While walking the aisles at the 2012 SHOT Show, I came across the Browning area and noticed a little area reserved for the Black Label knives by Browning. These knives are specifically labelled as “Tactical Blades”, but in reviewing them I think there are broader applications for many of the knives.
In this article I’ll discuss my findings of the new Black Label products I learned through my interview with Black Label sales representative Jared Wihongi. Jared pointed out three new knives in the Black Label line, and in this article I’ll be detailing the Arbitrator. In other articles I’ll be reviewing the Shadow Fax, and Perfect Storm.
This knife is a fixed blade, full-tang knife that takes on the appearance of a traditional dagger. In talking to Jared, he told me that this was one of his favorite “fighting” knives. Personally I was looking at the Shadow Fax or Perfect Storm to fulfill that role, but Jared’s experience in knife fighting should put any knife enthusiast at attention.
Jared is a New Zealand native and a SWAT officer. He also has over 25 years of international martial arts experience and multiple black belts, including one in the Filipino knife fighting system known as Pekiti-Tirsia Kali. With that kind of background I think his endorsement goes a long way in establishing the Arbitrator as a knife fighting contender.
Here are the Arbitrator’s specifications for your consideration:
- Type: Full Tang
- Overall length: 10.75″
- Blade length: 5.5″
- Blade finish: satin
- Blade Steel: 154CM
- Handle Material: G10
- Sheath: Blade-Tech
- MSRP: $169.95
The Arbitrator is made in the United States, which could attribute to the higher price. The Blade-Tech sheath uses a tension lock system, but also comes in a sleek profile that makes attaching to different gear easy.
One thing is for sure, the Arbitrator is no simple pocket knife. It felt good in my hands, with a well balanced weight. The grip is secure enough to give confidence in handling. As far as fighting knife – the experts speak better than me, and you’ll have to decide, but the Arbitrator gives you that choice.