The space between off-the-shelf knives and custom models continues to narrow, which is good news for retailers and knife wielders alike. Grand View Outdoors editors attending the SHOT Show got a firsthand look at many knives debuting in 2017.
Here are some of our favorites.
CRKT/Ruger’s Signature Hollow Point
The Hollow Point came about through a collaboration between CRKT, Ruger and renowned, master knifesmith Ken Onion. It’s a simple, useful, easy-to-clean knife, ideal for both hunters and everyday carry. The upswept blade has a retro look to it, but it isn’t overly done. The point is sharp enough and there’s enough skinning belly to hold up to the serious work hunters may need to do in the field or woods.
The 8Cr13MoV steel is hardened to Rockwell 58-59, making it easy to sharpen. This beaut also features the IKBS ball-bearing pivot system for efficient opening. Modern knife features including a frame lock mechanism, molded plastic scales, two-position pocket clip, lanyard hole and blade flipper allow for quick, one-handed deployment. MSRP starts at $59.99 for the compact version, $69.99 for the standard and $79.99 for the larger +P option.
For more information, go to www.crkt.com/collection/ruger-knives.html.
Gerber Gear’s US Assist S30V
Designed and built in Portland, Oregon, this assisted-opening knife offers Gerber’s smoothest, most consistent deployment to date. It features Balls of Stainless Steel technology, or BOSS Tech, which gives the knife a smoother deployment with significantly less friction. Plus, it provides stable performance for long-term use.
The ball bearings are encased in a round cage on the interior of the knife’s glass-filled nylon handle. It boasts a three-inch blade and weighs in at 3.9 ounces. It also features a scratch-resistant, removable pocket clip. You can use it to carry the tip up or down. There’s also an ambidextrous assist and one-hand, opening blade featuring dual-ramped thumbstuds and a plunge lock with cross-bolt safety. It is available in a 420HC with a glass-bead finish for $99.00 or S30V steel in a stonewashed finish for $119.
For more information, go to www.gerbergear.com.
Helle Knives’ Arv
The Arv is the newest addition to Helle’s line of fixed blades. Ideal for caping, carving and even hunt-camp chores, it boasts all the hallmarks you’d expect and want out of a Helle. The knife offers a 3.5-inch, triple-laminated steel blade with a drop point. It’s mirror-polished with a Scandi grind. The handle is comprised of antler, leather and curly birch wood. It’s rounded and flared to offer a secure, comfortable grip. It comes with a traditional Nordic sheath in tanned leather, completing the Arv’s sleek and earthy design. Definitely a knife worth passing down for generations.
Every Helle knife is manufactured in western Norway, and all are created by highly skilled craftsmen and knifesmiths. The process can include up to 45 different manual operations before the knife is inspected and finally approved.
MSRP for the Arv starts at $169 when made available.
For more information, go to www.helle.no.
Buck Knives’ 550 Selector 2.0
The Selector 2.0 is ideal for the hunter who only wants to carry one knife. Based on the successful Open Season line, the Selector 2.0 features three interchangeable blades: drop point, drop point serrated and gutting.
Whether you need a clean, precise cut, an aggressive cut or a guthook blade ideal for field dressing, the Selector 2.0 is equipped for the job. Each blade is treated with Buck’s standard 420HC steel and heat treated by Buck’s patented, heat-treat process. The mid-lockback design allows for simple and safe blade change-out. Additionally, the 420HC steel is great for edge retention and corrosion resistance. It’s also easily re-sharpened. Weighing in at 6 ounces, this knife is made in the USA and backed by Buck’s Famous Forever Warranty. MSRP starts at $125 for the kit.
For more information, go to www.buckknives.com.
Havalon Knives’ Bone Collector Rebel
Havalon Knives perfected medical blades a long time ago and the company used this expertise when it transitioned to the taxidermy market. Because of the knife’s strength, durability and ability to hold a long-lasting sharp edge, taxidermists use these blades for skinning and caping. After introducing the folding pocket scalpel, Havalon realized hunters could use this knife when skinning and field dressing wild game. So, they created a steel blade to stand up to tougher materials many hunters encounter.
