Shirogorov Quantum folding knife on table, open

The dust has settled on this month’s Knife Fight, and the people have chosen a new champ. Every month, we leave it to our followers on Instagram to crown a King of the Ring, the best new knife of the month, via a tournament. Eight knives enter; one knife leaves. Here’s a recap of what went down:

ROUND 1

In the left corner, the Fox / Bastinelli Geco is essentially a folding version of their popular Mako karambit fixed blade. Weighing in at 4.5 ounces, the aggressive tanto blade measures 3.4” long and is made from N690Co steel. Backed up by a contoured handle featuring grippy Micarta on one side and a sturdy titanium framelock on the other, the Geco is made in Italy and starts at $229.

In the right corner, the SOG Trident AT-XR is an all-new take on a classic tactical folder design. Weighing in at 5.2 ounces with 3.7” of D2 steel, the assisted-opening Trident features SOG’s sturdy XR lock and a secondary safety to keep the blade safely closed when not in action. Equipped with a glassbreaker and integrated strap cutter, the Trident is made in Taiwan and sells for $94.95.

Ultimately, the Bastinelli was bolder, taking this round with a 10% margin. As one commenter put it: “The SOG looks tough, but that Bastinelli looks surgical.”

ROUND 2

Stepping into the ring in ROUND 2 are two affordable folders: the REVO Ness vs. the Bestech Eye of Ra.

In the left corner, the REVO Ness comes in at 4.8 ounces, with an unmistakable Nessmuk-style 3.4” D2 blade. The broad blade was born for bushcraft but feels at home doing just about anything. While the liner lock construction, ball-bearing flipper deployment, and deep-carry pocket clip modernize this traditional fixed blade pattern. For $60, it’s an edc that does it all. 

Not one to blink in the face of competition, the Bestech Eye of Ra folder comes in at 4.2 ounces with 3.4” of D2 blade. It too has a ball-bearing pivot and excellent flipper deployment, but the cutouts on the handle and colorful liners give it eye-catching appeal. Little touches like the flush-fit deep carry pocket clip and custom pivot hardware really elevate this $52 knife.

After 24 hours of competition, the people’s choice was clear: The Bestech Eye of Ra took this round with 61% of the votes. It’s hard to ignore that hypnotizing gaze!

ROUND 3

In the left corner, the Spyderco Watu comes in at 3 ounces with a 3.3” blade. Inspired by an ethnic knife from Central Africa, the thin blade is ultra-precise and the coffin-shaped handle is surprisingly comfortable. With 20CV steel, a compression lock, and a deep carry wire clip, the Watu is a historic knife equipped with some of the best materials and features modern knives have to offer. Cost: $182.

In the right corner, the Viper Belone comes in at 3.1 ounces with a 3.4” blade. Inspired by regional Italian knives (e.g. the Pattada), this @voxnaes design is a framelock flipper with world-class materials and a gentlemanly charm. The low-profile flipper tab is unobtrusive in the pocket, and tucks away neatly into the handle when open. M390 blade steel. Cost: $167.95.

Evolved from ancestral knife patterns, the Watu and Belone both stood a chance to carry on to the semifinals. It was a close fight, but in the end the Watu squeaked out a narrow win with 52% of the votes. Spyderco fans are a die-hard bunch but there’s no doubt the Watu was a polarizing choice. “Spyderco usually my man,” said commenter @bladesandknives6, “but the Watu just looks funky”. Still, the odd allure of the Watu was enough to carry the day.

ROUND 4

In the left corner, the Reate Iron comes in at 4.7 ounces with 3¼” of blade. Materials, ergonomics, and design are all top-notch, and Reate has teken things a step further by offering two versions of the design: one with a thumbstud, and one with a flipper. Whichever one you choose, the M390 blade snaps open thanks to ceramic bearings and a finely-tuned detent. The graceful shape of the titanium handle is comfortable to hold in just about any position. Reate’s work is world class and the Iron is one of their finest knives to date. Price: $325.

In the right corner, the Shirogorov Quantum comes in at 4.7 ounces with 3¾” of blade. This is the first all-new design from Shirogorov in some time, and we’re thrilled to see new designs coming out of the Bear’s Den, especially when they’re as excellent as the Quantum. Extravagant, yet austere. Price: $1,095.

Both knives command a high price, but only one can move on to the semifinals. In this case, it was a blowout. The Shirogorov simply couldn’t be stopped, securing 69% of the vote without breaking a sweat. Despite being too expensive to fit into all but the deepest of pockets, the Quantum is clearly the people’s choice. @hangwithsteve said “If I ever get to a point where I’m able to spend $700+ on a knife there’s absolutely no doubt I’m getting a Shirogorov”.

SEMIFINALS

At this point in the competition, the matchups get weird. We begin to see knives from wildly different categories face off: budget vs. high end, fixed blades vs. folders. and so on. Remember, it’s not necessarily the nicest knife that deserves the crown, nor the strongest, fastest, cheapest, or most expensive. We’re looking for the BEST new knife, and what that looks like is up to the voters.

The Bastinelli nearly took ROUND 5, but the Bestech Eye of Ra won in the end with 53% of the vote. And again, the Shirogorov Quantum dominated ROUND 6, barely slowing down against the Spyderco Watu with 66% of the vote.

FINAL ROUND

This is it: the final round! Six knives have been eliminated, two remain: the Bestech Eye of Ra and the Shirogorov Quantum.

Sure, it sounds crazy to compare a $50 knife to a $1000 one…or is it? Each knife represents a competing idea of greatness. Which knife is “best:” the one pushes the limits of quality for the price, or the one that pushes the limits of quality at any price?

WINNER

When the final vote was tallied, the Shirogorov Quantum dominated the final round with no less that 77% of the votes. It was plain to see from the beginning that the Quantum would be the knife to beat, and we can see why: it’s truly an elite knife. It swept the bracket, handily defeating all challengers to land the top spot. Congratulations to Shirogorov Knives, and thank you to all those who voted, commented, and participated. See you next time!

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