A company called Ultimatedge Knives (sometimes referred to as Ultimate Edge) has launched a Kickstarter campaign for a fixed blade knife that uses “patented metal alloy matrix developed by NASA and Cal-Tech then combined with tungsten to produce a cutting edge second to none.”
I am a marketer so I understand the need for hyperbole when promoting knives but the writing on this Kickstarter project oozes of exaggeration and infomercial nonsense. Here’s a sampling of the claims:
So we began our search for a way to move knife-making forward into the 21st century. Our search led us to a patented metal alloy matrix that was developed by Cal-Tech and tested by NASA. We acquired the rights to use this material in the world of bushcraft and survival knives – and our Ultimatedge Knife is the result.
The patent-pending edge bonding process is part of what sets the Ultimatedge Knife apart and makes it possible for it to become the new Gold Standard of excellence in the bushcraft and survival knife field.
We believe the combination of the metal alloy matrix and this bonding process will revolutionize the knife-making industry. YOU can be one of the first consumers to experience this Ultimatedge Knife.
You can have a bushcraft and survival knife that is ultra sharp (and proven so by testing and analysis) – and lasts 10 times longer than ordinary knives. This is what is truly different about our knife – and is what makes it different and better than anything else you have ever owned or used.
OK. So I’ve had my fun pointing out the absolutely bonkers claims. But let’s actually dive into the knife and whether it can possibly live up to a fraction of the hype.
Designing a knife is hard, so imagine how difficult it is to successfully design a knife that can be made into both a fixed blade and a folding version without sacrificing comfort and functionality.
Well, the designers of these knives managed to do so with a aplomb.
Check out some of the best knife designs you can pick up in either a folding or fixed blade iteration.
Buck 110 & 101
Let’s start with an all-time knife: the Buck 110 Folding Hunter. This is one of the most successful pocket knife designs ever, becoming so ubiquitous that the style is simply known as a buck knife. So you might find it so surprising that it took Buck more than 50 years to turn the iconic knife into a fixed blade.
But that’s what they did with the Buck 101. It’s been met with very positive reviews.
Shane Sibert designed the 275 Adamas folding knife as a heavy-duty work knife. It’s frequently called one of the most durable work knives out there with its thick handle, liner, and blade. The success of the knife prompted Benchmade to add an automatic version as well as a fixed blade version.
If you collect or enjoy knives, you’ve likely heard of the knife advocacy group started by knife designer Doug Ritter called Knife Rights.
Well, thanks to an article published in The Washington Post on September 15, people all over the country had the joy of learning all about the group’s effort to repeal restrictive knife laws in the United States.
An image of Todd Rathner of Knife Rights by Bridget Bennett for The Washington Post
Reporter Todd C. Frankel did a pretty good job presenting both sides of the argument and portraying the organization in a fairly positive light.
Here is a nice excerpt from the piece:
Ritter, 65, said that knives, like guns, should be considered arms protected by the Second Amendment. He doesn’t support any restriction on knives — not on switchblades or push daggers or even the ballistic knives that shoot like spears from a handle. Todd Rathner, director of legislative affairs for Knife Rights, holds a one-handed open knife during the Usual Suspect Gathering.
That’s become a winning argument. Twenty-one states have repealed or weakened their knife laws since 2010, many of them with bipartisan support, including Colorado, Michigan and Illinois. New York came close to doing the same last year. Ohio could be next. Texas passed its bill last year despite a high-profile stabbing death just days before lawmakers voted. And Knife Rights, with little financial backing, has been working behind the scenes to help make it happen.
“A lot of people said it would be impossible to repeal a switchblade law in any state. Insane. Tilting at windmills,” Ritter said. “Turns out they were wrong.”
The knife’s 3.2-inch blade features surprisingly subtle curves for an Onion design that’s almost a cross between a drop point and Wharncliffe blade profile. This allows for a nice cutting belly along with a piercing point.
Using functional 8Cr14MoV steel, the blade locks in place securely with a frame lock. The handle itself is stainless steel and provides a nice weight to the knife.
