The Cutting Edge

The official blog of Knife Depot

Category: Best Knives (page 1 of 2)

10 Best Spyderco Knives

This post was originally published August 2018 but was updated in August 2020.

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.

Spyderco Para Military 2

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.

This knife has pretty much everything you can ask for in a larger folder.

Spyderco Dragonfly 2

What the Para Military 2 is to larger folders, the Dragonfly 2 is to smaller folders. Pound for pound, the DF2 is one of the best small folders you can buy.

Although the Dragonfly isn’t widely accepted as the best small folder, some of the most trustworthy names in the knife community swear by this knife and for good reason. The leaf-shaped blade is only 2.25 inches, but the whole design and ability to choke up on the blade make it feel larger than it is. It locks into place with a backlock mechanism while the bi-drectional textured FRN handle scales are grippy and reliable.

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10 Best CRKT Knives

This post was originally posted in August 2018 and update in July 2020.

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 two decades the company has been around, it’s put out hundreds of different knives. 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 leave a lot to be desired by the knife community.

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 knives 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.

CRKT M16

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.

These days, there are dozens of variations on the M16, so much so that it’s hard to sort out all the models available and the confusing numbering system. The M16-14SFG is a crowd favorite.

CRKT Drifter

The Drifter is an unlikely addition to this list. In many ways, the Drifter is an unspectacular folding knife, but it is exactly the knife that anyone can use and enjoy. In fact, the knife was named the best folding knife for the masses by The Wirecutter. It’s dirt cheap, features a reasonable sub 3-inch blade length, and uses a no-nonsense liner lock.

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15 Knives That Weigh Under 2 Ounces

To some people, weight is no issue in a knife. They will happily EDC a large half-pound folder made of steel because they love the design or appreciate the heft.

For others, even just a few extra ounces can feel like extra pounds when they’re carrying it around all day every day.

If you’re a weight watcher, then you’re in luck. We’ve been working on posts about knives within certain weight limits. The first post from a few months back dealt with knives that weighed under an ounce. This post focuses on the best knives weighing under 2 ounces (more specifically 1-2 ounces).

See which knives made the cut.

CRKT Eros

The Eros from CRKT is a thin folder that is easily identifiable as a Ken Onion design. CRKT calls the original the one that pioneered the “gentleman’s tactical” category. While you can find a version closer to the original, this upgraded Eros boasts better material and a lighter weight.

The blade is 3 inches of Acuto 440 steel while the handle is 6AL4V titanium with a frame lock.

Weight: 1.4 oz

Kershaw Launch 4

California legal automatic knives are becoming increasingly popular, and the most popular in this category is the Kershaw Launch 4. Although the knife is small with a 1.9-inch automatic blade, it makes an excellent EDC.

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The 7 Best Automatic Knives Available on the Market in 2020

Do you find it hard to find the right blade for you? When it comes to finding the best automatic knives for your toolkit, you may be greeted with hundreds of options that make choosing the right one difficult.

We are here to make your process easier by telling you what the best automatic knives on the market are. To see what knives made our list keeps reading below. 

1. Buck – 110 Auto Knife

The Buck 110 Auto Knife will engage with a simple push of a button. Buck’s blades date back to 1963 and have since become a leading name in the knife industry. All Buck blades are great for outdoorsmen and those looking for a sturdy knife. 

The 110 has a 420HC blade that is ready pretty quickly and efficiently. This blade features brass bolsters and the classic Macassar Ebony Dymondwood handles that the non-automatic 110 has. 

2. Kershaw Knives Auto – Tex Knife Sharpener

The Tex Knife Sharpener is made of 600-grit diamond-impregnated steel and has a blade length of 3-1/8 inches. To engage this blade all you have to do is push the button and instantly the sharpening steel will respond. 

In an instant, you can have the tools to sharpen any knife which makes this great for hunters that may need to sharpen their blade in the woods. This sharpener is inspired by the quick action of a switchblade so it will be ready right away and then can be easily retracted by pulling the button.

The handle is glass-filled and has a soft-touch for a secure and steady grip. This is a great tool to have on you at all times and will be ready for any of your blades that need some TLC. 

