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SHOT Show 2007 Report - Knives


Buck Transport
Manufacturer: Buck Model: Transport
Blade Steel: 420J2 Hardness Rc: NA
Blade Shape: Drop Point Edge: Plain
Blade Length: 1.25 Blade Thickness: NA
Length Closed: 2.875 Length Open: NA
Lock Type: Button Liner Material: None
Handle Material: ABS Plastic Weight: 0.9 oz.
Available? Now MSRP: $20
Buck Knives' introduced another one of those "deadly tactical knives" with a dangerous 1.25-inch one-hand opening blade. This one is also a collaboration with Peter Whittaker, as was the Metro. The Transport is as much a bottle opener as a knife and the frame is extended to provide a place to attach it to your key chain.

The button lock locks both open and closed. Opening is via exposed grooves on the round tang, what they call a "blade rotator." To open, you press the button and rotate the blade open from the end. It sounds more complicated than it is and opening was simple and straightforward.

Handles are translucent ABS plastic in black, blue, red and pearl, which is a very light pink. The only thing that I didn't like was that the exposed cap lifter hook was slightly noticeable when you gripped the knife. Other than that, it's got clean and modern sculpted lines, a sharp looking key chain sized blade. MSRP is $20.

Buck X-TractAfter getting out of the multi-tool business a few years back, Buck is back with the X-Tract, another one of their Whittaker collaborations. The knife blade is a full sized, 3-inch narrow chord drop point of 420HC stainless with a partially serrated edge. A right hand thumb lug provides one-handed opening. Lock-up is with a liner lock.

The pliers are almost, but not quite needle-nose with wire cutters in the throat. They slide out from the handle and the spring-loaded pliers handle then pops up. There's a lock to keep it deployed that must be depressed to slide them back into the handle Screwdrivers slide out one end or the other providing either #2 Phillips or flat 3/16" screwdriver. The slide incorporates a button lock. There's also a combination bottle cap lifter/can opener.

Handles are "thermoplastic" over the stainless steel frame in four colors: black, platinum, blue and red. The red and blue really look good. A triangular piece of the frame sticks out one end to provide a lanyard hole. Length closed is 4.25 inches and weight is 5.6 ounces. Once we get one to play with we can report on how well the tool works, but it was reasonably comfortable in the hand and we did like the full-sized blade. The X-Tract is modestly priced at $50 MSRP.

Buck Catapult
Manufacturer: Buck Model: Catapult
Blade Steel: 420HC Hardness Rc: NA
Blade Shape: Drop Point Edge: Plain
Blade Length: 2.75 Blade Thickness:
Length Closed: 4.25 Length Open: NA
Lock Type: AO w/ Mid-Lock Back Liner Material: None
Handle Material: Thermoplastic Weight: 3.5 oz.
Available? NA MSRP: $50
The Catapult lowers the price point for a Buck assisted opener (AO)to $50 MSRP. This drop point doesn't utilize Buck's ASAP opener, rather it uses a conventional one-hand opening thumb lug to get the blade started. The 2.75 inch blade is 420HC stainless and the handles are molded thermoplastic over stainless liners.

A safety serves to prevent inadvertent opening while the locking mechanism is a simple lockback, the first we recall used for a AO knife. The exposed frame at the rear has a slot for a lanyard hole. The Catapult comes with blue or platinum handles or black with a black oxide coated blade for an extra $8.

Buck Waimea
Manufacturer: Buck Model: Mayo Waimea
Blade Steel: S30V Hardness Rc: NA
Blade Shape: Upswept Point Edge: Plain
Blade Length: 2.625" Blade Thickness: NA
Length Closed: 3.625" Length Open: NA
Lock Type: Frame Lock Frame Material: Titanium
Handle Material: Titanium Weight: 1.8 oz.
Available? NA MSRP: $270
The latest Tom Mayo collaboration from Buck is the Waimea, celebrating Mayo's 25 years of knifemaking. It a gentleman's frame lock with a 2.625 inch blade and 3.625 inch closed length. The blade is an upswept clip of CPM S30V with an oval opening hole that I found on the small side, making it a bit difficult to open. Mayo's trademark lightening holes are drilled in the titanium frame giving leaving weight at very svelte 1.8 ounces. The titanium clip is removable or reversible. MSRP is $270.

