SHOT knives


January 21, 2011, 10:15 AM
I haven't had much time to get out and about to look at knives and tools here at SHOT since I've been in 5120 most of the time supporting the small armor R&D company Whitehorse, BUT I have been able to handle a few interesting things. Not having a good camera I've snagged pictures from various other sources.

HTM, Hand Tech Made, is a Darryl Ralph-Randal King "mid-tech" collaboration producing some very nice, and well priced, custom quality folders and fixed blades. The most impressive looking is a huge assisted opening Mad Maxx folder based on the knife Darryl made for the Expendables movie. The grip is highly figured Ti alloy, the blade is a huge chisel tip 154 CM with. The guards are also the blade stops and help to give the knife a menacing look. The assisted opening mechanism gives it brisk, but manageable, snap open that puts a grin on your face. There are only going to be 150 of these knives made so anyone interested should be contacting Darryl and HTM TODAY.

Gunhammer assists and autos from HTM have a carved textured hard anodized grip with the familiar 154 CM angular recurve blade. The chiseled looking 6061T6 grip is both grippy and smooth without being abrasive. The combination of chiseling and bead blast/anodizing makes the knife very comfortable in the hand. The slide/plunge button on the autos is intuitive while avoiding the use of a separate safety. The knives open with a authoritative snap without trying to "helicopter" out of your hand. They come in black and "copper" coatings, black being my preference (but plenty of people were gobbling up the copper pieces).

Darryl hasn't forgotten those of us that like straight pointy folding daggers either. He has 3 sizes of assist Mad Maxx daggers at HTM, 3,4 and 5 inch folding assisted opening daggers with carved carbon fiber "onserts" on the gray anodized body makes for a very nice looking knife.

HTM has a very nice 6" fixed blade that Randal had designed. I have an early version that I've put to use and the HTM is a nicer looking improved version. Slim and well balanced it fits comfortably in the hand. G10 scales with a red liner are seamlessly mounted on the full tang "semitanto".

There's also a very nice 6Al4V Ti neck knife designed by new maker/designer Dirk Pinkerton. Dirk apprenticed with Darryl and has a very different design sense producing sharply angular knives with acute points well designed for piecing and ripping. His small Ti neck knife is a finger ring little dart and carries without notice in the silvery thermoplastic neck sheath. It is easily accessible and makes for a great "get OFF me" tool.


Camillus is back and with some very nice knives. There's a carbon fiber folder that looks much like the William Henry Lancet, but at a fraction of the price. The ti-carbonitride sputter coated blade is smooth and easy to open. The carbon fiber scaled liner lock is comfortable. The knife is just pretty while being useful without being scary. Just right for the office in dress pants. There are a range of other folders that fit the office to jobsite to field use. All have the ti-carbonitride coating that gives a nice lubricity to the opening of the folders. My favorite, though is the bushcraft knife they've produced. With a 4 inch ti-carbonitride coated blade of just about the perfect size and shape to toss in a pack or carry on belt, it fits your hand comfortably and looks "sharp" as well. They need to improve the AUS8 steel for this little jewel since it is perfect for hard use. A D2 or other carbon steel under the coating would be a huge improvement. For lighter duty the AUS8 will serve, but limits the potential of this knife.


ESEE had their prototype folders and I was suitably impressed. The design of the frame lock is probably going to change (adjustment mechanism is too prone to collecting lint/grit/debris and jamming), but the knife and steel or Ti frame lock is a solid design built like a tank. The blade is their excellent 4 inch fixed turned to service on the folder. Since ESEE can be trusted to make nothing that isn't a solid field survival tool you can bet this folder is going to be something you can bet your life on.

Gotta get back to work. More later.

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January 21, 2011, 12:50 PM
I had a few minutes to drop by Citadel Knives and Swords ( out of Phnom Penh and talk with the owner Dominique. Citadel is one of those small treasures known of only by knife nuts. They are nearly unique in that they hand forge or grind their knives with true custom craftsmanship.

Dominique sells knives so they can make knives instead of making knives to sell (a knife maker's distinction).

Instead of casting a tsuba for a katana, they hand cut and file the shape before engraving. Quality over quantity!
Beautifull stuff.

JShirley will have some pictures up soon.

January 21, 2011, 09:22 PM
Boker and Great Eastern impressed me with their offerings. Some cool stuff coming out from Case Knives as well.

The new Buck Ron Hood fixed blade was very well done , and in 5160 steel. Long blade that balances well , with a nice sheath as well.

January 22, 2011, 09:16 AM
Looking forward to some pictures when you get the time Gents. Thanks for being our eyes in Vegas. SHOT is one place on my "Places to go before I die" list.

January 25, 2011, 07:25 PM
CRKT had several new knives as expected.

I chatted with Ed Halligan and he showed off his new assisted opening KISS as well as a few other pieces. His new knife is a further evolution of the original KISS from several years ago. This time they figured out how to make the sliver of steel that forms the grip accommodate a cammed assisted opening mechanism right out in the open. The little knife opens crisply and easily enough while still being biased to the closed position until pushed over the top of the cam cut. You'd think that an open mechanism like this would be probe to failure due to ling or grit or other pocket debris, but the fact that it IS an open design makes me consider it self cleaning. The system is robust as well and shouldn't be prone to jam or catch. Nice little piece and fun to watch work.

Ed also was "tickled" to show the new Brian Tighe/Glen Klecker Nirk Tighe. The knife is very interesting looking, but in addition to being "kewl" it only has 4 pieces of metal. The handle and springs are laser cut from a single piece of metal that is then cleverly stamped/pressed into place to form the grip/spring. The clip and blade and pivot screw make the other 3 pieces of metal used in the knife. Very cool in the various variations.

Ed had to go fix something so left me to play behind the counter so I poked around a bit. I had seen and handled the new CRKT Ken Onions at the Spirit of Steel show this summer, but they were still a delight to get my hands on again. Very refined pointy folders that were so pretty that they might not frighten ever the most timid person in your office.

I spotted this odd looking little fixed blade that kinda looked like a skeletonized mini ulu with an offset handle. Then I noticed the little fixed blade had something of a blade protector instead of a sheath. Being a gadget junkie I picked it up and it kept me entertained for a few seconds while i worked out how the blade guard/sheath came loose. The little Keydashi is a small fixed blade that fits between your thumb and fingers for a very comfortable small cutting tool. Not only is it comfortable, but it is dang cute.

I was given one of the CRKT Tao pens and while very cool looking and very well designed for self defense use and the ink writes beautifully, it just isn't comfortable to use as a writing instrument. The rings cut into the body make for a very positive grip, but bite the finger when writing for an extended period of time. I really wanted to like this pen since it looks great and has good defensive tool features (flesh eater cap) and the ink is great. Lots of positives, but that finger eating texture makes it less useful as a writing instrument than some of the competition.

January 27, 2011, 08:42 PM
I too was given one of the CRKT pens , I like it for the most part , but I agree , for long term writing , it is not the most comfy. For that I will defer to my Lamy Swift.

The one part I didn't like is it takes 3 1/2 turns to unscrew the cap , but 7 turns to secure the cap in the writing position.

For the price point though , it is a nice combo device. A pen that can function as an impact device.

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