3. Gerber – DMF Modified Clip Point Auto Knife

The Gerber DMF Modified Clip Point Auto Knife is a great knife for those that are ambidextrous because it can fit comfortably in either hand. The DMF stands for Dual Multi-Function and it lives up to its name when it comes to deploying the knife in your weak hand while wearing gloves.

It has a fully automatic S30V blade that has amazing edge retention and corrosion resistance. The handle is a G10 handle and will provide you with lightweight and strength. 

This blade is fully automatic and comes with a large lanyard hole for cord or webbing. The blade length is 3.5 inches and when it’s closed the knife measures at 4.45 inches. 

4. Kershaw Launch 8 – Stiletto Auto Knife – Model 7150

The Stiletto Auto Knife was inspired by the look of classic Italian stilettos. This particular design brings this classic look at the present and modernizes it for a new age.

You will find that this blade has symmetrical lines of a stiletto but in a push-button automatic knife. This blade is only 2.4 ounces meaning it’s very lightweight and easy to carry. 

The modern look to this knife isn’t the only new age thing about it, it’s even made out of some modern material. Carbon fiber and aluminum come together to create this beauty to help make it lightweight and also to appear to collectors. 

When looking at the blade you’ll notice that it is CPM 154 with a stonewashed finish. This steel has a more uniform distribution of carbides which means it will take and hold a superior edge. This blade offers good corrosion and wear resistance meaning it’s a pretty tough knife. 

5. S.A.H. – Safety Auto Hook Knife

The Saftey Auto Hook knife or S.A.H. is a blade that enhances the benefits of Gerber knife technology. This blade has the addition of a DZUS fastener and flat driver. It also includes a safety auto hook.

This particular model is great for any warfighter because they can slash away riggings and harnesses with just the push of a button. Troops can also take benefit in the safety auto hook to help exit downed aircraft and damaged cars. During any emergency situation the safety auto hook will help to save your life and is good to even keep in the family car.

The blade length on his knife is 3.6 inches. When the blade is away, the knife measures in at 5.1 inches. It’s made in the USA and has a G 10 stainless steel handle. 

6. Spring Assist – Legal Auto Knife – Winged Skull Fighter Green

If you like a knife that makes a statement then look no further than the Winged Skull Fighter Green. The handle is a bright green that shows a skull, definitely catching eyes of collectors and non-collectors alike.

This kife has a fast action spring assist that will give you a tactical advantage. It has a sharpened 440 stainless steel blade with a black finish. When opened this model measures at 8 1/4 inches. When closed it is 5 inches. 

7. Remington Escape Black Sheepfoot & Auto Seat Belt

The Remington Premier Rescue Escape knives are created and crafted by master Italian knife makes. Each design is unique and functional.

This blade is made for the most demanding situations and is very dependable. This is a great tool for civilian rescue and professional uses. They have a Teflon coating and a 3-inch push button. The blade length is 3 1/2 inches and comes with a seat belt and web cutter. 

Now You Know About the Best Automatic Knives

We have given you a detailed look at some of the best automatic knives on the market. From ones that look beautiful to ones that can save your life, you’re sure to find the best knife for your toolkit. For more information on knives be sure to check out the rest of our website

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Our Lineup of the Best Smith and Wesson Knives You Can Get in 2020

When you think of Smith and 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 and Wesson also manufactures quality knives. They’re of the type that appeal to hunters and those interested in self-defense—these aren’t your average kitchen knives. 

Smith and 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. 

If you’re out in the wilderness, where a quality knife can mean the difference between life and death, then these are the blades for you. 

So let’s cut to the chase. Here’s our Smith and Wesson knife review for 2020.  

1. 10” Extreme Ops Tanto Pocket Knife

This is a great tactical folding knife, with the best features and quality for its price point. 

As the name suggests, it includes a 10-inch folding blade and weighs in at a very reasonable 8.8 ounces. The blade is stainless steel and it comes with aluminum handles and a pocket clip. 

Another nice touch is that this blade comes with an ambidextrous thumb knob. This is great for southpaws, or ease of access to the knife in general. 

