The Cutting Edge

The official blog of Knife Depot

Kershaw Strata Cleaver – Knife of the Week

Kershaw strata cleaver

Big utility knives don’t always need to be bulky and unwieldy. The Kershaw Strata Cleaver is the perfect example.

This ultra-modern folding cleaver boasts a design that evolved from Kershaw’s attempt at a Spanish-style Navaja. The designers at Kershaw decided to take it another step further and make something completely different.

The Kershaw Strata Cleaver features a long 4-inch cleaver-style blade that looks like it belongs in a kitchen. But the unique blade shape allows the knife to be used in various applications, from preparing food to opening boxes.

Made from D2 steel, the stonewash-finished blade opens smoothly with a flipper tab and KVT ball bearings.

It locks open with a frame lock.

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Cold Steel Kiridashi – Knife of the Week

The kiridashi is a centuries-old fixed blade with an angular design from Japan. Almost resembling an Xacto knife, the kiridashi was essentially the EDC of the Japanese people, being used for everything from carving to opening boxes.

Cold Steel took the concept of the fixed-blade utility knife and turned it into something more modern and carryable.

The result is the Cold Steel Kiridashi.

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Smith & Wesson M-9 Bayonet – Knife of the Week

Smith & Wesson M-9 Bayonet

For nearly 40 years, the M-9 bayonet has been the faithful companion of countless military personnel around the world through conflicts like the Gulf War and the Iraq War.

Now everyone can experience the refined design with this commercial version of the bayonet from Smith & Wesson.

The Smith & Wesson Special Ops M-9 Bayonet is an essential tool with a ton of history behind it. It’s also one of the best Smith & Wesson knives you can buy.

The original design was made by Charles Albert Mickey Finn, who went from carving sandwiches at a delicatessen to making a knife that could carve wood, cut wire, withstand electrical shocks, open bottles, and more.

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10 Best Ontario Knives

This post was originally published in 2019 but was updated in 2022 with newer models.

Over the past year or so, I’ve been going over the best knives from each brand. Some have been really easy to narrow down such as Spyderco and Kershaw.

However, few brands have been harder to pin down than Ontario Knife Company. Ontario, sometimes known more simply as OKC, has a surprisingly robust and diverse selection of knives that all serve a purpose and do it well. There are some obvious choices — ahem, the RAT folders — but there are so many other serviceable knives that could have been on this list.

These lists always carry some level of bias and subjectivity, but I feel like this list may contain more whimsy and randomness than others.

If I’m alive and kicking and still have this job, I’ll redo this next year and may swap out some others, but this is the list for 2019. Let me know which ones I missed in the comments.

Ontario RAT Folder

Ontario RAT Folder

Let’s start with the easiest addition to this list: the RAT Folders. I’m cheating a bit because this includes the RAT 1 and RAT 2 folders. They are essentially the same knife but in different sizes.

The RAT folders are a perennial favorite among knife people because they are relatively cheap, reliable, and solid knives. The fact that they are now available in D2 at a low cost means they may be the best budget knife on the market.

Along with D2, you can get an assisted version, an AUS 8 version, and some with different blade finishes and handle colors.

Ontario Black Bird SK-5

The next no-brainer is the Ontario Black Bird. The series is designed by Paul Scheiter. The survival knife was named the best of the best by Field and Stream Magazine in 2011, and it’s evolved over the years. It’s a pretty simple bushcrafting knife with a 5-inch 420HC stainless steel blade and multicolor Micarta handle scales.

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Spyderco Canis – Knife of the Week

Need a no-nonsense folder for personal protection? Look no further than the Spyderco Canis.

The Canis is designed by Kelly McCann, who is one of the world’s leading experts in counterterrorism, close combat, personal security, and antiterrorism.

McCann’s extensive knowledge of security is perfectly reflected in the thoughtfully designed Canis.

The most notable part of the Canis is its blade. It uses S30V stainless steel and a uniquely designed blade shape with a method to its madness.

The Wharncliffe-style edge is perfect for self-defense (you can thank Spyderco’s Michael Janich for helping popularize the Wharnie as a self-defense blade with his Yojimbo). The Canis also has narrow bevels and a reinforced tip for extra strength when slashing and piercing.

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CRKT Bamboozled – Knife of the Week

CRKT Bamboozled

When your father is a legend, it’s easy to shrink into the shadows. It takes a special person to rise to the occasion and make themself stand out.

That’s exactly what Ken Onion Jr, the son of the iconic Ken Onion, is setting out to do with his first production folder for CRKT. For more of the best CRKT knives, check out our top 10 list here.

The CRKT Bamboozled is a compelling design that carries on the legacy of the Onion name perfectly.

Like any good Onion knife, Kenny’s Bamboozled somehow blends modernity with classic and budget builds with a premium feel.

The D2 blade is 3.34 inches with a drop-point profile that flips open using an assisted-opening mechanism and an IKBS ball-bearing pivot.

