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The Best New Knives & EDC of January 2023

The James Brand goes big, CRKT goes bantam, VSSL goes backcountry and more.

collage of knives
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A new year is here, and with it comes the opportunity for a fresh start. But that doesn't necessarily mean a total overhaul of your life, brash changes that are unlikely to stick. Rather, some little tweaks may be a more reliable way to set yourself on a better course.

Perhaps a similar approach makes sense for your daily carry as well. Surveying the landscape of recent releases, we see a tempting array of folders, fixed blades and EDC items, loaded with quality and the prices to match. This compelling mix from familiar and lesser-known brands is sure to sharpen up your kit. Grab one or two and you should be good to go.

Jack Wolf Knives Venom Jack

jack wolf knives venom jack
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Thanks to a 3-inch Wharncliffe Bohler M390 steel blade encased in a classic trapper pattern, the Venom Jack boldly treads the line between modern marvel and instant heirloom. Featuring a titanium frame and hardware, the knife employs a traditional nail nick opener and a slip-joint half-stop. It's available with a range of Micarta and carbon scales, all of which seem to be going fast.

      Price: $274.99+

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      The Matsey HexBar

      the matsey hexbar
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      We know, $99 seems like a lot to pay for a pry bar/bottle opener. But what if it's the perfect pry bar/bottle opener? That's what Maciej Modrzejewski, the man behind Matsey, seems to have achieved here. With the hexagon as its basic building block, the titanium HexBar packs simplicity and symmetry into a sturdy, grippable package that fits nicely on a keychain and ships from Poland later this spring.

      Price: $99

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      CRKT Minimalist Drop Point

      crkt minimalist drop point
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      A long-time staple of CRKT's catalog and one of the best neck knives available, the Minimalist just got a pretty serious upgrade with this Drop Point edition. While the overall size and silhouette remain largely the same, the blade material has been swapped for 154CM performance steel and mated to an infused fiber handle, making it stronger and more durable. Ideal for discreet wear and occasions where a folder just won't cut it (like on a hike or camping trip), this knife is a real treat. And it's just one highlight from a whopping 20-plus new 2023 releases from CRKT.

      Price: $100

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      The James Brand The Kline

      the james brand the kline
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      The Kline was announced way back in May 2022, but it unfortunately hit some speed bumps along the way and only recently launched. As a refresher, the features of this exceptional knife include a CPM-MagnaCut steel drop point blade, Micarta scales, ambidextrous Slide-Lock, titanium pocket clip and more. If you want your very own USA-made workhorse knife, this is certainly a contender for the best currently available.

      Price: $349

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      Montana Knife Co. Speedgoat Carbon

      montana knife co speedgoat carbon
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      Founded in 2021 by knifemaking wunderkind Josh Smith, Montana Knife Company is a boutique brand on the rise. While it typically drops limited quantities of fixed blades that sell out fast, MKC recently wide-released the popular Speedgoat. Named for a slang term for the pronghorn antelope, this 1.7-ounce, 3.75-inch carbon-steel blade (full length of 7.75 inches) is similarly light and agile, thanks in part to a skeletonized handle wrapped in seven feet of handy 550 paracord. While it’s designed for hunting, it’s ready for anything.

      Price: $225

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      VSSL X Smith Backcountry Supplies Kit

      vssl x smith backcountry supplies kit
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      You'd probably have to be a Bear Grylls- or Les Stroud-level survivalist to add this water bottle-sized kit to your everyday carry loadout, but it's still a noteworthy release for serious outdoors lovers. Made in collaboration with renowned eyewear/helmet brand Smith, the water-resistant, 14.6-ounce tube packs a variety of essential tools ranging from zip ties to first-aid supplies that will help you thrive throughout any adventure — be that a quick trip to the slopes or a longer winter camping session.

      Price: $120

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