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Best Folding Knives 2018 – [Buyer’s Guide]

Last Updated December 1, 2018
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Billy JacobsLooking for ways to bring your folding knives to the next level? Then you’ve come to the right place. I’m Billy Jacobs. After spending over 44 hours comparing at least 12 folding knives, I am recommending the best folding knives of 2018

In this article, I will be categorizing the items according to their functions and most typical features. In this article, I’ve listed down the Top 3 list. These are the best folding knives your money can buy.

Best Folding Knives of 2018

If you’re reading this, it is very likely that you’re scouting for the best folding knives. Like choosing clothes or cosmetics, choosing folding knives should be based on your purpose, favorite style, and financial condition. Before you spend your money on folding knives, start by familiarizing yourself with the various types. The above tidbits will bring you closer to selecting folding knives that best serves your needs and as per your budget.

Test Results and Ratings

Rank №1 №2 №3
Total 4.8 4.5 4.3
5 points
4 points
4 points
4 points
5 points
4 points
5 points
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4 points
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Awards 1
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№1 – Kizer Cutlery Folding Pocket Knife Liner Lock Black G10 Handles knife

Kizer Cutlery Folding Pocket Knife Liner Lock Black G10 Handles knife

A reversible spring pocket clip and stainless steel liners
Tactical pocket folding knife offers rapid one-handed deployment, locks securely into place with liner lock
3.5″ VG10 blade with a drop point shape and gray titanium coating.The bronze washers allow for smooth blade opening
Nothing, except that I wasted too much time making my choice.

Why did this folding knives win the first place?

I really enjoy the design. It is compact, comfortable and reliable. And it looks amazing! I am very happy with the purchase. It is definitely worth its money. The product is top-notch! The material is stylish, but it smells for the first couple of days. I don’t know anything about other models from this brand, but I am fully satisfied with this product.












№2 – BladeMate Survival Knives: Tactical Folding Rescue Pocket Knife with 3.5″ Stainless Steel Tanto Blade

BladeMate Survival Knives: Tactical Folding Rescue Pocket Knife with 3.5

LIFE SAVING seatbelt cutter and steel-tipped glass breaker, perfect for emergencies
RAZOR SHARP stainless steel Tanto blade with serrated edge, perfect for slicing, sawing, and personal protection
SURVIVE THE HARSH OUTDOORS with a 3.5 inch blade fortified with alloy to prevent corrosion in severe conditions
Inconsistent results.
Hard to use.

Why did this folding knives come in second place?

I really liked it. It is amazing in every aspect. It did even exceed my expectations for a bit, considering the affordable price. The design quality is top notch and the color is nice. I recommend you to consider buying this model, it definitely worth its money. The material is pretty strong and easy to wash if needed.












№3 – Mini Key Knife Colorful Stainless Steel Portable Folding Knife For Outdoor

Mini Key Knife Colorful Stainless Steel Portable Folding Knife For Outdoor

Dimensions:12.3CM,20g.Light weight and small size makes it a great gift
Bright polished finish, solid stainless steel
Sharp blade and can be easily folded. Key shape easy to carry
Not very flexible.
Longevity is in question.

Why did this folding knives take third place?

It doesn’t squeaks nor bents. Looks great in my apartment. I liked the design. We’ve been using it for 2 months and it still looks like brand new. I hope that the good reputation of the manufacturer will guarantee a long-term work. This price is appropriate since the product is very well built.












Folding Knives Buyer’s Guide

If you keep the before points in mind, you can easily go out to the market and buy folding knives, right? No!


The warranty offered by SOG may be part of the reason it gets such high ratings from its customers. Not only does SOG offer a lifetime warranty on its products, but it also offers to sharpen its knives for free. They even pay the return shipping so you get your knife back for free.

Case is focused on building long-term relationships with their customers. They boast of being the type of knife your grandfather probably passed down to your father as a treasured family heirloom. Case also sometimes offers free shipping and prides itself on making its products in America.


If warranty is important, Spyderco also offers some coverage to its customers for the life of their products. They also offer some repair services, at a small fee.

Nervous buyers will feel comforted by CRKT’s return policy. They will take returns for any reason at all as long as you ship the knife back within 30 days of receiving it. CRKT also has a limited lifetime warranty for its products.

Steel and Blade Sharpening for Pocket Knives

There’s a lot that goes into the steel in a knife and sharpening it. The most comprehensive guide to knife steel can be found here. A less exhaustive guide will still get you a great knife, however. There are a few key factors to remember, including:

The above list is a just a quick rundown of some of the most important factors in determining the quality of the steel used to produce a pocket knife. However, we can’t all be steel experts (nor do we all want to be). Luckily, there is no need for super deep knowledge of steel.

For most people, it is enough to know that high carbon steel is usually stronger and more rust resistant than stainless steel, while stainless steel is better at holding an edge after sharpening. Keep in mind that stainless steel is tougher to sharpen and more likely to break than high carbon steel.

When it comes to sharpening, pocket knives can be trickier to deal with than larger knives. It is harder to work with a smaller knife blade. Many people with pocket knives use commercial sharpeners or let professionals sharpen their knives for them. However, it is also possible to sharpen a pocket knife on your own if you use a whetstone, as shown in the following video.

What Blade Length Should You Look for in a Pocket Knife?

There isn’t a ton of variation in the length of pocket knife blades, but it is still important to understand what blade length means for your knife. Different lengths of knife blade are more or less suited to different tasks. A long knife blade of to inches is best for chopping type tasks, while a medium blade of to 7.inches offers some of the power of a long blade and some of the precision of a shorter blade.

A pocket knife blade will typically fall between and inches, with many close to 3.inches. Small blades like these are great for very precise work, such as skinning game, gutting fish, whittling, carving small objects and slicing up small items like roots and tubers. This also makes it an incredibly handy tool to have around just for everyday use. What a pocket knife blade lacks in power and chopping ability, it makes up for in nuanced movements. You can do things with a pocket knife that are simply impossible when dealing with a longer bladed knife.

The Handle of Your Pocket Knife

There can be a ton of variation when it comes to the handle of your pocket knife. Many manufacturers use GThis is a great standard made of fiberglass. It’s highly dependable while remaining lightweight. It is considered even stronger than Micarta as a grip material while still being quite comfortable to hold because it can be textured.

What Glacks, however, is some of the look and feel that a material like titanium can offer. Titanium is strong and light, though very easy to scratch up. Still, it is a knife handle material worth considering because it is so durable and resistant to corrosion. Many knife makers prefer this even though it comes at a higher cost than something like G10.

There are several other options for knife handles, including aluminum, stainless steel and carbon fiber. Some of these are synthetic materials while others are metals. They all comes with advantages and disadvantages. Often, a manufacturer will have a particular preference in what they use for their knives. Here is a table of some of the advantages and disadvantages of different types of knife handles.

