SHOT Show just came around so figured I would chime in and reassure you all that I haven’t forgotten about the knife reviews. As a matter of fact, I have 20-ish odd knives lying around that I still have to review.
As an early disclaimer (though it’s in the title) – if you’re looking for pictures from SHOT show, or were hoping to see at least a few images of the new knives dispersed in this article, sorry to say but you’re in the wrong place. In fact, all the photos in this article are from 2016 knife releases or prior. If you’d like, go check out the new knives first and come back to learn what I think about them/discuss them with me, or take a read through my thoughts first so you can only bother to look up the interesting ones. But definitely this will not be a photo dump of pictures of the new releases, as I unfortunately did not attend SHOT Show and so have no pretty pictures to share with you.
Now that that’s out of the way – a lot of people ask me what makes me review knife x or y and frankly, when I started MTJS, it was just me reviewing knives from my collection. Now, some years later, I find myself with around 300+ knives in my collection (including those still in Canada), and frankly, a lot of knives start to look the same after around the 200 mark. There are only so many black g-10, drop point 3.5 inch blade folders I can stomach going through without losing my mind!
What’s interesting (from my perspective) with regards to the knife industry as a whole is how quickly quality has improved relative to cost. Sub $20 can get you a lot these days, and as I browse new knives coming out (including many you will find below) I am truly impressed with what companies are currently cranking out. The flip side for me is, I can justify buying more knives now, which should make posting reviews as often as I used to far easier.
But back to my review criteria. I typically review 3 types of knives:
- Knives that people ask me to review- whether that’s the Kershaw Leek or the Gerber BG survival knife. These have been heavily requested in the past, and thus to try to keep you all happy, I do attempt to snap up the most popular knives to review – budget allowing, as 99% of the knives I review I buy myself, which explains why I haven’t reviewed a Sebenza yet.
- Knives that are genuinely interesting or offer performance beyond their price point, and yet don’t have mainstream recognition- the Douk-Douk is a great example of that.
- Outliers – some knives like the Spyderco Squarehead are just plain weird, and I snap them up knowing full well that after I do the review, they will just go back into storage. I enjoy creative design – at least it means the review won’t be boring!
So, after watching far too many videos of SHOT Show and crawling through the catalogue, I am brimming with things I want to say about a bunch of knives, which sadly won’t all end up being full reviews, as time and budget won’t allow that. Bare in mind that my opinion on the following knives is based purely on what I expect them to handle like – I don’t actually own them, this is more of a (biased, for selected knives) catalog review rather than anything else.
Spyderco’s 2017 New Releases
Sal has brought out a few cool new knives, but a lot of the options are simply revamped “old” models (either with new scales, blades, etc.). With that said, still plenty to discuss. As a side note – I 100% will not be reviewing the new Spyderco Para 3. Take the Para military 2, cut off an inch, and there you go. I am still waiting for a new Military with tip up carry option, and it looks like I will be waiting another year. :( Not impressed with the aesthetics of the “Polestar” either, specifically the scales. Now onto specifics.
- Spyderco Delica 4 Wharncliffe
I think it’s super versatile as an EDC. Sadly, do not expect a review, as I don’t think it’s different enough from the regular Delica 4 to do one. Still nice to see some new Wharncliffes on the market – you guys know I am a sucker for that.
- Spyderco Native 5 Micro-Melt Maxamet
Still haven’t reviewed any of the Spydie Natives (I know, I know), but I will 100% try to get this one this year. If I am going to review the Native 5, why not make it a sprint run? ;)
- Spyderco Stretch 2
I love the Stretch. I maintain that it’s probably the folder with the best ergonomics in my collection, and I do see myself snapping the newer, updated model up. I own the original one in super blue, though I haven’t done a review of it yet. Still in Canada, sadly, so might be some time before you get a review of either the Stretch 2 or the super blue Stretch.
- Spyderco SpydieChef
Not sold at all on the ergonomics just by looking at it, but man, is it a gorgeous knife. Will 100% buy one. Probably won’t use it much after I review it.
- Spyderco ARK
Very cool design and concept as a self defense tool. Very intrigued by the sheath (what’s the deal with the locking tab?) and the general viability of an H1 blade for constant neck carry.
- Spyderco Efficient
I dig it. Elise thinks it’s not particularly impressive. For the cost, I think it’s a great option for a poor man’s Spyderco Sage 1.