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Modern EDC Slipjoints

If you don’t have a tactical folder that can hold the weight of a car, do you really have a functional knife?

Yes! The truth is for countless years people have successfully used nonlocking folders for all kinds of jobs. In fact, in more recent years, companies have started making slipjoint knives you can carry as an EDC folder.

While these knives aren’t something you’d want to baton with (get a fixed blade for that unless you’re Advanced Knife Bro), nonlocking folders are a great option for an EDC. You don’t have to settle for an old Case knife either (not that there’s anything wrong with that). You can now get a modern-looking slipjoint that uses higher end materials.

Here are some of the best modern EDC slipjoints currently available.

Byrd Tern

Unfortunately, Spyderco recently did away with many of its best slipjoint models — such as the Pingo and the PITS. OK, so the PITS isn’t really a slipjoint, but it’s still a nonlocking folder. However, the sub brand of Spyderco called Byrd Knives has an inexpensive slipjoint called the Tern that features a modern look.

The knife is essentially a cheaper version of the UK Penknife.

CRKT Symmetry

There was one point a few years back when CRKT discontinued most of its modern EDC slip joints. However, they’ve made a comeback. The CRKT is a relatively new slipjoint designed by Richard Rogers.

Boker Plus Wasabi

Boker is probably the brand with the most modern EDC slipjoints, as you’ll see farther down the list. One of the best and newest is the Wasabi, an interesting design from Kansei Matsuno.

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KA-BAR Modified Tanto – Knife of the Week

 KA-BAR Modified Tanto

No knife is more iconic than the KA-BAR.

Even though the original is still going as strong as ever, it’s always nice to give worthy knives an update or alternative design.

That’s exactly what happened with the KA-BAR Modified Tanto.

KA-BAR took the original design of the old fighting knife and added some elements to make it more modern.

This version of the fixed blade trades the stacked leather handle for a Kraton G handle. This synthetic material can withstand almost anything you throw at it and conforms to the hand even better.

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20 Best Wharncliffe Blade Knives

Best Wharncliffe Knives

For nearly two centuries, the Wharncliffe blade design has remained a staple of the knife community.

While the function has evolved from a whittling knife to more of a self-defense or EDC purpose, the Wharncliffe continues to be a useful tool.

A few weeks back, I wrote about the History of the Wharncliffe, and now I’m taking it to the next step with a look at the best production knives with Wharncliffe blades.

I’m capping the list at 20, although I will undoubtedly be missing a few essential additions, so let me know in the comments.

1. Spyderco Yojimbo 2

I wanted to start off with the Ronin because this is pretty much where the modern interpretation and tactical obsession with the Wharncliffe blade came from.

The origins of the knife are documented in the History of the Wharncliffe, but self-defense expert Michael Janich wanted a superb cutting knife for a self-defense tool. After extensive testing, he found the Wharncliffe blade — with its piercing point and flat edge — was best.

He created the Ronin fixed blade with knife maker Mike Snody. It was picked up by Spyderco briefly but it was ahead of its time. Eventually, it came back in a second iteration.

The Ronin was then made into a folding version known as the Yojimbo. While the Ronin is still around and previously held this spot, it has been out of stock for years.

2. CRKT Delilah’s PECK

Ed Halligan was a master of minimalism. It all started with his KISS (Keep It Super Simple) knife that was barebones but beloved. He took the concept of a minimalist and compact knife to the next level with the PECK (Precision Engineered Compact Knife).

This tiny knife weighs 0.9 ounces and features a 1.75-inch Wharncliffe blade design. What’s interesting about the inclusion of a Wharncliffe blade profile is that it’s functional to the design of the blade. The straight edge means the edge is completely hidden with the knife rather than protruding out of the handle to cause problems.

On top of that, the Wharncliffe is suited for all types of tasks.


KA-BAR TDI LDK Small Wharncliffe Knife

The KA-BAR TDI Last Ditch Knife takes cues from Janich’s Ronin. This small fixed blade is made to be used in last ditch self-defense situation. The overall length is only 3.6 inches and it is meant to be put in its sheath in a boot or wallet. The backup knife is great at slashing and piercing.

4. Spyderco Rockjumper

Spyderco Rockjumper

If the last few years of Spyderco could be defined by a single word it would have to be Wharncliffe. Not only has the brand committed to making Wharncliffe versions of most of its classics (more to come) but they’ve developed newer models with Wharncliffe blades.

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Kershaw Interstellar – Knife of the Week

Kershaw Interstellar

Plenty of knives look the same, feel the same, and work the same. For those times you want something that’s more unconventional, reach for the Kershaw Interstellar.

The Interstellar is a fun knife with a unique-opening mechanism. It boasts a manual out-the-front blade with a tactically inspired design that’s sure to turn heads.

Its blade is 2.7 inches and uses a modified tanto profile. This is a great blade shape for utility purposes, like opening boxes. A partially serrated edge also increases its overall functionality.

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