2021 ISN’T ALL BAD. TAKE A LOOK AT SOME OF THIS YEAR’S GREAT NEW BLADES

Just when you thought you were quite content with the knives and blades you own, the major companies introduced their latest models to pique your interest. Some are new designs, while others are updated versions of old favorites with better steel or different handle options.

In Part 1 of our roundup, we look at the new offerings from four manufacturers. We’ll present more in the next part along with some in-depth reviews of select models.  

GERBER

Last year, Gerber introduced its Reserve Program that will feature small-batch American-made knives that the buyer can customize on the Gerber website. The first introduction was the Terracraft fixed blade. Now, Gerber has added the Sedulo, a folding knife with pivot lock and S30V steel. Prices start at $100.

The Gerber Sedulo

The Gerber Sedulo is the latest in the Gerber Reserve Program that features limited edition American-made knives with options.

The Gerber Downwind series

The Gerber Downwind series of fixed blade hunting knives includes a drop-point (shown), caper, and ulu.

With the hunter in mind, Gerber is now offering its Downwind series. Initial models will include drop-point, caper, and ulu fixed blades. Prices will be $42, $37, and $52, respectively.

For the outdoorsman, there’s the new Bushcraft Hatchet, 15 ¼ inches overall, and the Bushcraft Axe, 26 ¼ inches overall. Both feature hollow handles with a removable, water-resistant storage compartment for small survival gear. These will be $63 and $84, respectively.

The unique Doubledown unveiled last year should finally be available. This is a folding machete that opens in a similar fashion as a butterfly knife. It is priced at $129.

The Gerber Armbar Slim

The Gerber Armbar Slim—Cut (shown) and Armbar Slim—Drive are two pocket-sized, minimalist multitools.

The Gerber Affinity

The Gerber Affinity is an attractive, narrow-bladed EDC knife at an attractive price.

If you’re a fan of narrow blades, you’ll like Gerber’s new affordable EDC folders, including the Affinity, Fuse, and Zilch. The Affinity features a frame lock and is available with either a gray aluminum ($37) or very attractive copper ($50) handle.

The Fuse ($32) with liner lock features glass-filled nylon scales, while the lightweight Zilch ($21) has a liner lock and plastic scales.

The Gerber Doubledown

The Gerber Doubledown

The Gerber Doubledown is a packable, machete-like tool that folds and opens like a butterfly knife. It features a built-in safety mechanism so that the user won’t lop off a finger or two when closing the tool.

The Gerber Hyperflip ($62) is an assisted opener with flipper deployment. It offers a somewhat thicker grip and Micarta scales.

You can’t mention Gerber without thinking about multitools too. There’s the new Armbar Slim-Cut with knife, scissors, and bottle opener; and the Armbar Slim-Drive, with knife, bit driver, and bottle opener. Each is $32. A

lso new are the pocket-sized Lockdown Drive and Lockdown Pry, each featuring several useful tools and selling for $51.

Benchmade

There are lots of new knife introductions from Benchmade, including several excellent autos. Heading the list is the Claymore, a robust auto with 3.6-inch drop-point blade of CPM-D2 steel. It tops all Benchmade folders in closed breaking strength.

The Benchmade Claymore

The Benchmade Claymore is a super-strong auto with 3.6-inch drop-point blade of D2 steel.

The Adamas series has been updated and features a manual folder ($280) and an auto ($360), each with a 3.78-inch blade, a mini ($250) with 3.25-inch blade, and a nice-looking fixed blade (250) with 4.2-inch blade.

These knives now are made with CPM Cru-Wear steel for enhanced corrosion resistance and toughness.

The Benchmade Adamas lineup

The Benchmade Adamas lineup includes manual and auto opener folders as well as a fixed blade (shown).

The Tengu Flipper ($550) has a striking appearance and is Benchmade’s addition to its Gold Class line this year. It was designed by custom knifemaker Jared Oeser and features white and black marbled carbon fiber handle scales and a BiFrost Damasteel blade.

The Om ($320-$340) is an OTF (out-the-front) auto that features the release button on the spine for quick deployment. But Benchmade is not all about the tactical this year.

The Meatcrafter ($160) is a food prep knife with 6.08-inch blade and a Boltaron sheath that can take you from the field to the kitchen.

The Benchmade Om

The Benchmade Om is an out-the-front auto with 2.475-inch blade.

The Bugout has been one of Benchmade’s consistently popular models. New this year is a version with S90V steel and milled carbon fiber handle. It has an MSRP of $300. There’s also a Mini Bugout ($160) with a 2.82-inch blade of CPM-S30V and a handle of CF-Elite, a carbon fiber-reinforced nylon polymer.

The Benchmade Tengu Flipper

The Benchmade Tengu Flipper is the company’s Gold Class addition this year.

To keep them all sharp, Benchmade is offering two Guided Hone Tools, one with a 14-degree angle and the other with a 20-degree angle. Both feature a ceramic rod and a leather strop.

