The latest in factory knives and accessories were among the surest of bets at the recent Shooting, Hunting, Outdoor, Trade (SHOT) Show in Las Vegas.
New automatics—no doubt spurred in part by the recent repeal of antiquated switchblade bans in a number of states, a move led by pro-knife groups Knife Rights and the American Knife & Tool Institute—were introduced by such companies as Buck, Kershaw, Hogue, Timberline, Pro-Tech and Benchmade. Tomahawks/hatchets were also a hot item, with new versions offered by Spyderco, Puma, 5.11 Tactical, Hogue, Kershaw, SOG and Camillus. Big knives, including machetes, bowies, bolos and camp models, also sizzled, with DPx Gear, Benchmade, CRKT, HK, Steel Will, Outdoor Edge and Condor Tool & Knife among those in the mix.
There were a number of other knives of note, including a new lightweight tactical fixed blade designed by ABS master smith Jerry Fisk based on a longer, flattened out version of his Sendero hunter for White River Knife & Tool. Canal Street Cutlery, in a departure for it, also offered a new tactical fixed blade with slabs provided by VZ Grips and models named after battles of the Iraq War.
Smooth-operating folders abounded, including the reasonably priced Hootenanny designed by BLADE Magazine Cutlery Hall-Of-Fame© member Ken Onion for CRKT. Emerson Knives, Inc., had four new tactical folder models: the Iron Dragon, Sheepdog, Hattin and Combat Systems Fighter. Coast Cutlery featured a number of reasonably priced tactical folders, all designed with specific input from spec ops personnel. SOG presented a small utility folder in its SOG-light series with four brilliant LEDs and a thin, lightweight profile—notable in terms of incorporating lights, lightweight and slender ergonomics in a folding knife.
“Celebrity steel” also proliferated, including a new Utica/Kutmaster knife inspired by the Pigman TV series, tactical fixed blades designed for Camillus by retired Green Beret Grady Powell and retired Navy SEAL Jared Ogden of TV's Ultimate Survival Alaska, and a chopper from Condor used by survivalist Matt Graham on TV's Dual Survival.
Meanwhile, Buck presented the 245 Matt Would Go knife based on the design of Navy SEAL Matthew Leathers. Leathers gave his life for his country in 2013 when he was lost at sea during open ocean training exercises.
Mora introduced what for it is a higher-end kitchen knife set—three models in birch handles and 14C28N Swedish Sandvik steel at an MSRP of $299. Zero Tolerance offered new, smaller folders in the $200 MSRP range, and Kershaw introduced a new, larger version of its CQC-4 Ernest Emerson collaboration. Spyderco presented a number of new models, including a Craig Douglas (aka “Southnarc”)/Michael Janich “two-way” fixed blade called the “Reverse” in which the handle slabs can be detached and the knife flipped/reversed and the handles reattached, resulting in mirror-image “edge-out” ergonomics, or two knives in one. Meanwhile, ESEE announced the debut of its long-awaited bushcraft line of fixed blades.
Case introduced its “reborn” version of the V-42 with a special hollow grind based on the original blueprint of the knife made famous by the First Special Service Force, the father of today's spec ops units, of World War II. A special treat was two surviving members of the FSSF—90-year-old Del Stonehouse and 93-year-old Eugene Gutierrez—on hand at the Case booth. Look for a special story on them in a future issue of BLADE® magazine.
For the complete rundown on the knives from the SHOT Show, see the June BLADE in March.
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