The Cutting Edge

The official blog of Knife Depot

Author: Tim (page 1 of 45)

Timothy Martinez Jr. is the community director for Knife Depot and the editor of The Cutting Edge. If you have any questions or ideas for The Cutting Edge, you can contact him at Tim@knife-depot.com.

20 Knife Gift Ideas Under $100

Our suggestions for gift ideas at certain price ranges continues with 20 knife gift ideas under $100.

This list only features knives in the $50 to $100 price range. If you’re interested in the $20 to $50 range, check out our 20 knife gift ideas under $50 post. For prices under that, check out our 20 knife gift ideas under $20.

These recommendations cover the full gamut of styles, designs, and functions, so if you can’t find something to your satisfaction, you’re trying too hard.

1) Spyderco Para 3 Lightweight

The first few iterations of this list featured the iconic Benchmade Mini Griptilian here. Unfortunately, rising prices have pushed this still great knife off the list. But the replacement may be a better overall knife.

The Para 3 Lightweight is a new offering from Spyderco with a great design, quality materials, and is made in the United States. The blade is under two inches and locks into place with the Compression Lock.

2) Spyderco Delica 4

Spyderco makes a ton of great knives at a budget cost, but for a true representation of the quality and design elements of the brand (aside from the first knife on this list), there’s the Delica. This is a truly beloved knife from the knife community because of its versatile size, excellent construction, and interesting design.

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20 Knife Gift Ideas Under $50

Note: Post updated in 2019.

If you’re like me, trying to find a gift is the worst. Fortunately, for you, helping you find the perfect gift is part of my job.

I’ve written about 20 different knife-related gifts for under $20 with some great options. But, if your budget for a good friend or little brother is a little higher, we got you covered.

Here are 20 knife-related gift ideas for under $50. These include some of the best-sellers at Knife Depot and products people have been excited about recently.

1. Spyderco Tenacious

We’ll start with an easy option that just ekes in under the budget: the Spyderco Tenacious. This is not only one of our best-sellers, but it is one of the most renowned budget knives around. It showcases all that Spyderco has to offer in an affordable package.

This version has a 3.38-inch 8Cr13MoV stainless steel blade, grippy G-10 handle, and pronounced Round Hole. For under $50, it’s hard to find such a beloved knife as this.

2. Kershaw Reverb

The Reverb is an interesting little knife. This futuristic-looking folder was named one of the top sellers of 2017 by Knife News, and it’s not hard to see why. The small 2.5-inch blade is versatile and its machined recess allows for easy, one-handed opening.

A combo G-10 and carbon fiber handle adds some texture to the grip while a carabiner in the back allows for versatile carry. The best part about this knife is you can really take it anywhere you go.

3. Schrade Old Timer 6OT Golden Bear

From the modern to the classic, the next item under $50 is the Old Timer 6OT Golden Bear from Schrade. I’ve always been a big fan of Old Timer knives — the saw cut Delrin handles and the brass bolsters/pins give this knife a look that harkens back to the days of old.

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20 Knife Gift Ideas For Under $20

Note: Post updated in 2019.

Finding a gift for someone is stress, whether it’s a small Christmas gift for a coworker, a graduation gift for your little brother, or a present for Father’s Day.

But don’t worry; we have your back with a good knife.

Here’s a look at 20 easy knife-related gift ideas that are sure to get some genuine smiles and thanks. The best part is that everything’s under $20.

1. Engraved HallMark Lockback

hallmark-stainless-steel

We’ll start with an easy one—the HallMark Stainless Steel Lockback. This is one of our bestsellers at the moment. Why? You can get this reliable little folder laser-engraved with an inscription of your choice for only $14.99. That alone makes this gift a no-brainer.

The knife is nothing to scoff at either. It’s a HallMark folder with a 2-inch blade and smooth stainless steel handles. It’s the perfect little knife to fit in your pocket.

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2. Kershaw Shuffle

Kershaw makes a darn good knife, and you can see its eye for design with the Kershaw Shuffle. This $19.99 knife is an excellent stocking stuffer thanks to its compact design. But this hugely popular knife isn’t just for show. It’s a tough utility knife with a built-in bottle opener and screwdriver/lanyard hole in the handle. The interesting K-texture is grippy and durable.

The Shuffle comes in a few different colors, but our favorite aside from the standard model featured here is the Black Shuffle.

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3. Cold Steel Karambit

cold-steel-karambit-fgx

You can get more than just folders for under $20 too. Check out the Cold Steel FGX Grivory Karambit. The karambit is designed after the claws of large cats found in the jungles of Indonesia. It’s primarily a fighting or self-defense tool, but it also makes a great addition to any collection.

