The Gerber 06 automatic folder has quickly risen through the ranks as one of the best switchblades for military and civilian carry. Unfortunately, knife laws in many states make it difficult to buy and carry automatic knives.
That’s where the latest Badass Knife of the Week comes in.
The Gerber 06 FAST is not just an assisted-opening version of the renowned 06 but also comes in at a significantly reduced price point. Despite lowering the cost of the knife, it retains the design that makes it so beloved.
We’re continuing our run-through of the best knives from each brand. Narrowing down the 10 best currently in production is no easy task, but I did the best I could using personal experience, consensus around the internet, reviews, and more.
Here are the 10 best Cold Steel knives.
Cold Steel Recon 1
Let’s start with a gimme: the Cold Steel Recon 1. The Recon series helped usher in a new era for Cold Steel, one that is currently dominated by tough knives with a tactical bent that use Andrew Demko’s famous Tri-Ad locking mechanism.
The Recon 1 uses high quality material with a 4-inch blade made from S35VN steel (recently changed from CTS-XHP). The handle is a grippy G-10.
One of the great things about this flagship model is that it comes in tons of sizes and blade shapes, so you can get exactly what you want.
Cold Steel Ti-Lite
Reminiscent of the switchblades of the 1950s, the Cold Steel Ti-Lite is a thin yet lengthy folder with an eye on self-defense. There’s a 4-inch or 6-inch version — both come in either budget or premium builds.
One of my favorite genres of YouTube videos is watching people make knives out of unusual things. No one is better at this genre than a YouTuber known as kiwami japan.
I mentioned his work in a blog post about two months ago relating to knives made from rolls of aluminum foil, but one of his more recent videos takes the cake.
The Japanese knifemaker makes a functional and razor-sharp knife out of gelatin. That’s right, that soft liquidy substance made from extract from boiled skin, bones, and connective tissues of animals was turned into a knife.
Schrade has been through a lot the last two decades. The brand has changed hands a few times yet still makes some cheap and reliable knives. One of the best examples is the latest Badass Knife of the Week.
The Schrade SCHF16 is an inexpensive fixed blade that can do it all — whether you wear it as a neck knife around town or take it on an excursion into the woods.
This 4.6-ounce general utility knife comes in at an overall length of 7 inches. The black-coated blade itself is 3.1 inches and made from 9Cr18MoV high carbon stainless steel, a budget alloy that is easy to sharpen and resists corrosion.
How many knives do you already have on your keychain? Well, you may want to make more room for the Eclipse.
Launched on the crowdfunding platform Kickstarter July 1, the Eclipse is a unique coin-shaped everyday carry knife that morphs into a functional knife.
Take a look:
Despite being Fulcrum Knives’ first ever campaign, the Eclipse has already shot past its goal of $20,000. The Eclipse actually reminds me of another highly successful knife Kickstarter campaign — the Morphing Karambit from Caswell Knives. Similarly, the small coin-shaped Eclipse transforms into a knife with a locking blade.
Nearly two decades after Kit Carson popularized the flipper tab in folders, KA-BAR is finally getting in the flipper game with the Mark 98.
The KA-BAR Mark 98 is a beefy knife with a design that echoes some of the brand’s fixed blade offerings. The spear-point blade is 3.5 inches — complete with a fuller to help cut down on the weight of the knife. It doesn’t do much, however, as the weight is about 5.6 ounces. Also, the steel is 5Cr15, so don’t expect it to hold an edge for too long.
The handle is made from durable G-10 with colors that remind users of other KA-BAR knives, including the iconic fixed blade.
It should be everyone’s goal to buy American-made products to support manufacturing and jobs in the country. However, prices and quality of knives compared to foreign competition can be tough to ignore.
But, if you think you can’t get a solid American-made knife for less than $35, you’re sorely mistaken.
Here is a selection of 10 knives you can pick up for less than $35.
Gerber E-Z Out Skeleton
After some missteps over the years, Gerber has really righted the ship by focusing on more US-made knives and ensuring classics are well cared for. One thing Gerber does very well is provide US-made knives at reasonable prices. Just take the Gerber E-Z Out Skeleton, for example.
The E-Z Out line has been a staple of Gerber for decades. This is a highly versatile knife with a long 3.52-inch blade and a polycarbonate handle. Along with a lockback mechanism, this knife is an easy and reliable EDC folder.
Case Sod Buster
This is the first of many Case knives to grace this list. The Sod Buster is a legendary slip joint pattern that has captured the hearts and minds of knife enthusiasts everywhere. The knife has a single blade that measures about 3.5 inches. The handle is black impact resistant synthetic material.
KA-BAR BK13 Becker Remora
Not all cheap US-made knives have to be folders. KA-BAR and Becker make an excellent lightweight fixed blade that can work as an everyday carry. The total length is only about 5.12 inches with a blade of about 2.3 inches — all made with black-coated 1095 Cro-Van steel. Thanks to a skeletonized handle, the knife almost disappears at less than 2 ounces.
Case is an institution almost as American as apple pie and baseball.
These are the kinds of knives your great granddad used to carry out into the fields during harvest. They’re the kind of knives your dad whittled on the porch with as a kid. And they’re the kind of knife you can carry to a black-tie event.
The Case Mini Copperlock is one those knives that’s versatile enough to do it all.
What makes the Mini Copperlock stand out from some of the other Case knives is that it has a backlock mechanism. Slipjoints have a time and a place, but when the job requires just too much force, a locking folder is safer.
Actual gravity knife
Hot off the heels of a ruling by the highest court in New York State that potentially makes all assisted-opening knives illegal, a federal appeals court upheld New York City’s vague ban on gravity knives.
The case of Copeland v. Vance has been a long-running battle between Knife Rights and New York County District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. Knife Rights has challenged the gravity knife policy of New York City that allows cops to call any locking folder that can be opened with a flick an illegal gravity knife.
Knife Rights has insisted that the practice of the wrist flick is inconsistent and unconstitutional because there is no test that would allow a user to determine whether the knife is legal. The panel, however, argued that the test was constitutionally applied at least once in 2010.
The Camillus CUDA has been around for what feels like forever. When the knife was first released way back in 1998, it won the Most Innovative American-Made Design of the Year at BLADE Show.
Even though the knife has been surpassed in speed and efficiency by more modern assisted-openers, the Camillus CUDA still serves its purpose as a functional and badass knife.
Standing for Camillus Ultra Design Advantage, the CUDA features an overall length of 9 inches with an interesting opening mechanism that will have people asking how you did it.