Blade Show 2024: Hogue Launches Ballista II Auto Knife

Our Blade Show 2024 coverage starts with a glimpse at the new Hogue Ballista II, sequel to a stalwart model, and one that goes for an entirely different look than its predecessor.

The original Ballista, an automatic too, had a blade/handle profile in the “modern folding knife” style. The Ballista II, however, with its spear point blade and tapered, dual-guard handle, evokes the sinuous symmetry of classic double-edge Italian switchblades. But, look closely and you’ll see the two halves of the blade are not quite identical, by design: Hogue rolled this one out with a single edge to keep legal concerns to a minimum, and the live edge side runs longer than the unsharpened swedge side.

The Ballista II’s blade is almost, but not quite, symmetrical

Like its predecessor and many other Hogue family knives besides, the Ballista II opens with a press of the button on its show-side scale (Speaking of family, it’s worth pointing out that the Ballista II was designed by Scott Bruhns, Lead Knife Engineer at Hogue and son of company owner Jim Bruhns). It’s a single action auto, which means that the blade has to be closed by hand.

In this Collector Series trim, the blade has been given a two-tone finish, with dark grinds and brushed flats. Evidently the Ballista II is the first knife in the Hogue Collector Series with this particular aesthetic flourish. Blade steel is (drumroll please) CPM-MagnaCut, a knife-centric steel that serves well in just about any role, be it backup micro-blade or extra large chopper; but in an EDC-style design like the Ballista II MagnaCut is really in its element.

Meanwhile we’ve got full aluminum handle scales, black anodized, with carbon fiber inserts on the show-side scale, as well as a blue ano’d pivot collar. A deep carry pocket clip is in tow, too, limited to just the right-hand side – maybe not surprising given the Ballista II’s auto nature.

Knife in Featured Image: Hogue Knives Ballista II

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