A few weeks ago, I attended the revived Outdoor Retailer trade show and was thrilled to check out a bevy of wonderful upcoming products. One category where I didn't encounter a ton of new stuff, however, was knives.
At multiple booths, I was told that due to various shortages, brands are pretty focused on meeting on simply meeting demand for blades they already make. Which I gather means business is good, even if innovation is slowed.
And even so, I'm happy to report that the well is far from dry. This month still brings a number of compelling releases in both the knife and EDC categories, highlighted by the following.
SOG Vision XR LTE 35 Year Edition
Created in celebration of Studies and Observations Group’s 35 years of knife design and innovation, this fierce folder features the brand’s new, ambidextrous XR lock, plus a titanium handle with carbon fiber liners and a tiger stripe camo-etched blade made of CTS-XHP steel. The limited-edition release (only 350 will be produced) is serialized and comes with a hard case and a commemorative coin.
The James Brand Carter XL
We've been fans of the original Carter since its release last winter. This supersized version costs just $20 more and boasts a VG-10 steel blade (noted for its corrosion resistance and edge retention) that's half an inch longer (3.3 inches) to tackle bigger jobs. Like its predecessor, the Carter XL also has machined G10 handle scales, a reversible deep carry clip and an ambidextrous slide lock.
Urban EDC Copita
This compact flipper, a collaboration between Urban EDC and Jesper Voxnaes, boasts the vaunted Danish designer's trademark combo of form and function. The 5.46-inch pocket knife deploys a tiny but mighty 2.26-inch M390 steel blade with a wide belly for making all kinds of cuts, plus contoured handles in brown or green micarta, plain titanium or black PVD titanium.
TRUE Replaceable Blade Knife
A dull blade is a frustrating, even dangerous buzzkill. This knife sidesteps the problem with three 3.5-inch 3CR13 Stainless Steel drop-point blades — two fine edge and one saw — that can be easily swapped when they lose their edge. A fiberglass-filled nylon handle with a liner lock up the safety, and you can also snag a five-pack of additional blades for $24.99.
Civivi Perf Flipper Knife
This flipper features an industrial-looking stainless steel skeletonized handle, a 3.12-inch Nitro-V blade and a handy pocket clip. It's available in both stonewashed and black stonewashed finishes, it weighs 2.8 ounces, and with a caged ceramic ball bearing and frame lock, we can only assume the flipping action is just about, well, perfect.
Case Knives Green & Black Carbon Fiber Weave Smooth Copperhead
This non-locking slip-joint pocket knife isn't new, per se, but the badass handle sure is: it's made of a specially woven blend of durable fiber with a striking digital camo look. Two Tru-Sharp stainless blades, a thick-backed Wharncliffe and a Pen (originally designed for sharpening the turkey quills used in ink pens), can tackle plenty of everyday tasks.
Benchmade 535BK-4 Bugout
Our friends in Oregon just keep iterating on this hugely popular knife, which is currently offered in 13 varieties. The latest encases the 3.24-inch drop-point blade in milled 6061-T6 aircraft aluminum handles, accented with red thumb studs and barrel spacer. The Austrian-made M390 super premium steel blade is renowned for its edge retention, ensuring this Bugout will grace your pocket for years to come.
This entry-level multitool is essentially a leaner, more affordable version of the $99.95 Wave+. It packs 15 functions (to the Wave+'s 18), including a one-hand-accessible 420HC knife, spring-loaded scissors, a medium screwdriver (that can be swapped out for 21 double-ended bits via the $24 Bit Kit Set), two pliers (regular and needle-nose) and two openers (bottle and can).
Matador Freerain Waterproof Packable Hip Pack
This next-level hip pack is one of five new, adventure-ready Advanced Series releases — joining three new backpacks and a duffel — all waterproof, feature-laden and stashable in included stuff sacks. Weighing just five ounces, the hip pack boasts a surprising two liters of space thanks to a rolltop closure, a handy front pocket and two carry options: around the waist or crossbody as a sling.
High Camp Flasks Highball Shaker
Can a portable cocktail shaker qualify as EDC? In these fraught times, hell yes. This 20-ounce stainless steel vessel integrates a clever coupling strainer for prepping your adult beverage, while vacuum insulation ensures it'll stay cold for hours on the go. More of a beer fan? It's also sized to accommodate a 16-ounce tallboy, with a leakproof cap and wide-mouth opening for easy drinking.