Buck Kaala and Hartsook
Manufacturer: Buck Model: Mayo Kaala / Hartsook Ultralight
Blade Steel: S30V Hardness Rc: NA
Blade Shape: Upswept Point Edge: Plain
Blade Length: 3.125" / 1.875" Blade Thickness: 0.125" / NA
Overall Length: 6.75" / 4.25" Tang: Full
Handle Material: Skeletonized Tang Weight: 1.9 / 0.5 oz.
Available? NA MSRP: $100 / $35
Buck introduced two new small fixed blade neck knives with skeletonized handles. The smallest, actually introduced at Outdoor Retailer last summer, is a Doug Hartsook collaboration originally just called the Hartsook, but since then they've added Ultralight to the name. The slim 1.875 inch blade is black oxide coated CPM S30V. Overall length is 4.25 inches; this is definitely a two-finger knife. A deep forefinger cutout and a recess for the second finger combine with jimping on the spine for a secure grip. Weight is just 0.5 ounces. The sheath is molded nylon with a lanyard hole designed for hanging around your neck. At $35 MSRP, it isn't an inexpensive knife, given the size, but you do get S30V steel for that and that makes the difference.

The Buck/Mayo Kaala is a larger blade, but only in comparison, at 6.75 inches overall with a 3.125 inch drop point blade of CPM S30V. With the tang/handle drilled with four holes for weight savings and better grip, it weighs in at 1.9 ounces. The tang/handle incorporates a finger guard and the last hole could be used for a lanyard. The molded nylon sheath comes with a 30-inch stainless ball chain. The knife is held in the sheat with a knob that clicks into the first hole in the tang. MSRP is $100.

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Chris Reeve Knives

Chris Reeve Inyoni
Manufacturer: Chris Reeve Knives Model: Inyoni
Blade Steel: S30V Hardness Rc: 58-59
Blade Shape: Drom Point Edge: Combo
Blade Length: 3.5" Blade Thickness: 0.130"
Overall Length: 8"m Tang: Full
Handle Material: Cocobolo Weight: 2.6 oz.
Available? Now MSRP: $175
The latest knife from Chris Reeve is a small fixed blade called the Inyoni, which means "bird" in Zulu. It is sized like a traditional "bird and trout" knife with a 3.5 inch blade of CPM S30V, 0.130 inch thick and hardened to 58-59 Rc. Partial Cocobolo wood scales are pinned, screwed and taped to the tang ensuring they won't move and no moisture can get under the scales. Overall length is 8 inches. The combination of S30V and a stonewashed finish provides relatively high corrosion resistance, a good attribute in a knife that may likely see plenty of use around liquids of all sorts.

Reeve's unique Kubili double-sided serrations are found at the base of the edge and cover about 30% of the blade edge.

There are scallops, what Reeve illustratively calls "gills," machined out of the forward portion of the tang on both sides that provide a very secure grip when holding the knife between thumb and forefinger for finer work, as you would dressing out small game or fish. The blade was quite comfortable to hold in a variety of grips.

The amply sized lanyard hole is fitted with a nylon security lanyard. The natural leather sheath is very nicely done by Gfeller Casemakers with a patented "Slit-Cam" design to securely hold the knife. MSRP is $175.

Chris also introduced some new standard designs for the decorated Sebenza handles, among which was his tag line of "Think Twice - Cut Once" engraved using both sides of the knife in this case.

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Columbia River Knife & Tool

Columbia River Knife & Tool (CRK&T) came to SHOT Show loaded for bear. I counted over 30 new products, not including variations.

