The Cutting Edge

The official blog of Knife Depot

Category: Best Knives (page 1 of 4)

10 Best KA-BAR Knives

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.

Here are the 10 best KA-BAR knives right now.

KA-BAR USMC Fighting Knife

Let’s start with the icon — the original KA-BAR. I won’t go too deep into the history of KA-BAR (because I’ve already done that) but a few companies actually made the KA-BAR knife. However, the knives that were made by what is now KA-BAR were always considered the best. Even all these years later, the fighting knife remains a favorite among civilians and military personnel alike.

I could have easily made this list nothing but KA-BAR utility knives, but I thought the classic USMC could also stand in for the dozens of other iterations, such as the Kraton models, tanto models, and smaller versions.

You can pretty much find the perfect KA-BAR for you, including a Kraton version, commemorative versions, a short version, and more.

KA-BAR BK2 Becker Campanion

Just as I could have made list of only the fighting knives, I could also make this list nothing but models from the KA-BAR Becker line. Ethan Becker is a knife-designing savant and his line of Beckers at KA-BAR proves it. Few are as great and versatile as the BK2 Becker Campanion.

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Best US-Made Knives Under $100

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, especially with inflation significantly raising prices the past few years.

But, if you think you can’t get a solid American-made knife for less than $100, you’re sorely mistaken.

Here is a selection of 10 knives you can pick up for under $100.

Buck 110 Folding Hunter

Let’s start with an iconic no-brainer: the Buck 110 Folding Hunter.

Even 60 years after the folder was introduced, the 110 remains one of the best American-made knives you can buy. Not only that but you can get it for under $70.

For those who don’t know, the knife has a 3.75-inch blade and wood handle with bolsters. If you don’t have one of these yet, what are you doing?

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 on this version is red impact resistant synthetic material.

KA-BAR Black Fighting Knife

Not all cheap US-made knives have to be folders. KA-BAR has a few fixed blades that cost under $100, but we’re highlighting the KA-BAR Black Fighting Knife here.

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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 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 in February 2023 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.

There is also a “lite” version of the AD-10 that’s a bit cheaper.

Benchmade Adamas Auto

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 3.78 inches and uses exceptionally strong CruWear 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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Best Push Daggers at Knife Depot

best push daggers

The push dagger — also known as the fist knife, punch knife, or push knife — has a murky origin abroad. However, it is thought to have been related to the katara punching sword of India.

Regardless of who invented it, the push dagger gained popularity in the 1800s and was utilized during various wars due to its effective use in hand-to-hand combat.

While other knives, like folders and even most fixed blades, are considered useful tools, push daggers are widely deemed self-defense weapons. They were carried as defensive weapons because they are lightweight and easy to conceal. For that same reason, they are banned in certain localities.

Still, if you’re an avid knife collector and want a solid push dagger, here are the best push daggers for sale at Knife Depot.

Note: This post was first written way back in 2012, but we updated it with newer and better knives in March 2024.

Cold Steel Urban Edge

These days, Cold Steel is by far the best manufacturer of push knives. Not only do they make a few different models, but they all excel in their own way.

One of the most popular at Knife Depot is the Cold Steel Urban Edge.

This one is on the smaller side with a 2.5-inch blade and small Kray-Ex handle. We’ve had people use this push knife for EDC applications, especially because it has double the functionality with one serrated edge and one plain edge.

It is also extremely lightweight at under 2 ounces. It’s available with plain edges too.

Schrade MOE Push Dagger

This push dagger is larger than the Urban Edge with a 3.25-inch blade. There is a slight blood groove down the center to reduce the weight of the knife.

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15 Best Wharncliffe Blade Knives

For nearly two centuries, the Wharncliffe blade design has remained a staple of the knife community.

While the function has evolved from a whittling knife to more of a self-defense or EDC purpose, the Wharncliffe continues to be a useful tool.

A few weeks back, I wrote about the History of the Wharncliffe, and now I’m taking it to the next step with a look at the best production knives with Wharncliffe blades.

I’m capping the list at 20, although I will undoubtedly be missing a few essential additions, so let me know in the comments.

1. SOG Snarl

Let’s start small with this popular and versatile Wharncliffe fixed blade from SOG. Designed by Jason Brous of Brous Blades, the Snarl is one thick knife.

It has a 2.3-inch Wharncliffe blade and a skeletonized handle. The whole thing is made of steel and fits into an included sheath that you can clip to your boot or belt or wear around your neck.