 

Spyderco

Several of Spyderco’s perennial favorites are now available in upgraded versions. The Dragonfly 2, Delica 4, Endela, Endura 4, Stretch 2, and Police 4 are among the models that are now available with Böhler-Uddeholm’s K390 Microclean steel.

K390 Microclean was developed for industrial applications where extreme wear resistance and high compressive strength were needed. It also makes an exceptional blade steel and is especially welcome when used for very thin, serrated edges.

The latest limited sprint run version of the Spyderco Para Military 2

The latest limited sprint run version of the Spyderco Para Military 2 features a brown canvas Micarta handle and a CPM Cru-Wear steel blade.

In special, limited sprint run, Spyderco is issuing a new Para Military 2 ($245) with CPM Cru-Wear steel and brown canvas Micarta scales. In another sprint run, Spyderco is bringing back the Viele Phoenix, in honor of the late custom knifemaker Howard Viele.

The Viele Phoenix ($450) features a hollow-ground VG-10 blade with Viele’s signature three-hole pattern near the spine. It comes with full titanium liners and contoured G10 scales.

The Spyderco Stretch 2

The Spyderco Stretch 2 is one of several models that will be offered now with K390 Microclean steel.

A new version of the Salt 2 ($166), the super corrosion-resistance relative of the Delica 4, now comes with LC200N steel and a green fiberglass-reinforced handle.

The Spyderco Viele Phoenix

The Spyderco Viele Phoenix has been brought back in a limited sprint run in honor of the late Howard Viele.

The YoJumbo, the larger version of the highly regarded Michael Janich designed Yojimbo 2, will now be available in all black. Its hollow-ground CPM S30V Wharncliffe blade is finished with a low-profile Diamond-Like Carbon (DLC) coating.

The Spyderco Roadie

The Spyderco Roadie is one of several interesting non-locking knives among the company’s offerings.

Spyderco has updated its Slipit knives for those who prefer non-locking blades or are limited by local laws. There’s a non-locking LiL Native ($180) with CPM-S30V steel and the distinctive Roadie ($80) with double round indentations on the blade instead of a nail nick. The UK Penknife Salt ($127), with LC200N steel, is the first non-locking model in the company’s Salt series.

SOG

SOG, the Studies and Observations Group (yes, that’s what it stands for) has some impressive new offerings as well. Additions to the Pentagon lineup are the Pentagon FX fixed blades in two sizes; and the Pentagon OTF, SOG’s first out-the-front knife.

The SOG Pentagon FX and smaller Pentagon FX Compact

The company’s fixed blade entries in the Pentagon series are the SOG Pentagon FX and smaller Pentagon FX Compact.

The larger Pentagon FX ($221.95) will feature a 4.8-inch blade of Cryo S35VN and removable, single-fastener G10 scales. The smaller Pentagon FX Covert ($166.95) features a 3.4-inch blade.

Both have full tangs. The Pentagon OTF ($388.95) features a double-edged Cryo S35VN blade and an anodized aluminum handle. Its Dynamic Locking System is touted as eliminating blade wobble.

The SOG-TAC AU auto knives

The SOG-TAC AU auto knives come in three sizes, including a California friendly version.

The SOG-TAC AU line of automatic openers has been redesigned. These feature SOG’s strong XR locking mechanism and they’re ambidextrous—they can be opened from either side of the handle. They feature Cryo D2 steel.

The full-size model has a 3.43-inch blade, while the Compact has a 2.94-inch blade. There’s a Compact CA Special model too with 1.96-inch blade for those in California. Prices range from $138.95 to $166.95.

The SOG Terminus XR LTE

The SOG Terminus XR LTE sheds much of the weight of the original Terminus.

SOG’s new Kiku XR LTE and Terminus XR LTE are the company’s latest lightweight models with carbon fiber liners. These have the XR locking system. The Kiku XR LTE ($249.95) has a blade of Cryo CTS XHP that’s just longer than 3 inches.

It’s available with either an orange G10 or black linen Micarta redesigned handle. The Terminus XR LTE ($139.95) has a carbon fiber and G10 carbon-colored handle with either a gold or graphite-colored blade.

SOG now offers the PopGrip Multitool

SOG now offers the PopGrip Multitool that attaches to the back of your phone with a magnet.

For those who might forget their knives but never their phones, SOG has partnered with PopSockets to offer the PopGrip Multitool ($24.95) that attaches magnetically to the back of your smart phone. The tool includes a pry bar, slotted screwdriver, ¼-inch and 4mm hex bit drivers, and a bottle opener.

SOURCES

Gerber: GerberGear.com

Benchmade: Benchmade.com 

Spyderco: Spyderco.com 

SOG: SOGKnives.com

 

Editor’s note: A version of this article first appeared in the May/June 2021 print issue of Knives Illustrated.

KI Giveaway