THIS YEAR’S GREAT BLADE ROUNDUP. WILL YOU FIND YOUR NEXT KNIFE HERE?
In this article, we’re continuing our roundup of new products from a variety of influential makers. In addition to various knives, some companies are releasing pens, multitools, and utility belts. Read below to discover what your favorite brands are releasing in the coming year!
Kershaw has several notable new products this year. First up is the new Federalist knife, which is a non-locking slip joint. Made in the USA, the Federalist is great outdoors or as an everyday carry. The 3.25-inch blade is made of CPM-154 steel. Finished with a lanyard hole, glass-filled nylon backspacers, and a custom pivot, this knife is everything you need in a new pocketknife. MSRP is $169.99.
The Launch 14 is the company’s newest in automatic knives. It features a cleaver-style blade action, and comes with a bronze anodized titanium tube spacer, reversible pocket clip, and an integrated backspacer with a lanyard hole. Launch 14’s 3.375-inch blade is made from CPM-154 steel with a black-oxide BlackWash coating. The Launch 14 retails for $239.99 and is only available at authorized Kershaw dealers.
The Inception rounds out Kershaw’s latest offerings. Complete with KVT ball bearings and a D2 blade, the Inception is a manual folder with a modern design. The D2 high carbon steel is wear resistant and offers excellent edge retention. The Inception retails for $99.
Among CRKT’s newest products is the Butte, which has the potential to be your next everyday carry favorite. The Butte, designed by Lucas Burnley in Bend, Oregon, is a folding knife with a D2 steel blade. Burnley calls the Butte a “modern classic” with its traditional looks and innovative materials. It has a contoured G10 handle that provides excellent grip even when wet and IKBS bearings. Additionally, the Butte features a Deadbolt locking mechanism that locks the blade securely when open. The Butte retails for $150.
The Work Sharp Culinary Whetstone is a water stone used to sharpen kitchen knives. This whetstone features a stable platform, anti-skid feet, and angle guides to allow you to sharpen your knives easily and quickly. The Work Sharp has 1,000- and 6,000-grit aluminum oxide sharpening stones. The 1,000 grit sharpens your knives, while the 6,000 grit creates “a highly refined edge and surface finish.” The stone retails for $35.
Included in this year’s new releases from Gerber is the Dual-Force multitool. Complete with center-axis bit driver, plain-edge knife blade, fine/coarse file, saw, and additional bit storage, the Dual-Force is a great replacement for your old pliers. MSRP $100.
The Bushcraft Axe and smaller Bushcraft Hatchet have two primary functions: providing fuel for your fire and helping to build a shelter. Weighing 4.5 pounds, the axe has two water-resistant gear storage compartments and a corrosion-resistant blade. The blade length is 6.87 inches, and the axe measures 26.25 inches overall. The hatchet has a 5.5-inch blade and measures 15.25 inches overall. It weighs 2.4 pounds and has a water-resistant storage compartment, too. The Bushcraft Axe has an MSRP of $90, while the Bushcraft hatchet is priced at $70.
The Stake Out is a multitool that can help its user set up camp, maintain gear, cook, and pack out. It features scissors, a saw, a stake puller, a file, tweezers, a bottle opener, ruler, and a ferro rod striker. Look no further than the Stake Out if you enjoy the outdoors and need a tool that can do everything. The Stake Out is 3.32 ounces, 4.5 inches long, and retails for $55.
If you like to fish and need a reliable tool to clean your catch, take a look at the Ceviche fillet knife. The Ceviche comes with either a 7- or 9-inch blade and has SaltRx on the blade for corrosion resistance. The blade is made of 5Cr stainless steel, and it is 7.14 inches long. The 7-inch Ceviche retails for $25, and the 9-inch version is $30.
The Chonk is another multitool with six different tools. It includes a pry bar, nail puller, wire cutter, large and small flathead drivers, and a bottle opener. This is the tool you need if you are a jack-of-all-trades. The Chonk is an everyday carry you can clip on your jeans or throw in your pocket. Its compact size and weight make the Chonk the ideal multitool. MSRP is $25.
TOPS Knives has downsized one of its popular models to create the Silent Hero 4. The original Silent Hero, designed by Anton Du Plessis, has always been a hit. Now, with the Silent Hero 4, it has an EDC-sized companion.
The original purpose behind the TOPS Silent Hero knife was to provide a mid- to large-sized tool to be used by a specialized interdiction unit that was combating rhino poachers in Africa. It is an excellent design and has served many people on multiple continents. Over time, Anton realized that he didn’t always need such a large knife strapped to his hip.
This is where the Silent Hero 4 was born. The handle and blade shape of the full-sized knife were perfect for a variety of tasks. By shrinking them down, you end up with a knife that is much more easily carried as an EDC, but still long enough to handle the vast majority of cutting tasks.
While the look of this smaller version is basically the same, they have a few differences. The blade—4 inches instead of 6—is also a bit thinner (1/8 inch instead of 3/16 inch). The finish is a Sniper Gray Cerakote (instead of Black River Wash). And it comes with a Kydex sheath instead of leather. MSRP is $210, but it’s currently on sale for $170.
Microtech has released a variety of products this year. The Brachial is a curvy automatic knife that can be used for hunting, utility, and self-defense. It features a 3.32-inch upswept blade of M390 steel. The Brachial retails for $418.
The Feather is a fixed-blade knife, that is, dare I say it, light as a feather. It is designed to conceal easily and to be unsheathed quickly. It weighs 2.4 ounces and has a 3-inch hawkbill blade made of M390 steel. This is the perfect knife for discreet everyday carry. MSRP is $220.