2. HRT Boot Knife

This is a fine, attractively priced fixed blade. The stainless steel, high-carbon blade is 4.7 inches long, and the knife overall is 9 inches in length. On top of that, it only weighs 7.7 ounces. 

This knife comes with a dual-edged blade, along with a handguard to protect your fingers. A dual-edged knife also has the advantage of allowing you to use either hand for cutting. But it also makes it easier to hurt yourself—so be careful using it. 

The knife comes with a sheath for your boot or your belt, which gives you quick access. 

3. 10.5” Fixed Blade Knife

This is another fixed blade knife. The overall length is 10.5 inches, with the blade about 6 inches long. It also has a handguard, which is a must for these types of knives. 

The knife only weighs 7.4 ounces, making it lightweight and versatile for its size. 

4. M&P Linerlock Knife With M.A.G.I.C. Assist

This is a perfect, lightweight tactical knife. It only weighs about 7.6 ounces and features a 3.6-inch blade for a total knife length of 8.6 inches. 

Another great feature is its M.A.G.I.C. assisted opening. Rather than having to open the knife manually, you just press the button and out pops the blade. This makes it one of the better Smith and Wesson folding knives. 

And yes, there’s a lock so it won’t accidentally spring open when you least want it to. 

5. 8” First Response Drop-Point Serrated Pocket Knife

This is a fantastic blade. 

At only 5.8 ounces, it’s very light in the hand. The knife is 8 inches long overall, with a 3.3-inch blade. Unlike the other knives we’ve featured so far, it has a typical, shiny stainless steel look to it. 

Also, it comes with some added functionality: a strap-cutter and a glass break at the end of the handle. 

6. 7.1” Extreme Ops 

This is a good-looking knife. It features a black oxide stainless steel blade, conferring both sharpness and rust-resistance. 

For a Smith and Wesson knife, it’s also incredibly compact and lightweight. It extends to 7.1 inches when unfolded, and only weighs about 3.5 ounces. It folds up nicely to fit in your pocket, or you can clip it to your belt. 

7. Outback Kukri Machete

Okay, this one is a little different from the blades we’ve examined so far. 

It’s based on the kukri, the distinctive blade of the Nepalese and Indian Gurkhas, and features a 12-inch stainless steel blade designed to stand up to all the rigors of brush-cutting. The curved blade is perfect for chopping through thick vegetation, and the rubber handle is maximized for comfort. 

There’s also a nylon sheath included, so you can stow your machete when not in use. 

8. Six-Piece 8” Throwing Set

Now we’re getting into something a little more specialized. If knife-throwing is your thing, then these throwing knives are just the ticket. 

All six knives are 8 inches long, and they each weigh 4.7 ounces. But there’s more to it than that. 

When it comes to throwing knives, it’s all about the balance. No amount of skill can overcome a poorly balanced knife. All six of these blades are well balanced to ensure accuracy. 

Now all you have to do is learn how to throw them. 

9. 9” Tanto Fixed Blade Boot Knife

Here’s another fixed blade boot knife. It’s a 9-inch knife overall, with a 4.7-inch blade made of 400 series stainless steel. 

It’s fairly lightweight at 7.2 ounces, and it has the perfect shape and fit for inserting into a work boot. 

10. 3.75” Karambit

The karambit-type knife is a versatile little blade that’s always a favorite with the hunting set. Its shape enables precision cutting for skinning and defleshing, which is always a plus. 

But the karambit also doubles as a great multipurpose knife. It’s perfect for self-defense and just about any other use a knife might have. 

This particular karambit is manufactured of top-quality, high-carbon stainless steel, making it ideal for outdoor activities. 

The Best Smith and Wesson Knives of 2020

Look, it’s a well-known fact that you can never have too many knives. And when it comes to high-quality Smith and Wesson knives, the choices are endless. 

Whether you’re looking for tactical knives, hunting knives, throwing knives, or a kukri machete, Smith and Wesson has pretty much got it all. Whichever knife you’re looking for, the Knife Depot has you covered. 

So if you’re in the market for a Smith and Wesson blade, check out our inventory to find what you’re looking for.  

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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.

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.

