As is the case in any show of this size where you are trying to visit several thousand booths, it is inevitable that you will overlook a few vendors. My apologies go out to those in advance. It is also true that many companies introduced far too many new models for the magazine to describe each and every one in a single article. I will do my best to cover what I thought were some of the more interesting new blades in alphabetical order.
The NIRK Tighe was probably the most striking looking new model in the CRKT 2011 line.
Unlike last year when they introduced around 70 new models, CRKT told me they were going to try a more manageable 36 for 2011. Probably the flashiest CRKT for the year is the NIRK Tighe designed by Brian Tighe and Glenn Klecker. This large and unique new “flipper” opening folder seemed to be as good looking as it was useful. Other new models included two Crimson Trace tool knives, M16s with glass breakers and strap cutters built into the handle, a 9.25-inch James Williams-designed Shinbu tanto, and, believe it or not, left-handed versions of the M21-04G and M16-SFG tactical folders. www.crkt.com
The “Force” offers a heavy-duty blade that is almost a quarter-inch thick at the spine!
SOG was showing a number of new fixed-blade models that should be of major interest to TK readers. The “SOG Ops” is a drop-point, recurved-edge version of the ever popular SEAL Pup, while the Force is a drop-point version of the SEAL Team. The “Recon Bowie” is back in a less expensive user-friendly 2.0 version, as is the “Demo.” The originals of this last model are one of the rarest combat knives of the Vietnam War because most were lost on raids into North Vietnam. Tomahawk lovers will find that SOG’s models have been upgraded and now include a double-bit version equally suited to both military operations and civilian bushcraft uses. www.sogknives.com