What to Look for a Pocket Knife

The best pocket knife for you depends upon what your intended use for the pocket knife is. If you are planning on using it for hunting, you will need a different knife than if you were planning on using it for everyday carry.

This guide will walk you through what you should look for in an all-around great pocket knife that will last you for years in a wide range of tasks. These are pocket knives that you can easily and legally (see what knives are legal in your state) carry in your pocket day in and day out. These knives are great for cutting up thick shipping boxes, slicing apples, or even self defense.

Brand DOES Matter!

For example, Benchmade allows you to send in any knife of theirs for as long as you own it to the factor for restoration. They will sharpen the blade to the correct angle, adjust all screws, replace worn down parts, and give it a factory shine. Non-name brands do not offer this.

Great Steel Makes Great Knives

If you are planning on carry a knife every day, you must get a knife that has a great handle. Cheap plastic handles will hurt your hands and give you blisters after long, heavy use. Some handles will warp or fade colors when exposed to UV light; avoid these if you are outdoors a lot. The knives reviewed here all have high quality handles and this guide will talk about each one in depth further on.

EDC Requires a Good Clip

If you are planning on carrying a knife everyday, a good, secure clip is vital. Low quality clips can damage your pants or break. Poorly designed clips do not secure themselves properly to your pants and, often times, lead themselves to falling out of your pocket. Look for a smooth clip with no sharp edges.

Avoid clips that have a protruding screw, even if the screw is beveled. Try to get a clip that allows the knife to sit deep inside your pockets. Some clips can also be too tight and make it hard to remove a knife from your pocket.

Kershaw 1990 Brawler Multifunction Pocket Knife

The Kershaw 1990 Brawler Multifunction Pocket Knife is a best rescue and tactical folder to punch through hard materials. The inches blade is made of the 8Cr13MoV stainless steel with the black oxide coating for corrosion resistance and to provide a stealthy look. This modified tanto point is a perfect blade for these particular chores and other physically demanding tasks because the blade metal has an essential hardness to support the sharp point and building it stronger than others. Also, the blade has a grind that supports narrow the sharp blade and increases piercing power. Its flat belly provides a fantastic cutting advantage, ideal for bearing down on different chores as well as very easy to resharpen.

The handle of Kershaw 1990 Brawler Multifunction Pocket Knife is made of durable and lightweight Glass-filled nylon. The textured black contours with the grip pattern feature on the handle provide a very solid grip in slippery and wet cases. The handle has angled curves inside the palm of the user’s very hand. This type of model is useful in multitasking and in extreme rescue situations. There is a pre-drilled lanyard hole bottom of the handle.

This best tactical EDC knife has manufactured with the SpeedSafe assisted feature that ensures an easy and automatic one-handed opening. Just turn back on the top of the flipper after that the SpeedSafe assisted opening mechanism takes over, releasing the blade out of the ergonomic handle and ready to use the knife. When you deploy the blade, the flipper will take a position as a finger guard and ensure additional protection during incautious use. It also comes with a Liner lock. The 7.1-inch Kershaw 1990 Brawler also features a 4-position or reversible pocket clip (tip-up/tip-down, left/right) and limited lifetime warranty. Weight 3.oz and folded length 4.inches.

SOG Flash II Assisted Folding Knife TFSA98-CP

The SOG modern technology finishes opening the knife using coil springs that are high tension and then is locked into place. This means, all the Flash knives are designed with a secure piston lock which can be loosened swiftly by a sliding button. An easy open pocket knife requires you to just press the ‘kick that comes through the pass through on the lock clincher. When you close it, an extra safety mechanism prevents it from opening in your pocket accidentally.

The handle is constructed of glass-reinforced nylon and has an ergonomic contour textured grip to protect from slipping. The inches knife is designed to fit comfortably in your both right and left hands and is balanced for a normal feel. To make sure that it does not fall out of your pocket it has a reversible clip on the back of the handle that can be used as a money clip. This SOG EDC knife comes with a limited lifetime warranty. It has a folded length of 4.5-inch and just 3.oz weight that makes it small enough to carry it in your pocket discretely.

Selecting the Blade Core Material

Blade core material is generally high carbon steel or stainless steel. How the steel has been heat treated is a huge factor in the performance of the blade. When looking at the blade core material, the first thing that you should do is look for one with a specific alloy name. Most knives will have a specification sheet that will list various compounds of the material of the blade. Under the category of “blade material”, you may see a compound like 8Cr13MoV, 440C, AUS-or other compound numbers.

If the manufacturer does not list the alloy but states surgical steel or stainless steel, you should not pay more than thirty dollars for the knife. The next step is to choose the knife from a respected manufacturer. Some knife owners say that the most popular blades are the 154CM and the S30V, AUS-8, carbon steel because these two are sharper, harder, and tougher that some of the more foreign and exotic blades.

Selecting the Blade Length

The first thing that you need to do is check the legality of the length of blade that you can have in your area. Next, you need to consider what you are going to use the knife for so you can choose the correct blade length and not get one too small or too large. • Small Blades: These knives are anything fewer than 2.7inches and used for intricate tasks. They are legal in most places, lighter, and easier to carry. The disadvantages with this small tactical pocket knife is that are not as versatile or strong as larger knives. • Medium Blades: These range from 2.7to inches and are large enough to handle various tasks but still small enough to be mobile. These knives also have different locking mechanisms. The only real disadvantage is that some areas ban knives over 27inches. • Large Blades: These knife blades are over four inches and focus more on self-defense and can be more intimidating than the smaller blades. They are also easy to carry discreetly. They are also heavier and bulkier. In some locales, they may not meet the requirements of the law.

Selecting the Blade Edge • Plain Edge: This kind of blade edge is better at doing push cuts and gives you better control of the knife. It also gives you cleaner, more accurate cuts. Plain edges are easier for the owner to sharpen, so you do not have to send it back to the factory to be sharpened. It does not have the ability to do pull cuts and saw. • Serrated Edge: This type of edge does a good job of cutting tougher materials due to the extra strength that comes from a higher pressure per area. These blades are usually thinner and allow the blade to cut well than other knives. They are also difficult to sharpen so you have to send it to the factory to be sharpened. • Combination Edge: This knife-edge is both serrated and plain, with the plain edge at the front of the knife. It lets you manage the part of the blade for rigorous cutting and the other division for easy push cutting. It will also have to be sent to the factory to be sharpened. It is also not as clumsy as a serrated edge knife.