CRK&T GuppyTo start, CRKT introduced their first multi-tools under the i.d.Works (Inspired Design Works) brand. Credit for the designs goes to Launce Barber and Thomas Stokes. The Guppie is a pocket-sized tool, 3.5 inches and 4.1 ounces, and instead of the usual pliers, you get an adjustable wrench that opens to 0.5 inches. The one-hand opening blade is a 2-inch drop point of 3Cr13 stainless with a teardrop shaped hole for opening. Unfortunately, it does not lock open. An integral carabineer clip also doubles as a bottle cap opener. The pocket clip is removable, or you can use it as a money clip.

The Guppie's solution for screwdrivers is a plastic bit holder which holds 4 standard hex bits (via magnet) and integrates a red led flashlight. The bits can be inserted into a magnetic holder on the tail of the tool. The bit holder is equipped with a pair of small protruding button magnets that fit into recesses on the Guppie. The big advantage of using standard bits is that they are easy to find and cheap.

The first reaction of just about everyone to the Guppie seems to be "how cute!" We'll have to reserve judgment until we try it out to decide if it goes beyond that to "how functional!" I'm a little concerned that the bit holder invites being lost. We'll just have to see. MSRP will be $30.

CRK&T ZillaThe Zilla-Tool is somewhat reminiscent of the original WengerGrip tool with permanently deployed pliers. However it is a lot lighter in weight and more ergonomic, so perhaps it stands a better chance than that ill-fated attempt. Spring loaded pliers seem to be in this year and these seem to work well. A simple button on the side of the tool locks and releases the pliers handle. The pliers handle has some ribbing and finger grooves making for a sure grip. I'd describe the pliers as "almost needle nose" and have the usual wire cutter in the throat.

As with the Guppy, screwdrivers for the Zilla-Tool are addressed by using standard hex bits. There is internal storage for two bits, one on each side, and the magnetic bit holder is in the tail.

The 3Cr13 spear point blade is partially serrated and deploys with a flipper from the tail end. The liner lock blade has a swedge that goes halfway up the spine and then there are holes drilled in the blade for lighter weight. I'm not a big fan of lightening holes in blades as it tends to weaken the blade, but this lightweight 3-inch blade is not likely ever going to be used for heavy duty chores, so perhaps it's not such a big deal. The flipper forms a finger guard with the blade deployed.

CRK&T ZillaThe handles are molded Zytel over the stainless frame. Total length closed (including the pliers) is 6.5 inches and weight is 7.4 ounces. There's no lanyard hole. The pocket clip is removable and a nylon sheath is included. I questioned how this tool might do in a pocket with the pliers sticking down in the pocket, but a quick try suggested it works better than you might think. Once again, I think I'll reserve judgment until I can try it out in the real world. MSRP for the Zilla-Tool will be $40. Expect both new tools to be available second quarter 2007.

You sometimes wonder where a name comes from when it isn't obvious. I asked about "Zilla" and was told that it was the 30th name they came up before they found one that they could trademark. Finding useable names has become very difficult. If you need a domain as well, it's even harder.

Manufacturer: CRK&T Model: H.U.G. / H.U.G. 2
Blade Steel: 420J2 Hardness Rc: 54-56
Blade Shape: Drop Point Edge: Plain and Combo / Plain
Blade Length: 2.3" / 1.78 Blade Thickness: 0.12" / 0.10"
Length Closed: 3.65" / 2.90" Length Open: 5.71" / 2.90"
Lock Type: Frame lock Liner Material: Stainless
Handle Material: Zytel Weight: 2.5 / 1.5 oz.
Available? March, 2007 MSRP: $50 / $40
The Ed Halligan designed H.U.G. and H.U.G. 2 (Halligan's Ultimate Gadget) are next generation versions of the popular K.I.S.S. It retains key similarities such as the single-sided framelock design, with additional refinements. Blade shape is given as spearpoint, available plane or partially serrated in the larger version, plain only in the smaller. I'd call it a drop point with a notable swedge. A Zytel "scale" has been added to provide a guard for the edge, al la Gerber's Ridge, but this one extends slightly over and covers the blade edge, an even better design. Seems to me some survival guy looking for a compact knife for survival kits suggested that a few years back...

