Presented by: Work Sharp Knife & Tool Sharpeners
The KnifeNews Dealers’ Choice Awards recognize extraordinary achievement in the production knife world. KnifeNews turned to knife dealers to determine the winners. With hundreds of new production knives passing through their hands and many hours spent interacting with end-users, dealers have the most comprehensive and informed perspective. 21 of North America’s top dealers cast their votes in 10 different categories to choose the best of the best in 2016.
We are pleased to announce that the Cold Steel Pro-Lite is the winner of the KnifeNews Dealers’ Choice Award for Best New Value Folder 2016. Votes cast by dealers indicated that other great new blades in this category include the CRKT Jettison, the KA-BAR Jarosz Folder, and the Kizer Vanguard Dukes.
“I am so happy to hear that our Pro-Lite won this award,” says Cold Steel Founder and President Lynn C. Thompson. He tells us that the company went to great lengths to put the Pro-Lite in people’s hands. “Together, Ric [Valdez, Cold Steel VP] and I worked with Andrew Demko for over two years to bring that project to fruition, and I’ll tell you – it wasn’t easy.”
The knife had to be able to pass the brutal lock strength tests Cold Steel puts all its folders through, but come in at an MSRP under $50. So Cold Steel set out to build a knife around the Andrew Demko designed Tri-Ad lock that would still hit the improbable price point. Demko says that striking this balance with the Pro-Lite was a fun challenge. “We had to make some smart choices with materials and manufacturing.” He chose lightweight and rigid GFN handle scales and 4116 stainless blade steel to provide easy sharpening and high rust resistance.
Material choices weren’t Cold Steel’s only concern. To further set the Pro-Lite apart from other budget folders, Demko paid special attention to the ergonomics. “I spent a lot of time working on that handle. I wanted to make the Pro-Lite as comfortable as I could for hard use,” he says. The texturing and stepped handle shape keep the Pro-Lite comfortable in hand during a wide range of cutting tasks. “I’d say that the Pro-Lite is my favorite handle that I’ve designed for an under 4-inch knife so far.”
Although it took some time to get to market, Thompson says that the results speak for themselves. “It was worth all that experimentation, all that effort. It’s a hard knife to beat for under 50 bucks.”
Visit KnifeNews.com tomorrow when we’ll announce the winner of the KnifeNews Dealers’ Choice Award for Best Manual Folder 2016.
Best New Value Folder (MSRP under $100):
Top 4 Contenders
Cold Steel Pro-Lite (WINNER)
Thursday, November 17th