Columbia River Knife & Tool
This year CRKT has released its new Ruger Collection of hunting, tactical, and everyday-carry knives. Included in the offering is the Go-N-Heavy tactical folder, which is available in a standard version with a 5-inch blade and a compact version with a 3.5-inch blade. Both varieties feature an 8Cr13MoV blade and a stylized black hard-anodized aluminum handle. SRP: $99.99. The line also includes two versions of the Accurate fixed-blade knife, designed for outdoors enthusiasts. Both the drop-point blade and the rising-point blade versions are made with 8Cr13MoV and feature full-tang construction with rubber over-molded handles. SRP: $99.99. CRKT has also launched the Forged By War label of knives, which are designed to help combat veterans recover from personal challenges experienced during war by creating tools they wished they’d had in the field. CRKT will donate a portion of the proceeds for each tool purchased to the veteran’s charity of choice. Among the initial offerings in the new collection is the Sangrador double-edge knife designed by Darrin Sirois and the Clever Girl designed by Austin McGlaun. Both knives feature SK5 black powder-coated blades with G-10 handles. (crkt.com).
Gerber Legendary Blades
There are some classics that simply beg for an upscale upgrade. That’s exactly what Gerber did with the Gator Premium Fixed Drop Point. The blade that made Gerber a favorite of hunters around the world is now available in a premium version. The American-made knife has a full-tang 4-inch CPM-S30V steel blade with the signature Gator Grip handle and features a polished cast-steel bolster and pommel. SRP: $146. Gerber also featured a pair of auto blades at the 2016 show. By taking the popular Applegate combat folder and giving it a spring-loaded auto release, Gerber created the Covert Auto. The knife has an SRP of $175 and features a 3.78-inch stiletto-style tactical blade made from S30V steel that’s deployed from the aluminum handle at the push of a button. Designed for the military, the Propel Downrange Auto has a 3.5-inch tanto-style blade made from S30V steel. The G-10 handle is available in tan or black and features a three-position adjustable belt clip to accommodate a variety of carry options. SRP: $194. (gerbergear.com).
|Gerber Designed for the military, the Propel Downrange Auto has a 3.5-inch tanto-style S30V steel blade.|
For 2016, Leatherman is featuring its new Signal Multi-Tool, designed to provide an assortment of essential survival tools in one convenient package. The Signal includes the tools that fans have come to expect from a Leatherman, including a knife, a can opener, a saw, and a pair of durable pliers. But it also features tools that will be extremely useful in a survival situation, such as a ferrocerium fire starter and a signal whistle. The Signal also includes a diamond-coated sharpener, a removable pocket clip, and a carabiner. The tools all have locking mechanisms and are designed for one-handed operation. SRP: $120. (leatherman.com).
Ontario Knife has added to its collection of high-quality knives for outdoors enthusiasts with the new Robeson Heirloom Series. The collection features both a drop-point and a trailing-point version of the knife. Both versions retail for $222.50 and feature 4 1/8-inch blades made from D2 Tool Steel with a hardness of HRc-58-60. The handles on the 9-inch knives are made from stabilized burl maple, and each knife includes a DeSantis premium leather sheath. (outdooredge.com).
|Ontario The Robeson Heirloom Series consists of both a drop-point and a trailing-point. Both versions feature 4 1/8-inch blades made from D2 Tool Steel with a hardness of HRc-58-60.|
Outdoor Edge is launching two new folders designed by custom knife maker Jerry Hossom. Both the Divide and the Conquer have 3.5-inch 8Cr13MoV stainless-steel blades that open on ball-bearing pivots. The Conquer features a wider belly, better suited for hunting and outdoors applications, and has a satin-stone finish with a multi-colored G-10 handle. The Divide has a sleeker design for tactical and everyday-carry use and includes a Blackstone finish blade and a black G-10 handle. Outdoor Edge has also added to its Razor-Lite series of replacement razor blade knives with the Onyx EDC. The Onyx features a 3.5-inch blade with three replacement razors mounted on a sturdy blade support system with a one-piece Grivory handle. (outdooredge.com).
