Kizer is gracing a pair of current models with line expansions. The T1 makes the jump into the Vanguard line with a budget-conscious variation, while the Assassin gets scaled up for an XL sequel.
If you’re new to Kizer, “Vanguard” is their designation for budget-oriented models, while “Bladesmith” denotes the premium ones. Some models stick to one or the other classification, and the original T1 was one such knife. Designed by Uli Hennicke, it was handsome, robust, and well-crafted, with an EDC-sized 3.2-inch drop point blade and full titanium scales.
The Vanguard T1 makes the expected changes to materials, but keeps the general dimensions. Its drop point blade is made from 154CM instead of S35VN, so there will be a drop in cutting performance, albeit not a dramatic one – it’s easy to forget these days, but not so long ago 154CM was considered a super steel itself! Meanwhile the scales are made from contoured canvas Micarta instead of titanium, which also means a liner lock instead of a frame lock. The swap here results in a pretty significant weight savings; whereas the titanium Vanguard was north of 4 oz., the Vanguard flavor should come in at a nimbler 3.6 oz.
The original Assassin, designed by Carlos Elstner, is a bit newer than the T1, having originally released in 2020. An EDC flipper, we’ve seen it in both Bladesmith and Vanguard versions; the latter came equipped with a button lock, which is replicated here on the Assassin XL, as are the rest of that version’s materials: 154CM steel and green canvas Micarta scales.
With a blade length of 3 inches, the original Assassin models weren’t exactly small, but the XL brings the length up to 3.4 inches. As with most XL variations of EDC knives, the added blade length doesn’t completely change the way in which the knife is used, but rather, pushes its capabilities towards the more demanding end of the spectrum chores, at the sacrifice of some portability.
Both the Assassin XL and Vanguard T1 are coming soon.
Knife in Featured Image: Kizer Cutlery Vanguard T1