The Cutting Edge

The official blog of Knife Depot

Category: Knife Lists (page 1 of 6)

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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Top 10 First Knives to Give to a Kid

Victorinox Tinker” by James Case is licensed under CC BY 2.0

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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Top 20 Knives with D2 Steel

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 .0160 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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30 of the Strangest (or Ugliest) Spyderco Knife Designs Ever

Regular readers here at the Knife Depot blog know just how much we love Spyderco Knives. We’ve written a number of blog posts about the iconic brand, as well as a comprehensive article about its history, designers, innovations, and more.

Despite our gushing over Spyderco Knives, we’re not afraid to say the company comes up with some of the most bizarre and strange-looking designs ever. Although many people would call some designs downright ugly, their functionality-over-looks mentality is part of why we love them so much.

I went through some of the most unique blade shapes already, which featured more than a few Spydies, but I wanted to dedicate a whole post to interesting Spyderco knives.

I originally wrote this post a few years ago with 10, but I’ve since gone through the archives of products and seen some of the latest models and thought it would be a good idea to give this list an update.

So now, instead of the 10 most awesomely bizarre Spyderco knives, here are the 30 most awesomely bizarre Spyderco knives.

1. Spyderco Matriarch 2 with Wave

The original list featured the Civilian, but I’ve come to realize the Matriarch 2 with the Wave feature is even more strange. Long-time Spyderco fans have probably become inured to the odd look of the knife since the larger version has been around since the 1990s, but if you give this knife to the common person, they’d likely be confused.

It has a fully serrated patented reverse S-blade with the wave featured made by Ernest Emerson. Users can engage the knife in a single motion out of the pocket. The blade shape and wave give this an almost reptilian look.

2. Spyderco Captain

SPY-C111G

From the fierce Matriarch 2 with Wave to the pudgy Captain. This discontinued knife had a 4-inch blade with a shape like no other. The lower part of the blade was curved with a bulbous tip. The handle was also somewhat blocky and peppered with screws and rivets.

Part of the reason it was probably discontinued was the fact that it was unclear what the goal of the knife was.

3. Spyderco Roadie

Next up is the Roadie — one of the most recent models on this list. This design came about after the TSA announced it was going to allow certain knives on planes. Working within those limitations, Spyderco made the Roadie.

But when the TSA reversed its decision to allow knives on planes, Spyderco went forward with the release. Despite its very odd look, the knife is beloved by diehards. It has a 2.09-inch blade that looks like the head of a dodo and a slender handle. The blade opens up with a pair of symmetrical dimples and doesn’t look intimidating at all.

Strange indeed.

4. Spyderco Q

c35

Simply named the Q, this knife featured a fascinating design that’s come in a ton of variations — at least 50 according to Spyderco Source. The standard version of the Q has a cutout blade design with the Spyderco logo on a web. The handle also has cutouts and comes in different colors.

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Top 15 Folding Knives with CPM-S30V Steel

The quest for the perfect steel is never ending. Just as one steel is praised as the perfect steel, another one comes along to claim the title.

There is no perfect steel. Some of the super steels these days like S110V and M390 are at the top of the line for edge retention but can be very difficult to sharpen without the right tools. Beater steels like 420HC and 440A dull pretty quickly but can be brought back to razor sharp without effort.

For a while CPM-S30V was the top of the line steel. The premium steel boasts some of the best qualities of a good knife steel: it has great edge retention, solid corrosion resistance, and average ease of sharpening. Here’s what Buck Knives says about S30V: “We consider this the absolute best blade steel available, and it is made in America.”

The steel was developed by Chris Reeve and Crucible Industries and contains a 1.45% carbon, 14% chromium, 4% vanadium, and 2% molybdenum. The alloy composition creates an even distribution of vanadium carbides that improve sharpness and edge retention.

S30V has become pervasive in the knife community, though it does vary depending on who does the heat treatment.

If you’re interested in getting a knife with S30V steel, here are 15 of the best knives with S30V steel blades, including a few currently in stock at Knife Depot.

Spyderco Paramilitary 2

We’ll start off with the legend. The Spyderco Paramilitary 2 is widely billed as one of the best all-around EDC knives ever made and part of what made it so great is the S30V steel. These days, the PM2 can also be found in S110V or in many other steels during special runs (CTS-XHP, M390, M4 Cru-Wear).

The knife itself is a bit on the larger side with a nearly 3.5-inch leaf-shaped blade and grippy G-10 handle scales. The knife uses Spyderco’s popular Compression Lock and all the pieces seem to fit together just seamlessly.

If you don’t have one in your collection, get one now.

Gerber 06 Manual Combat

Gerber? Oh, yes. Gerber actually has a few knives in S30V steel, but the first we’re highlighting is one of the best American-made folders the company has to offer: the Gerber 06 Manual Combat.

