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.

10 Best Carbon Fiber EDC Knives

Article was originally published in March 2017 and updated March 2020.

There are a few characteristics nearly everyone looks for in an everyday carry: strength, durability, and a light weight. Few other handle materials boast those qualities like carbon fiber.

Over the years, carbon fiber has grown in popularity due to its versatility. It is a synthetic material that will not break under pressure or crack through use. According to Knife Art, it is stiffer than steel and five times stronger.

But the best part may be its weight. CF helps cut down the overall heft of a knife, giving your EDC a light feel. Oh, and it looks great!

Of course, there are different levels and qualities of carbon fiber. More companies have been doing a laminated version of carbon fiber with G-10 to cut down on prices while giving it the look and feel of carbon fiber. While laminated carbon fiber and G-10 is not pure carbon fiber, we’re including a few here too.

Enough gushing over carbon fiber. Let’s take a look at 10 of the best carbon fiber EDC knives.

1. Kershaw Leek, Carbon Fiber

The Kershaw Leek is one of the best and most iconic EDC knives, so when it came out in carbon fiber a few years ago, it made something great even greater. It has the same CPM 154 stainless steel 3-inch blade with assisted opening but the handles are carbon fiber. The weight is a cool 2.4 ounces.

2. Boker Plus Anti-Grav

The Boker Plus Anti-Grav goes all in on lightweight materials, including carbon fiber handle scales and a 3.25-inch ceramic blade. The all black blade and CF handle makes the whole knife look sexy.

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15 Bright Green Knives

It’s an old tradition to wear something green on St. Patrick’s Day. Some people wear green shoelaces or a green hat, but if you’re the kind of knife nut who’s reading this blog, you’re probably going to carry a green knife.

In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, we’re looking at 20 great knives with green handles.

This article has been updated a few times since its first publication in 2014 to get rid of discontinued models and put some new ones.

Spyderco Dragonfly 2, British Racing Green

The Dragonfly 2 is a truly amazing knife. It is small yet versatile, efficient yet sexy. The black version is already excellent, but the Spyderco Dragonfly 2 in British Racing Green takes things to the next level.

The blade is made from ZDP-189 and features dark green FRN handles. When folks in the knife community call this one of the best EDC knives ever, you know you have a winner.

Artisan Ravine, Green

Artisan Cutlery is an up-and-coming brand with a lot of new and exciting designs. Each comes in a variety of options and materials. The Ravine is a great little design with a modified Wharncliffe blade and ergonomic handle. This version has a D2 blade and green G-10 handle scales.

Other Artisan Cutlery knives come in mint green as well.

Bear & Son Cutlery Undead Bear Tac II

The Bear & Son Cutlery Undead Bear Tac II is a green knife through and through. It features zombie green G-10 handle scales and a zombie green blade made from 1095 carbon steel.

Buck Spitfire, Green Aluminum Handle

The Spitfire from Buck is a versatile folder that will easily become your new EDC the moment you hold it. This beauty is made in the USA and features a thin design. You can choose the color it comes in, but the one we’re concerned with is this brownish Aluminum Green handle.

Electrifying California OTF

California legal OTF knives are becoming increasingly popular. These little out the front automatic knives have blades under two inches. Even though it’s small, it still works like a charm for most EDC tasks.

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15 Best Keychain Tools

Quick, empty your pockets.

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.

Gerber Shard

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.

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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 ARt Deco

There was one point a few years back where CRKT had a few modern EDC slip joints to choose from. However, they’re not always as popular as locking knives. Fortunately, for just a little longer we have the Art Deco folder from Ken Steigerwalt.

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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15 Best Lightweight Fixed Blade Knives

The old saying goes that the best lock mechanism on a knife is a fixed blade.

Back in the day, fixed blades were mostly robust outdoor tools, but the trend has been increasingly toward lighter and lighter fixed blades. That’s a plus for everyone.

A few years back, I wrote a post on the best EDC fixed blade knives. While all the knives performed well at EDC tasks, many of them were quite hefty.

So I decided to take the concept of an EDC fixed blade and narrow it down even more to the best lightweight fixed blades. All of these knives are at least under 3 ounces — with many of them being under 2.

Check them out.

CRKT Minimalist Wharncliffe

Weight: 1.1 oz
Blade Length: 2″
Overall Length: 5″

OK, I know my love for the CRKT Minimalist permeates everything around here, as this model makes it onto many best-of lists (including the aforementioned best EDC fixed blades). But it deserves another mention here. In the best EDC fixed blades post, I highlighted the Bowie version, but the Wharncliffe version is even lighter at a mere 1.1 ounces.

This is one of those knives you can feel confident carrying anywhere you go and feels big in the hand, despite the — well — minimalist handle.

Spyderco ARK

Weight: 0.9 oz
Blade Length: 2.56″
Overall Length: 4.98″

A Spyderco made it on the best EDC fixed blades, but the Street Beat is a pretty heavy folder. Enter the Spyderco ARK. Standing for “Always Ready Knife,” the ARK was designed as a personal defense knife by U.S. Army combat veteran John Shirley and his friend Sam Owens.

