By NAH Online Editor Josh Dahlke
I’m not a cutlery expert. If I pretended to be, I know it would take mere moments for hardcore knife hounds to sink their Internet fangs into me for acting sharper than I actually am. But I’ve sliced and diced enough critters—large and small—and dulled enough blades to feel confident in my ability to pick out the crud from the credible. Out of the hundreds I stumbled across at this year’s SHOT Show, here are four new blades for 2014 that made the must-see cut (sorry, I had to).
Gerber Myth Hatchet
Gerber adds to their popular Myth line of outdoor cutlery with this Myth Hatchet. Its full tang fits tightly into a sure-grip rubber handle that you expect from Myth products. It’s a well-balanced hatchet with thoughtful design details, including a finger hole for cutting control, making it friendly for precision game skinning or limb splitting. Looking at this photo now, it reminds me that I should have included another common object in the frame to better depict the size of this compact cutter; it measures just 8.5 inches in overall length with a 3.5-inch blade length, and weighs 14.6 ounces. It comes with a molded protective sheath, which allows the blade to audibly snap into a locked position. I know at least one Western elk guide who will probably add this tool to their pack. MSRP: $45. GerberGear.com.
Buck 110 Folding Hunter 50th Anniversary Edition
It’s legendary. The 110 Folding Hunter was created in 1964 by Al Buck. Its proprietary locking system, durable simplicity and handsome looks made it one of the most respected and popular knives of all time. What’s new is the fact that 2014 marks the 50th anniversary of this iconic knife. (You can celebrate its birthday by taking part in the Buck 110 Sweepstakes through Nov. 1, 2014.) To honor the 110, buck is offering an Anniversary Edition with a handle medallion that reads “1954 – 50 Years.” In addition, Buck is offering a limited number (fittingly, 110) of Special Edition 50th Anniversary Box Sets. Three out of four knives in this collection are individually named for the streets where Buck’s American factories have resided throughout history: Federal, Magnolia and Lochsa. The fourth, called “The Weld,” is named after the street where the previous corporate headquarters resided. The Federal is modeled after the original 110, while the three others are built with unique tweaks that should attract a collector’s eye. MSRP: $73 (110 Folding Hunter 50th Anniversary Edition), $1,500 (Box Set). BuckKnives.com.
Victorinox Swiss Army RangerWood 55
The beaming red-and-white cross logo represents the most well-known—and perhaps the very first—multi-tool ever created. Most refer to it simply as a “Swiss Army knife.” It has been called that and many other names. The popularity of this tool did in fact proliferate because of widespread use by the Swiss Army beginning in the 1890s. Since then, the original design has been duplicated by manufacturers across the world. It has remained a top tool for outdoorsmen and soldiers for more than a century because of its versatility and reliability. Most recently, two companies held the only official contracts to produce these knives: Wenger and Victorinox Swiss Army. In 2005, Victorinox purchased Wenger and continued to create the mirror-image products under the two separate brands. Finally, an official merger has been announced to eliminate confusion and synergize the creative capabilities of the dynamic duo. From here forward, the brand is Victorinox Swiss Army. As part of the launch, the Delémont Collection of knives was introduced at the 2014 SHOT Show. Part of this new line includes the RangerWood 55. It’s a rustic-looking little devil with some of the most popular Swiss Army tools contained in its body: 3.9-inch locking blade, can opener, small screwdriver, 4.2-inch Double-cut Wood Saw, wire stripper, cap lifter, wire stripper, corkscrew, punch/reamer, and a key ring. The Swiss cross logo is actually a button, which is depressed to release the locking blade. MSRP: $100. SwissArmy.com.
Famars USA Predatore Hunter
“The finest luxury knives money can buy.” That’s the slogan for Famars USA … and from what I’ve discovered, it’s no lie. Have you ever seen a $10,000 knife? I hadn’t, until I visited with a co-owner of Famars USA at the 2014 SHOT Show. As I held the tiny locking-blade knife and marveled at its obvious craftsmanship and stunning beauty, I asked what it cost. My palms started to sweat when I heard “$10K.” After moments of shocking admiration, I moved to the other side of the booth and took a closer look at some of the knives priced more closely to match the “common man’s” budget. That’s when I held the fixed-blade Predatore Hunter. While it still maintains obvious upscale appeal, including a shiny black horn handle, it’s equally qualified for unzipping the belly of a big game animal and removing its hide. More than anything, to me, this is an excellent gift knife. It comes with a classy presentation box and a certificate of authenticity—a nice touch if you’re looking to provide a lasting material memory for a friend or loved one. MSRP: $249. FamarsUSA.com.