Blade Number and Its Performance

The best pocket knife can have a single blade or multiple blades. They may even have tools. A knife with more blades may not always be the best. Before choosing the number of blades you want your best tactical folding knife to have looked at the knife’s performance. • Swiss Army or Multi-Tool Pocket Knife: This type of knife has more than blades. It has tools like tweezers, nail files, corkscrews, toothpicks, and more. On the market today, these are the most multi-dimensional tactical pocket knives. It was originally created to meet the demands of the soldiers in the fields. They come in many different sizes and shapes ranging from three tools to 8tools Giant Swiss Army Knife. They are for those who are the jack-of-all-trades. • Single Blade Pocket Knife: These come in a variety of sizes and shapes. Their size and simplicity are the best qualities of this type of knife. A single-blade knife focuses on the design of one large blade. They usually are sturdier, lighter and stronger due to their locking mechanisms so they can be used for more demanding work. They are perfect for being an all-purpose knife. One disadvantage is there is a lack of variety.

Considering the Best Tactical Folding Knife Handle • Handle Length: This depends on how large your hand is. With a larger hand, you would need a longer handle so you can grip it better and not be too close to the blade. Hold the knife in your hand to see how the handle fits. • Handle Material: There are many different types of material that you can choose. Each one has different disabilities. If you like the look of a classic knife chooses wood, bone, or plastic but if you want a modern sleek knife choose for a clean metal design. Choose a composite material or rubber if you want a tactical appearance. • Handle Design and Structure: This is decided by the user’s carrying preferences and comfort. If you plan to wear gloves when using the knife or have large hands, then you should choose one with a larger handle. Choose a slim handle if you want a compact size and a grip is not an issue. • Handle Grip: The grip should be efficient and comfortable. It should also feel good in your hand and easy to grip when you are using it. You do not want one that could slip when you are using it.

Blade Opening Mechanism

When looking at the different opening mechanisms you need to know the speed that you want it to open because if you have the knife for protection, it can be a difference between life and death. If you are just using it for doing everyday chores, the speed it opens would not be that important. • Manual Opening Knife: This type you can use your hands to open it or you can use a thumb stub. On some, there are grooves on the blade that lets your nail to grab the blade to open the knife. • Single-Hand Opening Knife: This kind is usually opened using your thumb to push in a stud to open it. There are some with a hole in the blade. These can be opened quickly. • Two-Hand Opening Knife: This type is generally opened using your fingernail. It is considered a “manual open” tactical folding knife. The older generation used one. • Automatic Opening Knife: This is like the popular switchblades that were seen in the 1950s that automatically opened with the press of a button very quickly. Today they are not legal in most places. These knives are expensive. • Assisted Opening Knife: It is a hybrid of two systems. The user initiates the opening with their thumb allowing a spring to kick in and completely deploy the blade. They were created to get around the law that prohibits automatic open knives.

Carrying Portion or Pocket Clip

One of the most impotent attributes of the tactical folding knife is the pocket clip. There are two kinds of pock clip available in the market. One is fixed pocket clip and another is the reversible pocket clip. The best option is the reversible pocket clip. It keeps the best tactical pocket knife vertical for comfort. It also rides higher in your pocket for easy and quick access. If you choose not to have a pocket clip, it will take up less space but can slide all the way down into your pocket.

Spyderco Manix G-Plain Edge Knife

Aesthetically pleasing – this Spyderco Manix knife fits perfectly in your hand. The folding action is incredibly smooth and fast. This is another knife that comes very sharp out of the box, so be careful when playing with your new knife. You can use the thumb hole on the blade to flip this knife open with one hand, or you can pull down on the ball lock system and flick it open. This knife has no thumb-stud, which some people say they miss – but uses the hole in the blade instead. I prefer the hole as it reduces the knifes profile when it is in your pocket. It has the familiar Spyderco pocket click (which you can remove) which is pretty much considered perfect. The G handle on this knife is suitably grippy, without being too aggressive – again perfect for using in wet conditions.

Buck Ranger Hunting

This classic knife is incredibly popular with the older generation. They have been made in almost the same way for many years and they have an iconic look about them. They are a well made knife, with a decent lifetime warranty. The solid construction and large rivets allow more lateral torsion on the blade than I would be comfortable giving more modern and more expensive knives. Even if you abuse the blade, when sharpened, it always comes back able to slice through paper with razor like ease. If there is a complaint to be made about this knife, it would be that the same steel that allows for the blade’s strength and ruggedness, also makes sharpening much more time consuming. However, once sharp, this iconic knife does exactly what a knife is supposed to do.


The usage of the folding knife has indisputably circled our every day’s plans to work with. So, the different types of knife are now the parts of our daily activities. Hence,the importance of the best folding knife is indispensable all the way. The handling easiness,, working performance, making materials,carrying easiness and so on have significantly turned close the folding knife to the hands of the professional and non-professional users.

Size Matters

Bigger hunting knives are usually for bigger game (think elk, buffalo, etc) and smaller hunting knives are better for smaller game.

If you are hunting big game, consider a blade length of 6+ inches.

If you are hunting medium sized game such as deer, look for a blade length in the inch to inch range.

If you are hunting smaller animals like squirrels and rabbits, look for a blade length of inches to 3.inches.

Keep in mind that these are guidelines only and ultimately it’s personal preference.

Along with the size of your hunting knife, the type of blade point also matters.

Blade Material

The steel in a blade counts towards how it performs in the field, so the following are some of the best steel materials you can find in a blade.

S3OV steel is a high end material that has great resistance against wear and rust, and it retains sharpness better than most other blades with different materials.

VG-is a high-wear stainless steel that has a lengthy edge retention and corrosion resistance, belonging in the same class as 154CM.

Keeping Your Hunting Blade Sharp

Make sure you always clean your blade after using it since residue and dried blood can degrade the sharpness of your knife. You can wipe grime off your blade by using cleaning products meant specifically for knives.

Buck Knife Folding Hunting Knife

Although the blade being sharp is a good thing, it can often mean accidental cuts if you have your fingers across the handle which was a noticeable issue among users. Other than this, this folding hunting knife by Buck Knives is one of the best choices for both a reasonable budget and a great quality hunting tool.

The Blade

Obviously the blade is very important on a tactical blade. I recommend a high quality stainless steel blade. Almost all reputable companies are using good to high quality steel in their blade production, you just want to make sure you stay away from low quality blades from China, Japan, Pakistan, and other such countries. Don’t buy cheap, you get what you pay for, and you want the best in a tactical pocket knife. Any stainless steel with a Rockwell hardness of 57-59C will work just fine. Stay away from anything harder than that though because the blade will be more brittle and hard to sharpen.

So what features do you need in a tactical knife blade?

A cutting edge and a point. That’s about it! As for the cutting edge, I recommend getting a tactical knife with a serrated blade. Serrated blades will cut well even when dull and the serrations can come in very handy when you need to slice through something fast. The point should be basic, thick, and strong. A point that is too thin can break easily when you are digging or poking hard materials.

One last piece of advice on tactical folding knife blades. Stay away from all of the strange and fancy blade designs. They may look like cool tactical knives, but they are not good in the field. Keep it on your mantle if you do buy one.

