Best New Knives from SHOT Show 2012

Buck Haley Heath Collection
Buck has teamed up with popular TV personality Haley Heath and redesigned its popular ErgoHunter line specifically for women. The ErgoHunter Adrenaline series includes eight different knives, with fixed-blades and folding lockblades. Prices range from $80 to $200. --John Taranto
Tec-X
This new brand from the venerable knifemakers at W.R. Case & Sons features a catalog of about 30 stylish, modern-looking pocket knives, with either AUS8 or 440 stainless blades. Pictured here, from top to bottom, are the Exo-Lock, Ballistix, TK-1, and Brute. --JT
L.L. Bean Pocket Folders
Among the new vintage gear L.L. Bean is rolling out this year as part of their 100th Anniversary celebration are these handsome 2- and 3-blade pcket knives. Both feature rosewood handles, 440 stainless blades, and come with a leather sleeve. --JT
CRKT Free Range Hunters
Another new ergonomic collection of fixed-blade, folding hunting knives is the CRKT Free Range Hunters. Molded finger grooves in the handle assure a firm grip. The blades are available as clip points or with gut hooks (pictured). --JT
Benchmade Megumi and Shori
Featuring Benchmade's popular Nak-Lok locking mechanism, these two new striking pocket knives feature S30V steel blades, the Megumi (top) with a clip point and the Shori with a utility blade. The Megumi handle is made of cocobolo wood and carbon fiber, while the Shori's grip is black Micarta with an aluminum bolster. --JT
Gerber Myth
This extensive new line of hunting knives and tools includes everything from folders to fixed-blades to folding saws. All of the knives have a great in-hand feel thanks to a lightweight, tacky textured rubber handle. The sheaths feature an integrated sharpener. --JT
Browning Black Label Knives: Stone Cold Fixed Spear
In September, Browning announced it's new line of dedicated tactical knives called Black Label. The line includes some wicked-looking blades that are big on both style and function. While most of the knives in the line are designed for impact on…um…soft targets, a few would certainly be at home on a hunter's belt. SHADOWFAX
The knife in the top photo is the ShadowFax, the most expensive in the line with an MSRP of $249.95. (I've seen it online for as low as $179). This is one of those knives that, when you pick it up, it just feels good. It has a beautiful balance, and the finger choils and G-10 handle scales give it a great grip. The leaf-shaped 4-5/8" blade of 154-CM steel (58-60 Rockwell) with a modified spear-point, has a large belly and would be well-suited for any slicing and scraping tasks. The strong point and final finger choil on the blade that wrap over your index finger in a reverse grip makes this an excellent puncturing knife as well. With an overall length of 9 inches, this knife could be a bit large for some. Made in the USA. STONE COLD
The other knife here from the Black Label line is a bit more practical. The Stone Cold is simple and functional, and quite a bit cheaper than the ShadowFax. Part of the Black Label line is made in the US, the rest are made overseas, thus lowering the final price on many of the knives. The full-tang, 440 stainless blade on the Stone Cold measures in at 5-5/8" and is partially serrated. The cordage can be removed from the handle and used in an emergency situation, leaving a fully-functional knife with a skeletonized handle. This knife is also available with a tanto style blade. MSRP: $59.95. Made in China. --Dave Maccar
Spyderco Junior by DiAlex
This is one of the most innovative and surprising folder designs I've seen in a long time. The concept comes from Romanian Technical Manager, Alexandru Diaconsecu, who created the unique handle shape with the prominent choil that forms a guard as a first knife for his young son. The idea was that the slim handle and oversized guard would make for a safer-handling knife in small hands. I'll tell you what, it works great in these big paws too. Because the G-10 handle is so thin, there's really nowhere to put your thumb other than the jimping on the spine of the blade, which offers remarkable control on detailed work when you bury your index finger in the choil. The reverse grip is a little awkward, but still effective and that big guard all but ensures your fingers won't slide onto