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Top 10 First Knives to Give to a Kid

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.

Keep in mind that the knife is dependent on the age and maturity of the person  (for example, you wouldn’t want to give a Smith & Wesson MAGIC assisted opening knife to an immature 7-year-old).

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 Ambitious

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.

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Best Work Folders

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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 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.

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.

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15 Striking Orange Knives

Article updated to include more and newer models.

If you look at all the colors that knives and their handles come in, you’ll notice a trend. Yup, they’re pretty much all black. Black is a popular color for knives because of its lowkey appearance and versatility.

While the majority of people opt for those sexy black knives, it’s the other colors that don’t get enough love. So we decided to do a series of posts dedicated to those knives in different colors.

So today we’re looking at orange knives.

1. KA-BAR Dozier

First up on the list is the KA-BAR Bob Dozier Folding Hunter. This iteration of the popular EDC features the blaze orange handle with a black blade and thumb stud. This blade is usually considered one of the best budget EDC knives around because of its reasonable 3-inch blade and relatively low cost.

2. ESEE-4

Next is the ESEE-4 with Orange Handle. The ESEE-4 was previously named a Badass Knife of the Week because of its extreme durability. The knife’s bright orange G-10 handle scales are brought to life even more by the green blade.

3. Spyderco Endura 4

The Spyderco Endura 4 was included on our last of 20 most iconic knives ever. This is the same Endura 4 we all know and love—3.75-inch VG-10 blade—but with orange FRN handle scales.

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‘Most Innovative American-Made Design of the Year’ Winners at Blade Show Since 1990

Every year, the finest knifemakers and manufacturers descend on Atlanta to reveal new knife models, talk shop, and receive awards at the Blade Show.

I’ve already delved deep into the past and laid out the “Overall Knife of the Year” winners since Blade Show first started in 1982.

In advance of the latest Blade Show, I thought I’d take a look back at a different category: the Most Innovative American-Made Design of the Year. This category (and its counterpart Most Innovative Imported Design of the Year) didn’t start until 1990, so that’s where we’ll pick up.

It gives a good insight into the thinking of the judges who pick the knives and whether any of these stood to the test of time (hint: many did!).

1990: Becker Knife & Tool Tactul II

The image features early Tactuls or possibly Divtuls — not sure which models or generations.

We’re starting with the very first entry in 1990: the Becker Knife & Tool Tactul II. These earlier knives are hard to nail down because they have evolved or gone the way of the dodo. You might not be familiar with the Tactul II, but you might know the modern day version better known as the KA-BAR Becker Tac Tool.

Before teaming up with KA-BAR, Ethan Becker had his own company who put out knives made by other manufacturers. The original description from Blade Magazine on the win says the knife is a “heavy duty diving/utility knife that is a saw, hammer/nail puller, screwdriver, chisel, pry bar and knife all in one.”

1991: Gerber Gator Serrated

A more recent version of the Gator.

The Gerber Gator feels like old news now but it was once one of the most innovative when first released. The overall design with the gator-like textured handle was superb. In fact, this — like the Tac Tool — remains a very good knife that’s still around.

1992: Equip USA El Diente

Image provided by Blade Magazine

I wasn’t able to find any information about the Equip USA El Diente, so I reached out to Blade Magazine (which sponsors the Blade Show) to find out more.

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15 Wood Handle EDC Knives

Article originally published in February 2018 before being updated to include different knives.

Picking the handle material that appeals to you the most depends on a ton of factors, including looks, purpose, durability, and more.

If you want something that’s durable and won’t warp, opt for a synthetic material. If you want something that’s probably the first handle material ever, go for bone. If you want something sleek and strong, pick a knife with a metal handle.

But, if you want a knife that’s downright good-looking and feels good in the handle, it’s hard to beat good old-fashioned wood.

Pros and Cons of Wood

I won’t go until detail about the pros and cons of wood because you probably already know, so I’ll boil it down. The Good: Comfortable, beautiful, varied, durable, potentially inexpensive. The Bad: Unstable at times, prone to warpage, requires more maintenance, potentially expensive.

The fact that there are so many types of wood out there means you can get the look and durability you desire while maintaining that natural looks.

There are some stabilized laminates on par with plywood in this list, including Dymondwood. If that doesn’t jibe with you, then I apologize in advance.

Without further ado, here’s a look at 15 excellent folding knives with wooden handles.

1. Boker Magnum Backpacker (Soft Wood)

I wanted to start off with the Backpacker. This is a really handsome knife with a simple yet solid construction. It has a 3.4-inch drop point blade made from 440 stainless steel. It opens via a thumb stud and locks with a liner.

