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 we can officially proclaim the arrival of fall. It’s heralded by chilly weather, pumpkin spice everything and, of course, gear: fleeces, down jackets, flannels and beanies. On the cue of the autumnal equinox, brands recently revealed the newest versions of these items in droves. But not all product launches are tied to seasonal changes — pocket knives and EDC tools are a great example.
The companies and individuals that make these things work year-round, and large-scale manufacturers might reveal as many as 50 new knives and multi-tools spread out over all 12 months. So, there’s something new to check out every week, and while we make it our mission to keep you up to speed in regards to all the new knives and tools, we also know that you might’ve missed a few. That’s why we’re rounding up our findings here in one concise, easy-to-scroll article.
Recently, The James Brand made its second pen, Leatherman updated one of its classics, Victorinox made its first fixed blade and more.
Benchmade 496 Vector
The 496 Vector uses Benchmade’s Axis lock, which debuted in 1998 and consists of a simple yet incredibly secure sliding switch design. What is new, however, is the knife’s combination of a compound grind with CPM-20CV steel. It makes for a tactical blade — it’s 3.6 inches long — that hides in a more understated handle made of G10 with an aluminum bolster.
The James Brand Stilwell
The Stilwell is the second writing utensil from The James Brand, and it’s the company’s version of the compact pen. The pen is 3.5 inches closed — that’s short enough to fit your pants coin pocket — but 5.4 inches open. Its cap locks in place over the butt of the pen with three built-in O-rings so it won’t slip during use. The pen uses an easy-to-find D1 ink cartridge and comes in three versions: a black or silver model made of aluminum and another made of titanium.
Leatherman Charge+ G10
The Charge isn’t a new multi-tool for Leatherman. It, and its 17 included implements, have been aiding outdoorsmen and DIYers for years — but never with G10 handles. G10, a high-pressure fiberglass composite, is durable and will never rust or soften, which makes it an ideal choice for a tool handle. Leatherman is issuing the Charge+ G10 in limited colors through its retailers; you can find a red handle at REI and an orange one at Cabela’s.
Victorinox Outdoor Master
Believe it or not, the Outdoor Master is the first fixed-blade knife from the maker of the classic Swiss Army (not counting the brand’s kitchen knives). Victorinox is making the knife in two sizes: one with a 3.4-inch blade and another with a 2.8-inch blade. The knife employs a full-tang construction, Micarta handles and a drop-point blade made of 1.4116 stainless steel — the same stuff the company uses in its world-famous multi-knife.
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