The Lock

When it comes to locks, although they are important, they’re less important than the blade and the handle. There are a lot of different locking mechanisms found on tactical knives and they all can be broken. A folding knife will never be as sturdy as a fixed blade knife! When browsing different tactical pocket knives, stay away from anything that seems out of the ordinary and stick with liner locks, lock backs, and axis locks.

Just like the blade steel, stay away from cheap knives. Locks on cheap knives break easily and you can loose a finger. Don’t do it.


Before buying a tactical pocket knife, think about what you want to use it for. Is it for self defense? Then make sure it’s a tactical fighting knife. Is it for active military duty? Then make sure you look at military tactical knives. Is it for camping and general outdoors activities? Then make sure to look at tactical utility knives.

The Opening Mechanism

The opening mechanism, or deployment mechanism, is very important on a tactical pocket knife. For many people it’s important that the blade can easily and quickly be opened with either hand and only requires one hand to open. This will be essential in those moments when you have to think quick and take action on the drop of a dime.

The most popular method of opening a tactical folder is the “flick” method. You should be able to open your blade with just the flick of your thumb and it quickly snaps into the open position smoothly and securely. Some knives even come with a thumb hole in the blade to make this extremely easy to do. There are also different models that come with assisted opening mechanisms. These are designed to make the knife extremely quick and easy to open in a flash. They tend to be a bit more expensive but if you want ultra fast deployment, this might be what you are looking for.

Here’s a Quick Summary of What To Look For in a Tactical Folding Knife

The Blade: simple, stainless steel or carbon steel, thick point, no fancy curves or features. Stay away from cheap brands and steels that are too hard.

The Handle: man-made material, no fancy contours, comfortable in your closed fist sticking out the top or bottom, comfortable size. Stay away from natural materials such as wood, bone, and ivory.

The Lock: lockback, liner lock, axis lock, stay away from cheap brands.

The Most Popular Tactical Knives at Awesome Prices!

Promithi Folding Knife here

This is a very good EDC knife – I have owned this one for a while now and it has performed very well.It holds an edge well and sharpens easily – being a carbon steel blade there’s no rusting issues either.You can also remove the wood scales, turning this into a good looking skeleton knife – very nice….


We tested pocket knives to determine their utility, ease of use, and portability. The utility testing consisted of cutting rope, carving wood, chopping ice, popping zip ties, and opening packages. We made note of how efficiently each knife handled each task. Top-performing knives were also used for more precise work, like whittling soap and peeling apples.

As we put the knives through these tests, we paid extra attention to whether they felt comfortable to hold and use. We noted how easy they were to open and close, and we researched blade materials to gain insight into what users could expect from the blades in terms of sharpening, holding an edge, and general durability. Blade materials matter, and each knife we tested is made out of a different kind of steel.

Other Pocket Knives We Tested

Why we picked it: The SOG Flash II is a popular assisted-open knife with some great features.

Why we picked it: Because rough-and-tumble knives are not for everyone.

Specs: Made in France. 3.35-inch cutting edge. 4.5-inch closed length. 7.5-inch open length. Weighs 1.5ounces. The Opinel N°is the most cultured knife we tested. In the book

Ka-Bar Becker BKCampanion Fixed Blade Knife

If looks were the only thing that mattered, the Ka-Bar Becker BKCampanion Fixed Blade Knife would be at the top of the list. The 5.inch blade is made of 109cro-van steel, while the complete length with handle and blade tops out at 10.inches. The blade itself is drop point with a 20-degree edge angle and a highly reviewed Grivory material handle that has changed some minds in the industry. Although not a foolproof warranty, it does come with a limited lifetime warranty.

The sheath is unfortunately a glass-filled nylon, which does a decent job, even though a higher grade sheath would have been preferred. It’s on the heavier side at 1.pounds, but it doesn’t hurt anything. The thickness of the blade is surprising, and bodes well for long-term use and hunting. The lanyard holes are a nice addition, and well placed with the overall package.

A limited lifetime warranty might scare away some potential buyers, but the ruggedness of the Ka-Bar Becker BKCampanion Fixed Blade Knife shouldn’t cause any issues. With the blade being ¼ of an inch thick combined with the almost lbs. weight of the knife, it looks to hold up well for years. It comes razor sharp out of the package and ready to filet or skin. This hunting knife has the looks, reliability, and stature to place well high on the list, and is a fine choice in any hunter’s collection.

Puma SGB Skinner Stag Hunting Knife with Leather Sheath

This 4.inch fixed blade hunting knife from Puma (9.inches total length) is a very capable hunting knife, both in sturdiness and general terms of quality. It racks up a 55-5Rockwell hardness rating, which is very respectable. The design comes with stag scales and is touted to be handmade by several professional craftsman, for a very interesting design. Using 440A German manufactured steel guaranteed a satisfactory blade, while still coming in at only half a lbs. (8.ounces)

Included with the package is a high grain leather sheath that is vegetable tanned with a brown aniline finish. Notable features of the Puma Skinner Stag Handle Blade include stag handles, brass finger guards and pins, and brass lined lanyard holes to complete the entire package. All components are guaranteed to be of the highest quality by both name brand and market standards. Company standards have been top notch since Puma came into existence, even as far back as 1968.

Although of adequate size, the handle is a bit blocky and meant for larger, meatier hands. Not a real stand out in terms of features, although quality matches up with Puma in every way possible. The Puma Skinner Stag Handle Blade looks like it can get lost in the mix of the hundreds of manufactured hunting knives, many even in Puma’s own lineup. The price range is acceptable for what you get, and there aren’t any glaring defects as the knife comes sharp and ready to go right out of the package.

There are many choices that can be made over the Puma Skinner Stag Handle Blade, which isn’t a bad overall choice, but also isn’t a standout. The value is there, as well as size and performance. It won’t be a disappointment, but it definitely won’t stand out from the rest.

Cold Steel Voyager XL Tanto Plain Edge 29TXCT

With one of the coolest names on the list comes the Cold Steel Voyager XL Tanto Plain Edge 29TXCT which boasts a blade thickness of 4mm. The blade length is a good 5.inches, and all of those coming in a 6.ounce package. Overall length of this knife when unfolded is a long 1¼ inches, which coupled with the extra wide blade makes for some awesome hunting. The big feature here is strength, and at an incredible price to boot.

The parts are of good quality, both hand fitted and laser cut. The tri-Ad lock mechanism is a staple of Cold Steel and is touted as one of the best low maintenance knife locks in the world. There are some fancy terms tossed around when describing the sharpness capability of this hunting knife (VG-San Mai III) and for good reason-it is a quality buy. Durability and features when compared to other knives of the same caliber is somehow lacking, notably among die hard hunters.

