The Cutting Edge

The official blog of Knife Depot

Category: Knife Stuff (page 1 of 10)

Kershaw Strata Cleaver – Knife of the Week

Kershaw strata cleaver

Big utility knives don’t always need to be bulky and unwieldy. The Kershaw Strata Cleaver is the perfect example.

This ultra-modern folding cleaver boasts a design that evolved from Kershaw’s attempt at a Spanish-style Navaja. The designers at Kershaw decided to take it another step further and make something completely different.

The Kershaw Strata Cleaver features a long 4-inch cleaver-style blade that looks like it belongs in a kitchen. But the unique blade shape allows the knife to be used in various applications, from preparing food to opening boxes.

Made from D2 steel, the stonewash-finished blade opens smoothly with a flipper tab and KVT ball bearings.

It locks open with a frame lock.

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Smith & Wesson M-9 Bayonet – Knife of the Week

Smith & Wesson M-9 Bayonet

For nearly 40 years, the M-9 bayonet has been the faithful companion of countless military personnel around the world through conflicts like the Gulf War and the Iraq War.

Now everyone can experience the refined design with this commercial version of the bayonet from Smith & Wesson.

The Smith & Wesson Special Ops M-9 Bayonet is an essential tool with a ton of history behind it. It’s also one of the best Smith & Wesson knives you can buy.

The original design was made by Charles Albert Mickey Finn, who went from carving sandwiches at a delicatessen to making a knife that could carve wood, cut wire, withstand electrical shocks, open bottles, and more.

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20 Knife Gift Ideas Under $100

This post was updated in 2022.

Our suggestions for gift ideas at certain price ranges continues with 20 knife gift ideas under $100.

This list only features knives in the $50 to $100 price range. If you’re interested in the $20 to $50 range, check out our 20 knife gift ideas under $50 post. For prices under that, check out our 20 knife gift ideas under $20.

These recommendations cover the full gamut of styles, designs, and functions, so if you can’t find something to your satisfaction, you’re trying too hard.

1. CIVIVI Elementum

The first few iterations of this list featured the iconic Benchmade Mini Griptilian and then the fantastic Spyderco Para 3 Lightweight here. Unfortunately, rising prices have pushed these still great knives off the list. But the replacement may be a better overall knife and value.

The CIVIVI Elementum is one of the best everyday carry knives on the market. It is a simple design that countless people have fallen in love with the past few years. The great thing about the Elementum is that it comes in countless varieties, so you can get the Elementum that matches the personality of the recipient.

An even better aspect is that all of the CIVIVI Elementums fall in the $50 to $100 price range.

The one highlighted here is the handsome version with wood handles and black blade.

2. Spyderco Delica 4

Spyderco makes a ton of great knives at a budget cost, but for a true representation of the quality and design elements of the brand (aside from the first knife on this list), there’s the Delica. This is a truly beloved knife from the knife community because of its versatile size, excellent construction, and interesting design.

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20 Knife Gift Ideas Under $50

Note: Post updated in 2022.

If you’re like me, trying to find a gift is the worst. Fortunately, for you, helping you find the perfect gift is part of my job.

I’ve written about 20 different knife-related gifts for under $20 with some great options. But, if your budget for a good friend or a brother is a little higher, we got you covered.

Here are 20 knife-related gift ideas for under $50. These include some of the best-sellers at Knife Depot and products people have been excited about recently.

1. Spyderco Persistence Lightweight

When we first made this list a few years back, the Spyderco Tenacious was one of the top picks for knives under $50, but its price is now well over the $50 mark.

However, Spyderco recently came out with a “lightweight” iteration of the Tenacious’ little brother: the Spyderco Persistence Lightweight.

The Persistence Lightweight has a smaller 2.77-inch blade but it feels just as big as the larger Tenacious. Its handle is bidirectional FRN.

2. Kershaw Reverb

The Reverb is an interesting little knife. This futuristic-looking folder was named one of the top sellers of 2017 by Knife News, and it’s not hard to see why. The small 2.5-inch blade is versatile and its machined recess allows for easy, one-handed opening.

A combo G-10 and carbon fiber handle adds some texture to the grip while a carabiner in the back allows for versatile carry. The best part about this knife is you can really take it anywhere you go.

3. Smith & Wesson Bullseye Throwers

Smith & Wesson Bullseye Throwers

Does your gift recipient already have a ton of foldings knives and fixed blades? Try getting him or her a set of throwing knives. This set from Smith & Wesson comes with six throwing knives that are durable and great for everyone.

Knife throwing is quickly becoming a popular sport that people can play in the comfort of their own backyard. Start a new tradition with this set.

4. Engraved Old Timer 6OT Golden Bear

From the modern to the classic, the next item under $50 is the Old Timer 6OT Golden Bear from Schrade. I’ve always been a big fan of Old Timer knives — the saw cut Delrin handles and the brass bolsters/pins give this knife a look that harkens back to the days of old.

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20 Knife Gift Ideas Under $20

Note: Post updated in 2022.

Finding a gift for someone is stressful, whether it’s a small Christmas gift for a coworker, a graduation gift for your little brother, or a present for Father’s Day.

But don’t worry; we have your back with a good knife.

We first wrote this post a few years ago, but due to prices creeping up, we had to give this list an overhaul. So here’s a look at 20 easy knife-related gift ideas that are sure to get some genuine smiles and thanks.

The best part is that everything’s under $20.

1. Smith & Wesson Benji

We’ll start with an easy one—the Smith & Wesson Benji. This one makes an excellent gift. Why? This is a good all-around EDC tool with the dual purpose of being a money clip. That alone makes this gift a no-brainer.

