When you’re in a situation that calls for a push dagger, strength and dependability are crucial. And there’s no stronger push dagger than the Cold Steel Drop Forged Push Knife.
What makes the push knife so powerful is that it’s made from one solid piece of drop forged 52100 high carbon steel. Cold Steel brags that this is arguably the strongest push dagger on the market. The truth is that very may well be the case.
Just watch the classic Iron Proof video from Cold Steel:
The blade on the knife is 4 inches with two sharpened edges, making it the largest push dagger in Cold Steel’s lineup.
With thousands of knives flooding the markets, it might seem like there’s so much overlap out there that all knives start to bleed together. If you actually believe that new knives no longer have much to offer, you have a lot of studying to do.
Every year manufacturers and designers work hard to bring something new and exciting to the table. To better illustrate how new knives are still proving their worth, we thought it’d be interesting to take a look at all the winners of Blade Magazine‘s “Overall Knife of the Year” award since the start.
The winners of this award are voted by attendees of the BLADE Show and a panel of special judges. These knives are typically prototypes at the time, but show real craftsmanship, expert designs, beautiful construction, and much more.
The first BLADE Show took place in 1982. From what I could find, the first Overall Knife of the Year award was given to a Fight’n Rooster knife, though I couldn’t pinpoint the model, so I didn’t add it here.
Also, the show did not have an Overall Knife of the Year winner in 1983. If I am wrong, please let me know. So with that, let’s start with the knife that won the award in 1984 and work our way to the present.
1984: Timberline Survival Hunter
(The image is of a skinner version of the knife made by Timberline’s Vaughn Neely. These old knives are hard to find.)
The Survival Hunter is a design by Vaughn Neely, who founded Timberline, and was a beloved knife. You still see these vintage Survival Hunters for sale but they tend to go very quickly. Like I said, these earlier knives are difficult to find information on, but it also won the American Made Design of the Year in 1985.
1985: Gerber Clip-Lock
The Clip-Lock from Gerber was a Black Collins design that’s now long discontinued. It had an unusual sheath design in that a clip locked it into place. Here is a quick video overview:
1986: Fight’n Rooster 7-blade Congress
I’m honestly not too familiar with Fight’n Rooster Knives, but I was able to find out that the company was started in the ’70s by Frank Buster. Most of them were traditional slip joint designs typically made in Solingen, Germany. This 7-bladed Congress was all I could find of the knife, but if it’s not the correct model, please let me know.
1987: Buck Titanium
The Buck Titanium was an interesting design with a titanium handle and an overall design reminiscent of the Buck 110 Folding Hunter. It had a monstrous pocket clip, which you can kind of see in the image above. It had a back lock and was just a solid knife.
KA-BAR is a legendary brand that’s been making knives under different names for a century. While the KA-BAR knife is the most well-known model from the company, the Olean-based company makes a diverse group of knife designs.
Teaming up with some of the best knife-making minds out there, such as Ethan Becker, Rick Hinderer, and Bob Dozier, shows this brand is committed to quality designs.
There have been a number of great new models over the years, but none have been quite strong enough to topple these classics.
Condor Tool & Knife — sometimes known as Condor TK or simply Condor — has only been around in its current form since 2004. However, it has roots that date back to 1787 when Gebr Weyersberg Company was founded in Germany. That company created Imacasa in El Salvador in 1964. That Central American operation was sold in the 1980s to local investors and Condor TK was born.
If you want an inexpensive but reliable outdoor tool, it’s hard to ignore Condor. The brand has quickly become a darling among bush crafters looking for a solid knife. Except for one folder, Condor only makes fixed blades.
So, we decided to take a look at the best knives Condor has to offer.
Condor Hudson Bay Camp Knife
The Hudson Bay Camp Knife is probably one of people’s favorite Condor knives. Its design is based on a classic fixed blade used in the Hudson Bay area in the 1800s. It has an 8.5-inch blade made from 1075 carbon steel with an unusual “rustic” finish.
Here is a good and honest review from Cedric & Ada Gear and Outdoors:
Accompanied by hardwood handles, the knife has a ton of personality and character. This, like many of the knives on this list, is designed by Joe Flowers.
While the Hudson Bay Camp Knife has the character, the Bushlore is likely the most popular Condor. This knife is simplicity at its finest and is often talked about among bushcrafters as a solid outdoor fixed blade option.
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.
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.
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.
If you happen to be outside the house, you’ll likely have at least three items: a wallet, phone, and keys. We’ve already talked about credit-card knives that fit into wallets and the iPhone multitool case, but that leaves us with keys.
Since your keys are always within reach whenever you’re outside the house, they’re a natural place to attach essential tools.
If you’re looking to make your keys even more useful, we’ve assembled this list of tools that fit right on your keychain.
Some of the tools we first wrote about when this was published in May 2015 have gone the way of the dodo, so we decided to give this list an update.
The Gerber Shard is a small and easy to carry piece of steel that doesn’t overwhelm with functions. The small tool has two screwdrivers, a pry bar, a nail remover, a bottle and can opener, a scraper, and whatever else you can get out of it.
The tool is 2.75 inches long and made of stainless steel with black titanium coating.
Victorinox Classic SD
Perhaps the best-known multitool ever is the Swiss Army knife. The Victorinox Classic SD is not only one of the best-selling Swiss Army knives but it is also small enough to fit on your keychain.
With 2020 behind us, sports enthusiasts, outdoorsmen (and women), and those interested in tactical gear set their sights on the best 2021 has to offer.
In this guide, we take you on a deep dive into the best tactical knives of 2021. From work to recreation and play to even self-defense, the right gear can make all the difference.
Find out why knife enthusiasts are raving about this year’s top picks.
In no particular order, let’s dig in…
1. Spyderco Yojimbo
Conceptualized by Michael Janich, the Spyderco Yojimbo was created with features engineered to make this knife a primary contender in the tactical combat knife category. From tip to heel, this blade delivers reliable and powerful performance, slicing through even the toughest of materials. The ergonomically designed grip enables the user to derive maximum leverage safely and effectively while also accommodating a range of tactical grip options for self-defense.
Notable Facts / Specs:
Ergonomic non-slip G-10 handle
Generous 3.125” CPM-S30 Wharncliffe Blade
Lightweight, coming in at 4oz on the scale
Proudly made in the USA
2. Kershaw Emerson CQC-6K D2
The Kershaw Emerson CQC-6K D2 represents the best of a match made in blade-heaven. The love-child of a collaboration between Kershaw and Emerson Knives brings us a blade featuring some of the best each brand has to offer, all at an affordable price tag.
The blade boasts a classic clip-point reminiscent of a tanto blade, representing a classic and time-tested design that is highly capable and durable. This design offers plenty of edge, a capable tip point, and a good belly, all mated to a hollow grind.
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
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.
While all knives are meant to cut, there are only a few knives you’d really want to put through the wringer 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 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.
Post originally posted in September 2018 before being updated to include current knives.
Cold Steel AD-10
When it comes to hard-use folders that are overbuilt and ready for work, there’s a new king in town: the AD-10.
This relatively new knife boasts a 3.5-inch chunk of S35VN steel for its blade. The sculpted G-10 handle feels great in the hand. The AD-10 also has a Tri-Ad lock for even greater power. This may be pricier than others, but it will never fail on you.
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.