It’s not a bad knife, and it’s not a great knife, despite the awesome name. The Cold Steel Voyager XL Tanto Plain Edge 29TXCT  is a very middle of the road folding hunting knife that won’t hurt to have around. It’s also one of the largest folding hunting knives out there, while having the ability to be tucked away discreetly. Even with that value in mind, the Cold Steel is not at the top of the list.

Buck Knives 33Paradigm Pro Folding Knife

Buck has many on the list, and for good reason as the Buck Knives 33Paradigm Pro Folding Knife manages to stay at a fair price point while being one of the better hunting knives on the list.  It has a ¼ inch drop point S30V steel blade with a 3/closed length and total weight of 4.ounces. The handle is CNC contoured Gwith steel bolsters and a stainless steel reversible tip-up carry clip. It’s well reviewed and comes with the standard Buck no nonsense lifetime warranty.

Buck took great care when making this knife, mostly on the advanced ASAP technology for rapid one-hand deployment. To prevent those unseemly knife accidents the Buck Knives 33Paradigm Pro Folding Knife has a proven Shift Mechanism bolster lock for top a top of the line safety rating.  To those that care, this item was made in the USA. Is not user friendly with thorough cleaning if taking apart, as the bolster screw can be hard to get back in place.

Another downside that may hinder purchase is that the knife is that the safety seems right hand friendly, and is not ambidextrous in use. The problem mentioned before with the cleaning could cause some die hard hunters to reconsider the purchase, as a lot of wear and tear, much like with projectile weaponry, requires complete breakdown and reassembly to guarantee effectiveness and longevity. Flaws aside, this is a winner from Buck and still one of the best hunting knives on the list.

Fixed or Folding

Hunting knife blades are either going to be in a fixed stationary position, or they will fold. Old timers usually prefer the fixed blade while newer hunters favor the folding style. One isn’t better than the other, and it strictly comes down to user preference. Durability will always favor the fixed blade, and is common sense as there are less mechanical parts to deal with and break. It’s also easier to clean and maintain, and comes out of the box ready to handle heavy duty tasks, even expected to go through bone without ruining the blade. There is also a cool factor about having a sheath at your side, but there is also a safety factor to be mentioned as well in dangerous situations.

Folding blades are much more versatile in their use and can easily be hidden, taken out quicker than a fixed blade, and are for everyday use. The ability to carry it in the pocket is a bonus in situations where it would be a burden to have a sheath on one side, and the locking mechanisms of all folding blades are now at a quality where safety favors them over fixed blades. But folding blades are also harder to clean, less durable, and many can’t handle the heavy duty tasks of a fixed blade. More than likely a folding blade will be calling in on that warranty sooner than the thicker and more powerful fixed blade.


There is only one multipurpose knife on the list, and that is the Boker Traditional Series Folding Hunter Knife with Jigged Bone Handle. There are more on the market, of varying quality. The idea of putting two types of blade in one knife is a nice innovation, and there are plenty to choose from. The focus is that while it is nice to have multiuse in one knife, overall the quality is better served using two knives with specific functions rather than one knife with dual blades. There is nothing wrong with the Boker or dual bladed hunting knives, but if the purpose is for max quality and usability, a separate two knife system will always be the winner by a wide and long margin.

Selection of brand

The selection of brand should be done carefully. You will pay the amount based on the maker of the knife. It is difficult to pay an amount without knowing the manufacturer. The company names or identifying hallmarks should be identified. There will be a mark on the base of the knife. You can find the full name of the brand. Some companies will print the hallmark. You should be able to identify them based on the name or hallmark. Opinel uses a hallmark. A hand with a finger pointing towards the crown is the hallmark used by Opinel. See Opinel pocket knives here.

Tips for selection

By asking the sellers number of questions, you will be able to identify the brand of the knife. There are collectors and dealers who are very much interested in teaching a beginner so that they will be able to guide them to purchase a number of knives.

If you go through the guidebooks and price guide, it is possible to make the right choice in an effortless manner. The listing of manufacturers and their markings will be included on the blade.

It is very much important to look for the repairs and damages on knives. If you go for altered or repaired knives, you will lose money. There will be a number of items that are repaired so that they can be used again. If you are an inexperienced buyer, you will be fooled to purchase an altered knife. There are a number of ways on how to look for vintage pocket altered knives.

You can also associate with enthusiasts so that you will be able to make the most of your time and effort. If you go through the color pictures and diagrams, you will be able to relate knives with various brands. The more you gain knowledge about the knives the less you will spend towards the purchase of high-quality vintage knives.

When you are completely aware of the characteristics of various kinds of knives, the selection can be done easily and you can make money by selling a vintage knife after some years.

The comprehensive

Tactical Knife Buyers Guide chart lists and compares the Top 50 Best Selling Tactical Knives on the market today, along with full details, knife specifications, in-depth reviews and ratings to help you make the right decision when looking for the best tactical knife or pocket knife to purchase.

Some buyers shop for a specific knife brand or manufacturer. Others may simply make their choices from the color or blade material of the knife. Other buyers are more specific and need to know specs, like the blade length or type of handle material. These are all very important factors and for each individual, we all have our own criteria and personal preferences we look for when shopping for a knife to buy. Regardless of opinion, I think we all agree that ultimately, we want the best possible knife for the job.

Because of the overwhelming amount of knives on the market today and the many different options of styles, I’ve taken the time and have done the knife research and compiled all the important knife details, specifications and customer satisfaction ratings for you in one easy-to-read tactical knife comparison chart to help you make an informed buying decision when shopping for your next tactical pocket knife.

Do you really know the differences between a tactical knife and a pocket knife?

The comparison chart of best selling tactical knives shown below and the details that follows will help you decide what is the absolute best tactical knife to buy.

Take a moment to see the full list of top selling tactical knives: 50 Best Selling Tactical Knives


There are two types of materials that I will talk about, knife blades and handles. Knife blades come in a variety of steel and it’s always hard to determine what is the best blade material for a knife due to so many choices. Steel, broken down to its most basic elements, is a combination of iron and carbon and a few other elements (sulfur, manganese, silicon and phosphorus). Most blades have additional elements added, making them alloy steels. Any good knife company is using good quality steels when making their blades, so just avoid the knives from Pakistan or China as they have inferior metals that are not up to the same quality standards as other brands.

Good quality Stainless Steel and high carbon metals are the most popular choices for blade manufacturing. You’ll find certain specialty knives with Titanium or even ceramic blades. These are usually specialty purpose knives with specific uses. Knives such as ones used for scuba diving or corrosive environments.

Knife Blades

Below are most of the common types of steel used to make knife blades:

Carbon Steel: Carbon steel is extremely strong. Lots of homemade knives are made from the carbon-steel leaf springs taken from old Chevy trucks. It holds a decent edge, but rusts if you don’t care for it.

Stainless Steel: Stainless won’t rust or corrode, but it comes in a huge variety of grades. Find out the hardness of the steel prior to purchasing. Just because it’s shiny and can withstand salt water doesn’t mean it’s the right knife for your needs.

