The Cutting Edge

The official blog of Knife Depot

Category: Best Knives (page 1 of 3)

10 Best Kershaw Knives

Article was originally published in May 2018.

Kershaw Knives has a long history that dates back to 1974 when Pete Kershaw left his job at Gerber to form his own company. More than 40 years later, the Oregon-based company continues to flex its muscle and show why it remains one of the best knife companies around.

The company has evolved over the years with popular and revolutionary knife models coming and going, but we wanted to take a look at the best knives currently in production at Kershaw.

Note: Best is obviously a very subjective term. While there will be some bias in which knives to include, I will try to select the knives that receive generally widespread acclaim from professional reviewers and customers. Some knives may also get some bonus points for being important to the company. New knives often need a few years to gain the stature needed to be called the best but there are always some that are obvious additions.

If you feel any knives have been slighted or want to mention a knife you feel is the best, let me know in the comments.

1. Kershaw Leek

Kershaw Leek

I’m kicking off the list with the most iconic Kershaw knife ever made: the Leek. This Ken Onion design has always been lumped in with the historically important knives (it made our own list of most iconic knives) and for good reason.

The Leek is simple, effective, and is a gold standard for EDC knives. The knife features a 3-inch modified Wharncliffe blade made from quality 142C28N steel, a stainless steel handle with a frame lock, and the SpeedSafe assisted-opening mechanism.

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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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10 Best Gerber Knives

This post was originally published in May 2018 but was updated in October 2021 to include newer models.

Gerber has a long history dating back to 1939. The brand has evolved over the years — undergoing some ups and downs as some of the best designers and knifemakers around left the company to start their own ventures.

Gerber has been relatively quiet the past few years, releasing an assortment of higher-end knives mixed with brand-new budget designs. None have really stood out from the bunch, and plenty of the older models that were great have been discontinued.

It’s been a rocky two decades, but Gerber seems to be on firm footing by doubling down on their best knives. Here is a look at Gerber’s 10 best knives currently in production.

Note: As always, these best-of lists are highly subjective. However, I do my due diligence through personal experience as well as consensus from around the internet. These lists will always skew toward the tried-and-true models, but new models will always make the jump.

1. Gerber LMF II Infantry

Gerber has remade itself over the past few years thanks to three very reliable (and pretty similar) fixed blades. The Gerber LMF II has an undisputed spot on this list for good reason. Gerber says the knife was originally designed to free an aircrew from a downed aircraft, and it remains an adaptable fixed blade that can be used in all types of situations.

The blade is 4.84 inches made from 420HC stainless steel. It has partial serrations and glass-filled nylon with TPV overmold handles.

You can see all the Gerber LMF II Infantry variations here.

2. Gerber Gator

Gerber Gator

This list is heavily populated with perennial favorites, and the Gerber Gator is no exception. It was first introduced in the early ’90s when it was named “Most Innovative Knife of the Year” at the 1991 Blade Show. Despite being so old, the knife remains one of the best Gerber has to offer.

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10 Best Automatic Knives in 2023

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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Knife Depot’s Best-Selling Knives of 2022

With our selection of the best knives of 2022 posted last week, it’s time to look at the knives the people voted for with their wallets. So, I combed through the data on the best-selling knives from Knife Depot in the 2022 calendar year.

A few things to note: This list is in no particular order because we factored in the price of these knives as well. If we sold 500 $30 knives and 500 $150 knives, we gave some special considerations to the pricier model because purchasing is more of a hurdle.

We did our best to get this list as accurate as possible.

Kershaw Launch 6

The first thing you’ll notice on this list is the surprising number of automatic knives. I argue no knife series is more popular than the Launch series from Kershaw.

The Launch 6 was one of the most popular knives from the series this year. That’s meaningful considering it sold a ton of units and it’s a fairly pricey knife.

It’s hard to argue with the sleekness of the Launch 6. It has a 3.75-inch CPM 154 stainless steel blade with a black aluminum handle and a red push button that fires with force.

Smith & Wesson SWFR2S

Smith & Wesson knives were also very popular this year. But the Smith & Wesson SWFR2S was by far the most popular.

Two factors contributed to the overall success of this knife, which is a best-seller year after year. First, the knife is a workhorse. This is a knife I have in my personal collection and one I often recommend to people looking for a reliable folder at a good price.

