The Blade Show does not garner half the attention of the annual SHOT Show, but for blade and edged weapon fans and aficionados, it’s just as awesome and as important as SHOT. The Blade Show is the world’s largest trade show for the knife industry. And, just like SHOT, it features thousands of exhibitors, seminars, awards and celebrity appearances. What it shares with SHOT is the attendees’ enthusiasm and excitement at seeing what is new. Also, just like SHOT, we can’t cover everything. There is just too much to see! Here are nine of the best knives for 2015 that Cheaper Than Dirt! carries for hunting, camping, survival, self-defense and every day carry (EDC).
Schrade Frontier SCHF36
Schrade Knives are always a crowd favorite and this one gets plenty of well-deserved attention. Not many other knives offer this much value. For just over $40, you get a quality 5.05-inch, full tang, fixed-blade knife, a Ferro fire-starting rod, sheath and sharpening stone. This knife is best suited for outdoors and survival, like chopping and bushcrafting rather than stabbing or field dressing. The Frontier has a picked black and gray Micarta handle and the 8Cr13MoV high-carbon stainless steel blade has a matching powder-coat black finish. There is jimping on the spine for a non-slip grip. Overall, it is 10.41 inches long and weighs almost a full pound. It comes with a lifetime warranty.
SOG Knives Toothlock
SOG Knives didn’t win any awards at the Blade Show this year, but the company did bring some cool new blades with it. The Toothlock series is just one example. Different from most knives on the market, SOG makes the Toothlock’s 3.1-inch partially serrated blade of VG-19 san mai stainless steel. The blade has an interesting reverse curve and stays strong at the tip. It is easily opened one-handed with SOG’s Toothlock lock assisted-opening. The handle is glass-reinforced nylon with a stainless steel liner and aggressive patterning for a sticky grip. The handle is 4.30 inches—open the Toothlock is 7.4 inches long. It carries deep in your pocket with the attached reversible low-carry pocket clip. The SOG Toothlock ships free and provides a perfect modern twist on the classic pocketknife.
Gerber Vital Pocket Folder
Gerber’s new Vital Pocket folder is designed specifically for hunting use, as characterized by its rubber safety orange handle. However, it’s super sharp, surgical precision #60 razor blade works perfectly as a utility knife, as well. This lightweight folding knife has an easy-to-use, no-tools-required, replaceable/interchangeable blade system so you are never with a dull edge. The Vital Pocket folder includes six blades. The blades are 2.8 inches long; open the Gerber Vital is 6.9 inches and weighs 1.3 ounces. It comes with a lifetime warranty. The Gerber Vital Pocket does an excellent job of skinning and field dressing game.
CRKT Tighe Rade
The Tighe Rade was one knife chosen to have a limited run special engraved model as an official Blade Show exclusive. This Columbia River Knife & Tool (CRKT) folding knife is based on a Brian Tighe custom knife design. It has a plain 3.38-inch drop point blade and features a flipper one-handed opening and a button-lock that closes the knife via gravity when you push it. The 8Cr13MoV steel blade has a compound dual grind for detailed cutting and slicing tasks such as wire stripping. The CRKT Tighe Rade (pronounced Tie-raid) has a 6061-T6 aluminum handle with custom designed pivots. The pocket clip is for tip up carry only. Overall, the Tighe Rade is 7.88 inches open and weighs 4.5 ounces.
CRKT Shizuka Noh Ken
CRKT’s Shizuka Noh Ken was chosen as a numbered official Blade Show knife exclusive with a limited run with custom engraving. This tactical and self-defense folding knife was designed by martial arts and special ops teams instructor, James William. The Shizuka Noh Ken—translation means “hidden blade”—has a modified Tanto blade based on the ancient Samurai Osaraku blade shape made for ease of penetration. Constructed of AUS8A steel with a non-reflective and corrosion-resistant black coating, the blade is 3.6 inches long. The handle has a G10 front and a 420J2 stainless steel back. The Sizuka Noh Ken is a frame lock design. It has an ambidextrous thumb stud for quick one-handed opening and CRKT LAWKS system with large lever locking mechanism to keep the blade firmly in place once opened. It sits deep in your pocket for ultimate concealment with the reversible, two-way pocket clip. When opened, the Shizuka Noh Ken is 8.25 inches long and weighs 4.2 ounces. Before coming to the commercial market, it was tested by Spec Ops forces serving is extreme environments.