Titanium: This metal might consist of carbon with a Titanium alloy. It might be Stainless Steal coated with Titanium. It’s not particularly strong, but it is flexible (a nice way of saying flimsy) and holds a good edge. If you’re looking for a filet knife, consider Titanium.

Knife handles come in a variety of materials from bone, wood, plastics, G-and also metals such as aluminum, Titanium or Stainless Steel. You want a handle that fits comfortably and gives good grip under use. Consider your environment and actual intended use before selecting a handle type. You don’t want a wood or bone type of handle if you’re going to be subjecting it to water, sweat or oils. It will shrink, crack and sometimes loosen, which is always a bad thing. Knife handles come in so many different materials, textures and composite surface styles that you want to make sure you select the right handle for the job and that it is suited for it’s intended use.

Titanium, aluminum and Stainless Steel handles are all good choices. The best handle is the one that suits you in terms of grip, feel and appearance. Ultimately, it is really up to what feels best in your hand.

Knife Handles

Below are some of the popular choices for knife handle types:

Horn: Knife handles made from antler are very popular. Again, because they’re often hand-carved, antler handles can drive up a knife’s price. Its texture is rough, unless polished to extreme, which makes for a sure grip.

ABS: Basically a type of plastic. If you’re wondering what your plasticized handle is made of, ABS is as good a guess as any. It’s tough, and designed for hard and frequent use. Be careful of smooth surfaces as they you can loose grip if using in wet conditions. Always look for a good grip or texture to ensure control of your blade.

Bone: Your bone handle could come from virtually any critter. It’s stabilized, with the surface roughed up to provide a sure grip. Bone can be dyed in almost any color combo; it’s very common on smaller pocketknives.

Paracord: Some full-tang skeletonized knives have their handles wrapped in military grade 550 paracord. This gives good grip and provides additional features such as having an emergency length of paracord at your disposal.

Blade Design

A knife blade should have a sharp cutting edge and a point. It’s really that basic. The shape of a blade often defines the type (and sometimes the name) of the knife. All are designed for specific purposes. Thickness of the blade is important as well, all the way down to the point. If I need to poke or pry at something, I don’t want my knife blade chipping or getting damaged. I want a tip that is meant for that type of functionality. Many blade shapes exist, but the two most common are the clip point and the drop point.

Tactical knives come in many different blade styles. From spear tip, to Tanto point to modified drop point to Wharncliffe style; they all serve a specific purpose. Also plain edge to serrated edge to combo types. For tactical knives, I usually choose a blade that is partially serrated as it provides many uses for me in the field than just a plain edge blade. I also like my blades to be somewhat thick. I like the solid feel of having a heavy duty knife. It’s all personal preference so just keep that in mind when shopping for a knife.

Different Knife Blade Tip Designs

Listed below are some of the different types of blade point designs you can get in a knife:

The normal (or straight-back) blade is pretty straight forward – it has a dull flat back and a curved edge. Because the back is not sharp it allows you to use your hand or fingers to apply additional pressure to increase the cutting force. Overall it’s good for slicing or chopping. Still, the dull back adds a little weight to the blade so these knives tend to be a little heavier.

The clip-point blade is formed when you take a normal blade and ‘clip’ the back which results in a thinner tip. This thin tip can be used to cut in hard to reach places and provides some additional control. A Bowie knife is a classic example of a knife with a clip-point blade. Usually the clip is concave but it can also be straight.

The trailing-point blade has a distinctive back edge that curves up which allows for improved slicing ability. The large curve is often referred to as a “belly” and a large belly is particularly useful for skinning. The curve allows for a more lightweight knife as compared to the normal blade. This blade style is also popular on filet knives.

The drop-point blade uses a convex curve on the back of the knife near the tip which is the opposite of the clip-point that uses a concave curve. The convex curve is less suited to piercing but provides more strength than a clip point. You’ll find many modern pocket knives today having drop point blades as it’s effective in most applications.

The spear-point blade is symmetrical in that is is curved the same on either side of the spine which runs down the center. They can be sharp on both edges or only on a single edge which is common for penknives. Typically you will find spear-point blades on daggers and other knives designed for thrusting or throwing.

The needle-point is also symmetrical but tapers much more sharply and therefore is not particularly strong but can be used effectively to pierce or penetrate. Stabbing is the needle-point blade’s strong point and you tend to see this blade mostly on daggers intended for close range combat just like the spear-point.

The spey-point obtained its name from being used to spey animals. It has a straight edge that curves upward at the end with a relatively small clip on the back. This type of blade does not really provide a point and hence not good for penetrating but very effective for skinning animals.

The tanto knive has a chisel edge inspired by Japanese swords which provides excellent strength. The Tanto name originally referred to the tip of a broken samurai sword which was very effective at piercing armor. Tanto knives have no belly so will not be able to slice but instead make up for it with tremendous tip strength that can penetrate almost anything. You’ll find some different varieties of Tanto blades and they are becoming quite popular in certain tactical knives.

The sheepsfoot blade is almost the opposite of the normal blade by offering a sharp straight edge and a dull back which is largely straight then curves at the end.  These knives can be closely controlled by your fingers being placed on the dull back and were originally used for trimming the hooves of sheep. Great for chopping but lacks a sharp point (which can be a plus in many situations as it prevents accidental stabbing).

The Wharncliffe blade is a thicker blade but very similar to the sheepsfoot but the back begins to curve towards the tip much earlier and therefore at a more slight angle. These blades were typically used by sailors as the shape of the tip was designed to prevent the sailor stabbing himself as a result of being jolted about by the waves.

The pen blade is typically found on smaller folding pocket knives and similar in shape to the spear point blade but with a more gradual curve. One side is sharp and the other dull just like you find on Swiss Army and similar pen-knives.

Stainless Steel Knife Blades

The Stainless Steel blade is one of the more popular types for knives due to its high durability and resistance to corrosion and rust. Stainless Steel comes in lots of different metal grades and classifications, each having its own distinctions and benefits. While being more resistant to rust, they do stain and will not be as sharp as other knife materials, such as carbon and ceramic. Today, most kitchen cutlery, scuba diving knives and many pocket knives are commonly constructed with Stainless Steel.

SOG Flash II

SOG is a leader in knife manufacturing and their knives have won praise with many in the industry.  The SOG Flash II is an excellent affordable choice for the every-day-carry knife and looks similar in appearance to the Benchmade Griptilian.   It’s razor sharp with an AUS-stainless steel blade which is partially serrated and very durable.  The Flash II uses spring assisted opening technology which ensures a fast, smooth opening  and the handle is glass-reinforced nylon which results in a lightweight yet strong design.  For added safety the knife includes a locking switch which will ensure the blade does not accidentally deploy. >> 

Blackwater Ursa Fixed Blade Knife

The URSA knife from Blackwater has a spear-point blade designed for maximum penetration through webbing, canvas, flesh and bone. Two inches of serration on the blade’s spine increase maximum effect. Handle ergonomics guarantee a secure grip in thrusting, slashing and reverse grip. The URSA also features integral lashing points that offer additional security.