Because the Leek is a staple of Kershaw, it’s available in tons of varieties and colors. For example, you can pick it up with an orange handle or with a composite D2/142C28N steel blade. In my estimation, the best Leek is the newer carbon fiber Leek.

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Kershaw Blur

When people think of a Kershaw, they likely think of two knives. The first is the Leek, and the second is the Blur. Also a Ken Onion design, the Blur has been a part of Kershaw for years and acts as a sort of counterforce to the Leek.

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The Best Karambit Knives You Can Get Yourself or a Loved One in 2020

There’s nothing cooler than a karambit knife. That sleek, raptor claw shape, the way you can flick them and spin them in your hand—that’s what makes karambits one of the most appealing knife styles on the market today.

Originally of Indonesian design, this intimidating-looking knife doesn’t have to be just for martial arts or self-defense. In fact, they are well known for being reliable multi-purpose tools that still retain the awesome aesthetic of a fighting weapon. 

The problem is, there are so many out there that it’s hard to pick the very best one. Keep reading for our recommendations on the very best karambit knives out there right now—whether you’re looking to buy one for yourself or for a loved one. 

What to Consider First

There are a few things to think about before going out and buying one of these knives. 

First, it’s important to know that they come in both folder and fixed blade varieties. The folding knife folds into the handle like most other pocket knives, while the fixed blade is sturdier, with no moving parts, and requires a sheath or cover to carry it around in. 

When choosing between the two, think about size. Folders are often smaller blades—though not always—and can always fold down into a more manageable carrying and concealing size. Size will also affect how the grip fits in the hand, something to consider especially if you’re buying for someone else. 

While we’re talking about size, it’s also wise to consider the knife laws of wherever you’re planning on taking your karambit. One of the most common kinds of law regarding knives in many states is to place a limit on the length of the blade. (There are other laws about knives, too; check them out here if you’re unsure). 

Laws limiting these knives are no doubt reactions to how cool karambits look, especially when you realize that there are even double edged karambits out there—though none of those made their way onto this list.

Best Karambits of the Folding Variety

1). Fox 479 Folding Karambit

As far as folding karambits go, Fox knives are widely considered to be the gold standard. 

Not as cheap as some of the others on this list, the Fox 479 is still well worth the price. This versatile tool comes with Emerson’s Wave opening flipper device that makes unfolding the blade quick and seamless. 

This is likely the best kerambit out there for your money and is ideal for self-defense or as a durable general purpose utility cutter.  

2). Cold Steel 22KF Tiger Claw

Made to resemble a real tiger claw, this beautiful karambit is simple and elegant in its design. That’s what you get when an engineer crafts a knife.

The thumb plate allows for easy, ambidextrous opening, and the minimalist look will appeal to anyone who wants the versatility of a karambit while downplaying the showiness that has come to characterize many of these knives. 

3). Smith & Wesson Extreme Ops Urban Camo Karambit

If you happen to like a little flash to your knives, this cool karambit comes decked out in camo. 

Any karambit made by Smith & Wesson is a reliable and cheap option, but few others are rated as highly as this one. For the price, it’s hard to find anything that will withstand more abuse than this little beauty. 

Best Fixed Blade Karambits

1). Cold Steel Steel Tiger Karambit

This knife is legendary among karambits. Like the smaller Tiger Claw of the folding variety from the same brand, this beast’s shape takes inspiration from the claws of real tigers. 

The finger ring will ensure that your grip never slips, and its size and durability might just make this the last karambit you’ll ever need—though not the last one you’ll want. 

Perfect for hunting, fishing, or as a well-rounded tool, the Steel Tiger will shine in martial arts or self-defense and boasts a very reasonable price tag.

2). SOG Knives Fixed Blade Gambit

With a slightly shorter blade than the other fixed blade karambits, this simple knife is also the most affordable. 

The SOG Gambit is truly reliable and does it all, from self-defense to general outdoor tasks. Its low cost makes it the perfect starter knife for anyone looking to get into fixed blade karambits. 

3). Schrade SCH112 Shasta Mc’Nasty Full Tang Fixed Blade Karambit

This is an impressive looking weapon. And it does look like a weapon. The blade is huge and the curve on it is wicked. 

