This post was originally published in 2019 and updated in 2021.
Knife collecting is a rich man’s game.
Although you can have a robust collection of great knives without putting out a second mortgage on your house or doing Uber as a side hustle to pay your knife addiction, you have to spend quite a bit to really get all the tiers of knives, even from the name brands.
To see just how much you have to spend to see the top-tier knives from each brand, I assembled a list of the most expensive models from some of the most popular brands. I’ve been kicking around this idea in my head lately, but the recent release of the ultra-premium CRKT XOC motivated me to finish this post.
This was kind of tough to do because most of the brands have a special edition premium knife in the offerings or they have a large sword that costs a pretty penny. I decided to limit it to knives and tried to mention the most expensive regular production knife when applicable. These are also only the models in current or recent production.
Take a look.
Let’s start with one of the most recent announcements: the CRKT XOC. Pronounced “shock,” the XOC was a shock to most of the knife world. Not only is this knife huge, but it also carries a huge price tag. It comes in at $750.
This is a special edition knife though and is only tied for the most expensive the brand has put out. A few years back, CRKT released the limited edition Buy Tighe (a double-bladed folder) and also has the CRKT Motley currently available with an MSRP at $750.
I decided to put the XOC on here instead of the Motley because the Motley can be had for a street price of $425 but it’s unclear what the XOC will ultimately go for.
The most expensive knives are the mini swords from James Williams (the Hisshou at $375 and the Shinbu at $350).
Street Price: $520
In 2018, Spyderco discontinued its then-most expensive knife — the Nirvana with an MSRP of $739.55. But another Peter Rassenti integral frame lock knife took the mantle: the Spyderco Paysan.
The famous knife brand only recently announced the knife and it hasn’t officially been released but it has an MSRP of $800 and a street price of $520.
This is a gorgeous knife with a 3.88-inch S90V steel blade and integral titanium handle. I hope a Byrd Paysan becomes available soon!
Kershaw Lucha BlackWash
Street Price: ~$139.99
Kershaw isn’t known as an expensive brand and they stay true to their budget roots. You can find more expensive customized versions of its knives around the web, but the most expensive knife it offers is the Kershaw Lucha BlackWash.
In the first version of this post, the Kershaw Launch 6 was the most expensive at $189.99. But this BlackWash version of the balisong from Kershaw now takes the mantle.
Outside of the two Lucha knives, the Launch knives make up the top 8 most expensive knives from Kershaw.
Street Price: ~$299
Gerber used to have the Silver Trident for about $350, but it looks like it was discontinued and no longer in stock. So an auto takes the top spot with the Gerber Downright.
Gerber recently released a Multicam model of the iconic Gerber 06 Automatic Knife with a “premium design” and an MSRP of $246. The Downright is a full-sized, double-action OTF with a 4-inch S30V blade. The handle is aluminum. This knife is not yet available.
Boker Swiss Dagger Twisted Damascus
Street Price: $2,149.99
Boker has the most expensive knife from the common brands with the Swiss Dagger Twisted Damascus. This is a limited edition piece limited to 500 pieces. It has an 8.6-inch Damascus blade with an ebony handle.
This is apparently made in the tradition of medieval Damascus. Here is a thorough explanation from Boker (I added the paragraph breaks to make it more reader friendly):
The four-lane Twisted Damascus consisting of a tool steel containing nickel and manganese, is forged into a blade of perfect symmetry and beauty in an elaborate and very complicated forging process.
Each individual web consists of a Damascus package, which is first forged by hand and then twisted fifteen times. Four of these Twisted Damascus bars are then fire-welded and forged into the final blade shape. This structure of the layers not only guarantees the legendary strength of the Damascus blade, but also creates the unmistakable pattern that distinguishes a Twisted Damascus.
This historic and very complex forging process, which is mastered by only a few Damascus smiths, is carried out to perfection and exclusively for Boker by Andreas Henrichs.