The 6” blade is machined from German Uddeholm Niolox niobium-enhanced stainless tool steel tempered to a Rockwell hardness index of 5The ultimate combination of cutting tooth, strength and durability. The blade has a matte black finished Titanium CarboNitride coating using physical vapor deposition. The black American G“Blackwater Bear Claw” laminate texture pattern scales conceal a storage compartment in the handle. The URSA also has an aggressive and innovative skull crusher/pry bar pommel as well as wire stripper thumb ramp jimping in the three most popular gauges.

SOG Twitch II

The sequel to the original Twitch is made from AUS-steel. This slightly softer steel combined with the satin finish make it easy to re-sharpen. The drop point makes it good for work, whittling, or defending yourself. Make sure you give it that little kick when you open so that handle will lock firmly into place.

Buck Knives 112BRS Ranger

The Ranger is a Buck brand knife inspired by a famous knife created by the company’s founders. This small knife (it’s only about inches when it is closed) is easy to carry around and perfect for rudimentary tasks. The 420HC blade is inches in its own right. The Ranger, with its brass ends and wooden handle, also has a very smooth look to it.

Kershaw Ken Onion Blur

This Kershaw model uses Sandvik 14C28N steel and a tungsten DLC to reduce reflection. The thick body is capable of cutting through thick rope or animal fat.  But while it can cut through tough services, the Blur consolidates easily in your pocket.

Spyderco Para G-PlainEdge Folding Knife

The more compact version of the Para 2, the Para is textured with G-camouflage scales patterned after the U.S. Army’s ARPAT camo. The Para can be used in either hand and is perfect for quick access to items when you only have one hand to open them.

Bear & Son Damascus Steel Lockbacks

The Bear & Son Lockback is a throwback that’s not meant as a combat accessory. This small and simple model is perfect for doing jobs around the house or having available for the unexpected emergency. They also come in various styles and with a replaceable blade.

Buck Knives Solo Folding Pocket Knife

This inch model fits into the pockets of the tightest of skinny jeans. It comes with both functionality for use outside and a sophisticated look for use at more formal social occasions. The modified clip blade is made from 420Jsteel and is easily sharpened.

Gerber Gator

The Gator is built so you can handle it even in wet and rainy conditions without losing it. Wet, oil, and bloody hands should all be able to keep hold of the rubberized tactical grip of the. The blade is razor-edged CPM-S30V steel. The Gator can be stored on various places when you aren’t using it. There’s a lanyard hole so you can wear it around your neck. There’s also a case for storage on your knife. And it fits easily into your pocket.

The Crooked River is a wood-handled hunting knife crafted in a class style sure to appeal to traditional hunters. It also comes with a very modern CPM-S30V stainless steel blade.

Kershaw Cryo

One flick of the finger is all it takes to lock the Kershaw Cryo into place. With a weight of ounces and a blade inches long, the Cryo fits perfectly into your pocket. But while the blade size makes it a perfect fit for your pocket, the inches are also perfect for really putting leverage into your cuts.

Spyderco Tenacious Folding Knife

The Tenacious comes with a black laminate handle with steel liners tucked inside for strength. There is also a non-reflective coating from the 8Cr13MoV stainless steel. And the blade is ground flat from spine to edge for continuous cutting.

Spyderco Paramilitary 2

This Spyderco model features a full-flat CPM-S30V steel build and textured Ghandles. Its compression lock keeps it snapped in. And it is as sturdy a small folding knife as you’ll find on the market.

The Gerbert Covert Auto is an automatic with an instant, spring-assisted side opening. The 7Cr17MoV titanium blade measures 3.inches. It is also backed by a limited lifetime warranty.

Zero Tolerance Hinderer

Zero Tolerance is the company who originated the flipper knife, a model used by police officers, firefighters, paramedics, and military personnel. The handle is made of 3D machined titanium that reduces the overall weight of the knife while also securing Bohler-Uddenholm’s ELMAX steel blade. And the blade has a deep carry pocket clip so it can be concealed.

Small pocket knife or Big pocket knife

A frequently asked question is this: what knife should I buy – a bigger or a smaller one? As usual, it is hard to give a straight answer. We all have different hands; besides, different jobs require different cutting edge length. A mini pocket knife can easily be used as a desk blade for opening letters and sharpening a pencil. Whilst, a bigger blade should serve you well in the kitchen or outdoors. The truth, as they say, is always somewhere there, so the next two paragraphs we’ll dedicate to the advantages and drawbacks of small and big pocket knives.

The topic of a tiny pocket blade has been controversial from the word go. A pocket folder is already not that big, so why make it even smaller? Well, like my grandpa says: if they do it, they do it for a reason. A small pocket knife usually means a thin pocket knife. This way it is easier to carry in the pocket. The blade occupies very little space so additionally you can put a wallet inside the same pocket. Another thing to mention is the cutting edge. You see, EDC tasks rarely include game skinning and food preparation. Well, you’ll probably want to peel an apple but that you can do even with an exacto knife. Another thing is the ergonomics. A man’s hand is bigger than a child’s or woman’s hand and so the convenience of knife use comes at first place. So to understand whether or not the knife suits you, just go to the nearest arms shop and hold the folder in your hands. From my experience, I’d recommend checking out Ontario Rat 2, Spyderco Delica and Benchmade Mini Griptilian first. Of course there are many other awesome pocket blades but we’ll talk about that later.

Big pocket knives is, you guessed it, a horse of another color. Bigger pocket knives fit a hand better. Besides, you can use longer cutting edge for tasks other than opening letters and sharpening pencils. Plus huge pocket knives are not necessarily thicker than smaller blades, since companies like Spyderco continue ruining myths like that. Take Endura into consideration with its inch handle and almost a inch blade. Same goes with weight. Although blades like Endura are pretty rare on the market today, it is possible to find bigger blades with thin handles and acceptable weight. If you are an admirer of really huge folders, try out Cold Steel Spartan or Rajah.

Womens pocket knife vs mens pocket knife

As been written in the previous part of the review – men and women have different hands. I won’t talk a lot about size, since usually women don’t use big folders. Girls like small to medium blades. Another thing to consider is color, shape and design. Sometimes you hear: “This is truly a masculine blade!” People, let’s face the obvious – no knife has gender prescriptions on it. Duh, I know, they produce knives with flower colored handles. But DPx makes H.E.S.T with pink handles. So again, men can use any knives they want. Let’s concentrate on girl pocket knives.

