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.
To say that there’s a lot going on in the world right now would be an egregious understatement. It’s hard to take our eyes off the news, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t allow ourselves the pleasure of inconsequential distraction. So here’s some product info you might’ve missed: a round-up of notable new knife and tool releases, which makes for a quick, fun scroll.
Recently, Morakniv made a new version of its classic Scandinavian knife, Gerber opened a custom shop, Ontario Knife Company revealed a new folder and more.
The James Brand x Elyse Graham Duval
The new version of The James Brand’s gentleman’s knife, the Duval, is all about the handle. Its scales, a conglomerate of geometric shapes and mish mashing colors, are the result of a collaboration with artist Elyse Graham. To make them, Graham made 3D objects using colored resin and subsequently arranged those forms in a pattern and filled the space between them with more resin. The James Brand then cut the handle scales from the finished slab.
Morakniv Floating Knife
Morakniv’s unmatched combination of stout quality and reasonable pricing has earned its knives spots on our guides to The 8 Best Fixed-Blade Knives Available and The 10 Best Bushcraft Blades of 2020. Its new Floating Knife hits that mark too, with a utilitarian-minded steel blade and a cork-wrapped handle that prevents it from sinking during mishaps out on the water.
Hutan Larry the Hatchet
Hutan channels the culture and traditions of Southeast Asia in making its small collection of outdoor gear (we can thank the brand for what might be the first utility sarong). As such, its new line of hatchets is something of a miniaturized cross between hand axes and machetes. We’re fans of the mid-sized member of the group, called Larry, which comes with a 3.5-inch blade. The smaller version is Barry — Barry the Hatchet, get it? — and the largest is a cleaver called Chop Chop.
Gerber Custom Fastball
Gerber’s recently opened custom shop offers modifications for four of its knives. Customization is limited to laser etching in three of the models, but the fourth, Gerber’s Fastball, allows for a range of changes from handle material and blade shape to finish and hardware. The Fastball is a welcome candidate for customization; Gerber envisioned it as an EDC blade, and, now, wielders can make it unique to their notions of what everyday carry means.
Ontario Knife Company Shikra
Ontario Knife Company’s new 2020 folding knife is more EDC-oriented than the company’s typical fare. The texture and color of the Shikra’s linen micarta handle pairs nicely with the black stonewash finish of its slim drop-point blade, but aesthetics aren’t the only thing this knife has going for it. It’s crazy cheap at $42, especially considering that its second handle scale is titanium and includes a frame lock, a feature you typically see on much pricier knives.
CRKT Jenny Wren Compact
Ryan Johnson’s company RMJ Tactical produces tools for military and law enforcement operators. The new hatchet that Johnson designed for CRKT does have a slightly tactical look to it, but it’s more at home in the backcountry, and it’s shape draws inspiration from the common birds in Johnson’s home of Tennessee. The Jenny Wren has three sharpened edges for a variety of uses, such as scraping and meal prep, in addition to chopping.
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