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 â€œTactical Bladesâ€, but in reviewing them I think there are broader applications for many of the knives.
In this article Iâ€™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 Iâ€™ll be detailing the Arbitrator. In other articles Iâ€™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 â€œfightingâ€ knives. Personally I was looking at the Shadow Fax or Perfect Storm to fulfill that role, but Jaredâ€™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 Arbitratorâ€™s specifications for your consideration:
- Type:Â Full Tang
- Overall length:Â 10.75″
- Blade length:Â 5.5″
- Blade finish:Â satin
- Blade Steel: 154CM
- Handle Material:Â G10
- Sheath: Blade-Tech
- MSRP:Â $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 youâ€™ll have to decide, but the Arbitrator gives you that choice.