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These Are the Best Knives of 2019, According to Experts

These are the best knives of the year, as chosen by a select panel of judges from the cutlery industry.

a slim folding pocket knife atop a black wallet on a table next to a cup of coffee

In early June of last year, more than 1,000 exhibitors from around the globe convened in Atlanta, Georgia for Blade Show. Put on by Blade Magazine, a long-running publication with a focus on collecting, Blade Show is the largest annual knife show in the world and brings together both large-scale manufacturers and small-batch custom knifemakers. That first weekend in June came to a head on a Saturday night with the Knife of the Year Awards, which recognize the best new knives of the year. In previous years, a group of industry professionals voted by ballot to select winners, but 2019 was different: a select panel of anonymous judges made their choices based on utility, design, creativity, materials, aesthetics, feel and more.

Overall Knife of the Year: Fox Knives Radius

Fox Knives is no stranger to the Blade Show awards; it took home the top prize last year with its carbon fiber frame lock Suru. In 2019 the Italian knife maker turned heads with the Radius, which features a patent-pending opening mechanism consisting of a stud that slides along a semicircular track to open and close the blade. It’s unique and, according to the judges, effective too.

Buy Now: $419

American-Made Knife of the Year: Microtech SOCOM Elite

Microtech’s SOCOM Elite is well-known in the tactical world (the original debuted in 1996). It’s a lightweight, effective clip-point with a blade that’s nearly four inches long and either an automatic or manual mechanism. For Blade Show, Microtech showed off a new version with updated materials, including new carbon fiber handle inlays.

Buy Now: $1,425

Video: The James Brand “Ellis” Review

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Best Buy of the Year: CRKT CEO

As its name suggests, the CEO is a gentleman’s pocket knife. CRKT made it long and slender so that, like a pen, it’ll fit comfortably in a pocket next to a wallet or phone and not draw too much attention to itself either. Its blade is just over three inches long, and its handle is made of glass-reinforced nylon that almost has the look of carbon fiber. Best of all, you need not be a CEO to snag one: it only costs $40.

Buy Now: $40

Most Innovative Imported Design: We Knife Co. 037

Innovation isn’t always loud and in your face, and it’s certainly not in China-based We Knife Co.’s 037 folder, which is sleek and understated in the best ways. The 037, which was designed by Kellen Bogardus, has a 4.07-inch blade and titanium handle scales, and what’s under the hood impresses just as much: smooth ceramic ball bearings and an impressively simple construction.

Buy Now: $279

Best Accessory of the Year: Outdoor Edge Paraspark

Like many survival bracelets, the Paraspark’s main body gets its form from a length of paracord. It also includes a compass, a whistle and a Ferro rod, but its most interesting feature is a clasp that doubles as a tiny knife and sheath. The blade is a 1.3-inch sheepsfoot.

Buy Now: $22

See the rest of the 2019 Blade Show Knife of the Year award winners here.

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