It’s been a long time in the making, but 2017 may be the year the increasingly irrelevant 1958 Federal Switchblade Act finally gets repealed.
We’re getting a bit ahead of ourselves, though.
The Knife Owners’ Protection Act of 2017 — originally conceived and authored by the great Knife Rights in 2010 — has been introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by Rep. Andy Biggs. The act, known by its acronym KOPA, now includes language that repeals the federal switchblade ban.
“The Federal Switchblade Act was an asinine idea when it was passed in 1958 in a wave of Hollywood-inspired politically motivated hysteria and has only become more irrelevant as time has passed,” said Knife Rights Chairman Doug Ritter in a statement. “The majority of states have always allowed switchblade possession and with Knife Rights’ repeal of switchblade bans in 11 states in the past seven years, fully four-fifths of the states now allow switchblade possession to one degree or another.”
James Dean wielding a switchblade in “Rebel Without a Cause.” The film was part of the inspiration for the original switchblade ban.
I’ve written on this very blog countless times why it’s time for the switchblade ban to be repealed. Not only has it affected the business of companies like Knife Depot (which can’t sell automatic knives except to government, law enforcement, or military personnel) but it makes traveling from state to state with different regulations extremely complicated.
2017 is off to a great start with a slate of new knives from Benchmade.
The Oregon-based company revealed its new knives last month shortly after it announced the discontinuation of a number of models, including its entire line of HK knives. While the specific reasons each knife was discontinued can only be speculated, the new line confirms that some of the models got upgrades or were brought on over under the Benchmade name.
The new product lines (and special editions) are mostly what you’d expect from Benchmade with a few new tricks. The new knives also indicate that the 154CM steel standard for the Butterly Logo brand is likely becoming S30V (since all the new knives are that steel).
Take a look at what Benchmade has in store for you this year.
Benchmade 560 Freek
The 560 Freek is a manual-opening AXIS lock folder with a focus on well-made and grippy handles. Sound familiar? The Freek will appeal to fans of the Griptilian (or to those who want a little more from the Grip). The 3.6-inch drop point blade is made of CPM-S30V steel, but the focus really seems to be on the handle. It has what Benchmade calls dual durometer handles, which features Versaflex inlays for maximum comfort and durability.
This model seems to be one poised for wider market appeal among those looking for a quality EDC. There are a few versions of the 560, including one with serrations and a black blade.
Benchmade 590 Boost
The Boost shares some of the same qualities as the new Freek with one notable addition, the AXIS-Assist mechanism. Like the Freek, the blade is S30V with a drop point profile, except the length is 3.7 inches.
Get back to your roots with the latest Badass Knife of the Week.
Legend has it that Old Timer started in 1958 when the folks in charge of Schrade Cutlery Corp decided to offer a knife like the one their grand-dad used to carry — comfortable, practical, reliable, and tough.
The classic design of the Senior has been proven through more than a hundred years of farmers and tradesmen using the stockman for tasks ranging from the mundane to the momentous. The three blades —spey, sheepsfoot, and clip point — may seem outdated but remain as useful in the 21st century as they were in the 19th century.
In a huge blow to the knife community and civil rights in general, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo vetoed a bill that would have reformed an antiquated knife law that has resulted in thousands of capricious arrests.
We’ve been following this story closely ever since a Village Voice investigation found that as many as 60,000 people were arrested for illegal gravity knives between 2003 and 2013, with more than 80 percent being black or Hispanic.
The current gravity knife laws are poorly written and open to interpretation from individual officers. People who buy knives legally at stores in the New York area have been arrested for carrying a supposedly illegal knife. With some effort, New York police officers can argue nearly any folder is a gravity knife.
Who says a badass and functional knife has to be huge?
Featuring a fixed blade that comes in at a little more than two inches, the Morakniv Eldris is a compact knife that packs quite a punch.
The pocket-sized fixed blade is one of the newest additions to Morakniv but still carries the same craftsmanship and focus on quality the company has instilled in each knife for more than a hundred years.
The 56mm (or about 2.2-inch) blade is made of high-quality Swedish 12C27 stainless steel, which is known for good corrosion resistance, exceptional toughness, and admirable edge performance. The 2mm thick blade features an easy-to-maintain Scandi grind and a semi-matte finish.
There’s no shortage of bizarre things on the internet that seem to take off out of nowhere, but the latest craze centers around knives.
Here’s how the latest knife-related internet sensation works: a knife is heated up to extreme temperatures with blowtorches and is then used to cut all types of objects. Seems simple (and kind of stupid, frankly) but there’s something oddly satisfying about watching a knife cut through objects like hot butter.
Now the knife community finally has some vindiction for all those times we’ve used a freshly sharpened knife to slice a tomato with minimal effort or shave armhair with a gentle sweep.
Kizer Knives has proven time and again that the relatively new company is no joke.
The Kizer Ki404B1 is evidence that a solid framelock flipper with quality steel is still attainable at a reasonable price range.
Take one look at the blade and you’ll know exactly what we’re talking about. The 4.09-inch blade is made from quality VG-10 stainless steel, which is popular steel with solid edge retention, good corrosion resistance, and exceptional durability. It’s the kind of steel you’d want on your EDC.
And that’s just the steel. The blade features a drop point profile for maximum versatility and a swedge that allows for better piercing. Moderate jimping extending from the handle to the spine gives the user even more control for finer tasks.
I am addicted to podcasts. I pop them on when I’m cleaning the house, sharpening my knives, and going for walks.
With hundreds of thousands of unique podcasts, there’s no dearth of something to listen, including dozens of pods 100 percent dedicated to sewing. But what about us knife nuts?
It’s true that there are far fewer knife-related podcasts than there should be, but there are at least four that every knife fan should be subscribed to. Let us know in the comments if we missed any.
Gear Geeks Live
This is one of the longest running knife-related podcasts out there. Except when it took a short hiatus, the pod has been publishing bi-monthly for around four years. Gear Geeks Live is hosted by the great Anthony Sculimbrene of Everyday Commentary (a personal favorite) along with frequent appearances by Dan of BladeReviews.com.
The guys take a thorough look at the goings on in the knife world including breaking down new releases and what’s going on in the news. They also do interviews with folks around the knife community and recently interviewed knifemaker Jesse Jarosz.
If you’re a knife fan who listens to podcasts, subscribe to GGL immediately.
The Knife Making Podcast is a little different than some of the other knife pods out there. The podcast was created by Justin Halbert of Snake River Forge (see one of his knives above). Instead of analyzing knives and talking about them, Justin gets into the nitty gritty of knifemaking.
Most people strive for perfection when they create something. But what happens when you reach perfection? The latest Badass Knife of the Week shows you just keep going.
The Benchmade 940 is frequently called one of the most quintessential EDC knives ever made, but the Benchmade 940-1 takes things to a whole new level.
The Benchmade 940-1 is designed by the late great Warren Osborne, a man who was raised in the farming industry and knows a thing or two about what makes an ideal pocket knife. His eye for comfort, durability, and functionality becomes immediately clear in the 940-1.
What sets the 940-1 apart from its base version (and the 940—a previous Badass Knife of the Week—is by no means base) is the 3.4-inch reverse tanto blade made of ultra premium CPM-S90V. This steel has a high resistance to stains and wear with a toughness that makes it a fantastic cutter.