2. Gerber Pledge

The Gerber Pledge is a compact folder with a price you won’t believe. For a little over $20, you can get this knife with a longer 3.7-inch Wharncliffe blade and urban blue handle made from GFN.

This EDC really extols the virtues of a Wharncliffe blade for everyday activities like opening boxes and envelopes.

3. KA-BAR TDI LDK

KA-BAR TDI LDK Small Wharncliffe Knife

The KA-BAR TDI Last Ditch Knife takes cues from Janich’s Ronin. This small fixed blade is made to be used in last ditch self-defense situation. The overall length is only 3.6 inches and it is meant to be put in its sheath in a boot or wallet. The backup knife is great at slashing and piercing.

4. Spyderco McBee

Spyderco went crazy the past few years making Wharncliffe versions out of almost every one of its folders. While they cut back on most of those designs, the McBee with its Wharncliffe-style blade is still among the best.

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10 Best EDC Fixed Blade Knives

Best EDC Fixed Blade Knives

This post was originally published in 2017 and updated in 2024 to include newer models and more knives.

We all know that folding knives make the best knives for EDC — they’re often lightweight, easily concealable, versatile and can be folded up into the pocket.

However, a small but growing number of people are ditching folders for fixed blades as their EDC knives. Why? A fixed blade can be more reliable, stronger, and a bevy of new designs means it can be just as compact and lightweight as a pocket knife.

If you’re thinking about starting to carry a fixed blade as an EDC in lieu of a folder, here are 10 of the best EDC fixed blade knives to start with.

CRKT Razel

Let’s kick things off with a knife that looks like a very functional fixed blade and that’s exactly what it is. The razel blade profile from the late Jon Graham has always been one focused on versatility. For example, the straight edge is great at slicing and opening up packages while the front of the blade excels at scraping.

The CRKT Razel is a great all-around EDC knife because it is unassuming, comfortable to use, and easy to carry with a pocket carry sheath.

When you add in the D2 steel, Micarta handle, and overall length of 6.75 inches, you get a

Cold Steel Urban Edge

It might seem crazy to put a push dagger on this list of best EDC fixed blades because it’s really only designed for one thing, but you’d be surprised at just how versatile the knife actually is.

This version of the Cold Steel Urban Edge has a 2.5-inch blade with one edge plain and the other serrated. This gives it an extra level of functionality when wielding around the house. Need to open a box? Use the plain edge. Need to cut some rope? Use the serrated edge.

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10 Best OTF Knives

best OTF knives

When you need a knife that can open and close in a blink of an eye with a single hand, there is only one choice: an OTF knife.

An OTF, which stands for Out The Front, is a type of knife where the blade comes out of the front of the handle rather than the side.

These types of knives have become increasingly popular with tons of varied and compelling designs from the top brands like Kershaw, Boker, Benchmade, and more. We’ll know they’ve finally crossed the mainstream when we finally get an OTF version of the Buck 110!

Our team took on the unenviable task of narrowing down some of the best OTF knives you can currently buy. Before we get into the list, let’s take a quick look at the background of the OTF.

A Brief History of the Best OTF Knives

Although the OTF seems like a modern invention, the first OTF was supposedly patented in the late 19th century, but I couldn’t verify the information widely spread across the Internet.

Instead, some of the earliest OTF knives that were widely used date back to the World War II when paratroopers used OTF knives as emergency tools. Unlike modern OTF knives, these were gravity knives, meaning the user disengaged a lock and used gravity to slide the blade out.

The designs have gone through multiple evolutions like the Kershaw Ripcord, Smith & Wesson Power Glide, and even box cutters. More recently, we’ve settled on dual action automatic OTF knives that open and close with the push of a switch as the default OTF design.

Let’s just into the best OTF knives you can currently buy.

1. Benchmade Infidel

Let’s start with an obvious entry on this list of best OTF knives: the Infidel.

The Benchmade Infidel has been by far one of the top-selling OTF knives since it was introduced in 2006. If you collect knives, this is likely a prized center of that collection.

What made the Infidel such a big hit at the time (and even these days) is its robustness and utility. It caught the eye of military and law enforcement personnel because of its dual action design and general toughness.

Over 15 years later, the Infidel is still a top-seller, thanks to its 3.95-inch D2 steel dagger blade and aluminum handle.

2. Kershaw Livewire OTF

From the  oldest knife on this list, we go to the newest. In 2023, Kershaw released its very first automatic OTF knife to much fanfare.