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Best New Knives of 2022

It was another fantastic year of knives. So, with 2022 almost in the rearview mirror, we thought it was time to look at the best knives to come out this year.

Like all of our best-of lists, this selection of knives is biased and somewhat arbitrary. Here are a few qualifications. In order to qualify for this list, the knife had to have been available at Knife Depot. There are a ton of great knives out there, but we thought it would be somewhat odd to choose knives that we weren’t very familiar with.

We did take into account the reviews and opinions of others when selecting these knives, but they were pretty much selected by myself.

Let us know your favorite knives of the past year.

Kershaw Outlier

Let’s start with an easy one: the Kershaw Outlier.

The Outlier has been one of the top-selling knives of the year at Knife Depot, and the feedback has been positive all around. The design is nothing mind-blowing. It’s a tactical folding karambit, but it just works so well and the price is great. It reminds me of the great Fox Karambit, but at a much cheaper price price point.

It has a 2.6-inch hawkbill blade with a black glass-filled nylon handle. It can be opened with a flipper and assisted-opening mechanism or via thumb stud.

When I look back at 2022, I’ll think of the Outlier.

Hogue Deka

The Hogue Deka is not a new design, but 2022 saw the release of the definitive edition of the Deka.

The new Deka is one of the first production knives to receive the super steel MagnaCut on its blade. This steel is widely considered the best all-around steel ever made. For steel nerds, check out this highly in-depth article from Larrin over at Knife Steel Nerds.

Along with the MagnaCut steel, this version of the Deka has polymer handle scales which help cut down on the weight and price of the knife.

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10 Best CIVIVI Knives

Best CIVIVI Knives

In terms of knife companies, CIVIVI Knives (a subset of WE Knife Company) is relatively new.

Yet somehow the brand has catapulted itself into contention for one of the best knife brands around. Its name has become synonymous with high-quality knives at shockingly low prices.

While these knives are made in China, more and more companies are proving that knives you buy from China can no longer be dismissed as cheap junk. So if you’re interested in seeing what CIVIVI has to offer, these are their 10 best knives currently available.

CIVIVI Elementum

Let’s start with a no-brainer: the Elementum. The Elementum is no longer simply one of CIVIVI’s best knives but may be the very best EDC knife for its price.

Almost everything about the knife is perfect. It’s a good size with a 2.96-inch blade that flips open effortlessly and reliably. It has a simple yet ergonomic handle. It’s not adorned with a bunch of logos and numbers. Instead, it’s just a simple knife that works.

And because the knife has become so darn popular, CIVIVI has created this knife in more than a dozen different styles. You can the knife in your choice of handle material and color. There are higher-end versions and larger versions and versions with button locks and Damascus versions. The list goes on and on.

If you want to see just some of the variations, check out the CIVIVI Elementum collection here.

CIVIVI Conspirator

From a more people-friendly design to a more tactically-focused design, the CIVIVI Conspirator is a larger knife with a more aggressive profile.

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10 Best Smith & Wesson Knives

Best Smith & Wesson Knives

This post was first published in 2020 and updated in 2022.

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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10 Best Spyderco Knives

Best Spyderco Knives

This post was originally published in August 2018 and was updated in October 2022.

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 – $171.50

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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10 Best CRKT Knives


This post was originally posted in August 2018 and is updated every year.

Formally known as Columbia River Knife & Tool, CRKT is a relatively new company in terms of big knife brands, having only been established in 1994.

However, over the nearly three decades the company has been around, it’s put out hundreds of different models. There’s a lot to love about CRKT, from its truly innovative designs to its collaborations with some of the top knifemakers. Unfortunately, the use of inexpensive materials leaves a lot to be desired by the knife community. In the last few years, CRKT has tried to remedy these failings.

Picking the 10 best CRKT knives was easy at first until I realized all the knives I was forgetting. The company puts out dozens of new models every year and discontinues a ton. Unlike many of the other brands, this list is a mixture of new and old.

Let us know if you think we missed any.



We’ll start with the flagship series from CRKT: the M16. The late great Kit Carson, who pioneered the flipper tab, helped propel CRKT to where it is today, thanks to his M16 series. His knife was named one of the 10 best tactical knives of the decade by Blade Magazine, and the CRKT interpretation is nothing to scoff at.

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