- Spyderco Chinook 4
Oh yeah baby, the Chinook is back. Only thing that could have made it better is if Sal also re-released the Spyderco Barong (what a great knife).
- Spyderco Q Ball
From what I can tell, it’s like my Spyderco Dodo, but with a functional blade and superior ergonomics. Sold.
- Spyderco EuroEdge
Badass folding dagger. What’s not to like? Oh wait, the price. Sadly, like with a lot of Spydies, the price is a smidgen high in my opinion, but I will definitely try to get my mitts on one.
- Spyderco Lil’ Nilakka
The first “Flash batch” Spydie to be released. Expect initial price to be high and aftermarket price to be absolutely ridiculous. I will sadly be part of the problem, as I really want one.
CRKT’s 2017 New Releases
Some interesting designs coming out from CRKT this year – especially the Homefront. I browsed through the catalogue and found too much stuff that echoes last years’ design, but nonetheless, with the TSR, Muzzle-Brake, & Homefront, I reckon CRKT and I are gonna have a good year.
- CRKT Homefront
Alright, first of all it’s a super sexy knife by Ken Onion, which is enough for me to lust after it, but I also like reviewing new, experimental mechanisms and the Homefront is a home run when it comes to quirky innovation. Spoiler alert – it disassembles with a switch. Can almost guarantee that I will be reviewing it. The original Homefront version, the Hunter, is ugly and the Tactical lacks sex appeal. This one’s spot on aesthetically.
- CRKT Rakkasan
Very cool design. Not sold on the weird cut out on the scales, but it’s interesting regardless. No promises on a review, but I am definitely intrigued.
- CRKT Humdinger
Looks super comfortable and useful for general use. I reckon it will be a winner.
- CRKT Snicker
Weird lil tyke, will make for an interesting review and it’s basically the sort of knife Elise likes. Taking into account the very,very low price, I am pretty sure this will get reviewed.
- CRKT Vizzle
It’s like a Kershaw Chill, but tougher and with some unique design elements. I wonder how it flips.
- CRKT Pilar
Not sure; interesting, but right off the bat I can tell you it’s gonna be a great budget knife. Super nice handles and a clean blade. I dig it.
- CRKT TSR Terzuola Survival Rescue Knife
Oh my. This is top of my list for CRKTs to review as well as the aforementioned Homefront. Super excited.
- CRKT Muzzle-Brake
I haven’t played with any of the Ruger collab CRKTs and that’s a damn shame. I reckon this will be the first. Very combat-utilitarian, no-nonsense design.
- CRKT Karen Hood Chopper
I really dig the concept behind this, but the price tag is a bit on the scary side. Sadly, it’s unlikely to be reviewed due to that alone.
Kershaw / ZT’s 2017 New Releases
I never thought Ernie would agree to license any of the full size folder designs to Kershaw, and I have never been happier to be proven wrong. This is major news – if you wanted a “proper” sized Emerson, but couldn’t summon up the scratch, this is it. I am on pins and needles waiting for this to arrive on my doorstep. Basically, like Christmas but better! Oh and the Divident. Malt and Reverb look cool too…
- Kershaw Dividend
Tony over @ Everyday Commentary says this is gonna be an absolute winner and I am inclined to believe him. It’s a premium design with some solid tech at a very reasonable price point. Pretty much guarantee a review.
- Kershaw Reverb
Super cool styling, especially at that price point. I don’t know how it will fit in with my usual EDC options, but I am interested to see if it’s as good in the flesh as it is in photographs.
- Kershaw AM-6
Elise pretty much makes me get all the micro knives, and I don’t see this being an exception. What in the world…?
- Kershaw AM-4
I am a sucker for Al Mar designs, and this is pretty much the quintessential Al Mar styling. I dig it. Super low price point too!
- Kershaw Vedder
OK, Kershaw is really knocking out of the park with the styling this year. What the hell? Look at the price and now look at the knife. A ridiculous amount of detail (maybe a smidgen too much) at such a low entry point. Sold.
- Kershaw Malt
I will never be able to afford a GTC. This is as close as it gets for most of us and I am grateful to Kershaw for giving us the opportunity.
- Kershaw CQC-10K
I absolutely love it. Love it. 1000000% gonna be reviewed. It’s a legit Emerson design for the masses. Sold.
