If you retrace the lineage of the tactical folder over the past 20 years, then you’d eventually come to one knife: the Emerson CQC-6.
The handmade tactical folding knife designed by the legendary Ernest Emerson is widely considered the knife that popularized the tactical folder (along with designs by Sal Glesser and Bob Terzuola).
Even after more than 20 years of being made, the waitlist on this custom knife stretched several years. So Emerson partnered with Kershaw to bring a factory version of the knife called the Kershaw Emerson CQC-6K.
But could Kershaw recreate the design, fit, and finish that made the custom so popular with a smaller budget? The answer is a resounding yes.
The Kershaw Emerson CQC-6K features a 3.25-inch clip point blade made from 8Cr14MoV stainless steel. The blade is adorned with a thumb disk for ambidextrous opening and includes the iconic Emerson Wave.
For those unfamiliar with the small protrusion from the base of the blade’s spine, it catches the edge of your pocket when pulling it out for swift engagement in a single motion. The Wave is popular among military and rescue personnel.
The front of the handle boasts a textured G-10 handle scale while the back is 410 bead-blasted stainless steel.
It may be blasphemous to say, but many respected knife reviewers have argued that Kershaw’s version of the iconic knife may actually be better than the custom version. At a fraction of the price of the custom, the Kershaw Emerson CQC-6K should be an instant buy for anyone looking for a reliable EDC.
For more information on this Badass Knife of the Week, check out the product page for the Kershaw Emerson CQC-6K.