While it’s still a useful tool in any context, this bad boy is likely to appeal more to those interested in the martial arts applications of karambits, or the self-defense ones (not that you’ll have to actually defend yourself after they see this monster of a knife). 

Honorable Mention: White Deer Champion Karambit Knife Magnum

Karambits are already visually appealing knives. But if there’s one way to make an already beautiful piece of equipment even sexier it’s to make it with Damascus Steel. 

With all the versatility and reliability of most other karambits, this one ups the wow factor—and at a decent price, too. Marvel at its curves and the distinct pattern of the metal every time you take this beauty out. 

What’s Next?

Now that you know the options for some of the best karambits out there on the market there are a few things you can do. 

Before you buy, always consider whether a fixed or folding blade is best for you. Think about the legality of owning and carrying karambits in your area, and what size will work best for what you intend to use your knife for. 

If you’re still unsure how to approach finding the best karambit for you, you can always contact us for more information. 

And if you’re buying for friends or family, consider personalizing the cool karambit you’re giving them with our engraving services to make it a little more special.

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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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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 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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10 Best Benchmade Knives

 

We’re continuing our trek through the best knives from each brand. This time we take on the formidable butterfly brand.

What’s interesting about Benchmade is that this list is populated by a lot of newer models, which is somewhat surprising from such a storied brand. That’s partly due to the fact that Benchmade has been going on quite a tear recently with some excellent new knives.

As always, these lists are highly subjective, so let us know which models you think are the best in the comments.

Benchmade Griptilian

We’ll start with a no-brainer: the Griptilian. Despite being around for such a long time, the Grip family remains one of Benchmade’s best offerings — both because it’s an excellent design and because it’s almost become a budget option from the brand.

At this point, the Griptilian has undergone a lot of changes and you can get the knife in different blade steels, blade profiles, handle colors, and handle materials. The standard is now S30V steel and nylon scales.

Because we want to keep this list somewhat clean, we’re including Mini Grips here too. I still carry my Mini Grip frequently.

If I had to pick the best Grip, it would be the 555-1.

Benchmade Freek

The Freek was talked about as a Griptilian killer when it was introduced a few years ago. While the Freek did not kick the Grip to the curb, it did prove itself to be one of Benchmade’s best. In 2019, Benchmade released a premium version of the Freek with M4 steel and G-10 handles.

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10 Best Condor TK Knives

Condor Tool & Knife is a relatively new brand in the knife world.

Condor Tool & Knife — sometimes known as Condor TK or simply Condor — has only been around in its current form since 2004. However, it has roots that date back to 1787 when Gebr Weyersberg Company was founded in Germany. That company created Imacasa in El Salvador in 1964. That Central American operation was sold in the 1980s to local investors and Condor TK was born.

If you want an inexpensive but reliable outdoor tool, it’s hard to ignore Condor. The brand has quickly become a darling among bush crafters looking for a solid knife. Except for one folder, Condor only makes fixed blades.

So, we decided to take a look at the best knives Condor has to offer.

Condor Hudson Bay Camp Knife

The Hudson Bay Camp Knife is probably one of people’s favorite Condor knives. Its design is based on a classic fixed blade used in the Hudson Bay area in the 1800s. It has an 8.5-inch blade made from 1075 carbon steel with an unusual “rustic” finish.

Here is a good and honest review from Cedric & Ada Gear and Outdoors:

Accompanied by hardwood handles, the knife has a ton of personality and character. This, like many of the knives on this list, is designed by Joe Flowers.

Condor Bushlore

While the Hudson Bay Camp Knife has the character, the Bushlore is likely the most popular Condor. This knife is simplicity at its finest and is often talked about among bushcrafters as a solid outdoor fixed blade option.

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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.

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.

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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10 Best Victorinox Knives

 

We’re continuing our trek through the best knives for each brand. It’s time for Victorinox to step up to the plate. After Wenger closed down for good and was acquired by Victorinox, the Swiss knife company is the definitive maker of the Swiss Army Knife.

Boasting more than 13 decades of existence, the knife company has continued to evolve and bring hundreds of different SAK designs. Narrowing down the 10 best is kind of a fool’s errand simply because there are so many options that you can get the exact model you like.

