The Cutting Edge

The official blog of Knife Depot

CRKT Minimalist Katana – Knife of the Week

CRKT Minimalist Katana

Imagine a sword so small and nondescript it becomes your everyday carry. Well, your wildest dreams have come true with the CRKT Minimalist Katana.

The Minimalist series from Alan Folts is a mainstay of the CRKT lineup. The reason? All the knives are lightweight, low-profile, and pared down. But the largest of the Minimalist series may very well be its best.

Despite boasting a large blade that’s 3.56 inches long, this pocket sword is surprisingly small.

The blade itself is made from 8Cr13MoV, which is a stainless steel that’s easy to maintain and sharpen. It has a reinforced tip and jumping on the spine.

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10 Best Spyderco Knives

Best Spyderco Knives

This post was originally published in August 2018 and was updated in September 2023.

When Sal and Gail Glesser started a company in the 1970s based around a device called The Portable Hand — which could assist jewelers and other professionals who work with small parts — they likely never imagined it would become one of the premier knife brands in the world.

But, more than 40 years later, the company known as Spyderco is a top-tier brand with some of the best and most revolutionary knife designs ever made.

So, as we’ve been doing, we decided to go through the 10 best Spyderco knives currently in production. You’ll notice this list is heavily populated with classics, but that’s partially thanks to Spyderco’s CQI (constant quality improvement) program that improves upon existing designs. That’s how you get perfection.

Here are the 10 best Spyderco knives you can get right now.

1. Spyderco Paramilitary 2

Spyderco Para Military 2

BUY Now – $185.50

Let’s get the Spyderco Para Military 2 out of the way. The PM2 is almost universally known as not just the best Spyderco model but the best pocket knife available.

So how does a knife like the PM2 capture the hearts and minds of people everywhere? It has a nearly 3.5-inch blade with a functional design and quality S30V steel. On top of that, it stays engaged with the easy-to-use and reliable Compression Lock. The G-10 handle had been improved from the first generation for better ergonomics.

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Kershaw Heist – Knife of the Week

Kershaw Heist

Despite making some of the most iconic knives of all time and boasting a lineup of expertly crafted knives, Kershaw never rests on its laurels. The Kershaw Heist is the perfect example.

Released this year, the Heist was one of the first knives to use the DuraLock mechanism. It’s a crossbar lock that’s a joy to use and exceptionally strong. The lock makes the knife completely ambidextrous. It also keeps the fingers out of the path of the closing blade.

But the new lock isn’t the only thing that makes this knife one of the best of the year so far.

Like all Kershaw knives, the Heist features a carefully considered design. Its 3.2-inch drop-point blade is made from D2 steel. In addition, it opens with dual thumb studs.

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Cold Steel Mini Leatherneck – Knife of the Week

Cold Steel Mini Leatherneck

Cold Steel is best known for making some of the biggest and most intimidating knives ever. However, some of its most underrated knives are its smallest.

The Cold Steel Mini Leatherneck is the perfect example.

This immensely popular fixed blade is a miniaturized version of Cold Steel’s take on the classic fighting knife. Let’s just say there’s a reason this is among our top-selling Cold Steel knives.

The Mini Leatherneck has a cohesive design with a size that lends itself to its versatility. With an overall length of 6.75 inches, it works well as an EDC fixed blade, boot knife, or neck knife.

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The Best Karambit Knives in 2023

There’s nothing cooler than a karambit knife.

Although the karambit is best known for its modern day application as a self-defense tool used in martial arts, it was originally used as an agricultural device in Southeast Asia.

Legend has it that the knife is inspired by the claws of big cats found roaming the rainforests of Indonesia, like tigers and leopards. Whether or not it’s true, the lore surrounding the karambit makes it a popular design.

What is a Karambit?

If you’ve never seen a karambit, it’s a type of knife that comes in folding and fixed-blade varieties.

The origins of the karambit trace back to Indonesia and evidence of the knives can be found on temple walls around the region from the 12th century.

Although the knife started as an agricultural tool, it was later incorporated into an indigenous martial arts called silat. Through silat, the karambit spread throughout Southeast Asia. Europeans were later intrigued by the knives and collected them as souvenirs.

The karambit is defined by two main traits. The first is its curved, almost hawk-bill style blade that looks like a claw.

The second main trait is the finger ring at the butt of the handle. This allows the user to hold the knife comfortably for hours when performing tedious tasks or offers a reliable hold when using for self-defense purposes.

These days, designers will sometimes push the boundaries of a karambit (I’m looking at you Joe Caswell!), but the curved blade and finger ring really define the boundaries of a karambit.

The Versatility of the Karambit

There are a few things to think about before going out and buying one of these knives.

First, it’s important to know that they come in both folder and fixed blade varieties. The folding knife folds into the handle like most other pocket knives, while the fixed blade is sturdier, with no moving parts, and requires a sheath or cover to carry it around in.

When choosing between the two, think about size. Folders are often smaller blades—though not always—and can always fold down into a more manageable carrying and concealing size. Size will also affect how the grip fits in the hand, something to consider especially if you’re buying for someone else.

