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The SHOT Show is almost always an exciting place to check out new knives, and the 2023 show did not disappoint. Whether you’re looking for a small EDC fixed blade, a full-sized folder or anything in between, the knife companies have them available. It would take the entire show to cover all the new knives, and that’s a good thing. Here are just a few of the new models making their debut.
- Blade Length: 3.7 inches
- Blade Thickness: 0.13 inches
- Overall Length: 8.63 inches
- Closed Length: 4.91 inches
- Weight: 3 ounces
- MSRP: $215
For 2023 CRKT is introducing their first, made-in-USA knives. One model in this new premium line of blades is the Definitive, an MJ Lerch design. It is also one of the first CRKT knives to use a crossbolt-style lock. Not surprisingly this is a one-handed opening, pocket clip folder designed for EDC. It is not petite, sporting a 3.7-inch, clip-point blade made from 154CM stainless steel. The blade is a robust .13 inch thick with the cutting edge all the way to the choil making it easy to sharpen, and it opens via ambidextrous thumb studs.
G10 handles give the knife strength while keeping weight and thickness to a minimum. The texture on the G10 is a bit plain if not nonexistent, and it would be nice to have a lanyard hole for attaching a cord-pull or something similar. Called the “Crossbar”, the lock is exceptionally strong. The ambidextrous locking system and dual thumb studs make this a great knife for lefties.
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Bear OPS 61125
- Blade Length: 3.25 inches
- Weight: 3.4 ounces
- Overall Length: 7.5 inches
- MSRP: $69.99
The Bear 61125 isn’t going to win any awards for innovation or pioneering exotic new materials, but it’s not supposed to. What it does provide is a respectable value for the dollar by combining proven design with affordable materials, in this case stainless steel for the handle and 440 stainless for the blade.
The 61125 is a frame lock, spring assisted, pocket clip folder that even has ball bearing washers. The blade opens with a flipper tab. The pocket clip is designed for deep carry which is nice, and the handles have enough texture to provide a good grip while still being easy to get in and out of your pocket. This is an easy to carry folder, with a 3.25-inch blade and an overall length of 7.5 inches. Assembled in the USA from both domestic and foreign sourced parts, the 61125 hits the target of providing time-tested features and affordable materials.
- Blade Length: 3.55 inches
- Blade Thickness: 0.094 inch
- Open Length: 8.35 inches
- Closed Length: 5 inches
- Weight: 2.8 ounces
- MSRP: $399.85
Ok, let’s be clear, I don’t have a need for this knife. Let’s also be clear that I really want one. The Counterstrike is an out-the-front automatic knife that looks fantastic and functions superbly. It’s like a fidget spinner, but for grown-ups.
This knife has all the premium features: A MagnaCut stainless steel blade, machined aluminum handles with a carbon fiber cover, reversible tip-down pocket clip, ambidextrous blade deployment, carbide glass breaker with lanyard hole, titanium hardware, and an anodized brilliant blue that looks amazing.
Often machined aluminum handles can be flat, almost two dimensional because it’s easy to manufacture. The handles on the Counterstrike have enough contour to make them comfortable to handle yet remain sleek enough to be unobtrusive in your pocket. The blade springs out the front with authority and solidly locks in place until retracted by pulling the “trigger” rearward. The bottom line is this is an excellent embodiment of this type of knife. If you can legally own one, you’ll no doubt enjoy it. It’s not for the faint of pocketbook however, with an MSRP of $399.95, you’re going to really want this knife to shell out that kind of coin. Did I mention I really want one?
- Blade length 3.27 inches
- Overall Length 7.7 inches
- Weight: 3 ounces
- MSRP: TBD
Gerber is a no-show at the SHOT show this year, but it doesn’t mean they’re not introducing anything new at the same time. One of their noteworthy new knives is the Confidant. It blends modern materials and aesthetics, having G10 handles with wood inlays. It’s a nice look.
It has a folding Nessmuk-esque style blade, which you just don’t see every day. The blade has a sort of wide spear tip shape and will be available in 440A or D2 and is 3.27 inches long. It opens via a thumb stud or flipper tab. The Confidant has a deep carry pocket clip that does not appear to be reversible but should still be serviceable for lefties. The Confidant’s overall size and the blade shape, combined with weighing in at only 3 ounces, would be an effective EDC and hunting pocket knife.
- Blade Length: 3.4 inches
- Blade Thickness: 0.107 inches
- Overall Length: 7.9 inches
- Weight 3.3 ounces
- MSRP: $99.99
Kershaw/Zero Tolerance is another knife company forgoing the SHOT show but still bringing us new knives to drool over. One in particular is the Iridium. It caught my eye because the blade had a Grohman-esque shape and size, but in a pocket clip folder that would make it a great EDC/hunting crossover knife. The blade is a comfortable size for EDC at 3.4 inches, made from D2 tool steel. While not the latest in cutting edge technology, D2 offers great performance and value for the dollar. The Iridium features a crossbolt style lock, called the DuraLock. This style of lock is great because it’s ambidextrous. Southpaws are persecuted enough by virtue of limited firearms selection, so it’s nice to see knives that work with either hand.
In keeping with the basic but solid material choice, the handles are gray anodized 6061-T6 aluminum with steel liners, and an aluminum backspacer and lanyard hole that’s anodized an attractive orange. It’s a nice touch. The blade opens smoothly, solidly locks open, and if you’re familiar with the crossbolt style of lock, closes easily with one hand, with your fingers safely out of the way at all times.
