SHOT Show 2020: Kizer Grows with New and Returning Designers

[UPDATE 2/11/20: Changed the description of the Inversion knife following discussion with the designer to better convey its intended uses]

Kizer has a fleet of new knives on display at SHOT Show 2020. We’ve already covered the Justin Lundquist-designed Contrail, and it looks like Kizer has plenty of additional knives lined up for the new year. The 20+ products cover different use categories, construction methods, and price points, and a well-gauged mix of in-house and collaboration designs are on display.

Inversion by Dirk Pinkerton

Dirk Pinkerton‘s latest contribution to Kizer’s catalog is the Inversion, a folder based on his Smilodon custom fixed blade. That knife was designed to be used in Pikal-style reverse grips and the Inversion follows suit in terms of purpose – although Pinkerton notes that it works well for cutting chores that use a more common forward, edge down grip too.

Shamshir by Azo

Kizer designer Azo contributed a significant portion of the new for 2020 models. The Shamshir, as the name indicates, borrows its look from the historical sword of the same name. Its 3.24-inch trailing point blade is considerable less curved, however, allowing the 3.31 oz. knife to be widely useful while retaining that recognizable look.

Maestro by Azo

Compared to the sinuous lines of his Shamshir model, Azo’s Maestro is much more angular and less traditional-looking. It’s a flipper with a 3.57-inch wharncliffe blade, which is also equipped with a large, trapezoidal cutout for an alternate method of opening. It weighs 4.9 oz.

Horn by Azo

The Horn shares some visual cues with the Maestro, when it comes to its 3.17 inch blade, but ergonomically handle it moves in a more rounded direction, tapering along its length from front to back. It’s made from unadonized titanium and weighs 4 oz. even.

Lieb by Azo

The Lieb is the smallest of Azo’s new designs, sporting a stubby, 2.39 inch modified sheepsfoot. As a Vanguard model, the Lieb comes with G-10 scales and a stainless steel liner lock mechanism. It weighs 2.77 oz. and opens with a flipper.

Yukon by Azo

Another Vanguard model, the 3.56 oz. Yukon is as simple as it gets: a slender drop point blade measuring 3.39 inches, G-10/liner lock handle, and stamped steel pocket clip. Currently there appear to be two different colorations for its scales: black or tan.

Justice by Azo

This is the largest 2020 Azo, with a drop point blade running all the way up to 3.8 inches. The 5.15 oz. Justice is a flipper-only design and comes outfitted with the standard Vanguard series liner lock. It will be available in either tan or powder blue G-10 handle scales.

Clutch by Carlos Elstner

Carlos Elstner is another recurring name on the 2020 Kizer roster. The Clutch has a 3.39-inch modified drop point blade that is flipper-only. Its titanium scales come inlaid with one of two different material choices: carbon fiber or Micarta. Kizer lists the weight at 3.21 oz.

Assassin by Carlos Elstner

For the Assassin, Kizer and Elstner came up with three subtly different versions. The 3.15-inch clip blade and straightforward, ergonomic handle remain the same across all the variations, but users can opt for a bead blasted, stonewashed, or milled handle configuration. It weighs a reasonable 3.21 oz.

Junges by Carlos Elstner

The Junges may be on the smaller side with a 3.06-inch blade length, but the exaggerated bowie design makes it comes across as more bold than its size would indicate. A Vanguard flipper liner lock, the Junges comes with carbon fiber-overlaid G-10 scales and weighs 3.57 oz.

Ginesis by Gage

Gage, another Kizer stalwart, is back for 2020 with multiple releases. The Ginesis comes in classic Kizer trim: its 3.48 inch flipper blade is made from S35VN and its titanium frame is offset by a scalloped carbon fiber insert on the show side. The Ginesis is a frame lock and weighs 3.96 oz.

Genie by Gage

Gage’s Genie is all about a bold, lean profile. It has a slim 3.4-inch modified wharncliffe blade and a commensurately slender, simple handle, which can be had in either full titanium or with a carbon fiber front scale. While the 3.41 oz. Genie has a cutout on the blade that can be used for opening, most will opt for the front flipper.

HMS Thunder Child by Gage

The HMS Thunder Child takes its name from a battleship in H.G. Wells’s The War of the Worlds, and has an industrial aesthetic to match its inspiration. The Thunder Child’s 3.25-inch drop point blade opens with a flipper or thumb cutout, and the knife weighs 3.88 oz.

Raja by Sebastian Irawan

Indonesian knife designer Sebastian Irawan created the 4.3 oz. Raja, a knife whose profile is dominated by its 3.74-inch cleaverish blade. A humped handle allows that blade to drop below the center line of the pivot, which may make certain cutting chores easier.

Noble by Sebastian Irawan

While still on the larger side, Irawan’s Noble design comes across as a tad more subtle than the Raja. Its 3.5 inch tanto is slim and opens via a flipper which is mostly hidden in the open position. The Noble weighs 3.05 oz. and uses a titanium frame lock.

Kobold by Sebastian Irawan

The 3.1 oz. Kobold has a swayback handle made from titanium and inlaid with carbon fiber. The smallest Irawan design, its blade measures 2.94 inches and opens with a thumb cutout.

Slicer by Michael Galovic

Michael Galovic’s Slicer is the biggest folder in the 2020 batch, bringing a 3.81-inch drop point blade to the table. It stands out in other ways too, with its carbon fiber handle scales, lock back mechanism, and thumbstud-only opening.

Pelican Mini by Jonathan Renaudin

The Pelican Mini comes from the mind of Jonathan Renaudin, custom maker, collector, and YouTuber. Despite the “Mini” designation the 4.84 oz. Pelican still measures in at a comfortable 3.37 inches long, and like the Slicer opens via thumb stud.

Zen by Shence

Designed by Shence, the Zen is among the slenderest and most sinuous of the 2020 models. It is a mid-size folder with a 3.39-inch near-trailing point blade and a straightforward, subtly embellished titanium handle. It’s a light knife for its size at 2.7 oz.

Tercio by Ivan Braginets

Ivan Braginets contributes his first Kizer design in the Tercio, a 3.74 inch-bladed folder that opens either via traditional or front flipper. The liner lock, 4.02 oz. Tercio’s titanium frame letterboxes rounded carbon fiber scales, and an oversized, pivot collar gives the design a tasteful visual contrast.

Apus by Henar

Designed by Henar, the Apus is an EDC-sized front flipper that comes with three different onlay flavors: titanium, carbon fiber, or copper. The fundamentals remain the same in all three configurations: a 3.03 inch clip blade and a titanium frame lock. It weighs 2.95 oz. (the different onlays could change that slightly).

Butcher by Eddie Diaz (Macho Blades)

Fixed blades are getting some love from Kizer this year too. The Butcher, designed by Eddie Diaz of Macho Blades, is a small 3.4 oz. fixed blade with a 2.42 inch cleaver blade shape.

Knife in Featured: Kizer Inversion

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