Typically, the knife world would kick off the new year at SHOT, the largest annual trade show for the shooting, hunting and firearms industry. It's where knife makers big and small reveal many of the new designs they plan to release over the coming months, and, as with every other trade show, it ain't happening until the pandemic subsides enough for large gatherings to be safe again.
That doesn't mean pocket knife makers have been sitting around twiddling their thumbs, though. Here's a sampling of what they've been working on.
Chris Reeve Knives Mnandi
Each year, knife nerds hotly anticipate whatever comes out of the Chris Reeve Knives shop, be it something new or an update. This year it's the latter. The company revised its folding Mnandi, giving it a thru-hole nail-nick for one- or two-handed opening and updating its steel to CPM S45VN, a newer type with excellent edge retention as well as significant corrosion resistance and toughness.
WESN Pocket Sharpener
Regular sharpening is one of the fundamental steps in taking care of your pocket knives. WESN hopes to make the task more accessible with a grindstone small enough to fit in your pocket. One side is an electroplated diamond 400 grit plate, and the other is ceramic for fine-tuning. The little maintenance tool comes with a leather cover and weighs less than two ounces.
Victorinox Alox Limited Edition 2021
Orange is sort of Gear Patrol's thing — it coats the spine of all our print issues, among other things — so it's easy for us to be a fan of Victorinox's 2021 limited-edition Alox collection. The Swiss Army Knife maker added a dash of citrus to three models, the Classic Alox, the Pioneer X and the Hunter Pro.
Terrain 365 Invictus-ATC Green G10
Fundamental to Terrain 365's Invictus-ATC is its blade steel, which is a type called Terravantium. Terravantium is a super-steel that maxes out corrosion resistance. As in, it's 100 percent rust-proof and won't pit or break down due to elemental factors. As such, Terrain 365 says this knife is perfect for "exploring mysterious ruins deep in a jungle," though it's probably a safe bet for camping weekends too.
CRKT's 2021 lineup is full of oddities, including this super-compact fixed blade. By compact, we mean it's not even two inches long. It comes with a cap instead of a sheath and includes a loop for throwing on a keychain, so it's ready to tackle straightforward yet common tasks, like opening packages.
Nite Ize G-Series Dual Chamber Carabiner
With a second gate, Nite Ize gave another compartment and an additional layer of security to its EDC carabiners. It reduces the risk that anything falls off when clipping and unclipping and lets you organize things between the two sections.