This knife was created in partnership with Michael Waddell’s brand, Bone Collector. The folder features an AUS cryo-hardened traditional fixed blade on one side and Havalon’s signature “always sharp” replacement blade system on the other. Not only does this kit come with six of the company’s 60A blades, but for the first time Havalon has included disposable, guthook blades with one of its knives. It’s a game changer.
The Havalon Rebel is expected to start shipping in April, and MSRP is $69.99.
For more information, go to www.havalon.com.
Colonial Knife Corp’s Bushcraft CE-100
Colonial Knife Corp has manufactured knives in the United States since 1926 and, with more than 90- years of experience, they know what they’re doing. The Bushcraft is comprised of super sharp 3/16-inch 154 CM steel blade and sports a G-10 handle, resulting in a durable blade that would be a great addition to any hunter’s pack.
The Bushcraft CE-100 is available now with an MSRP of $200.
For more information, go to www.colonialknifecorp.com.
Ontario Knife’s Cerberus Folder
I got a sneak peek at Ontario Knife Company’s new folder, the Cerberus. In Greek mythology, Cerberus is a three-headed dog; while the knife by the same name offers application in three areas: tactical, survival and everyday carry. I’d argue that this three-headed pooch needs a fourth noggin because its namesake could also be valuable to hunters. It’s a perfect tool for those who prefer one knife to serve several, different purposes in the field.
A follow-up to the Cerberus Fixed Blade, this folder boasts a 3.75-inch blade with a full-flat grind and a super-sleek, D2 steel titanium handle with frame-lock handle. It feels slender in-hand but, at the same time, it’s sturdy, durable and sharpens well. It retains its edge after plenty of use. The MSRP will be around $165. The release date has not been announced.
For more information, go to www.ontarioknife.com.
Steel Will Knives’ Roamer R315-1OR
Steel Will Knives recently introduced its new Roamer series of outdoor fixed-blade knives, which targets hunters and campers alike and are ideal for food preparation, fish processing, survival and outdoors needs. The Roamer R315-1OR caught my eye at SHOT Show because of its compact style and durability. This knife features a classic clip-point blade and is an excellent choice if you’re looking for a sturdy, hunting knife. The textured TPE handle has deep grooves that ensure slip resistance, even when handled with wet or slippery hands. The MSRP for this entire Roamer line ranges from $60-70 and will be available this spring.
For more information, go to www.steelwillknives.com.
Tops Knives’ Tanimboca Puukk
The Tanimboca Puukko was designed by Tops Knives designer Goran, who lives in the Colombian jungle where he’s crafted these styled knives for years. He leans on the traditional side with a full Scandi grind, completely rounded exotic wood handles and stick-tang construction. When Tops started manufacturing Goran’s designs, they tried to stick as close to the original Puukko style as possible, but with Tops’ flare.
This knife features the modified Scandi grind and a micarta handle with a thick, half-inch slab on each side and a large radius that almost completely rounds them out. This feature gives you the full-handle feel you get with a Puukko, but with micarta handles that’ll stay sticky when wet. The Puukko will also come packaged with a deep-carry leather sheath. It can be worn as a neck carry with the tip down or on the belt. The release date and MSRP have not been announced.
For more information, go to www.buckknives.com.
SOG Knives’ KIKU 4-Inch Fixed Blade
SOG Knives showcased its new Kiku 4-inch fixed-blade knife at SHOT Show. To produce a line of knives, the manufacturer partnered with master custom knifesmith Kiku Matsuda. He’s considered among the foremost, tactical-knife designers and blade grinders in Japan. This Kiku fixed blade features Matsuda’s distinctive blade and handle grinds on a smaller, 4-inch VG-10 steel blade and linen Micarta handle. The full tang handle uses linen Micarta slabs that are rugged, easy to clean and look better with use. It offers superior grip in wet or dry conditions and comes in a versatile Kydex sheath with an adjustable, low-profile, locking mount.
The Kiku performs just like any workhorse knife, but it does so with more balance, class and comfort. This would make for a great hunt camp knife or even a skinning knife. While it’s not intended exclusively for those purposes, hunters will find this all-purpose knife just as useful in the field as it is every day.
This knife was made available this month with an MSRP of $254.
For more information, go to www.sogknives.com.
Are you a knife guy (or gal)? Did we miss a knife you feel should make the cut? If so, weigh in and let us know in the comment section!