that wicked edge of VG-10 steel. The edge is a flat ground, allowing for easy sharpening, especially in the field. Spyderco managed to find just enough room for its Compression Lock mechanism with a reverse-liner-lock release. The wire pocket clip is affixed to the knife with one large screw rather than the three tiny ones you find on many Spyderco folders, making it easier to move and keep tight. The knife rides low in the pocket and can be carried tip-up for righties or lefties. As an every day carry knife that can handle bigger jobs in a pinch, the Junior is it. at 2.9 oz., you won't know it's there until you need it. Blade length: 3.218"; overall length: 7.25"; length closed: 4.125; blade thickness: .125"; weight: 2.9 oz. --Dave Maccar
Spyderco Manix 2 XL
There's a new big brother in the Spyderco Manix line, the Manix 2 XL. You know when you pick up a knife and it just feels good? That's this big folder. At 9 inches overall with a 3-7/8" blade, the knife is stout and balanced. It features the company's ball-bearing locking system, which uses a steel ball that is driven forward when the knife is opened by a spring plunger onto a ramp in the blade, wedging it open. The result? When it's locked, it feels locked. And the sliding button that operated the mechanism is well-placed and ambidextrous. On the display model, the blade was heavy enough that I really didn't need the oversized thumbhole to open it; the blade just fell open when I released the lock. To me that means, when some dirt and grit build up, it won't impede the folder's function in the least. The size and heft make it an ideal knife for almost any purpose and the extended choil at the bottom of the handle provides an extra-secure hold when slicing. The CMP S30V steel blade is a full flat grind, making it simple to hone in the field. With the extra jimping on the inside of the handle and the lined lanyard hole, this knife is versatile, solid and one of the best knives to come from Spyderco in recent years. Weight: 6.2 oz. MSRP: $165 -- Dave Maccar
Spartan Blades' Spartan-Harsey Hunter
Ever since I got my hands on their Horkos model, Spartan Blades has been one of my favorite knife companies. Formed by two retired Green Berets, the knives turned out by Spartan are application-drive, robust, and elegant in a subdued, tactical way. And most of their knives are named after ancient Greek gods, which is pretty cool. Their newest offering, the Spartan-Harsey Hunter, is the results of the second combined effort between Spartan and knifemaker William "Bill" Harsey. The goal was to create a knife that a service member could carry in combat and use after returning home when camping and hunting. The knife is perfectly balanced, with a 5-13/16", full-tang S35VN steel blade with an HRC of 59-60 and a hollow grind. One remarkable thing about this knife is how the scales seem to melt into the tang, leaving hardly any perceivable edges. Maybe that's because the scales are 3D machines from 3/8" canvas Micarta. All bevels on the blade are hand-ground by Harsey. Currently the knife is only offered with the Falt Dark Earth SpartaCoat (bottom photo) with black or green scales and a nylon MOLLE sheath. MSRP: $495 --Dave Macccar
Benchmade Adamas Series
Benchmade Adamas Series Model 375 Fixed Blade. Designed with input from U.S. Army Rangers, the Model 375 is made of D2 steel tempered very hard at Rc60-62. It's compact (9 inches overall), light (5.6 ounces) and comes with a nifty sheath that can either be laced to your web gear or attached with a Tek-Loc clip. Wrap the handle in 550 cord and take on the Forces of Evil. $140, lower-priced in the real world. --David E. Petzal
Gerber Bear Grylls Ultimate Survival Knife
The first version of this knife (with a partly serrated edge) was insanely successful, due to its high quality, practical design, and very reasonable price. I like this version better. Gerber did everything right, including putting the knife in reach of even the humblest at around $52. Now you, too, can parachute into some loathsome part of the world, eat stuff that makes you puke, and return home little worse for the experience. -- DEP

From tactical blades to pocket folders to skinning knives, there was a different kinds of sharp edge for every sort of outdoorsman at SHOT Show 2012. These are our 12 favorites.