That’s a lot of dough for a knife, but there’s no doubt it’s gorgeous.
I’m not sure what the most expensive non-limited edition Boker is. There’s the Boker Tirpitz-Damascus, which is made using steel from the WWII-era German warship Tirpitz. Boker does not say how many pieces were made but it would be limited by the availability of the material. It has an MSRP of $969.
Street Price: $570.00
Benchmade cheats a little in this area because every year they release a limited edition version of one of its knives with custom flourishes. These belong to the Gold Class of Benchmade knives.
But instead of changing it every year (this year is the $750 486-201 Saibu), we decided to put the non-limited edition Benchmade Billet here.
This is the second balisong to make the list. It has an S30V blade with an aluminum handle.
Victorinox Swiss Champ XAVT
Street Price: ~$380
This is Victorinox’s current largest Swiss Army Knife.
The Swiss Champ XAVT is quite the beast with 82 (or 83 depending on which part of the product page you believe) functions and a weight of 12.4 ounces. It’s billed more as a collector’s piece, which is understandable since no one will be carrying this around or using the small scissors to cut something.
While big, this still pales in comparison to the largest Swiss Army Knife ever, the old Wenger Giant. It had 141 functions and cost about $1,300. Miss you, Wenger.
Cold Steel XL Espada
Street Price: ~$470.00
If you want the most expensive Cold Steel item, it’s a sword. The most expensive knife by MSRP is the Cold Steel Extra Large Espada.
It’s not surprising this absolutely massive folder is the most expensive knife with an MSRP at $649.99. The XL Espada has a 7.5-inch S35VN steel blade and a polished G-10 handle. It weighs 16 ounces — for those keeping score, that’s a pound!
Because they recently made the change from XHP to S35VN, these might be a little harder to find right now.
Emerson Super Commander
Street Price: ~$330.00
Behold the Super Commander.
When you add super to the front of anything, you know it’s going to be bigger and pricier. That’s what you get with the Emerson Super Commander, based on the classic version.
This knife is 9.5 inches overall with a 154CM steel blade of 4 inches. The handle is black G-10.
You can get this knife in a few versions. The most expensive is the black-coated blade with serrations and modified for left-hand carry with the added lanyard and skull. With the options, it comes to $383.95.
SOG Kiku Fixed
Street Price: ~$200.00
SOG used to have some richer blood. If my memory recalls, the most expensive model used to be the handsome Damascus Arcitech with carbon fiber handles. But since that knife with its MSRP of $624 is gone, a new contender steps up to the plate.
The SOG Super Bowie was the most recent expensive knife before its price was lowered and the SOG Kiku fixed blade was released. The knife has a 4.1-inch S35VN blade with green Micarta handle scales.
Another recent knife at this same price point is the SOG Seal FX.
KA-BAR E.W. Stone Knife
Street Price: $1,000.00
KA-BAR has been making a foray into higher-end pieces, including limited editions and customs from its State & Union shop. The current most expensive knife is the E.W. Stone Knife.
Limited to 350 pieces, the E.W. Stone Knife is a replica of Eugene W. Stone’s famous skull and cobra handle fixed blade. The great part is that Bill Stone — Eugene’s son — helped contribute to the project to honor his dad’s legacy.
Here is a good description from KA-BAR:
Using his father’s original casts to make the famous skull and cobra handles, Bill Stone touched each and every one of these knives, hand finishing them before sending the blades to be blued. The end result is stunning. The handle is a gorgeous, shiny silver while the blades are a beautifully rich, deep shade of blue that sometimes looks black or silver in photography, depending on the lighting.
There’s also a nice little video that explains some of the history.
These go for $1,000 and seem to only be available from KA-BAR.
Zero Tolerance 0308BLKTS
Street Price: $320
It seems like Zero Tolerance never goes above the $400 mark. Two 2021 knives reached that price point, making them the most expensive. Even though there are two, we’re focusing on the ZT 0308BLKTS because it’s the only one available at the moment.
