Spyderco Unveils Six New Folders at SHOT Show 2018

For close-up vides of the new for 2018 SHOT Show Knives visit our Live Newsfeed

The Sands Expo Center in Las Vegas is the place where knife and gun companies unveil their new products, hoping to leave with more orders this year than they booked last year. In 2018, the biggest change we’ve noticed is the show floor is much busier. That comes as no surprise, given the good health of the industry but it does make navigating the SHOT Show venue, which measures in at an enormous 630,000 square feet (that’s over twelve miles of ground to cover) a greater challenge. Visit our SHOT Show 2018 Knives Newsfeed for up-to-the-minute coverage of all the new knives.

The biggest news to come out of the first day of SHOT Show 2018 came at the Spyderco booth. Those who speculated that their 2018 catalog wasn’t painting the whole picture were right. Spyderco unveiled no less than six never-before-seen folders. First among them is the Smock, a collaboration with knifemaker Kevin Smock, who caught Spyderco’s attention with his button-operated compression lock folder. The Spyderco Smock, based on Kevin Smock’s custom SK23 model, will be entering the company’s production queue. And, like it has for so many others, a collaboration with Spyderco will catapult the Smock name into the knife making mainstream.

The company also revealed the Techno 2, a sheepsfoot blade riff on the original micro-sized Marcin Slysz collaboration; the Mantra 3, a line extension of Spyderco’s signature flipper knives with carbon fiber and a compression lock; and the Brouwer, an elegant, modestly sized titanium framelock. These, along with the rest of their new catalog should give Spyderco fans plenty to chew on in 2018.

Benchmade, playing the long game, delivered on every expectation from their catalog. This year, they built on the solid foundation they established in 2017 by releasing mini versions of almost every full-sized model. They’ve trimmed down the lineup, focusing just on what works for hunters, law enforcement, and everyday users. Standouts include the Mini Crooked River, which has been downsized to roughly the same length as the classic Benchmade 940; and the Altitude, a full sized fixed blade that packs less weight than most folders.

In 2018, Emerson Knives looks back on the weapons of ancient civilizations for inspiration, bringing them back to life with Ernest Emerson’s modern tactical twists. Vikings were something of a theme: alongside his new Viking-inspired Battle Axe, there was the Seax, a wharncliffe folder inspired by a Viking utility knife. The Tactical Kwaiken was another standout, with a lean and mean look borrowed from the ancient Japanese dagger.

Meanwhile, over at the KAI booth, Zero Tolerance and Kershaw brought smaller line-ups than expected. Though the company hasn’t issued an official statement, rumors from multiple sources indicate that at least one ZT model had to be pulled from the catalog. Apparently, the new knife may still be announced in 2018.

Zero Tolerance drew from their existing lineup and limited editions from the past to debut three new knives: the 0462, an upsized version of the Dimitri Sinkevich 0460 from last year; the 0609, an everyday carry friendly version of the larger 0606, an R.J. Martin limited edition design; and the 0393, a production version of the Rick Hinderer limited edition 0392. Kershaw, for its part, is betting big on 2017’s Natrix. A slimmer, US-made version of the design named the Bareknuckle turned the most heads, with an aluminum handle, 14C28N steel, and KVT manual flipping action. New variants of the Natrix (including an XL version) are all equipped with ball bearing pivots instead of the Speedsafe system offered last year.

Knife featured in image: Spyderco Smock