It’s worth noting that SHOT Show is not as important in the knife world as it used to be. While many of the big brands show up, many of the releases that matter come from smaller boutique brands. Additionally, companies like Reate and WE tend to release new models throughout the year, instead of showing everything at SHOT like they used to.
TL;DR version: 2024 is off to a great start. But enthusiasts have a lot more to look forward to this year. That being said, here are some of the SHOT Show knives worth considering.
SHOT Show 2024: 10 Knives
Kershaw has a lot of value folders in its lineup. But this new knife from Kershaw, the Bel-Air, bucks that trend. This high-quality folder in the Kershaw line has truly excellent steel — MagnaCut.
With a 3.5-inch blade and a sliding bar lock, the Bel-Air checks a lot of boxes that value knives can’t. This is an enthusiast-grade Kershaw that isn’t an auto — a scarce creature these days.Check Price at Blade HQ
MagnaCut continues to march through the knife world with the Benchmade Waterline series of knives. Notable for a cool green-blue handle and MagnaCut steel, the Mini Adira stands out as the most practical and EDC-friendly knife in the lineup. It has a 3-inch blade and a sliding bar lock.
The blade shape is a drop point, and there is a thumb ramp around the thumb stud. This is a grippy, hard-use folder with an excellent all-around steel. If you need a “set it and forget it” folder, the Mini Adira looks like a good choice.
Spyderco’s only truly new knife (the SpyMyto is a “Spyderized” Lionsteel Myto), the Bodacious is a Compression lock design with a 3.54-inch blade of S30V. This knife is a thinner brother to the Shaman. It also has more edge, as it omits the Shaman’s finger choil.
The result is a knife that really stretches its dimensions, offering a lot of blade for a comparatively small package — one of the hallmarks of great Spyderco designs in the past like the Dragonfly 2 and the Paramilitary 2. For true knife enthusiasts, these sorts of knives that mind the details and the dimensions are little treasures. They provide big cutting power in a small(ish) package.
CRKT’s march toward the high end continues in 2024, and the Homefront Compact is a great example of that. Coming in at $150, the Homefront Compact has an S35VN blade, G10 handles with aluminum bolsters, and a striking two-tone appearance.
It doesn’t incorporate the Field Strip system from its big brother, but that knife’s lines were great. And, the powder metal steel will be a welcomed upgrade from the value portion of CRKT’s lineup.Check Price at CRKT
Joseph Vero has been trucking along, doing his own thing for a while now. His super-clean, super-fidget-friendly knives have captured the minds of knife enthusiasts everywhere. Until now, he has been using Bestech as the OEM for his designs, but with the Lux, that has changed. This knife, which is his first design to feature a hollow grind, will be made in partnership with Reate. Coming in at $295 for a no-frills model with a 3.5-inch blade of M390, the Lux looks amazing.Check Price at Vero Engineering
Spyderco Tenacious Framelock
Knife modding has become a major part of the knife hobby. A cottage industry has sprung up on Etsy, Instagram, and YouTube. Folks who want to dabble in knifemaking create new knives from pre-existing factory knives.
This Tenacious is the first production knife to tap into that trend. With a blade of D2, a framelock, and a wild anodization job on the lock side, this Tenacious looks like a well-done mod job, but happens to be available in production scale numbers. This is an interesting approach to breathing new life into an old design and might portend a trend in the knife business in the coming years.
Technically, this knife was released before SHOT Show, but it bears a mention given its provenance. Shane Seibert, the designer behind the Adamas line, is one of the finest custom tactical knifemakers in the world, with an unmistakable style and a final product that is as clean as a microchip factory.
This version of the Mini Adamas is the best yet — it sports a MagnaCut blade (without a coating!), marble carbon fiber scales, and bronze handle accents (like a bronze pivot collar ring). At $375, it is a pretty penny, but it looks like an absolute steal compared to the prices on the secondary market for Seibert customs.Check Price at Benchmade
Case has made a few attempts to break into the modern folder market in the past, with a blend of traditional knives with modern touches — thumb studs on a Texas Toothpick … gasp! — and its Tec X line. Unfortunately, neither of those efforts caught on with most of the knife-buying public.
The Bridgeline knives, with their better steels (both knives sport 20CV blades) and stylish appearance, look like they will be more warmly embraced. The Longhouse is the locking knife in the series and is something like a Barlow with a front flipper and a clip. The blade is 3 inches long and the knife weighs 4 ounces, hitting the Knife Golden Ratio perfectly. With a bunch of smaller brands like the Pena X Series doing well with high-end modern traditionals, the Bridgeline seems like a good move for Case.
Reate PLX Series
Reate has long been home to some of the more expensive production knives in the world, with many folders coming over the “Sebenza barrier” price point. The PLX series, which includes both a flipper and thumb stud model, will sell for around $115.
It will also have Reate’s pivot lock, which appears to be functionally similar to the Poehlmann lock of yesteryear or CRKT’s Deadbolt lock. The blade steel will be the excellent non-powder metallurgy 14C28N. The fit and finish, if similar to other Reate knives, should be outstanding. Who would have guessed that we would get a budget Reate 3 years ago?
WE Knives Full-Size Nitro
WE/Civivi/Sencut release more new knives in a year than Spyderco, Benchmade, CRKT, and Kershaw combined. The brand’s showing at SHOT was probably a month or two of new releases. But one knife captured my eye, as it is a true flex of WE’s abilities. The full-size Nitro is a production version of the incredibly hard-to-get Peter Carey custom.
It features fat carbon handle scales, a bolster lock (which is a fancy way of saying partially exposed liner lock), and a blade that is almost 4 inches long. Combine this with WE’s finishing abilities, and this knife will be as close to a Carey custom as most folks will ever get.
2024 looks like another strong year in the knife market, with budget releases from high-end companies and high-end releases from budget companies. MagnaCut is everywhere, for good reason, and designs are getting better and more size-conscious. Unquestionably, we will see a lot more stuff as the year goes on, but SHOT 2024 was a good start for the knife industry.