Welcome, one and all, to the inaugural KnifeCenter Knife Fight! We talk a lot about our favorites here on the blog and elsewhere on social media, so we thought it was high time to hand that power over to the people. These are YOUR choices, as decided by commenters on our Instagram (@knifecenter).
First, a couple simple ground rules: to enter the bracket, each knife must be all-new (meaning not just a simple color or handle material change), and must have hit our shelves for the first time during the month of March. Altogether, we started off with eight competitors. Let the games begin!
Round 1: Budget Blade Battle
The first contest was the CJRB Feldspar vs the Ontario Shikra: two competitive budget blades that punch well above their price point. Weighing in at 4 ounces and priced at $37.95, the CJRB Feldspar boasts a 3.5” D2 steel blade, contoured G10 handles, ceramic ball bearing pivot, and a liner lock. The Ontario Shikra comes in at 3.2 ounces and $45.60, with a 3.2” AUS-8 steel blade, contoured linen micarta scale, ball bearing pivot, AND a titanium framelock.
As the votes came in, Ontario’s rock-solid reputation was its strong suit, with one commenter saying “I’ve never been disappointed with any of my Ontario knives, they get my vote.” Another Ontario voter was impressed with the materials of the Shikra for the price, explaining that “I’m going for the Shikra for the titanium framelock and the micarta scale.”
On the other hand, CJRB put up quite a fight. Despite being a relative newcomer to the scene, their quality materials, design, and construction put it on good footing. The simple, appealing design of the Feldspar appealed to lots of people, which is exactly what it needed to win! In the end the CJRB came out narrowly ahead, taking a Round 1 victory by just 6 votes.
Round 2: Mid-Market Matchup
Next up, a battle of two mid-market everyday carry knives each packing two blade steels: the Kershaw Dividend featuring a sintered composite blade vs. the Civivi Asticus with its folded Damascus blade.
The Dividend Composite comes in at 2.8 ounces, with a 3” blade made from N690 and CPM-D2 steels, aluminum handles, SpeedSafe assisted opening, a deep carry pocket clip, and a liner lock. Made in the USA and priced at $82.95.
In the right corner, the Civivi Asticus comes in at 3.9 ounces, with a 3.8” blade made from stainless Damascus steel, flipper deployment, caged ceramic bearing pivot, and a liner lock. Priced at $76.50, the Asticus has the advantage in cost AND size.
Despite the outstanding value offered by the Asticus and its comparatively formidable size, the Kershaw Dividend won this round by a good margin. It’s hard to resist the appeal of that eye-catching composite blade.
Round 3: Fixed Blade Fight
In the left corner, the Spartan Blades Damysus comes in at 9.9 ounces with a 5.5” drop point blade made from 1095 steel, finger choil, canvas Micarta handle scales, and an impressive locking sheath. Made in the USA and priced at $195, the Damysus is truly a professional grade tool you can rely on.
In the left corner, the KA-BAR Becker BK18 comes in at 7 ounces with a 4.6” harpoon style blade made from 1095 steel, Zytel handle scales, and a new molded sheath with adjustable retention. For $87.95, it’s a powerhouse of a fixed blade and an impressive member of the Becker family.
Interestingly, though carrying the flag of different brands, both of these knives are manufactured under the same roof: KA-BAR’s New York manufacturing facility. But, in the end, only one could move onto the semi-finals, and the commenters picked the BK18. It’s not every month you see a new Becker design, and the BK18s high value ultimately gave it the upper hand. “Spartan Blades is great,” said @oldmanbobpancho44, “but being nearly x2 the price for the same steel BK takes this round.”
Round 4: S35VN Standoff
The last of the quarter final rounds saw two top shelf folders vying for votes. Both the We Knives Kitefin and the Artisan Cutlery Centauri feature powder-metallurgy blades, titanium framelocks, flippers, and the high-end materials and manufacturing you get with the very best everyday carry knives.
In the left corner, the Artisan Cutlery Centauri comes in at 3.6 ounces with a 3.5” blade made from S35VN steel, titanium frame lock, ceramic bearing pivot, and carbon fiber scale. Backed up by designer Ray Laconico, the Centauri is a strong contender.
In the right corner, the We Knives Kitefin comes in at 2.4 ounces with a 3.2” blade made from S35VN steel, titanium framelock, ceramic bearing pivot, and shred carbon fiber scale. The Kitefin is thinner, lighter, and has a conventional flipper – popular features that could give it the edge it needs over the Centauri.
Rounds 5 & 6: Semifinals
The semifinal rounds were tough competitions, not just because the knives were the best of the bunch, but also because the matchups brought two very different knives up against each other. Round 6 saw the Kitefin up against the BK18, which presented an interesting challenge for our followers: how do you decide which knife is best when they are designed for entirely different uses? Different people had different reasons – some picked the knife that they would rather own. Other picked the knife they felt would last longer. Whatever the reason, the collective decision was clear: after two rounds there were only two knives left standing: the Becker BK18 and the Kershaw Dividend.
FINAL ROUND: FIGHT!
Hundreds of votes carried two champions to the finish line, but only one could cross it.
The Kershaw Dividend Composite is a slim, lightweight, high-tech everyday carry folder. The Becker BK18 is a bruiser of a fixed blade, and one of the best values in its class. If this contest were about speed, the Kershaw with its SpeedSafe opening would win. If it were about strength, the victory would go to the BK18. But this time, it’s not the quickest or the strongest knife that won this fight, but the one most deserving of the title “Best New Knife of the Month.”
So. After the dust had settled and the votes were in… the Dividend earned the title of this month’s “King of the Ring!”
Congratulations to Kershaw, and a sincere thank you to everyone who voted. We had a lot of fun putting this together, and we’d live to do it again next month, so follow us on Instagram @knifecenter to participate and make your voice heard!