This ZT has a black-oxide BlackWash finish with a tiger stripe pattern. Its 3.7-inch blade uses 20CV steel, and the handle is G-10.
Schrade Uncle Henry 184STUH Bowie
Street Price: ~$115.00
Schrade is a tough one to do mainly because I wasn’t sure whether to include all of the sister brands of Schrade like Imperial, Old Timer, and Uncle Henry. I ultimately decided to do so, which means the most expensive Schrade is the Uncle Henry Bowie.
This version has a 9.7-inch blade made from 7Cr17MoV steel with stag handles. The blade says Schrade and Uncle Henry, so I have no qualms putting it here.
Buck 212 Fixed Ranger
Street Price: ~$350.00
Buck has a collection of knives called the Legacy Series. These are knives made with better materials, better craftsmanship, and higher prices. The most expensive of the series was the Buck 907 Expert Hunter.
Now the most expensive is the 2018 Legacy 212 Fixed Ranger. It is a custom knife with a W2 clip point blade and a blue and white Lucite handle.
Street Price: $999.00
Microtech is best known for its automatic knives, but its most expensive offerings are twisted fixed blades called Jagdkommando. Named after Austrian Armed Special Forces Operations group, the Jagdkommando is essentially a work of art.
Here’s more from Microtech:
Starting at the hollowed handle and watertight top, the machined grenade pattern of the handle transitions seamlessly into the three-edged blade, finally twisting to a deadly point.
There are custom Marfione versions of this knife and others, but this is the production version.
Leatherman Charge Plus TTI
Street Price: $169.95
The Charge Plus TTI is the most expensive knife from Leatherman. But Leatherman once made a limited edition version with Damascus that was around $300.
The standard Charge Plus TTI has 17 tools with locking features, an S30V steel blade, and titanium handles.
The MSRP and street price are the same.
Street Price: ~$200.00
ESEE doesn’t make many limited edition knives, so a regular fixed blade is their most expensive. The Junglas and Junglas-II are actually tied for most expensive, but I figured I’d stick with the original to avoid unnecessary confusion and because it’s significantly more popular.
The Junglas has a 10.38-inch blade and Micarta handle scales. It has a great reputation as a hard-working knife that withstands tons of abuse and use. Not much else to say about this knife.
Smith & Wesson Spec Ops M-9 Bayonet
Street Price: ~$66.00
Smith & Wesson knives are best known for being budget tactical folding options. The most expensive S&W knife is a bayonet.
Here’s a description from S&W:
Our Smith & Wesson® Special Ops® M-9 Bayonet is fully loaded with a black powder spear point blade and a textured nylon handle. The blade has a notched spine and large blood grooves and deep grooves. Included is a black scabbard with a large storage pouch, a sharpening stone and wire cutters.
Although the MSRP is about $140, you can get this knife for more than half off most places.
Kizer Mini Sheepdog, Damascus
Street Price: $329
The Kizer Sheepdog previously took this spot because the brand released Elijah Isham’s Minitherium with Damascus steel.
This premium folder comes in two Damascus styles— odin hein damasteel and vinland damasteel. Both models have a 3-inch damascus blade with carbon fiber handle scales. There are also bonuses like a 3D milled titanium backspacer and steel liners.
Ontario M11 EOD
Street Price: ~$260
I had the most trouble with Ontario Knife Company, which is why it’s last. I couldn’t figure out which ones were discontinued and which ones were in stock. It seems like they change MSRP frequently too.
The OKC Cerberus used to have the highest MSRP, but it looks like it’s no longer available. The next one I could find that has items in stock is the Black Bird SK-4. Since then, it seems like the Ontario M11 EOD is the clear-cut winner now with an MSRP of $394.56.
The M11 Explosive Ordnance Disposal Knife was made for the United States Army and has a 7.1-inch blade.