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.
Many product launches are predictable. Take outdoor gear for example: we get new skis and down jackets in the fall, just in time for winter, and backpacks and tents in the spring. Knife companies are more sporadic. They might give us a peak at their forthcoming wares — as they did at the recent SHOT Show — and release them sporadically over months. It’s a lot to keep track of, which is why we do it for you every month through this column.
Recently, Benchmade updated one of its classics, Best Made Co. collaborated with W.R. Case & Sons, CRKT revealed a paracord folder and more.
Benchmade 535BK-2 Bugout
Portland-based Benchmade loves to iterate on one of its staple knives, the Bugout. In December we saw the company reveal a version of the folder with a transparent G10 handle, and this month we receive an all-black model with another unique handle. This time, Benchmade made it using CF-Elite, a carbon fiber-reinforced nylon that’s lightweight yet rigid. If you’re a fan of the classic blade, you’re in luck.
Along with a sizable batch of new 2020 blades, CRKT revealed a folding paracord model called the Parascale. We haven’t seen a paracord folder before, and there’s a reason for that: Folding knives have mechanisms to pivot and lock, which get in the way of the skeletonized handle design that paracord integration usually calls for. The blade also needs an open channel to fold into, unencumbered by loops of cord. Using CRKT’s simplified Deadbolt lock and a zig-zagging weave similar to that of a shoelace, designer TJ Schwarz found a solution.
Best Made Co. x Case “Stay Sharp” Knife
From heritage Japanese denim mills to one of the only companies making synthetic spider silk, Best Made Co. knows how to pick its collaborators. One of its latest is this modest yet handsome drop-point folder made by the USA’s own Case Knives.
Best Made Co. Carpenter’s Pen
Another recent piece from Best Made is the Brass Carpenter’s Pen. It’s easy to gauge what this writing utensil is made of but harder to see all its functions from a distance. It’s a pen, of course (ballpoint), but it’s also a stylus, a level, a ruler, a scale and more than one type of screwdriver.
Leatherman Charge+ Damascus
The Charge+ is a familiar in Leatherman’s multi-tool lineup. With a high number and variety of implements, it’s strictly utilitarian, but the newest iteration gets an aesthetic upgrade. The multi-tool now comes in either carbon fiber or walnut handles with Damascus steel knife blades.
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