SHOT 2019: Steel Will Gives New Working Knives the Spotlight

Steel Will continues to push out folding knife designs that blend affordability and high performance. Their 2019 SHOT Show lineup consists of three models that keep things moving in that direction. The Piercer was teased ahead of SHOT, but the Plague Doctor and Lanner made their debut on the show floor.

Plague Doctor
Steel Will’s new Plague Doctor model [see feature image above], a large, wild-looking flipper knife, comes from the mind of a designer named Vaeringi, a mysterious maker we haven’t heard of before now. We’ve seen multiple companies already this year making sure to credit their designers, even if they are in-house, and we think that’s a great thing, and whether or not this is their first design Vaeringi clearly followed a bold vision. The Plague Doctor’s D2 blade rides on washers, not bearings, and the full-size incarnation’s cutting edge is a whopping 3.9 inches long. There’s also a scaled down model with a 3.4-inch blade. Steel Will has also confirmed on IG that a model with M390 will also be available.

Vaeringi’s approach to the Plague Doctor’s handle locks a user’s grip in place while also providing control over the blade itself. The handle’s long, curving back half stops your hand from moving back off the butt end, and a pinch point is formed right behind the pivot by a finger groove and a thumb dip on the spine. Both the large and small(ish) Plague Doctors come with green or black G-10 handle scale options.

Anton Tkachenko is the mind behind the new Lanner, which follows in the same affordable, workhorse path that the Cutjack models blazed. In fact, the Lanner looks like a cross between those the Cutjack and the Intrigue, with a blade shape close to that on the former and a handle that’s slim and streamlined like the latter’s. It comes in 3.75-inch and 3.25-inch blade length variants, but the G-10 handles, line lock, and D2 blade steel remain the same.

Steel Will Lanner

Steel Will Lanner

Tkachenko is another knife maker who has yet to become widely known, but his work has been accruing fans and praise. He also happens to be the inventor of the Ant-Lock mechanism, which Steel Will still plans on bringing to production some day – a new Ant-Lock prototype was on display this year in their booth at SHOT.

Knife in Featured image: Steel Will Plague Doctor