With KnifeNews SHOT Show coverage less than 3 weeks away, it’s already clear that 2017 is going to be a sensational year for knife enthusiasts. Spyderco has buyers buzzing with an impressive new for 2017 catalog overhaul. Buck Knives injected excitement into their line-up with a range of new models and line extensions of the 110 Folding Hunter in the New Year. Early reveals from Cold Steel, SOG, Kizer and ESEE also foreshadow a year replete with new options.
But ubiquitous brands aren’t the only ones contributing to the promise of a momentous 2017 for factory knives. If you’re still on the hunt for your grail knife, you may well find it coming from one of the top five emerging brands to watch in 2017. Here they are in no particular order:
Fox Knives’ Italian heritage and modern tactical vibe have always resonated. But in 2016 Fox started adding to its appeal by establishing collaboration relationships with the likes of Tashi Bharucha and Bob Terzuola. By bolstering distribution in North America with its deal with Böker Knives, Fox is poised to move into the mainstream in 2017.
Refined Steel Will designs like the Druid and Gekko series already have a cult following. But in recent months, Director Boris Shekhman has revealed plans to move Steel Will out of its niche and into the spotlight. The brand is leveraging its in-house design team to spark a product blitz in 2017. The Cutjack is leading a 20 knife lineup that emphasizes value and EDCability. It won’t be long until we see exactly what Steel Will has in store. They’ll have their entire new catalog on display at SHOT Show.
Millit has already developed a stellar reputation among designers for producing small batch production knives – after all, much of the crew are former Chris Reeve Knives employees. But, when Millit revealed it was behind many popular high-end and mid-tech knives, collectors also started to pay attention. Along with the revelation, owner Shane McGoldrick also disclosed ambitious plans to transition Millit from an OEM to a premium knife brand. The Max Evolution, the first Millit-branded release, is a sign of good things to come in 2017.
GiantMouse is a small scale production knife company recently established by Danish design heavyweights Jesper Voxnaes and Jens Ansø. Expectations were naturally very high for GiantMouse’s inaugural releases, and when they dropped in the middle of the year they did not disappoint. Now that GiantMouse has the ball rolling, expect a year’s worth of new designs in 2017.
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We Knife Co. made a huge push in 2016. The company, previously accustomed to releasing high-end OEM jobs like the Apollo, introduced eye-popping designs of their own like the 605 and the 618. Recent releases demonstrate the young brand is evolving and determined to put a We Knife in your pocket in 2017.
Knife featured in image: GiantMouse GMP1