This does add a bit of thickness to the knife. Somewhat inexplicably, at least to me, the blade is still single ground. With the guard the need for a single ground edge that lays flat on the frame disappears and you could provide a much more versatile conventional double ground edge. Not being a huge fan of single ground edges, I'd find that a major improvement. The guard also lessens the chance you'll inadvertently open the blade, which is an occasionally issue with the K.I.S.S. Steel remains 420J2 stainless with a bead blast finish.

The frame incorporates a finger guard and along with some jimping on the spine of the blade combine to provide a much more secure and safer grip. Opening is still via a single right-hand thumb stud. The pocket clips, cum money clip, is removable. (Click here to view group shot.)

Vital statistics (H.U.G. and H.U.G. 2): blade length 2.3 and 1.78 inches, closed length 3.65 and 2.9 inches, weight 2.5 and 1.5 ounces, MSRP is $50 and $40. While slightly bulkier because of the scale, I think the included refinements of these H.U.G.s are a definite improvement over the original K.I.S.S. (still available), now if they'd just offer it with a double ground edge...

CRK&T KISS Two Timer
Manufacturer: CRK&T Model: K.I.S.S. Two Timer
Blade Steel: 420J2 Hardness Rc: 54-56
Blade Shape: Tanto & Drop Point Edge: Plain
Blade Length: 2.375" / 2.125" Blade Thickness: 0.18" / 0.08"
Length Closed: 3.5" Length Open: 6" / 5.75"
Lock Type: Frame Lock w/ LAWKS Frame Material: Stainless
Handle Material: Integral Weight: 3 oz.
Available? March, 2007 MSRP: $60
CRKT's K.I.S.S. Two Timer is one of those knives that makes you say, "how cool!" and then wonder how practical it actually is. We'll let you know. Ed Halligan teamed up with Ed Van Hoy to create this non-traditional double-bladed knife.

The basic design starts out with a single sided frame lock based on the K.I.S.S. A metal guard similar to that of the H.U.G. is included. The main blade is a single ground tanto style, 2.375 inches long. The secondary 2.125-inch drop point pen knife blade is nested into a matching recess milled into the larger blade. Its single ground edge is on the inside between the two blades so that when closed together there's a single flat surface on the outside. How well that's going to work after the pen blade has been sharpened a few times, or maybe a lot of times, opening up a gap there, remains to be seen. While I expect that it won't look quite as good visually, it shouldn't create a huge gap, at least not under reasonable use.

The larger tanto blade opens with an oval hole in the blade, just like any conventional one-handed opener. CRKT's manual LAWKS auxiliary lock is included and can be used to lock the main blade open, preventing disengagement of the frame lock. To open just the pen knife, you press on a small jimped tang extension. When open, this forms a small thumb support and give you a more secure grip.

The main blade has a bright finish on the cutting edge side and the frame and pen blade are bead blasted. Blade steel is 420J2. The 3.5-inch long frame incorporates a lanyard hole and there's also a removable pocket clip. Weight is 3 ounces. MSRP is $60.

Manufacturer: CRK&T Model: M4
Blade Steel: AUS 8 Hardness Rc: 56-58
Blade Shape: Drop Point Edge: Plain or Combo
Blade Length: 3.75" Blade Thickness: 0.12"
Length Closed: 4.375" Length Open: 8.125"
Lock Type: AO w/ Liner Lock w/ AutoLAWKS Liner Material: Stainless
Handle Material: Zytel Weight: 4.6 oz.
Available? March, 2007 MSRP: $100
Kit Carson's top selling custom, his M4, is now available as a production knife from CRKT. Their version has a 3.75-inch hollow ground drop point bead blasted blade of AUS 8 stainless. It's available with or without CRKT's exclusive Veff serrations, purported to cut better and cleaner than traditional serrations. Another option is their OutBurst assisted opening or not (and the Outburst system is itself able to be converted from assisted to unassisted by simply removing the spring rod that is left out of the unassisted versions).

