Hogue’s new automatic knife, the Ballista I, is hitting store shelves now. The Ballista establishes a new model line in the small, but always growing, Hogue Knives lineup.
Putting legal complications to one side, an automatic deployment does not, these days, instantly connote a tactical application; we’ve seen many auto knives, from Hogue and others, designed for more mundane applications alongside, or instead of, the more high-octane variety. With the Ballista I, however, Hogue did explicitly with military users in mind. There are two different blade shapes to choose from: either a sleek drop point or a rugged, American-style tanto. Both versions have a 3.5-inch cutting edge, which gives it that hard use pedigree, while still coming across as a reasonable choice for more mundane carry as well.
The automatic mechanism employed here follows in the footsteps of previous Hogue autos, dating all the way back to the company’s beginnings in 2016. You’ve got the classic single action setup, a button lock that doubles as the deployment method, accompanied by a manual secondary safety toggle located just beneath it. Blade steel is 154CM, another Hogue standard, an older stainless that, while it can’t quite hang with the modern powder metallurgy stuff, still turns in solid performance numbers in all key categories.
Another time-tested metal makes up the Ballista I’s handle. It’s a two-part aluminum affair, with an unassuming profile amenable to many different grips – including a choked-up grip that takes advantage of the large forward choil on the blade itself. A deep carry pocket clip, completely reversible, is accompanyed by a lanyard hole; in total, the Ballista I weighs 4.2 oz.
That “one” designation at the end of Ballista I implies that more might follow. In talking with people on social media, Hogue made it clear that, while that’s a definite posisbility, nothing is set in stone yet. “These Ballista I offerings mark the first of an entirely new series. Anything is possible!”
Knife in Featured Image: Hogue Knives Ballista I