Cold Steel Mini Recon 1
A classic upgraded! Cold Steel has produced the Recon series of knives for years. It is a favorite of law enforcement, fire and rescue, military and civilians alike. The blade size, G10 handle, heft and sturdiness make it perfect for camping, hunting, hiking and EDC. The clip point blade, like you see in the Bowie knife, serves as a good, all-round, all-purpose blade, which is quick to penetrate deeper, provides a smooth withdrawal, as well as works great for slicing. These 2015 knives have a new more durable finish and better steel. Cold Steel has upgraded the Recon 1 to a black DLC-coated Carpenters CTS XHP alloy. Razor sharp right out of the box, opening and closing is smooth, while the Tri-Lock and lockup is one of the most solid in the industry. The Mini Recon 1 has a 3-inch plain clip point blade, 4.0125-inch G10 handle, weighs 3.6 ounces and is 7.0125 inches overall.
Buck Knives 119 Brahma
Another popular knife gets a new look! The Buck Knives 119 is a rough use field knife made mostly for military applications. For 2015, Buck replaced the front guard, pommel, upgraded the sheath and enhanced the handle. The 2015 119 Brahma now has a stacked leather handle. The sheath is also part leather and part nylon; it is also MOLLE compatible. The fixed 420HC steel blade is six inches long. The 119 Brahma weighs 9.3 ounces.
Spyderco Cara Cara2
Another classic improved! Spyderco’s Byrd Cara Cara2 has proved itself an excellent utility and survival knife for many years. This improved, second generation Cara Cara2 deserves it’s 2015 award from Blade Magazine for “Best Buy of the Year” in the publication’s yearly “Knife of the Year” awards. Not only is the steel high quality stainless 8Cr13MoV with a full flat ground, the Spyderco Cara Cara2 now has a four-way carry pocket clip. For its price point, you won’t find much more value for your money. Available in a plain or partially serrated 3.75-inch blade, the Byrd Cara Cara2 is 8.53 inches overall when opened and weighs 5.7 ounces. Spyderco also makes this knife with a black, G10 handle.
Kershaw Launch 1
As knife restrictions relax around the country, more and more people are requesting automatic opening knives. One that particularly stands out is Kershaw’s Launch. The Launch series automatic tactical folding knifes from Kershaw have a sleek, but rugged and no-nonsense look. The Launch 1 has a two-piece billet aluminum 3D machined handle and 3.4-inch CPM154 steel blade with black-oxide BlackWash corrosion- and scratch-resistant finish. On the handle is a red push button that deploys the blade rapidly and fully. The lock up is solid. There is a reversible pocket clip. An American flag is printed on the blade. The Launch 1 auto knife is made in Kershaw’s Oregon factory. When closed, this tactical knife is 4.6 inches long; open it is 8 inches long. The Launch 1 weighs 4 ounces and is perfect for back up self-defense and every day carry.
Auto knives are restricted. It may be illegal for you to own one where you live. Please check your city and state laws before ordering.
After successfully winning many states over to loosening firearm restrictions and widening gun rights, many 2A advocates are pushing the firearms community to bring knifes to the fight.
Kniferights.org is leading the charge and since 2010 have fought to repeal gun bans in 10 states. Knife Rights reminds us that the Second Amendment does not limit the right to protection to just firearms. The group says, “Prohibitions on carrying knives in general, or of particular knives are unconstitutional.”
When you pack for your hunting or camping trip or when you clip your knife in your pocket every day for EDC, knife restrictions may never cross your mind. But did you know that there are knife restrictions in place all over the country that rival the number of gun restrictions? For example, in San Antonio, Texas it is illegal to carry a locking-blade folding knife unless you are on the job. To help combat these unconstitutional and ridiculous knife restrictions in your state, visit kniferights.org to find out what you can do.
What is your EDC knife? Tell us what brand and what type of blade in the comment section.