Dual checkered thumb studs provide ambidextrous opening and Auto-LAWKS locks up the liner lock automatically. The top of the stainless liners incorporate jimping and a slight thumb ramp. The handle has brushed stainless bolsters up front with textured Zytel scales. Length closed is 4.375 inches with a weight of 4.6 ounces. There's no lanyard hole and the tip-up stainless clip is removable, but not reversible. MSRP is $100 regardless of configuration.

CRK&T Anubis
Manufacturer: CRK&T Model: Anubis
Blade Steel: AUS 8 Hardness Rc: 56-58
Blade Shape: Drop Point Edge: Plain or Combo
Blade Length: 3.5" Blade Thickness: 0.14"
Length Closed: 4.75" Length Open: 8.125"
Lock Type: Button Lock w/ AutoLAWKS Liner Material: Stainless
Handle Material: Zytel Weight: 6.4 oz.
Available? April, 2007 MSRP: $100
The Alan Elishewitz Anubis (an Egyptian god) is another hefty folder with a button lock this time around. The bead blasted 3.5-inch modified drop point, plain or partially serrated, has a pronounced thumb rest above the dual checkered thumb lugs. Alan's blade profile carries a lot of thickness to the tip for extra strength. Auto-LAWKS automatically engages when open. I expected the combination of button lock and LAWKS release to be a bit awkward when closing the blade, but it proved not to be an issue.

The 4.75-inch handle is sculpted molded Zytel with a wood grain sort of finish and a drop both fore and aft to secure your grip. Fore-finger reliefs on both sides add to the security of the grip. There's a stainless insert that swoops up at the tail, apparently mostly just for looks, and it does add some class to what would otherwise be just another nice black handled folder.

The back is mostly open with a small Zytel spacer, so cleaning is easy. Once again, there's no lanyard hole and the removable clip is not reversible. MSRP is $100.

I guess I am a traditionalist. I expect any practical utility folder, and these last two certainly qualify, to have a lanyard hole. I wouldn't take a knife into the wilderness without one.

CRK&R MAK1 and Exttrik-8-RJames McGowan is a professional firefighter and knifemaker from Canada. He designed the MAK-1 system expressly for use by firefighters and EMTs. The system includes both the MAK-1 Multiple Access Knife and the Extrik-8-R seat belt cutter and "multi-tool." The Exrik-8-R is also available separately.

The MAK-1 is 10 inches long overall and definitely fits the description of "sharpened prybar" with 0.020 thick 3Cr13 stainless. The sharpened portion is only 3 inches long with a singe ground edge and blunt chisel tip. Scales are textured G10.

The tail end is equipped with a carbide breaker tip and incorporates a battery wrench and "window twist breaker." A reflective orange paracord wrist lanyard is attached. Weight is 10 ounces and it comes with a Cordura nylon sheath (3.2 ounces) that also holds shove knife (a cut down "slim jim" used to open auto doors) and the Extrik-8-R in pockets on the front.

The Extrik-8-R is a fairly straightforward seat belt cutter also made of 3Cr13 stainless with two large finger holes and scalloped gripping grooves on top and bottom, 4.17 inches tip to tail. The tip is a single blade Phillips driver while the other end is a flat blade screwdriver. It also incorporates an oxygen wrench. A reflective orange paracord fob is attached to easily pull it from its sheath. If purchased separately is comes with a Kydex sheath. Weight is 1.2 ounces. MSRP of the MAK-1 alone is $80, the Extrik-8-R is $30, and the system together is $100.

CRK&T Dogfish
Manufacturer: CRK&T Model: Dogfish
Blade Steel: 3Cr13 Hardness Rc: 55-57
Blade Shape: Drop Point Edge: Plain or Combo
Blade Length: 2.25" Blade Thickness: 0.14"
Overall Length: 5.25" Tang: Skeletonized
Handle Material: Integral Weight: 1.5 oz.
Available? Now MSRP: $27
What's with the fish this year at CRKT? Dogfish is another fish themed knife with a tang that looks the part. Hook this fish on a bottle cap and gain access to your favorite libation. Ton Krein's funky skeletonized handle is connected to a modified Wharncliff blade, 2.25 inches in length. Get your 3Cr13 stainless fish with a plain edge or partially serrated. This neck knife has an overall length of 5.25 inches and tips the scale at 1.5 ounces.