Kershaw is well-known for its high-quality Launch series of automatic knives and the brand has been exploring manual OTF designs like the Kershaw Interstellar and Kershaw Kapsule. It only made sense for them to merge its knowledge of OTFs and automatics into something amazing.

The result is the Kershaw Livewire.

It has a pretty tried-and-true design that doesn’t break barriers. Its aluminum handle is comfortable and durable with welcomed texturing. Its 3.3-inch blade features a stonewashed finish.

The three main selling points of the knife are its use of MagnaCut super steel, its US-made reliable construction, and its competitive price tag for what it’s offering.

3. Boker Plus OTF

Boker itself makes some really great OTF knives like the unique Boker Plus USB OTF and Boker Kalashnikov OTF, but its collaboration with Hogue Knives is off the charts.

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13 Best Automatic Knives in 2024

Despite its legal gray areas, the automatic knife (sometimes called a switchblade) is one of the best types of knives on the market.

For those who don’t know, an automatic knife is a knife that can be opened with the push of a button or switch. For a more in depth look at the difference between a switchblade and an assisted-opening knife, check out this article.

We’ve been going through and carefully picking some of the best knives of each brand and category. So, it only made sense to do autos.

One caveat here: We are not including OTF knives in this list. While most out-the-front knives are technically automatics, they’re almost their own thing. We’ll have a separate list for the best OTFs coming soon.

Check out which autos made the list below.

1. Buck 110 Auto

The Buck 110 Folding Hunter is one of the most iconic folding knives ever made. Its only major downside is its inability to open quickly with one hand.

That’s what makes the automatic version of the Buck 110 so good.

With just the push of a button, the classic 3.75-inch clip-point blade bursts to life instantly. This version uses the same 420HC stainless steel that the 110 is known for and also keeps the lockback mechanism. For strength and dependability, you can’t go wrong with a lockback.

The handle is Crelicam genuine ebony with brass bolsters and pins.

Even after all these years, the Buck 110 remains an excellent choice for a knife and this auto version just makes it even better. You can opt for the premium Buck 110 Auto Elite if you prefer S30V steel and a G-10 handle. There’s even the Buck 112 Auto if you need a smaller knife.

2. Kershaw Launch 6

With the new Kershaw Launch 15 coming out in 2023, this list could easily have contained 10 different Launch knives because they are all simply excellent.

But we kind of arbitrarily picked the Kershaw Launch 6 for this spot. The Launch 6 is a full-sized auto with a 3.375-inch drop-point blade and an aluminum handle.

It has a cohesive all-black look that’s downright sexy.

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Best Bowie Knives

This post was first written in 2019 and was most recently updated in 2023.

When you think of American knives, there should only be one knife that jumps to mind: the Bowie Knife.

We’ve written a ton about the Bowie knife. In fact, the very first blog post back in August 2010 was about the legendary Jim Bowie.

If you don’t know about the legend of Jim Bowie and his knife, check out our definitive look at the legend of the Bowie knife.

There are a lot of bad quality Bowie knives on the market. Cheap, low-quality steel and bad workmanship are rife. We’re here to help you find only high quality Bowie knives.

What Makes a Good Bowie Knife?

As I’ve said many times, there is not a consensus on the dimensions of the original, but a Bowie knife is broadly defined as a large fixed blade with a clip-point profile.

These days, designers play with the elements of the Bowie to create knives that fit the general framework of the Bowie while pushing the boundaries. You get some original creations that could still be defined as a Bowie knife. We’re including some of those here too.

Cold Steel Wild West

Let’s start with the Wild West Bowie. This is the knife most people probably envision of when they think of a Bowie knife.

It has a long 10.75-inch clip-point blade made from 1090 carbon steel with a rosewood handle. A brass-colored hand guard also adds to the traditional look of the knife.

KA-BAR Bowie

The KA-BAR Bowie is a little small to be a Bowie knife, since it has a 6.9-inch blade (that’s still pretty long).

The original KA-BAR is essentially a Bowie knife too, although most probably wouldn’t instantly recognize it as one. This model has a clip point blade with a stacked leather handle and a small guard. It comes with a leather sheath.

Schrade Leroy Bowie

Here’s where we start to get a little more playful with the design choices. This isn’t the type of Bowie that old Jim would have carried as he defended the Alamo. But the Leroy Bowie still makes a good Bowie knife.

It has an all-black design with a 9.55-inch clip-point blade.

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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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