It seems so obvious. A sharp knife, with its keen edges and stabby points, is much more dangerous than a dull knife. Right?
One of the biggest myths out there is that dull knives are safer than sharp knives. Even on some of the popular blade forums people can’t fathom the idea that a sharp knife is safer than a dull knife.
So we’re here to tackle the myth in all its glory.
Fact: Dull Knives Lead to More Mistakes
So how exactly is a dull knife more dangerous than a sharp one? To start with, the main reason why a dull knife is more dangerous is that it requires the wielder to use significantly more force when cutting than a sharp knife.
For example, if you’re cutting an apple and the blade is really dull, it will need more pressure to get through the apple. Once it’s through the apple, there’s a greater chance for the pressure to lead to slippage or a lack of control.
Getting your first knife is a step into adulthood. You’re given the knife with the implicit agreement that you’re responsible and old enough to be trusted with a tool that’s often misused by those who are reckless, untrustworthy, and immature.
Whether you’re giving someone their first knife or receiving it, there are some knives that are more appropriate for the occasion than others.
I first wrote this post way back in April 2012, so I decided to take a fresher look at some of the best first knives to give someone. Not only do I have two kids now but I’ve also learned a lot more about knives in the ensuing years.
The knives range in prices, designs, and styles. Check them out.
Let us know your first knife in the comments!
Victorinox Swiss Army Knife Tinker
The Swiss Army Knife is the quintessential first knife for anyone. It was my first knife and probably yours. There are many reasons why you wouldn’t want to get an SAK for a first-timer but the opposite is true as well.
Since the Tinker is a bit smaller and still has a variety of tools, it could potentially come in handy more often and further empower the knife’s owner.
Spyderco makes an array of excellent knives that could work well for younger audiences. For example, there’s the Delica or Dragonfly (the latter of which you could get a wooden version as a trainer), but those tend to be a little more expensive. That’s why I argue the Spyderco Ambitious is the top choice from Spyderco.
George Sears was an early conservationist and a pioneer of ultralight backpacking. Writing under the pen name “Nessmuk” in the 1880s for what would later become Field & Stream, he extolled the virtues of carrying a trio of outdoor tools, which included a fixed blade that could do it all.
That fixed blade has since become a generic design that’s simply known as the Nessmuk. Few companies make a Nessmuk better than Condor Tool & Knife.
The best YouTubers out there are the ones with the best imagination along with the skills to bring their ideas to life. Colin Furze is the best at this when it comes to insane creations (with Joerg Sprave not far behind).
In Colin’s most recent video, the backyard scientist and general madman decided to once again venture into the world of knives with an idea to create a belt of spinning knives to quickly make a salad.
Colin has made some other interesting knife-related projects like homemade Wolverine claws, but his spinning belt of doom is way more dangerous.
Take a look:
He attached eight kitchen knives on hinges to a belt that can spin at 1000RPM all in the pursuit of cutting a salad. You can see he actually gets hurt pretty bad at the end of the video when the belt goes a little haywire (see the growing blood spot on his shirt and the big scratch on his arm).
While all knives are meant to cut, there are only a few knives you’d really want to put through the ringer on a busy job site. So I did my best to pick out a few folding knives you can bet your fingers on at work after getting some recommendations from blue-collar workers (not some blog boy like myself).
The pocket knives on this list are a mix of “overbuilt” knives that you can pretty much pry with and less expensive but very serviceable blades you could happily carry onto a construction site.
I tried to take price into consideration, which is why you won’t see a Cold Steel 4-MAX, Medford Praetorian, Hinderer XM-18, or a few others that are around $500. Also, if you’re serious about a true work knife, you might want to consider a more reliable and easier to maintain fixed blade. With those caveats out of the way, let’s get to the list.
Benchmade 275 Adamas
The Benchmade Adamas is one of the most common models you’ll see on lists about work knives. The reason? It’s large, reliable, and strong. The blade is 3.82 inches and uses functional D2 steel on a no nonsense drop point blade. Not only is the blade stock thick but so are the liners and G-10 scales.