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Best Ontario Knives

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 SK-5. The series is designed by Paul Scheiter. The survival knife was named the best of the best by Field and Stream Magazine in 2011. It’s a pretty simple bushcrafting knife with a 5-inch 154CM stainless steel blade and G-10 handle scales.

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2020 Discontinued Spyderco Knives

With a new year comes new cuts to old favorites. Spyderco announced which knives were getting the ax back in September on their forum.

While that’s bad news for those who loved the knives, there is still some good news to be had. Most of these knives are still available but only for a little longer.

To help you, we’ve assembled the list of about 30 discontinued knives with links to where you can buy them. Then later in the post, we’ll talk about which models we’ll miss the most.

All 2020 Discontinued Spyderco Knives

BY03TIP2 – Cara Cara 2 Titanium (Sold Out)
BY04TIP2 – Meadowlark 2 Titanium (Sold Out)
BY10TIP2 – Robin 2 Titanium (Sold Out)
C07GP4 – Police 4 G-10
C28S – Dragonfly Stainless SPY
C28SBK2 – Dragonfly 2 Black SPY
C69GP3 – Lil’ Temperance 3 G-10
C82GP3 – D’Allara 3
C91SYL – Pacific Salt Yellow SPY (Look for the Pacific Salt 2 in 2020)
C91PYL – Pacific Salt Yellow PLN (Look for the Pacific Salt 2 in 2020)
C91SBK – Pacific Salt Black SPY (Look for the Pacific Salt 2 in 2020)
C91PBK – Pacific Salt Black PLN (Look for the Pacific Salt 2 in 2020)
C91PBBK – Pacific Salt Black Blade PLN (Look for the Pacific Salt 2 in 2020)
C91SBBK – Pacific Salt Black Blade SPY (Look for the Pacific Salt 2 in 2020)
C123CFP – Sage 1 Carbon Fiber
C152STIBLP – Chaparral Blue Stepped Ti
C152STIP – Chaparral Stepped Ti (Out)
C170GP – Karahawk G-10 Satin (Out)
C193PGY – Squarehead Lightweight Gray
C193PBK – Squarehead Lightweight Black
C203TIP – Mantra 2 Titanium
C212CFP – Magnitude Carbon Fiber
C214TIP – Advocate Titanium
C218GP – Opus G-10
C219GP – Q-Ball G-10
C224GP – Lil’ Sub-Hilt G-10
C225GP – Hundred Pacer
C227GP – Hanan G-10
FB38GP – Junction
K11S – Cooks Knife SPY

Spyderco Sage 1

The Sage series is a great idea — taking a great design and making it with different lock mechanisms. Unfortunately, many in the Sage series have been discontinued, including the Sage 1 with a liner lock this year.

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Top 20 Knives with D2 Steel

This post was updated in December 2019 to include newer models.

Finding the perfect steel is tough. Not only are there so many types available but there are also tons of factors to consider — price, ease of sharpening, hardness, corrosion resistance, and more.

The perfect steel is ever elusive, but you can pick the right steel for the job. If you want a steel that’s nearly stainless but has great edge retention and wear-resistance, opt for D2.

D2 tool steel has been around for a very long time. It became popular as a tool steel during World War II in factories. In terms of knives, knife makers Wayne Goddard and Bob Dozier pioneered the use of D2 steel in knives. In fact, Dozier is sometimes called Dr. D2.

Here is an excerpt from Steve Shackleford’s Blade Magazine post on why D2 is still so great after all these years:

While D2 may not be stainless, it remains a top performer due in no small part to its high wear resistance/edge-holding ability. “It will hold an edge for a very long time before it will go dull,” says Paul Tsujimoto, director of engineering at Ontario Knife Co.  Combined with its relatively inexpensive price, this makes D2 a favorite of manufacturers and custom makers alike. “For us, it’s the perfect combination of performance and an affordable price,” notes Dietmar Pohl of Pohl Force Knives. Agrees Devanna, “It’s the best bang for the buck because it’s priced reasonably and works well.”

While D2 does sacrifice ease of sharpening and some corrosion resistance, it remains an excellent choice for knife users everywhere.

If you’re interested in seeing what D2 has to offer, I collected a list of 20 knives that showcase the variety of D2 knives. Take a look.

1. Ontario RAT 1 D2

The RAT 1 is one of the most beloved budget knives of all time. It (and its smaller brother the RAT 2) are praised for their designs and overall utility. The only major complaint the RAT 1 gets is its adequate AUS-8 blade steel. So Ontario Knife Company came back with a D2 version of the knife.

The one I’m highlighting here is an all-around fantastic limited edition version with a D2 blade and a carbon fiber laminated G-10 handle. It doesn’t cut down on the weight as much as I’d like, but it looks and feels great in the hand. Other than the upgrades, the limited edition RAT 1 maintains the same design elements as the original.

2. Benchmade Adamas

“This knife is a tank.” I’ve heard that about the Benchmade Adamas a million times, and it’s not hard to see why the folding version gets so much love. The 3.82-inch blade is 0.160 inches thick while the handle features liners and G-10 handle scales. Coming in at more than 7 ounces, the weight would be a liability in a lesser knife but the Adamas uses it as leverage in heavy-duty tasks.

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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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