While we’re talking about size, it’s also wise to consider the knife laws of wherever you’re planning on taking your karambit. One of the most common kinds of law regarding knives in many states is to place a limit on the length of the blade.

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KA-BAR Big Brother – Knife of the Week

KA-BAR Big Brother

The KA-BAR is one of the most iconic knives ever made. One look at the stacked leather handle and long clip-point blade and you know exactly what knife it is.

The knife has come in tons of variations and special editions over the years, but there is only one model that’s the biggest and baddest KA-BAR of them all: the Big Brother.

Boasting a long 9.375-inch blade, the Big Brother is essentially a supersized version of the original fighting utility knife.

Take a look of this hilarious review from one of our favorite knife YouTubers:

It retains the same clip-point profile but with an additional sawback spine on the epoxy powder-coated 1095 Cro-Van blade.

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BnB Damascus Black Panther – Knife of the Week

BnB Damascus Black Panther

Some people argue the best knives for EDC should be basic and nondescript. Those people have clearly never carried a knife like the BnB Damascus Black Panther.

This folder proves that a great EDC doesn’t have to be bland; instead, your EDC can be downright handsome.

The Damascus Black Panther features a 3.25-inch clip-point blade that opens via flipper or thumb notch in the blade. But the real beauty of the knife is found in the gorgeous raindrop VG-10 Damascus blade design. And yes, it’s real Damascus.

With a unique blade like that, you’ll be looking for any excuse to flip open the knife.

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10 Best Benchmade Autos

With knife laws regarding switchblades being relaxed across the country, we’ve entered a golden age of automatics.

Not too long ago, autos were a niche category from a few specialized brands or in very limited offerings. Not anymore.

Even brands as iconic and beloved as Benchmade have shown just what automatic knives can offer. You’d think narrowing down the 10 best automatic knives from Benchmade would be an easy task, but the diverse offerings and sheer amount of Benchmade autos made things very difficult.

The formula used in calculating the knives on this list was very unscientific: I included comments from customers, reviews from around the web, personal experience, and more.

If you disagree with any or think we missed one, let us know in the comments.

1. Benchmade Fact Auto

Let’s start with a sleeper hit. The vanilla Benchmade Fact was as interesting knife with a slim profile and lightweight design that wasn’t particularly spectacular.

However, the moment Benchmade turned it into an auto and gave it some much-needed upgrades, it became one of the most compelling autos Benchmade has ever offered.

This version of the knife has a long 3.95-inch blade made from S90V with black coating. The boring skeletonized handle of the original is replaced with an aluminum handle with carbon fiber inlays. This essentially turns it into a modern-day Italian stiletto. The Auto AXIS lock is intuitive and easy to use with one hand.

It’s a true masterpiece.

2. Benchmade Infidel

Back when Benchmade introduced the Infidel in 2006, OTF knives were very niche. Still, despite being aimed at military or emergency personnel, the Infidel was received surprisingly well and has since become a mainstay of the brand.

The Infidel has since been remade into a few versions, but the new standard is the 3300BK with a 3.95-inch black blade and black aluminum handle.

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Electrifying Black OTF – Knife of the Week

Electrifying Black OTF

If you think a knife has to be massive to be useful, you’ve never used the ultimate EDC desk companion: the Electrifying Black OTF.

There’s a reason why this little knife is Knife Depot’s top-selling knife over the past year.

This small but very capable out-the-front pocket knife is designed to be compliant with the arbitrary law in California that says OTF knives under 2 inches are perfectly legal.

That means its handsome two-tone blade made from 440 stainless steel is just a smidge under 2 inches long.

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10 Best Smith & Wesson Knives

Best Smith & Wesson Knives

This post was first published in 2020 and updated in 2023.

When you think of Smith & Wesson, high-quality knives might not be the first thing that comes to mind.

No, you probably think of great firearms… and Dirty Harry. But the truth is, Smith & Wesson also manufactures quality knives. They’re the type that appeals to law enforcement personnel and those interested in self-defense. These aren’t your average kitchen knives.

Smith & Wesson knives are versatile and rugged. They’re designed for the field, with sturdy blades that hold their cutting edges, and good grips for ease of use.

Over the years, Smith & Wesson has expanded its lineup of knives to include more than just search and rescue and first response knives. Still, those remain the bread and butter of the lineup.

So let’s cut to the chase. See which are the best Smith & Wesson knives.

Smith & Wesson Extreme Ops

We’re starting with one of the top-selling S&W knives at Knife Depot: the Smith & Wesson SWFR2S Extreme Ops.

This is a tactical folding knife that rivals any other rescue knife in this price range.

As a heavy-duty rescue knife, the SWFR2S feels great in the hands, thanks to its rubberized handle. Its partially serrated tanto blade is 3.3 inches long.

If you keep one knife in your car for emergency situations, this one should be it. It’s also available with engraving! It’s no wonder it was a Knife of the Week a few years ago.

Smith & Wesson 1st Response

The 1st Response is the companion knife of the first knife on this list. While it has a lot of the same features and blade length, it looks very different.

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