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15 Pocket Knives That Weigh Less Than an Ounce

Every ounce counts.

When it comes to knives, you might be thinking to yourself what’s a few ounces? Is the Cold Steel Spartan at 10 ounces really so much heavier than the Kershaw Chill at 2 ounces? The answer is yes.

If you’re just going for a walk around the block, you might not notice the weight, but carry the knife for hours on end and you’ll feel that sag in your pocket like a ton of bricks.

I’m starting a series of posts about knives under certain weights for those looking to cut back on their EDC weight. So let’s start with the lightest a knife can get: less than an ounce.

Yes, knives that weigh in at under an ounce can be just as useful as those boasting bigger designs. Here’s a look at some of the best.

Spyderco Manbug

When you want a small knife, look no further than Spyderco. The famous spider brand is well-known for creating minuscule knives that look identical to some of their bigger counterparts. The Spyderco Ladybug and Honey Bee could have been on this list, but instead of completely stuffing it with Spydies, I thought I’d stick with a few, including the Manbug.

Nothing against the feminine-sounding Ladybug (which is a fantastic knife), but if I had to choose one knife with a typical Spyderco design under an ounce, it would be the Manbug. This knife is a little beefier and easier to wield than the Ladybug. It has a 1.875″ blade made from VG-10 and FRN handles. Coming in at .65 ounces, the Manbug is a hard-working knife that you’ll barely feel in your pocket.

Gerber LST Ultralight

The Gerber LST Ultralight was one of our Badass Knives of the Week a while back. How does a sub-ounce knife get that distinction? It features a reliable lockback design and has history on its side. The original LST was brought to market more than 35 years ago by Pete Gerber himself.

The ultralight version has a 1.96-inch blade made from 420HC stainless steel and glass-filled nylon handles — one of the first knives to ever use it. The best part is that this inexpensive and .6-ounce knife is made in the United States.

Victorinox Classic SD

When it comes to knives, it doesn’t get more iconic than the Victorinox Classic SD. This Swiss Army Knife model may be the best-selling knife ever with countless being sold around the world. The reason is simple: this tiny knife is lightweight, multifunctional, and all anyone can ask for in a small pocket knife.

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8 Awesome (and Impractical) Kitchen Knife Block Designs

I can’t tell you when the kitchen knife block was invented or who it was invented by, but it remains one of the best inventions for the kitchen since sliced bread.

Prior to the knife block, the vast majority of Americans simply tossed their fine kitchen cutlery into a drawer, only to get dinged up and scratched.

The knife block offers a solution that saves space and keeps your kitchen knives protected from wear and tear. While knife blocks have their flaws — they’re often impossible to clean, sometimes dull the knives, and often come in unnecessary sets — they are one of the most popular kitchen knife storage solutions around.

With all that said, the basic design of the knife block and its prevalence in kitchens across the world make the knife holder ripe for parody and creativity. That’s where these knife blocks come into the picture.

These knife blocks prioritize artistry over function and they’re entirely impractical but they’re just so darn visually stimulating.

Wolverine Knife Holder

This is the block that inspired me to write this post. Behold the pinnacle of insanity in all its glory. The Wolverine Steak Knife Holder is one of the coolest and most creative knife blocks around, and it’s also the least functional.

The fists are made with a 3D printer from plastic but can only hold six knives. You’d only be able to store your steak knife set and would have to find another solution for your chef’s knife/paring knife. On top of that, the knives aren’t that easy to get out. Oh, and did I mention that the knives stick up out into the air?

The maker of this holder on Etsy seems pretty cool and straightforward about the piece as more of a conversation starter than a functional knife storage system.

Buyer assumes all responsibility for safety once purchased…. seriously, steak knives set backwards in a knife block? Use your best judgement when displaying, using, populating your home with animals or children… or drunk people.

All of you looking to get your hands on one of these hands is out of luck for now. The item sold earlier this month.

Star Wars X-wing Knife Holder

If you thought the Wolverine knife block was insane, the creators of this knife block said, “Hold my Bantha milk.” You may have already seen this knife block before — if you haven’t already bought a few as housewarming gifts — but it’s modeled after the starfighter most commonly recognized from the Battle of Yavin in Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope.

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Top 7 Most Popular Boot Knives

When things get rough or situations are unknown, there’s nothing more comfortable than knowing you’ve got a back-up plan tucked away in your steel-toe boots.

Boot knives can be used for everything, from survival situations to last resort self-defense. Since they’re often concealed and frequently feature dual-edged blades, you should check with your local laws to see whether there are any restrictions.

But if you’re looking to pick up a new boot knife, these seven are among the best on the market.

CRKT Sting

Forged from one solid piece of steel, the Sting is a knife from the great A.G. Russell that features a simple but effective design as reliable as when it was first introduced in the 1970s. The overall length is just under 7 inches with a roughly 3.2-inch dual-edge blade. The blade and handle are made of 1050 carbon steel coated with a black powder finish.

