SHOT 2019: Kizer Keeps it Coming with the Collabs

Kizer‘s batch of new product has been unveiled at SHOT. In a running theme this year at the show, Kizer took a considered, balanced approach, striking multiple size categories, price points, and utilizing both internal and outside design partners in a bid to generate wide appeal.

Nick Swan is back with Kizer again, this time for the Microlith. Going by the name you would probably expect something that is small, sturdy, and sharp – and what do you know, that’s exactly what Swan delivered. The Microlth’s bellied-out drop point has a sub-3-inch blade that can be opened with a stubby, square flipper tab. It seems like Kizer is providing more options for its releases at all price points; the Microlith comes with either a carbon fiber or titanium front scale.

The Quell comes to us from Kevin Kelemen, an industrial designer who came to knife work after a stint with Hasbro’s product design team. The Quell has a razel-style blade shape and a carbon fiber bolster. It has a long, straight, tapering handle and a 3.2-inch cutting edge. The wedge-shaped flipper has been kept as close as possible to the frame in both the open and closed positions.

Shard and Fire Ant
Dirk Pinkerton is bringing his angular flair to the Shard, a folder that will be among the smallest in Kizer’s Bladesmith lineup. The new knife’s blade measures just 2.28 inches long, and it’s one of few 2019 releases that uses a thumb stud for opening. It is accompanied by the Fire Ant, which while bigger than the Shard with a 2.72-inch blade, is still on the smaller side, especially when compared to its previously released, bigger brother, the Rogue.

This year Kizer is emphasizing the work of knife designer Azo, who remains rather mysterious; he may be an in-house designer or simply a repeat collaborator. Whatever the case his latest, the Maestro, strikes out a bit visually. It has a 3.5-inch modified wharncliffe blade that opens through a flipper, a trapezoidal opening hole or, if you prefer, a thumb stud (although these appear to actually function as blade stops while the knife is open). The handle is made from titanium and the blade steel is Kizer’s signature S35VN.

Begleiter Gets Big (and Little) Upgrade
The original Begleiter, a sturdy but slender Vanguard offering, has been one of the most well received designs from Azo so far. This year Kizer is bringing it into the Prime series with a premium makeover. Full titanium replaces the G-10/steel combo on the original, of course, which means transitioning from a liner lock to a frame lock. Additionally, the Begleiter’s drop point has been swapped out for either a more elaborate, compound-ground one, or a tanto – what’s more, the thumb stud is gone in favor of Kizer’s well-loved flipper/ceramic bearing combo. Whichever blade shape you go with, you’re getting S35VN blade steel. A broad sculpted titanium clip also replaces the simple steel number on the original.

Additionally, a mini version of Begleiter is on the way.

New Mini Models
When the full-size Domin – another Azo design – debuted last summer, it was came across as a slightly burlier alternative to the Begleiter. Now the Domin is getting stepped down in size for those who don’t prefer the original’s 3.46-inch blade length. The Domin Mini has a 2.89-inch long blade made from N690Co, which some people will see as an upgrade over the original Domin’s VG-10. It comes in three colors including an interesting translucent jade G-10.

The Sheepdog model has had a mini version in the Vanguard lineup for some time, but now a Bladesmith rendition is on the way. This comes across like a perfectly shrunk down version of the original Sheepdog, with ventilated titanum show scale and S35VN steel.

Knife in Featured image: Kizer Cutlery Begleiter