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10 Best Cold Steel Knives

This article was originally published in July 2018 before being updated with newer models.

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.

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Kershaw Natrix – Badass Knife of the Week

In 2011, Kershaw and Zero Tolerance created a highly ambitious knife that pushed the envelope — a knife called the ZT 0777. Difficulties in production and issues with availability in materials caused the knife to see a very limited run.

Six years later, Kershaw created a budget-friendly iteration of the original that’s smaller and more economical while retaining many of the design features that captured the attention of the knife community.

That knife is the Badass Knife of the Week.

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The Kershaw Natrix (model number 7007) is the company’s attempt to reclaim the design from others who created homages to the original ZT design.

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Benchmade Infidel – Badass Knife of the Week

If you could only choose one OTF automatic knife for your collection, reach for the Benchmade Infidel.

The Infidel is the flagship out-the-front model from the iconic butterfly brand and has been a mainstay of its lineup for years.

Designed by the great McHenry & Williams — who also created the AXIS lock — the Infidel is an entirely different beast than other Benchmade offerings. The dagger-style blade stretches 3.91 inches with a blood groove down the center. While the D2 steel of the blade is not considered a modern supersteel, D2 remains one of the most popular choices for durable and long-lasting edges.

But the real allure of this knife is the deployment method. With the push of the thumb slider, the blade engages lightning fast. Unlike some of the more budget OTF options, this knife also disengages by pulling the thumb slider back down. The hypnotic action of opening and closing this knife will keep you occupied for countless hours.

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Victorinox Rambler – Badass Knife of the Week

While it’s the biggest and baddest knives that get all the attention, it’s the small, industrious knives that do most of the work.

The Victorinox Rambler is the perfect example. This small Swiss Army Knife is the same size as the world famous Classic SD model when closed. However, it packs 10 different functions into the diminutive design.

Because knife is in the name, we thought we’d start there. It has a small pen blade that gets the job done for small tasks and can become razor sharp easily. Another fan favorite is the scissors, which can be used for everything from trimming stray hairs to getting off plastic tags.

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Spyderco Paramilitary 2 S110V – Badass Knife of the Week

Even after all these years, when you ask for recommendations on the best everyday carry knife, the Spyderco Paramilitary 2 will undoubtedly be the top choice. The PM2 has been a previous Badass Knife of the Week, but in honor of the week we celebrate the country’s independence, we decided to run back the PM2 with the upgraded S110V blade and Blurple handles.

The Spyderco Paramilitary 2 remains the go-to choice for best EDC knife with its nearly flawless design. So what could be better than a PM2? A PM2 with upgraded steel and sexy handle scales.

This version of the popular folder features all the same assets we’ve come to love and respect in the original. The 3.42-inch blade has an excellent slicing belly and piercing point. It opens with the iconic RoundHole and locks into place with the Compression Lock. Not only is the lock reliable and safer than something like a liner lock but it makes opening and closing the blade almost hypnotic.

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10 Folding Knives Designed For Self-Defense

self-defense-folding-knife

This post was originally published October 14, 2016, and updated June 28, 2019, to include more current knives.

Using a knife for self-defense is a bad idea.

Let me get that out of the way. By writing this post, I’m getting into pretty controversial territory. Many people, both trained and amateurs, insist that a knife should never be used for self-defense unless you’ve undergone intensive training. Even so, you might want to avoid whipping out a knife at all costs.

A knife is messy and requires you to get extremely close to your aggressor, making you more vulnerable and giving them the ability to take your weapon away. Knife defense can be fatal to your aggressor, leaving you with potential jail time and a traumatic experience haunting your dreams.

On top of that, folding knives often don’t make the best self-defense tools anyway because they are more susceptible to breakage and require more focus for engagement.

But all this doesn’t stop companies from making self-defense knives.

Any knife can conceivably be used for self-defense. As long as it’s sharp, you can do some damage, but these are created with one purpose in mind. Sure, you could possibly use a few of these to open packages, but these not something you’d carry for everyday use.

So with all the disclaimers out of the way and with the knowledge that self-defense knives may not always be the best idea unless you’re in a dire situation with your life on the line (of if you’re being attacked by a rabid dog), here are 10 folding knives designed specifically for self-defense.

1. Cold Steel Ti-Lite 6″

cold-steel-ti-lite

Let’s kick things off with the first of many Cold Steel knives on this list: the Cold Steel Ti-Lite. The Ti-Lite is a throwback design that’s meant to look like the switchblades prevalent in the 1950s. The knife has a long spear-point blade profile that’s optimal for piercing.

