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.
We’re barely through winter; if we’re going by solar positioning, there are still a few weeks left until we can officially proclaim springtime. That hasn’t stopped outdoor gear companies from launching their spring and summer collections though — in anticipation of warmer months, they’ve unveiled new tents, sleeping bags, rain jackets and more. Knife companies don’t play by the Sun’s rules. They tend to release their new wares sporadically and at the drop of a hat. It’s a lot to keep track of, which is why we do the job for you in this monthly column.
Recently, Gerber released a new multi-tool, Benchmade revealed a limited-edition folder, The James Brand updated one of its classics and more.
Gerber Armbar Drive
The knife and tool community is collectively agreeing that a multi-tool doesn’t have to come in the butterfly-pliers form we all know so well. Gerber is the latest to create a unique tool with the Armbar Drive, a rectangular multi-tool that, in some ways, calls to mind a Swiss Army Knife. The tool comes with a 2.5-inch blade, Phillips and flathead screwdrivers, scissors, an awl, a hammer and a bottle opener.
Benchmade Mini Crooked River Gold Class
A few times a year, Benchmade unveils a dressed-up version of one of its catalog classics in a limited-edition collection called Gold Class. The latest is a new take on the Mini Crooked River, a hunting-inspired knife with a clip-point blade. Benchmade traded the wood handle of the original for marbled carbon fiber and resin inlays that call to mind the surface of Mars. The original also came stock with high-grade steel, but the Gold Class version uses upgraded Swedish Damascus.
Best Made Co. Shiroko Steel Whale Knife
It isn’t new, but Best Made Co.’s recent restock of the Shiroko Steel Whale Knife isn’t one to miss. It’s a solid hunk of Japanese-made high-carbon steel with a two-inch sharpened blade in the shape of one of the ocean’s gentle giants.
Bone Daddy Blade Werx Axxis Hand Axe
Survival knives tend to be big, but not the Axxis, which is currently funding on Kickstarter. Its shape most closely resembles an axe head — and it can be used as one — but thanks to a skeletonized design that allows for multiple grips, it accomplishes much more. Its D2 steel construction can cut, slice and pierce, which helps it take on any wilderness task.
The James Brand Folsom Damascus
The Folsom was among the first knives put out by The James Brand. With a thumb cut out for ambidextrous opening and a wide, 2.75-inch drop-point blade, it was the brand’s first take on an outdoor knife. The new version, which it made in a limited quantity of 100, comes with a burly Damascus steel blade and black Micarta handle.