“The (Microtech) Brachial is a curvy automatic knife… with an upswept blade… inspired by the fine curves of Persian blades.”
The Bee is a fixed-blade push dagger that is used for self-defense. Designed in collaboration with Bastinelli Knives, the Bee is great in tactical and everyday scenarios. This discreet knife comes with a sheath that allows for both horizontal and vertical carries.
The Bee is sold separately in left- and right-hand configurations or together as the Double Bee that consists of a set of both left- and right-hand versions of the Bee that can be stored in a single sheath. The Double Bee has won the Best Fixed Factory Blade and Best in the Show Factory Blade awards at Blade Show Texas. With a blade length of 2.50 inches made of M390 stainless steel, the Bee is priced at $266.
The SOCOM Bravo is a collaboration with Microtech and Rikeknife. SOCOM Bravo is a manual folder that is great for heavy duty tactical activities. Available in non-serrated, partially serrated, and fully serrated options and equipped with a lanyard hole and pocket clip, the SOCOM Bravo is made of M390 steel.
Microtech’s Kyroh is a bolt-action pen. It is available in standard and mini sizes and features a textured grip, glass breaker, sturdy pocket clip, and replaceable Fisher Space ink cartridge. This pen is a great addition to your everyday carry. Pricing starts at $165.
Finally, Microtech is also releasing the APIS nylon belt that features a buckle with a laser-engraved Microtech® emblem. An integrated elastic section on the back allows the belt to adjust for a full range of movement. This belt also complements IWB (inside-the-waistband) carry for all-day comfort. Adjustable by up to four inches, the Apis™ can be customized to a perfect fit. The MSRP is $125. It is also offered in a more premium design through the company’s Marfione Custom Knives® lineup. It comes complete with water buffalo leather straps and a titanium buckle deep-engraved with the Marfione dagger emblem. The MSRP is $465.
BEAR & SON
Bear Edge Knives, the everyday carry brand made by Bear & Son Cutlery, seem to be getting better and better with each new introduction. One of the latest is the new Bear Edge 61125. The 61125 is an American-built pocketknife featuring a 3 ¼-inch modified drop-point blade of 440 stainless steel with a hollow grind and a bead finish. Its smooth spring action pivots on ball-bearing washers with a flipper opener. It features an ergonomic stainless steel handle design and a frame lock. This model also includes a reversible metal pocket clip configured for tip-up carry. This knife weighs 4.5 ounces and measures 4 ¼ inches closed. The MSRP is $65.99.
“If you’re looking for a good American-made tactical fixed blade at an affordable price, look at the Bear Tac III…”
If you’re looking for a good American-made tactical fixed blade at an affordable price, look at the Bear Tac III, offered under the Bear Ops brand of Bear & Son. It was designed specifically with military and special operations teams in mind. This full-tang fighting knife is built to be tough, reliable, and sharp. It features a 4.8-inch cutting edge from D2 steel—recognized for its strength and molecular composition for maximum edge retention. It’s finished with a black, anti-glare coating. The knife’s tip is reinforced for added strength and can be used for the odd prying tasks commonly required in the field.
The Bear Tac III has black stainless bolsters and G10 handle scales. The grip has an ergonomic design with a straight and narrow shape for minimal weight and reduced snag points. It measures 10 inches overall and comes standard with a sheath of ballistic nylon with a Kydex insert to protect the edge. The sheath offers multiple mounting options for easy attachment to duty belts, pant belts, packs, and MOLLE-compatible gear. The sheath can also be mounted horizontally for added comfort, too. The MSRP is $129.99.
If want something more traditional in a pocketknife, take a look at the new Bear & Son Farmhand Series. These knives are made in the company’s Alabama plant. They’re available in two sizes— 3 5/8 or 4 5/8 inches—and are offered in either lockback or slip-joint versions. These knives feature drop-point blades of either 440 stainless or 1095 carbon steel. Their smooth aluminum handles provide strength and overall comfort during carry, while being easy to clean and maintain. The suggested prices range from $33.99 to $38.99.
John Anthon continues to breathe new life into the Al Mar brand with great new designs. We had a chance to handle some of the new models recently and were especially impressed with the B-21 models designed by Kirk Rexcoat.
The B-21 is offered in both fixed and folder configurations, both from sturdy D2 steel. The fixed blade features a 4.25-inch modified clip blade that’s 0.16 inch thick with a handle 4.8 inches long with G10 scales. It weighs 6.1 ounces. The folder has a 3.75-inch modified clip blade and a 5.15-inch handle with G10 scales. It features thumb studs and a liner lock.
The Quest 10 is a big knife. It measures 15.18 inches overall with a 10-inch recurve blade, 0.20 inch thick of 8Cm13moV stainless steel. The Quest has a fiberglass-reinforced nylon handle with a grippy TOR overmold. Look for an even larger Quest 15 coming soon with modified Kukri blade.
Some of the more popular Al Mar knives recently have been those in the Ultralight series. This year the company is unveiling the Ultra-Thin series with stainless steel handles instead of titanium ones on the Ultralights. These new folders feature D2 blades 2.7, 3.1 or 3.9 inches long, depending on model. These blades feature the company’s Talon blade shape with pronounced swedge on the spine that gives the knife excellent penetrating properties. These knives have flipper openers with ceramic bearing assist and frame locks.
Another new Al Mar folder is the Payara with modified tanto blade of D2 steel either 2.8 or 3.25 inches long, depending on model. The handle on the Payara is carbon-reinforced nylon. The lock is Al Mar’s Max-lock.
A version of this article first appeared in the June/July 2022 print issue of Knives Illustrated.