SHOT Show 2024 is in the books, and we’ve seen a ton of awesome new knives from all sorts of companies. You can check out our YouTube channel to see a more exhaustive list of what was new, but that would take you several hours. I was at the show and in each of these videos, and I saw dozens of other booths as well, so I’ve compiled my top 10 new knives of SHOT Show into a short, digestible article.
Before I start, understand that this list is strictly my opinion. I’m sure that everyone at the show would create a different list than this one. With that out of the way, let’s get into it!
We saw a ton of crossbar lock folders with MagnaCut blades at the show, most of which trying to compete with everyone’s favorite 3”-drop-point-sub-$200-lighweight-premium folder, the Benchmade Bugout. Of all the knives in that pile, the Bel-Air rose to the top for me. I love its aluminum handle, which moves the balance more toward the handle. Instead of a hook on the back, Kershaw opted for a small section of jimping to allow for bigger hands. Best of all, it’s a fair bit cheaper than many similar knives and still USA-made!
I’m a huge nerd, and knives that show off technological prowess make me smile. The Skinny is such a knife. LionSteel is known for their “Solid Knives,” or as we call them, integrals. Integrals like the Skinny are a feat of manufacturing. Instead of scales screwed together, the handle is one channel piece of material that’s been milled to accept the blade. Not only is it harder to machine one, but it’s harder to assemble too. The resulting knife is much cleaner and simpler than the alternative, a luxury that only an integral knife can give you.
This is but one offering of the exciting new Benchmade Water Class. Although it was made for use in and around water, the Adira, to me at least, reads pocket survival knife. It’s big and beefy, uses robust materials, and is impervious to the elements. It’s not too big or heavy, but it’s ready for the worst. I’d pick one up, throw it in my pocket on a backpacking trip, and never look back.
Honestly, the entire Water Class impressed me quite a bit. You should check it out.
This year, Microtech instituted a sweeping upgrade program. They are moving from the mechanism they made in the 90’s that has been endlessly copied to a newer, smoother, more premium mechanism for their OTFs. Not only is it better, but it also uses more modern and efficient machining practices, which means prices will remain the same, or be a little lower. That’s right – it’s newer, better, more reliable, easier to use, but it isn’t more expensive. I picked the Scarab II as my favorite of the bunch. I appreciate its comfortable, widened slide, and its opening force is very impressive. It’s on my shopping list!
Last year Buck released the Alpha Scout, and I fell in love. I have a thing for smaller fixed blades. I hadn’t picked one up yet, and I’m glad I waited. This year, the Alpha Scout Elite came, with a CPM MagnaCut blade, a G-10 handle, and a Kydex sheath. It’s everything I’ve ever wanted! I’m not sure whether I’ll carry it on my belt or as a neck knife, but that sheath gives me options!
Boker came out swinging this year. They brought German-made autos and manuals that not only compete with their American-made counterparts on materials and quality, but also on price. The EDK, or Everyday Duty Knife, felt like the one that maximized value. For under $140, you get a full-size MagnaCut blade, a durable crossbar lock, and a comfortable, milled G-10 handle. It’s a steal of a deal for what it is!
I’m going to be honest – I have a ton of respect for the Bodacious, but I still prefer its counterpart the Shaman. I love its larger, contoured handle and its forward finger choil. But there are many of you that disagree. Sal Glesser, the founder of Spyderco, is listening to you, and the Bodacious is for you. It’s roughly the same size, but it brings the edge all the way back to the handle, gives you a bit of a guard, and removes the choil. To slim it down, it has a flat G-10 handle. In my opinion, it’s the EDCer’s alternative to the Shaman. If you’re like me and still love the Shaman, it’s here to stay, but if you want something a little slimmer with more edge, the Bodacious is here!
What I love most about the Bodacious is the message it sends to the community. It tells me that Spyderco listens, cares, and is committed to bringing you the best knife for you.
3: Artisan Cutlery Revel
In my five years at Blade HQ, I’ve been very quiet about my love for Ray Laconico designs. Something about his clean lines, ergonomic handles, and tall flat grinds fill my soul with so much joy. They’re just beautiful, functional designs. The Artisan Revel is my favorite Laconico design to date, and it’s combined with a luxury S90V blade, a contoured titanium handle, and a smooth action that feels like wet glass. Artisan does a great job of collaborating with cool designers, and the Revel is my favorite of the bunch.
If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you know how much I love the TR-3. It was made as a tactical knife, but its design lends itself to camping, hiking, everyday carry, and even hunting just as well. It’s one of the most versatile knife designs ever made. Originally it was an auto, then there were some titanium frame lock versions a few years back, but now, it’s a button lock manual running on thumb studs. Pro-Tech’s button lock manuals are the stuff of legend, and we can’t keep them in stock, but I think this one will set a new standard of awesome. The first prototypes all feature Mike Erie hand-grinds with mirror polishes, but in the future, many with more standard equipment will come down the line. You can bet I’ll be buying one of the first!
1: White River Ursus Cub
My coworker once asked me what knife I would pick if I could only have one. After some thought, I arrived at the White River Ursus 45. I wanted a fixed blade that could do some work, a stainless steel, a Kydex sheath, and a tall flat grind that could do some slicing, but a stout spine that could tolerate some harder work too. I have now changed my answer because the Ursus Cub is out. It’s smaller and more EDC-able, features a MagnaCut blade, and has much the same design language as its bigger, older brother. I love the Ursus Cub, and I could see myself carrying one daily for years to come. It had some stiff competition, but the Ursus Cub won my favor, and in my opinion, was the best new knife of SHOT Show 2024!
Seriously, SHOT Show started 2024 off right. We saw upgrades in materials and manufacturing, new and exciting models, and so much more. And that’s just the stuff you saw – many of the companies we saw showed us stuff off the record, and you’re going to love it. Companies are ramping up their competitiveness, but the end winner is you and me – people who love knives. So stick around, subscribe to our newsletter, watch our YouTube channel, follow us on social media, and keep reading this blog. We’re bringing you the best the knife industry has to offer, and this year is going to be a fun ride!