If there’s a single piece of gear that embodies the outdoorsman, it’s the knife. Whether as simple as a single-blade Barlow or as elegant and storied as a fixed-blade Randall, knives help farmers, sailors, ranchers, soldiers, hunters and naturalists do everything from skinning deer to cutting of summer sausage. If you spend any time outdoors, you need a knife—and you’re better off with more than one because different jobs require different blades. Fortunately for knife lovers, there are plenty of new choices in 2023. The question is, which one or two is right for you?
Montana Knife Company Speedgoat
The Montana Knife Company Speedgoat is made from cryogenically treated high carbon 52100 ball steel, and the blade is parkerized with a matte black finish to minimize rust and shine. The blade is extremely thin measuring 0.095 inches at the spine, and the sheath of this fixed blade knife is skeletonized and then wrapped with seven feet of 550 emergency paracord. The overall length of the Speedgoat is 7.75 inches and the blade measures 3.75 . This knife is ultra-light at just 1.4 ounces, and comes out of the box sharp enough for surgical work. A Kydex holster is included with an MSRP of $225. The Speedgoat is pricey, but if I could only have one of the new 2023 knives I used, this is the one I would spend my money on.
Outdoor Edge Razor Pro S
The Razor Pro S is Outdoor Edge’s latest edition to the RazorPro/RazorSafe family of replaceable blade hunting knives. The RazorPro S includes a bone saw made from 65 MN spring steel. Combined with its replaceable 3.5 inch drop point blade, this is the ideal field dressing knife for the hunter. The RazorPro S should be available in spring 2023 and comes with its own Kryptek camouflage case. Old timers are slow to warm up to replaceable blade knives, but this would probably get your grandpa’s attention. It has a suggested retail price of $89.95.
Smith & Wesson
This new knife from Smith & Wesson isn’t what I’d call an outdoorsman’s knife, but it’s too cool not to mention. The Big Benji is a multi-tool similar to the original Benji, but with a 2-inch longer blade. The 8Cr stainless steel tanto-style blade is 3.5 inches long and multi-tool features include a bottle opener and money clip. Big Benji also has a finger flip and frame lock that can be easily unlocked with one hand. And the knife uses the Smith & Wessons Ultra-Glide system for faster deployment. It’s the perfect blade for holding your cash and opening beers at the campfire.
The Smith & Wesson Unwavered is configured as a traditional outdoor knife. It features a modified, 3.25-inch drop-point blade and finger flip with a spring-assisted opening for quick and easy deployment. It also has a liner lock for easy one-handed closing, and has a pocket clip and some tasteful twists on the wooden frets and scales. With all that, the knife is affordable with an MSRP of around $40.
The Enrage Series
Perhaps the biggest knife news for 2023 is that Shrade has partnered with Rage broadheads to offer a new series of knives they call the Enrage series. There are three new offerings in Schrade’s budget Delta-Class line that includes the Stryche Enrage 7 with forged carbon handle ($74), the Phantom Enrage 6 with carbon fiber ($49) and the neon green non-slip. treated Isolate Enrage 7 ($39). All three of these files accept Rage 420A razor-sharp replacement blades, and sizes vary from 6.0 inches for the Phantom and 7.25 inches for the Stryche and Isolate, which come with a belt pouch for the knife and extra blades.
Isolate the Caper
Good blades can be expensive, especially those purpose-built for a specific task. How much would you be willing to spend for a well-crafted blade explicitly designed for hatching? What about $25? The new Isolate Caper is a three-inch, drop-point, free-ground Delta Schrade-class fixed blade made from AUS-10. This is a complete knife with a molded green handle and black oxide coated metal surfaces. Overall, the length is 7.5 inches and the knife weighs only 2.8 ounces. It also comes with an injection molded case.
Isolate the large bone saw
Another new Delta-class blade from Shrade is the large isolated bone saw. It comes with its own injection molded casing and at only 4.3 ounces, it won’t weigh you down. The 5.0-inch long, 0.063-inch wide blade is perfect for opening a rib cage on a whitetail or splitting a deer’s pelvis. It’s made of SK5 steel, coated with black oxide, and comes with a comfortable neon-green handle that’s easy to see on the ground. At only around $25 this tool is also affordable.
The LeafJumper was designed by Spyderco co-founder Sal Glesser and based on user feedback about their popular RockJumper file. This knife has the same ergonomic handle as its predecessor, including skeletonized stainless steel sheathing, fiberglass reinforced nylon scales, non-slip texture, four-way pocket clip and solid rear lock with a positive self-closing function. The 3.09-inch, flat-ground, leaf-shaped blade is made from VG-10 stainless steel, and plain and serrated versions are available. This should make a great EDC pocket knife for just about any outdoorsman.
Easy Lil Temperance
The original Lil’ Temperance folder was considered a compact but heavy duty knife suitable for defensive use. Over the years, Spyderco founder Sal Glesser refined the design, emphasizing the knife’s utilitarian application without compromising strength. This latest lightweight version replaces the G10 scale with lighter fiberglass-reinforced nylon, and the knife has a versatile pocket clip that will allow it to be held pointed or pointed down on either side. The flat-ground 2.92-inch VG-10 stainless steel blade can be plain or serrated.
Uncle Henry Next Gen Knives
Uncle Henry has three new fixed blades for 2023. The first is the 8.5-inch Next Gen Staglon, which features a 4.25-inch high-carbon stainless steel blade with a matte finish. Then there’s the 8.4-inch Next Gen Staglon Elk Hunter with its 3.8-inch high carbon stainless steel drop point blade. And finally, there is the upcoming General Staglon PH1N Pro Hunter. It has a 4.5 inch high carbon stainless steel blade and an overall length of 8.1 inches. All three of these fixed blades have a brass finger guard, come with a leather belt holster, and have an MSRP of $49.99.