The SGB Nomad Stag from PUMA is a handmade fixed-blade knife that is made with German steel and assembled in China. The Nomad has a 6.3-inch 440A stainless-steel blade with a deep belly for skinning big game. With an overall length of 11.8 inches, the Nomad features full-tang construction with a stag scales handle and comes with a leather sheath. The Stag version has an SRP of $149.99, but PUMA has also released a version with a Micarta handle for $64.99. (pumaknifecompanyusa.com).
|Puma The Nomad Stag is a handmade 440A stainless-steel fixed-blade knife with a deep belly for skinning big game. It is made with German steel and assembled in China.|
Remington has added two new knives to its Bullet series. The R11039 Trapper features an amber jig bone handle and includes a modified clip and a spey blade that are both 3.75 inches long and made from Damascus steel. Only 500 of the Trappers will be produced, and they will have an SRP of $34.99. Remington has also released the R11040 with a Genuine Stag Horn handle. Both the main blade and spey are 3.75 inches and made from 440 stainless steel. The R11040 will be limited to 1,200 and will have an SRP of $174.99. (remingtonblades.com).
SOG is celebrating its 30th anniversary, and to mark the occasion it has released a pair of commemorative knives as well as several new specialty blades, tactical knives, and multi-tools. The Quake and Quake XL assisted-opening folders feature solid aluminum handles with VG-10 blades that shoot into action with the slightest pressure, thanks to SAT 2 (SOG Assisted Technology). Instead of a thumb stud, the blades are released with a lever that flicks open with the blade to act as a cross guard for the knife. The Quake has 3.5-inch blade and an SRP of $191, while the Quake XL is an inch longer and has an SRP of $229. (sogknives.com).
|SOG The Quake assisted-opening folder has a solid aluminum handle with a VG-10 blade that opens quickly and easily.|
Steel Will intends to provide more options for those people who like the style and reliability of the popular Gekko folders but are looking for a more manageable size for everyday carry. The Gekko Mini features an Italian-made 3.5-inch N690Co blade that opens with Steel Will’s signature smooth mechanism and reliable lockback. The Gekko Minis have an overall length of 7.78 inches and are available with three different handle options: a black or green canvas G-10 handle, or, for the more modern user, a maroon Micarta handle. All of the models have an SRP of $199.99. (steelwillknives.com).
|Steel Will The Gekko Mini features a 3.5-inch blade that opens with Steel Will’s signature smooth mechanism.|
Taylor Brands is the umbrella company for Schrade, Old Timer, Uncle Henry, and Smith & Wesson knives. The Schrade Frontier series SCHF51 is a bushcraft-designed fixed-blade produced with a 5-inch 1095 high-carbon blade and TPE handle. Overall length is 10.85 inches. The model comes equipped with a ferro rod and a diamond-dust sharpening stone housed in a heavy-duty sheath. SRP: $53.33. The fixed-blade Old Timer 30OT has rosewood and ebony wood handle slabs and a 4-inch drop-point blade, and is crafted of 8Cr13MoV high-carbon stainless steel. The 30OT comes standard with a premium-quality leather sheath. SRP: $62.50. The Uncle Henry UHCOM2CP encompasses a multi-option fixed-blade hunting set. The knives feature Staglon handles and utilize 7Cr17MoV high-carbon stainless steel, both housed in a premium-quality leather sheath. Use the 301UH Detail Skinner for dressing or other detail work, and the 182UH Elk Hunter for larger skinning or all-purpose tasks. SRP: $60. The Smith & Wesson M&P SWMP10G clip-folding knife is constructed with an aluminum handle and 7Cr17MoV high-carbon stainless steel. This rescue knife features a built-in strap cutter as well as a ceramic glass breaker. SRP: $33.96. (taylorbrandsllc.com)
White River Knife & Tool
White River Knife & Tool is releasing the Sendero Classic modeled after Master Blade Smith Jerry Fisk’s design. The 4.5-inch blade is made from CPM S30V stainless steel and features a sleek drop-point design. The Micarta handle is ergonomically shaped to make skinning and other outdoors tasks easier, and features a large hand guard to keep fingers out of harm’s way. The U.S.-made knife has an overall length of 9.15 inches and includes a leather sheath. SRP: $250. (whiteriverknives.com).
Designed by custom knife maker Jens Anso, Zero Tolerance’s new ZT 0220 everyday-carry folder has a sleek, modern look. The 3.5-inch blade is made from S35VN powdered metallurgy stainless steel and has a stonewashed finish that adds a distinctive, fashionable element to the knife. The handle is made from bead-blasted titanium and features a titanium frame lock with a hardened steel lockbar insert. SRP: $260. (kaiusaltd.com).
|Zero Tolerance The ZT 0220 everyday-carry folder has a sleek, modern look. The 3.5-inch blade is made from S35VN powdered metallurgy stainless steel.|