Cold Steel’s 2017 New Releases
I know some people have issue with Cold Steel and the over-the-top marketing they do, but their knives are solid, fairly priced, and always unique. You can always count on Cold Steel to bring the crazy. I love the Immortal and Frenzy, even if it’s unlikely that I review them. Really looking forward to the SR-1 and Drop Forge Survivalist, though.
- Cold Steel Pro Lite Tanto
The clip point version isn’t as sexy, super “utilitarian” design from Cold Steel- I dig it.
- Cold Steel Immortal
A smidgen too pricey for my budget for this year, but I had to mention it. How cool is this knife? Seriously.
- Cold Steel Drop Forge Survivalist
Always been interested in these 1-piece knives, and this is to me the perfect version to review. Super tough. I do wonder about comfort though, especially if you are chopping – can you imagine the feedback on your hands?
- Cold Steel SR-1
Gorgeous design. Absolutely stunning. It’s like the Benchmade Adamas, but even more purpose-driven if that’s possible.
- Cold Steel Frenzy
Yep, this is the crazy design for 2017. Its a 5.5 inch monster, and I am pretty sure it wants to kill me.
- Cold Steel 4-Max
It was announced a while ago, but I just wanted to add it here to talk about it. It’s super expensive by any production knife’s standard. Hopefully, at some point I can snag one up on the secondary market.
- Cold Steel Black Bear Bowie Machete
Trust Cold Steel to make a legit Bowie with the materials and construction of a machete. This may look like a gimmick to some, but after handling other machetes of theirs, I have a feeling this will be a winner for the outdoors. Very light, and I imagine quite comfortable. Picture it with a lean convex grind!
Boker Plus CLB Karambit Folding Tactical Knife – Blade HQ
Boker’s 2017 New Releases
Boker as usual brought some interesting collabs with famous designers. I really wish they got more mainstream traction. I don’t get why they don’t have a larger following.
- Boker Plus RBB Bushcraft
I remember this when it was super over the top tactical. And now they have a “Bushcraft” version? It’s advertised as a scandi grind and the price is attractive, so we shall see. Not convinced, but I am willing to have my mind changed.
- Boker Plus Brad Zinker FR Flipper
Super clean lines, grinds and a very neutral handle. I haven’t seen such a spartan look in quite a while, and it’s quite refreshing. Very much a utility knife.
- Boker Plus Kornel Kiss Blacklist
Just a super cool design in a very useful package. I love the scale detail (I know, very teenager of me), and the blade screams general use.
- Boker Steven Kelly Gulo
Premium Boker construction with a premium price tag. I really love the aesthetics and the little details (bronzed screws anyone?), but sadly it’s unlikely that I will review it.
- Boker Applegate Smatchet 2.1
Smatchet. Enough said.
Buck’s 2017 New Releases
Buck releases new stuff every year. Sadly, most of it pales it comparison with their historical designs, like the mighty (and much loved) 110 hunter. Still, a couple of interesting options that I will get my mitts on this year.
- Buck 418 Vertex
Very unique design, probably one of the lightest folders at sub-2 ounces you can get… and you know I can’t resit a Wharncliffe!
- Buck 364 Rival
Interesting budget offering. I like the styling and lockback integration. For 17 bucks, and USA-made, I think it’s going to prove popular.
Final Thoughts on New Knife Offerings in 2017
Nothing super interesting from Benchmade on the folding front besides the 87 Balisong with the Wharncliffe blade which is $500 (Why?!) and illegal for me to import into the UK. Please chime in below if you disagree and you think I missed some Benchmades!
I know I listed a lot of knives and yet missed out a lot of manufacturers (and a lot of new models), but this is just my quick thoughts on current releases that I find interesting and knives that have a good chance of getting reviewed. I try to keep as many people happy as possible, but sadly, I just don’t have the time to review some of the newer/smaller brands. They rarely get suggested to me and consequently, I try to review what the majority wants.
I have a lot on my plate with stuff to review, and a significant portion of those won’t be reviewed even though I think they are super cool and deserve the exposure. That’s the reality of life and limited time though.
What Do You Think of the New Knife Releases in 2017?
Leave a comment down below letting me know what you think about the 2017’s new knife offerings.
Did you manage to go to SHOT show? Take any pictures? Leave a link to where you’ve uploaded your images in the comments.
And do let me know if there’s any knives you think I’d be interested in, or that you yourself think you’ll be getting your hands on this year.