Editor’s Note: Welcome to The Best New Knives and EDC, a monthly column surfacing the latest knives, tools and any other item worth carrying in your pocket.
Now that we’re through June, summer has officially started, but outdoor companies launched their new lightweight tents, backpacks and jackets far ahead of the solstice. (In fact, we recently got a look at all of the gear coming summer 2020.) Not all items come out in launches tied to seasonal changes, though. Take, for example, pocket knives and EDC tools.
The companies and designers that make these items work year-round, and manufacturers rolling out as many as 50 new knives and multi-tools per year spread them out over that time, so there’s something new to ogle every week. It’s our mission to keep you in the know in regards to the new knives and tools that have the potential to become your next daily sidekick or an entry into a growing collection. In case you missed one, we’ll round up our findings here in one concise, easy-to-scroll article.
Recently, Leatherman expanded its magnetic Free collection with two new tools, Victorinox wrote its ode to the US National Parks in Swiss Army Knives, Benchmade revealed a pocketable knife maintenance tool and more.
SOG SEAL XR
One of the latest releases by SOG is perhaps better for gawking at than keeping in your pocket or on your belt. The company built the SEAL XR with input from professionals to make it a folder with as much function as possible; the 3.9-inch clip-point blade is made of S35VN steel to be durable and corrosion-resistant, and it deploys fast and efficiently thanks to a ball bearing pivot and SOG’s sliding switch XR lock.
Leatherman Free T4
Earlier this year, Leatherman released the most significant overhaul of its original multi-tool in years with the Free P2 and P4. The primary upgrade: a system of internal magnets that allow for remarkably easy one-handed use. Now Leatherman is widening the Free Collection with the T-Series tools, which are more akin to a Swiss Army Knife than a pliers-equipped multi-tool. The T4 is the more robust of the two, with spring-loaded scissors and tweezers in addition to a knife, pry tool, awl, bottle opener, screwdrivers and more.
Tops Knives Bull Trout
Last year, Tops hosted a knife design competition amongst its employees based on the EDC category. The winner was the Bull Trout, a short and sturdy fixed blade dreamed up by the brand’s shipping manager, Martin Murillo. The Bull Trout joins the growing category of fixed-blade EDC with its 2.75-inch drop point blade made of 154CM steel (it’s 6.13 inches overall). Murillo threw in an oversized choil and jimping on the spine to create plenty of grip despite this knife’s size.
Victorinox Ranger of the Lost Art Collection
The Classic SD isn’t new at all, which is okay because its keychain-ready construction that includes a knife, scissors, toothpick and more is timeless. What is different here are handle scales adorned with the artwork of Doug Leen, a former Grand Teton National Park ranger who created a series of silk-screen posters that pay homage to the originals produced during the New Deal era. Now you can carry a memento of Yellowstone, Mount Rainier, Acadia and more in your pocket (and get some use out of it, too).
Benchmade Edge Maintenance Tool
Benchmade’s Edge Maintenance Tool has everything necessary to put an edge on a knife, but it’s also amazingly pocketable thanks to a small folding form that includes a clip, just like a knife. The Edge Maintenance Tool unfolds on an anodized pivot, which reveals a ceramic rod for honing an edge on one side and a leather strop for finishing on the other. There are also built-in angle guides to aid your technique.
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