New 2016 Knives: Brands to Watch at SHOT Show

KnifeNews SHOT Show NewsFeed, brought to you by KnifeCenter, kicks off tomorrow at 2pm EST.  We’ll be bringing you live coverage as knife companies from around the world gather in Las Vegas to unveil their new for 2016 releases. There are over 50 knife brands being represented at SHOT and here’s what’s expected from some of the biggest.

Boker has been keeping mum about what they’re bringing to SHOT, but we’re expecting exciting things. Boker has a history of making production versions of coveted custom blades and 2016 should be no exception. Last year marked the 10th anniversary of the Boker Plus line of blades, and if the popularity and rising quality of the line is any indication we’ll be seeing more collaborations with makers like  Brad Zinker, Lucas Burnley, and Grant & Gavin Hawk.

Kershaw / Zero Tolerance
KAI USA always brings an impressive roster of blades to SHOT. Though KAI hasn’t dropped any hints as to what they’re bringing this year, last year Kershaw unveiled the highly anticipated follow up to their ultra-popular Cryo, the Rick Hinderer designed Shield.  Many knife people got behind Kershaw’s decision to introduce a number of new, affordable, American-made blades to the Kershaw line: an assisted opener dubbed the Link and three automatic knives.

If last year is any indication, we’ll be seeing a number of new premium custom collaborations from Kershaw’s sister brand, Zero Tolerance. 2015 was a banner year for ZT – their decision to move away from the ‘overbuilt’ blades of previous years was greeted with near-universal critical praise. Among the lighter-weight, smaller knives unveiled at SHOT last year were the Todd Rexford designed 0808, the Les George 0900, and the Dimitri Sinkevich 0450.

CRKT prides itself on making adventurous custom designs affordable – no other production knife company consistently makes such a wild diversity of fixed and folding knives. Just ahead of SHOT, CRKT released details of a number of tantalizing new blades designed by talented custom knifemakers, including a minimalist folder from Danish designer Jesper Voxnaes, a pair of slender fixed blades from Tom Krein, and a striking button-lock folder from Brian Tighe. This year, we’re expecting more of what made 2015 a success for the company – affordable innovation and ambitious design.

DPx Gear
Following on the heels of their successfully-funded Kickstarter project, DPx will be bringing the result to SHOT Show. Called the “Urban,” it will be their first all-USA made folder. Previously, DPx has worked with various OEMs to make their knives, including LionSteel in Italy for their folders and White River in Michigan for their fixed blades, so the Urban will also be the first “in-house” knife from the company.

Though most, if not all, of the 2016 Benchmade line has been unveiled already, Knife people are excited to get Benchmade’s 2016 offerings in-hand. Long-awaited G-10 versions of the classic griptilian and barrage should be popular, as will the late Warren Osborne-designed “Proxy” flipper – the first ever framelock flipper from Benchmade.

The 2016 Spyderco Catalog was released on December 1st, followed a month later by the announcement that the Minuteman, previously called the ParaMilitary 3, was in the works. But, Spyderco always brings something extra for their fans: prototypes, models from their design archive, and maybe a few new blades that will find their way into their upcoming mid-year catalog.

Kizer continues to expand their presence within the knife community, coming off a 2015 that saw them both refine and expand their brand. At SHOT Show 2016, Kizer is rumored to be launching an entire line of budget blades they’re dubbing the Vanguard series, that take some of their most popular models and dress them down in less-expensive materials to hit an attractive price point. The Kizer Gemini – the much-lauded custom collaboration knifemaker Ray Laconico – has already seen a Vanguard release. Kizer shows no sign of slowing, and we’re expecting great things from their SHOT Show booth.