The handle, despite the fish theme, is decidedly practical and ergonomic. A deep finger guard and grooves top and bottom along with a handle shape that falls away towards the fish head at the end make for a good grip. A Kydex sheath with six eyelets and a black ball chain is included. MSRP is $27.

CRK&T Mini My Tighe
Manufacturer: CRK&T Model: Mini My Tighe
Blade Steel: 1.4116 Hardness Rc: 55-57
Blade Shape: Recurve Edge: Plain or Combo
Blade Length: 3" Blade Thickness: 0.12"
Length Closed: 3.73" Length Open: 6.5"
Lock Type: Frame Lock w/ AutoLAWKS Frame Material: 420J2
Handle Material: Zytel Weight: 3.8 oz.
Available? Now MSRP: $80-$90
Some things are a sure bet and after the introduction of the fashionable My Tighe the only question was how long it would take to follow up that with the Mini My Tighe. A year later it's here. While it appears to just be a scaled down version, there are subtle adjustments that make it work a bit better that just downsizing it.

Handle length is 3.73 inches with a 3-inch 1.4116 stainless blade with the same unique looking profile as the original. Specifications are the same with stainless frame and Zytel overlays with that same cut-out shape that you'd swear would be uncomfortable, but which isn't. Instead of an ersatz carbon fiber finish, the overlays have a dimpled surface. Dual thumbs studs allow ambidextrous opening, but the removable clip and frame lock are strictly right-handed. No lanyard hole, again. MSRP is $80 or $90 depending upon finish, available plain edge or with Veff serrations, with or without CRKT's OutBurst assisted opening.

CRK&T Tiny Tighe Breaker
Manufacturer: CRK&T Model: Tiny Tighe Breaker
Blade Steel: AUS 8 Hardness Rc: 56-58
Blade Shape: Clip Point Edge: Plain or Combo
Blade Length: 2.875" Blade Thickness: 0.12"
Length Closed: 3.875" Length Open: 6.875"
Lock Type:AO Liner Lock w/ AutoLAWKS Frame Material: Stainless
Handle Material: Nylon Weight: 2.9 oz.
Available? March, 2007 MSRP: $80 - $90
The ability of engineers to mimic other materials in lower cost plastics continues to amaze me and in the Tiny Tighe Breaker you'd swear that the handles are deeply sculpted aluminum, but they are not and it weighs in at just 2.9 ounces. Reportedly they used the type nylon material now used for cell phones with a metallic finish and the results are definitely impressive. Available with or without the OutBurst assisted opening, the 2.87-inch clip point blade can be had with or without Veff serrations in the black coated models. AutoLAWKS is fitted to the liner lock. MSRP is $80 - $90 depending on blade finish.

CRKT Brow Tine Hunter
Manufacturer: CRK&T Model: Brow Tine Hunter
Blade Steel: 9Cr18 Hardness Rc: 55-57
Blade Shape: Drop Point Edge: Plain Edge
Blade Length: 3" Blade Thickness: 0.14"
Overall Length: 7.25" Tang: Full
Handle Material: Stainless Bolster w/ Stag Weight: 4 oz.
Available? March 2007 MSRP: $100
Russ Komer's Brow Tine Hunter is a very traditional full tang drop point hunter with mosaic pinned real stag handles and stainless bolsters. The 3-inch blade is 9Cr18 stainless with a full flat grind and mirror polished finish. Overall length is 7.25 inches, weight is 4 ounces, it has a lanyard hole and comes with a traditional dark brown tooled leather sheath. The example I handled reminded me of one of my very first fixed blades (lost many years ago, unfortunately) and the finish was definitely the equal, something pretty rare these days. MSRP is $100.

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First Published: February 11, 2007
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