A good sheath is essential in a boot knife, and the Sting delivers on that end. It comes with a custom nylon-stitched sheath with a glass reinforced nylon insert. Russell updated the design not long ago with the Sting 3B, but the original remains one of the best.

Smith & Wesson SWHRT9B H.R.T. Boot Knife

There are three boot knives on this list with nearly identical designs as the Smith & Wesson SWHRT9B H.R.T. Boot Knife, but we’ve received nothing but praises about the knife. This is one of the best-selling knives at Knife Depot. As I’ve written before, the knife is the perfect choice for a last-ditch weapon when things get rough.

A 4.74-inch double-edged blade is made from 7Cr17 high carbon stainless steel and coated with black Teflon. Its shapely handle is wrapped in black rubber while the grooved rings provide extra grip when holding the knife.

The leather sheath holds the knife in place with snap fastener.

Cold Steel Kobun

The Cold Steel Kobun is less of a dedicated boot knife than the others but it is more than capable of hanging around on your boot in wait of some action. At 4.4 ounces, the Kobun weighs less than the S&W boot knife with a longer blade. The 5.5-inch blade is made from Japanese AUS 8A stainless steel and features the American-style tanto blade that offers a durable design. It’s definitely on the larger end of a boot knife.

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10 Badass Knife Money Clips

Wallets are large, uncomfortable and bulky (if you’re lucky). But if you’re the kind of guy who’s bent on keeping your pockets as unobtrusive as possible and aren’t bogged down by rewards cards from places like Petco or Panera Bread, ditch the wallet for something a little more discreet and fashionable: a money clip.

The money clip is straightforward, unassuming, and typically boasts a nice metal design that’s more durable than any leather wallet. And to kill two birds with one stone, many money clips also double as a pocket knife.

To help you in your search for a new money clip and pocket knife, we’ve broken down some of the most interesting knife money clips.

SOG Cash Card

Money and a knife. Is there anything else you really need to carry? The SOG Cash Card was designed with this purpose in mind. It features a minimalist design with cutouts that keep the weight at a reasonable 2 ounces. The best part is the functional 2.75-inch liner locking blade. The handle is stainless steel.

Victorinox Swiss Army Money Clip

The Swiss Army knife is the ultimate multitool, so it makes perfect sense to attach a money clip to it and make it a full-fledged multitool that’s the only thing in your pocket. The Victorinox Money Clip model has a blade, scissors, and nail file with cleaner. This model actually comes in three colors.

CRKT K.I.S.S.

The late Ed Halligan wanted a knife that kept to the motto “Keep It Super Simple” (or Keep It Simple Stupid), so he made the K.I.S.S. The knife was picked up by CRKT and was unveiled at the Shot Show in 1997. It became an instant it. This design is as basic as they come.

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Best Everyday Carry Eating Tools

Preparation is the key to survival.

Imagine this scenario: You’re lost out in the wilderness for days surviving on berries and wildflowers when all of a sudden you come across a fresh and perfectly made banana split. But all you have are your hands to eat the delicious and potentially life-saving ice cream creation, so you pass it along and succumb to starvation hours later.

If only you had a tool for eating something on the go.

Sure, this tale is grossly exaggerated (and you would just use your hands to eat and deal with the mess after), but it also serves as a cautionary story about the need to be prepared for everything and that includes eating like a civilized being.

Fortunately for those of us who like to eat on the go without getting our hands dirty, manufacturers make a range of tools designed to serve as utensils in any situation. Here are some of the best.

CRKT Eat’N Tool

Let’s start off with one of the most famous eating tools: the CRKT Eat’N Tool. This little guy has become one of the gold standards for what a simple yet effective eating tool should be. Designed by Liong Mah (of CRKT Remedy fame), the Eat’N Tool has a spork setup with some extras like a bottle opener, screwdrivers, pry bar, and metric wrenches.

Thanks to the cutout in the middle, the tool is surprisingly comfortable to use. It weighs 1.5 ounces and is meant to attach to your keychains for those times you’re stuck without a spoon. If you want a longer one, you can grab the CRKT Eat’N Tool XL.

KA-BAR Tactical Spork

So the name is a little silly, but the concept of the KA-BAR Tactical Spork is great. This is a compact eating utensil made from black Grilamid and looks like a classic spork when closed. But when you need a knife, it splits into two for a knife and fork set.

This tool is made in the United States and has an overall length of nearly 7 inches. This is a good camping set or something you can easily stick in your bag or EDC kit.

Kershaw Ration

The Kershaw Ration shies away from the spork, which does have some limitations and makes a tool with a fork and a spoon (as well as a cap lifter). The stainless steel tool is compact and weighs 1.1 ounces. It also has a cool carabiner to easily attach to a backpack or lunch bag for when you need it.

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