Still, there are a few standout models that showcase the best Victorinox has to offer.

Let’s get to it.

Victorinox SwissChamp

We’ll start with the company’s flagship model — the SwissChamp. In terms of actual carrying, the SwissChamp is far from the best. But it allows Victorinox to showoff its knife-making prowess. It has eight layers with 33 functions that range from a magnifying glass and saw to fish scaler and pliers.

Even though it’s not meant for EDC, this is a knife you can conceivably carry in your pocket or on your person without feeling insane.

Victorinox Pioneer

The Pioneer is the civilian version of the Soldier, which is considered the “true Swiss Army Knife.” The only difference is that it adds a keyring. Unlike many of the other SAKs on this list, the Pioneer features handsome Alox scales that give it a different look and feel. The tools are pretty pared down with only eight functions, such as a large blade and reamer.

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10 Best SOG Knives

When I think about the best knives for each brand, a small number of truly outstanding knives always pop into my head.

With SOG, narrowing down their best knives to 10 was harder than I expected. It wasn’t necessarily because SOG has so many great knives but because many of their top knives are on par with one another. This means I undoubtedly left out a few good SOG offerings. For example, the Pillar is a relatively recent offering that will likely supplant one of models on this list in the future, but I just can’t put it as one of the best quite yet.

As always, this is a subjective list (that only includes current knives) taking into account personal experience as well as reviews/commentary from across the knife community. Let me know if I missed any in the comments.

SOG Super Bowie

It seems blasphemous to leave the original SOG Bowie (well it’s now the Bowie 2.0) off this list, but the SOG Super Bowie is just superior. This is a reworking of the original knife that started the company except bigger. Instead of the 2.0’s 6.4-inch blade, the Super Bowie has a 7.5-inch blade and a larger handle that propels the knife into another category.

The fit and finish and overall design of the Super Bowie have been praised from users everywhere. The knife is darn sexy and carries a little bit of history with it.

SOG Trident

The SOG Trident is a workhorse of a knife. It has a blade design inspired by the original SOG Bowie and comes in at 2.75 inches. The handle has a Digi-Grip pattern that keeps the knife firmly in your hand. I really enjoy the Arc-Actuator lock because it’s easy to use. It has an integrated seat belt cutter in the handle and a deep carry pocket clip.

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10 Best Gerber Knives

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.

It’s been a rocky two decades, but Gerber seems to be on firm footing with some very well-designed models. 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.

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.

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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20 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. Spyderco Ronin 2

I wanted to start off with the Ronin because this is is pretty much where the modern interpretation and tactical obsession with the Wharncliffe blade came from.

The origins of the knife are documented in the History of the Wharncliffe, but self-defense expert Michael Janich wanted a superb cutting knife for a self-defense tool. After extensive testing, he found the Wharncliffe blade — with its piercing point and flat edge — was best.

He created the Ronin fixed blade with knife maker Mike Snody. It was picked up by Spyderco briefly but it was ahead of its time. Eventually, it came back in a second iteration.

It features a 4.08-inch blade made from CTS BD1 steel with a Wharncliffe blade that has a slanted spine that tapers to a point. The handle is black G-10.

2. CRKT Delilah’s PECK

Ed Halligan was a master of minimalism. It all started with his KISS (Keep It Super Simple) knife that was barebones but beloved. He took the concept of a minimalist and compact knife to the next level with the PECK (Precision Engineered Compact Knife).

This tiny knife weighs 0.9 ounces and features a 1.75-inch Wharncliffe blade design. What’s interesting about the inclusion of a Wharncliffe blade profile is that it’s functional to the design of the blade. The straight edge means the edge is completely hidden with the knife rather than protruding out of the handle to cause problems.

On top of that, the Wharncliffe is suited for all types of tasks.

3. KA-BAR TDI LDK

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. Gerber Razorfish

I wanted to include a few budget knives on here and the Gerber Razorfish qualifies. The Razorfish almost looks like a sheepsfoot blade but turns into a Wharncliffe at the last moment. It has a fishy look (hence the name) and a 2.8-inch blade.

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