It comes in a few sizes, but the one we’re talking about here is the Ti-Lite 6, which features a massive 6-inch blade. At this size, the knife is not good for much else except for self-defense. It might even be too big.

However, the Ti-Lite has a big feature seen in many of these knives—the ability to open in one swift movement out of the pocket. The quillon can snag the pocket as it’s being pulled out before the blade is locked in place. This knife can be out and ready to intimidate in a moment’s notice.

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2. Fox Folding Karambit

Next up on this list is the Fox Folding Karambit.

The truth is that all karambits can be on this list since karambits are ancient defensive tools. They aren’t the most useful tools for things other than self-defense. However, this one has a few tricks up its sleeve.

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Boker Plus Rhino – Badass Knife of the Week

Danish knifemaker Jesper Voxnaes has risen to the top of the standings as one of the best knife designers around, creating knives that are functional and understated.

The Boker Plus Rhino is yet another example of Voxnaes’ eye for comfort and purpose in outdoor-focused knives.

The Rhino is on the smaller size of a hunting and outdoor knife with a 3-inch blade, but the knife packs a lot of punch. The 440C stainless steel blade has a curved cutting edge and upswept point for multiple applications, such as skinning game and setting up campsites.

Contoured G-10 handle scales cover the tang of the fixed blade and allow enough purchase for three to four fingers, depending on your hand size. The texturing on the G-10 is enough to keep the knife in hand when using while the added lanyard provides extra length for stability.

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CRKT Foresight – Badass Knife of the Week

We can’t always predict what’s going to happen in the future. For those times, reach for the CRKT Foresight.

The Foresight is billed as an urban tactical folder with a powerful design ready to tackle all the unpredictability headed your way.

Its blade is just over 3.5 inches of black titanium nitride coated AUS 8 stainless steel, an alloy that’s easy to maintain. The blade comes to life with the flip of a tab and the IKBS ball-bearing opening system.

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Gerber Propel – Badass Knife of the Week

Get ready to propel yourself into a whole new world of usefulness and dependability with the Gerber Propel.

The Propel is one of Gerber’s American-made automatic knives that’s durable, deploys quickly and easily, and looks good in the process.

A 3.5-inch 420HC stainless steel blade features a tanto profile with a strong point and a swedge to facilitate its piercing capabilities. The partially serrated edge adds an extra layer of functionality as it can tear through rope and other fibrous material.

Of course, the real highlight of the Propel is the spring-loaded mechanism that fires the blade open with the push of the button. To close the knife, you simply have to press the button lock and push it shut. A safety switch prevents accidental opening in the pocket.

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Kershaw Clash – Badass Knife of the Week

There’s never been a better time to be in the market for a cheap but reliable folding knife for everyday carry. The latest Badass Knife of the Week is yet another entry into the “best for the money” category.

The Kershaw Clash is a solid and dependable assisted-opening knife with curves in all the right places.

Its 3.1-inch blade is made from functional 8Cr13MoV stainless steel with a bead-blasted finish. It’s also available in a black finish. The blade springs to life with the push of a flipper tab, which is aided by the SpeedSafe assisted-opening mechanism that will never let you down.

The edge of the knife has a big belly and a slight recurve to take down anything in its path. This version of the Clash features a two-step serration pattern on the lower half of the edge for more fibrous materials that need cutting.

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KA-BAR USN Mark I – Badass Knife of the Week

For the week of Memorial Day, we thought it would only be apt to pick a badass knife with a military history. There are so many to choose from, but the KA-BAR version of an old and iconic fixed blade was too hard to ignore.

The KA-BAR USN Mark 1 is an updated version of the fixed blade made for the U.S. Navy during World War II. The original Mark 1 had a design similar to existing hunting knives at the time and varied in specifications depending on the manufacturer making the knife for military use.

This version of the remake takes some liberties with the design to make the classic military knife more versatile and more durable. The 5.125-inch blade is made of 1095 Cro-Van carbon steel with a black coating to help increase its resistance to corrosion and damper the steel’s reflective properties.

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Ontario Utilitac II – Badass Knife of the Week

 

If you ask anyone what the best budget knife for the common man is, they will almost always point to the Ontario Knife Company RAT models. But our latest Badass Knife of the Week shows that Ontario has yet another contender for best budget folder.

The Ontario Utilitac II is an impressive folder that excels at its purpose as an inexpensive work knife you don’t have to think twice about using.

Designed by Joe Pardue — son of Mel Pardue of Griptilian fame and father of knife designer Robert Carter — the Utilitac II represents form and function over everything else.

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