It also has a bonus bottle opener!


2. Kershaw Diode

The fantastic Kershaw Shuffle used to hold this spot, but it’s unfortunately a few dollars over our arbitrary $20 limit. But Kershaw has another small multifunctional pocket knife in the Kershaw Diode.

This mini knife has a 1.6-inch liner locking blade and a glass-filled nylon handle. But the main attraction is the extended backspacer, which can be used as a keyring attachment, screwdriver, or pry bar.

At $12.99, this knife is even cheaper than the Shuffle ever was and just as good.


3. Cold Steel Kudu

Cold Steel is best known for its huge hard-use folders, but it does have a few understated folders you can get for cheap, like the Cold Steel Kudu.

The Kudu is inspired by the okapi knife that became popular particularly in South Africa. Not only does it have an interesting background but its ratchet-lock clasp is something few other knives have.

Overall, this remains an excellent lightweight folder for a cheap price.


4. Case Mini Blackhorn

Case Mini Blackhorn

Think you can’t get a solid US-made knife for less than $20? Think again.

The Case Mini Blackhorn is an excellent little knife that does its job and does it well. The drop point blade is stainless steel and the handle is made from black synthetic. It’s extremely lightweight—about an ounce—and oozes class.

It’s the kind of knife you can give to anyone, from a lawyer to a rugged outdoorsman.


5. Lansky Blade Medic

All knives need a touch-up at some point in their life, but the need always comes at the worst times. That’s what the Lansky Blade Medic is for.

This pocket sharpening kit is billed as the first responder for field repairs because it’s an entire sharpening system that fits right in your pocket. It has tungsten carbide, ceramic sharpening rods, a serrated knife sharpener, and a diamond tapered rod.

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What Should I Engrave on a Knife? 10 Engraving Ideas

engraved knives

There are so many things that make laser-engraved knives the perfect gift (something we’ve written about extensively), but basically they are functional and meaningful.

But what exactly should you get engraved on a knife?

That’s the million dollar question that can make or break your gift.

Our engraved knife experts at Knife Depot have engraved thousands of knives over the years, so we know a thing or two about what looks good on an engraved knife.

If you’re having trouble deciding what to engrave on a knife, here are some tips and suggestions.


Out of the thousands of knives we’ve engraved, names are by far the most common.

It just makes sense. While it may seem counterintuitive to have your name on a knife, it just makes things more personal than a generic knife with no engraving.

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Why Engraved Knives Make the Best Gifts

Engraved knife

There’s nothing worse than trying to find the perfect gift.

You spend countless hours thinking about a gift only to see the recipient disappointed when opening it up.

But, there is one thing that has been my go-to gift with excellent results every time: engraved knives.

Here’s why.

1. The person will actually use it.

Let’s start with one of the best arguments for a knife as a gift: it’s functional!

How many times have you given or received a gift that ends up stuffed deep into a closet or tossed in a drawer?

Now think of all the times you’ve pulled out your pocket knife in the last hour alone. If you’re anything like me, it’s a fair amount. I have used my knife to open packaging from Knife Depot, cut a straw in half (a long story involving my son), and break down cardboard.

If you’re worried the gift recipient may not be familiar with all the uses of a knife, share my look at 101 uses for the pocket knife.

2. You can find the perfect engraved knife for any personality.

Since the knife has been around for millions of years, countless variations and designs exist. This means you can find a knife that matches up with the personality of the recipient.

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Behold the Ultra Premium Utility Knife from Hawk Knives

It’s no secret that Grant and Gavin Hawk are among my favorite knifemakers. Their designs aren’t always the most practical but they constantly push themselves to make truly innovative designs.

So I was excited when they announced a brand new design that’s sure to ruffle feathers.

Behold the Hawk Knives Shortcut.

The Shortcut is an ultra premium utility knife made with top-notch materials and a trailblazing design not normally reserved for simple utility knives.

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Do Knife Companies Lie About Their Steel?

It’s a common concern among knife collectors. You spend just over $150 (if you’re lucky) on a brand new knife with the latest steel, only to second guess whether it’s the steel you paid for.

It may be because the steel is starting to rust in some spots, dulls quicker than you expect, or isn’t as tough as you thought it should be.

That’s when you start to ask yourself: do knife companies mislabel or lie about the type of steel they’re using?

The truth is that sometimes they do.

Yes, Some Brands Intentionally Mislabel Steel

I decided to write this post after watching a video knifemaker and former Cold Steel collaborator Andrew Demko did on a YouTube channel in November 2020.

When the interviewer mentioned that people were ambivalent about the use of AUS10A steel in one of Cold Steel’s knives, Demko said that the reason certain steel gets a bad reputation is because some knife companies are intentionally passing off lower end steel like AUS6A for AUS8A.

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A History of the Spyderco Massad Ayoob

Spyderco Massad Ayoob

For more than a decade, people have been begging Spyderco to bring back one knife above all others. It’s a little knife called the Massad Ayoob.

And now, exactly 20 years after it was first released, the Spyderco Massad Ayoob is back for a limited time as a Sprint Run in a plain version and a serrated version.

So what makes the Massad Ayoob so special? Read on.

Who is Massad Ayoob?

If you’re not familiar with Massad Ayoob, he is a renowned designer and premier firearms expert. He’s been the handgun editor at Guns magazine and law enforcement columnist for American Handgunner for more than 50 years.

He’s run trainings for law enforcement personnel and was named the president of the Second Amendment Foundation in 2020.

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