Three Highlights from IWA 2018

The 2018 IWA Outdoors Show in Nuremberg, Germany has just wrapped this week. Knife companies from all over the world flocked to the biggest outdoors industry event in Europe to show off their wares. What did they bring?

The amount of surprises at IWA varies from year to year. 2017 saw some important releases including the XM-Slippy and the Benchmade Proper, which went on to become an international hit for the company. This year, there were no bombshells. Most companies simply shared their existing SHOT Show catalogs with a global audience. For anybody that followed that January show, there was a lot of now-familiar product at the IWA booths.

But IWA 2018 did draw out a few never-before-seen products. Companies iterated on popular designs, grew product categories, and brought interesting new prototypes to bear. Here are three highlights from IWA 2018:

We Knife Co. Integral Prototype
Joe Cheung and his crew at We Knife Co. never fail to turn heads with their machining prowess and high-end fit and finish. This prototype integral was on display and, while it isn’t their first crack at the form, it is the most eye-catching. The shimmering blue ano job and contoured carbon fiber inlays impress, while the drop point blade echoes the one seen on We’s popular entry-level knife, the Ignition, on a seemingly larger scale.

Kizer Cutlery Domun
We’ve seen recent additions to the budget-oriented Tangram label, but Kizer isn’t neglecting its own lineup either. The Domun prototype hearkens back to Kizer’s early years, where most of its releases hit a 3.5-inch-or-higher blade length. But the refined, utility-oriented design shows they’ve learned a lot in the intervening years. The Domun also emphasizes options, as this thumb stud-deploying knife comes in four different colors of letterboxed G-10 scales.

Lionsteel KUR Wood
When most of us think of Lionsteel, the materials that come to mind are modern ones: titanium, aluminum, color-changing G-10. But the Maniago manufacturing giant also offers a selection of more traditional woods for select models, and the KUR knife is the latest to receive this option. Olive, santos, and walnut wood are all on offer for this classier set of KURs. Other than the change in handle material, though, these are the same folders that we are familiar with, with 3.4-inch blades made of Sleipner semi-stainless tool steel.

Knife featured in image: Lionsteel KUR Wood