If I had one change I’d like to see, it would be to have some sort of grooves or texture machined into the aluminum scales, and some jimping on the liner/handle on top and in the finger groove area. That said, the Iridium is a very affordable knife with a great size and shape and reliable materials. I’ll be getting one of these to carry around to see if it lives up to my initial impressions.
- Blade Length: 2.95 inches
- Blade Thickness: 0.10 inch
- Overall Length: 6.45 inches
- Weight: 1.9 ounces
- MSRP: $100
Small, well-designed fixed blades are gaining in popularity for EDC. The Stock Drop Point is one such knife with a pleasant-sized blade just under 3 inches combined with a well-thought-out sheath making it convenient to carry. The blade looks a bit like a cross between a Wharncliffe and a drop point, giving it a utilitarian shape that looks as at home working around the shop as it does in the field.
Made from 8Cr13MoV stainless steel, the full-tang blade is .10 inch thick. OD green textured G10 scales provide a secure, comfortable grip. The sheath can make or break a fixed blade knife, fortunately the molded Boltaron sheath for the Stok definitely helps make it. It features their G-Clip mount that provides angle-adjustable, edge-forward or edge-back carry. It works on belts up to 1.5 inches and can also be clipped inside the waistband. If you’ve been thinking about trying a fixed blade for EDC or are looking for a compact hunting/utility knife, you probably want to give the Stok a look.
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- Blade Length: 3.7 inches
- Blade Thickness: 0.125 inch
- Overall Length: 8.1 inches
- Weight: 4.6 ounces
- MSRP: $200
It’s a pleasure to see a fixed blade with useful features that aren’t gimmicky. The New White River Firecraft PKO is such a knife. At first it seems to be just a basic fixed blade with the scales screwed to the sides, plain and simple. But as the name suggests, this knife is for use in fire craft, and there are some subtle features to assist with that. There’s a notch in the top of the blade for use with a ferro rod. It’s small, unobtrusive, but will assist with the process of making sparks.
A ferro rod is include with each knife and is efficiently attached to the well thought out sheath. The handle has a small, attractive steel “divot” for use with a fire bow. Regardless of the pyro-oriented features, the Firecraft is a great take on a puukko style knife, featuring a stout, scandi-grind blade made from S35VN stainless steel, micarta scales with blaze orange G10 “liners”, and a really nice sheath that allows for multiple carry options.
That ring at the back of the knife makes it easy to withdraw the knife from sheath or attach a lanyard. The Firecraft PKO is just under 5 ounces. Combined with its overall design and durable materials, it would make a great hunting/survival knife combo.
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- Blade Length: 2.49 inches
- Blade Thickness: 0.09 inch
- Overall Length: 5.49 inches
- Weight: 2.29 ounces
- MSRP: $300
Designed to be the little knife that could, in particular for areas that have size restrictions on blade length, the Immunity is a fairly small folder, but it’s built like a tank. It has a stout, Wharncliffe style blade just under 2-inches long with a slight curve along the edge to offer some efficiency when slicing. The black Cerakoted CPM-M4 steel blade contrasts nicely with the machined, textured , anodized aluminum handles.
Available in blue, green, and flat dark earth, the handles are supported by stainless steel liners. Benchmade’s Axis lock securely keeps the blade open and combined with a reversible pocket clip and dual thumb studs, make the Immunity fully ambidextrous. The Immunity comes with a fob style lanyard, helping to pull the knife from the pocket. Coming in at under 3 ounces, the Immunity definitely hits above its weight class.
W. R. Case & Sons Westline
- Blade Length: 3.2 inches
- Overall Length: 7.7 inches
- Closed Length: 4.5 inches
- Weight: 4.5 ounces
- MSRP: $189.99
Well known for making traditional pocket-knives like the Stockman and Trapper, Case has been introducing more modern EDC pocket clip folders recently. The Westline is their latest offering for this kind of knife. Made in the USA, the Westline delivers the most desired features for an EDC knife. It has an S35VN assisted opening blade, steel liners, machined anodized aluminum handles that are contoured instead of flat which is a nice touch, and a reversible pocket clip.
The dual thumb studs and reversible clip make this very left-hand friendly. The blade opens with authority and solidly locks in place. The contoured handles are quite comfortable, noticeably more so than flat-profiled handles, although it would be nice to have some grooves or texture machined into the handle for a better grip. That said, the Westline doesn’t offer any pioneering technology, but it’s well built and delivers very practical features, design, and materials for the price.
Outdoor Edge RazorPro S
- Blade Length: 3.5 inches
- Overall Length: 8 inches
- Weight: 8.3 ounces
- MSRP: $89.95
For 2023 Outdoor Edge has updated their RazorPro line with the RazorPro S, which features a bone saw. Now hunters can have a replaceable blade hunting knife and small bone saw in one compact unit. A blaze orange TPR covered handle makes the RazorPro S comfortable to grip and easy to find when set on the ground. The RazorPro S comes with six drop point replacement blades and a Kryptek camo sheath.
The RazorPro’s blade changing system is one of the easiest to use. Simply push a button on the side, remove the blade, insert a new one, and it will “click” when locked into place. The drop point blade is a lockback design while the saw blade is held open with a liner lock. For those that love the replaceable blade feature and also want to carry a small bone saw, this might be a great choice. It will be available in the Summer of 2023.
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The SHOT Show is always an exciting event to check out new knives, and the 2023 show was no exception. There are many more great knives worth checking out and hopefully we will get a chance to do so soon.