Now, I won’t tell you what to buy, but merely give a friendly advice on what knives to consider. Like with Converse shoes, first look for pocket knives with multiple colors available. Yes, I am looking at you Delica But let’s not make a hustle, because there other knives to consider. My favorite is Kershaw Blur. Black, red, green, olive drab, heck even gold and silver – you can get it in million colors. Only problem is they usually produce limited colored series. So whenever you get the chance to get Blur in your favorite color – don’t miss it. Ontario Rat model and Esee Zancudo are another two examples. Being pretty small EDC blades these models will occupy minimum space in your girlfriend’s purse or jacket. Additionally you can get them with black coated blade and pink handles that look really cool even by my standards. For those into classics, Buck makes awesome heritage knives with bolsters, back locks and clip point blades. People are different anyway, but at least I’ve given you a few hints on what could become a great present for the loved ones.

Maintaining a pocket knife

As a matter of fact, people rarely think about maintenance before buying something. In my days I just wanted to ride a bike. Imagine how disappointed I was when the first blowout happened. But don’t worry, emotions like that won’t bother you, because we are now going to talk about how to sharpen, clean, correctly open and close the knife.

To start with, not all pocket blades should be taken apart for cleaning. Open structure pocket folders are the easiest. You just take compressed air and get rid of the debris inside. Otherwise, get ready to get dirty. Figuratively speaking, of course. You’ll need torx bolt drivers (T6, T8, Tand probably others), lube and threadlocker. Gently unscrew the bolts and dismantle the knife. I’d also recommend watching videos on your knife’s model, since there are many folding knife mechanisms. Oil the pivot screw, spacers and assemble the knife using wee portions of threadlocker. Pay extra attention to belt clip screws ‘cause they are the first to loose and almost impossible to find.

Opening a knife, closing a knife, whatever – you have to be careful. I once knew a man who sliced his finger trying to flick open the blade and impress his friends.

There are many locking mechanisms with quite a limited number of opening ways. You see, usually there are flippers and thumb studs. Innovators like Spyderco came up with their “Spyder hole” and that added a few tricks for users to learn. Benchmade invented Axis lock, so that again added fuel to the fire. However, in general people still use their index finger or thumb to open a knife. Don’t even try playing with a folder without the knowledge or experience. Remember, that pocket knife is still a tool, not a toy to play with.

Folding Knives

There are literally thousands of products on the market that are touted as EDC knives.  And more come out every day.  We’re going to take a look at some new and some classic models in our search for the best EDC knife on the market.

A Bit of History

Ever since the first human ancestor decided to use the edge of sharp rock as a cutting tool, man has had a love affair with knives.   This passion continues to this day because, even in our modern, fast paced, lives, many of us still have a need for a cutting tool on a daily basis.

As man progressed from the Stone Age to the Bronze Age and then, to the Iron Age, blade technology has both proliferated and advanced.  As a result, various cities around the world such a Solingen, Germany, Toledo, Spain, and Sheffield, England became widely known as cutlery manufacturing centers.  This drew artisans from around the world to live, study, and work there.

Knives are often purpose specific tools and bladesmiths have long recognized the need for specialized designs.  Now such a wide range of blade types and steels to choose from that it is sometimes difficult for a person to wade through all of the available designs to find the perfect knife for their particular needs.

Blade Steel Compositions

Until just a few decades ago, stainless steels were non-existent.  All knives made prior the invention of stainless steels were made from high carbon tool steel such as SAE 1095.

With the invention of modern stainless steels, most production manufacturers quickly embraced the various new stainless blade steels because of two important factors.

That being said, high carbon tool steels do have the advantage of having a smaller grain structure than most stainless steels.  As a result they are not only easier to sharpen, but they will often take a finer edge and hold it longer than stainless steels.

But stainless steels offer the advantage of a high degree of corrosion resistance, and with the inclusion of such minerals as Molybdenum and Vanadium as well as the process of making so called “powder steels”, blade steel manufacturers are now able to produce stainless steels with an extremely fine grain structure.

Therefore, when choosing an every-day-carry, most people prefer knives with blades made from stainless steels such as 420J2, 420HC, AUS-8, 440C.  Even ATS-3or semi-stainless steels such as Dare more popular than high carbon, non-stainless, tool steels because they require less maintenance to keep them corrosion free.

Most people prefer tough steels over hard steels so that they are easier to sharpen.  Because every-day-carry knives tend to be used for many different purposes, they often require frequent sharpening.

A Bit on Steel Hardness

When shopping for knives you should be aware of the method of testing the hardness of a heat treated blade.  They are measured on a scale known as the Rockwell Hardness C Scale (designated HRC).

Knives with heat treated blades ranging from 5to 5are commonly considered to be tough rather than hard.  Blades with a Rockwell Hardness of 5to 6are considered to be relatively hard, but not particularly tough.  Blades with a Rockwell Hardness of 5to 5are generally considered to be the best compromise between a tough blade and a hard blade.

This factor is important when choosing and EDC knife is because knives with tough blades are relatively easy to sharpen.  They withstand both bending and shock very well, but they do not hold an edge as well as hard blades do.

On the other hand, knives with hard blades generally hold and edge very well, but they are often somewhat difficult to sharpen.  They are also more prone to break when subjected to either shock or lateral stresses.

Therefore, when choosing your EDC, you should note both the type of steel the blade is made from as well as its Rockwell Hardness and then choose the knife that best suits your intended purpose.

Blade Grind for Your EDC Knife

Yet another important feature to consider when purchasing an EDC knife is the type of grind the blade has.

The most common blade grinds are the flat grind(2), the hollow grind(1), the saber grind(3) and, the double bevel(5). The chisel grind(4) is less common, and the convex grind(6) is rare.

Each has advantages and disadvantages. The hollow grind produces the thinnest edge and is the sharpest of all the blade grinds, but because the edge is thin, it also produces the weakest edge.

The Saber Grind produces the thickest edge of all of the blade grinds and thus, it has the dullest edge but, because the edge is thick, it is also the strongest of all of the blade grinds. 

The Double Bevel grind is simply two Saber Grinds placed back to back so that the blade’s spine is located in the center of the blade.

The chisel grind is used on some tactical knives but is more common on kitchen knives and woodworking tools. As you can see from the image above, it is ground only on one side. This often makes the edge less durable, and chisel ground edges have a larger angle to compensate.​

Overall the flat grind offers the best compromise between a sharp edge and a strong edge and depending on the thickness of spine, it can produce a blade that is very sharp while also being relatively strong. ​Here’s a video discussing the different types of grinds.

Note the thumb stud at the spine of the blade.

While such a feature is often chosen by users who are looking for an everyday carry knife intended to be used strictly as a tool, those who purchase an everyday carry for defensive purposes often prefer knives with assisted opening mechanisms for quick blade deployment in tactical situations.

As a result, most manufacturers have developed their own proprietary versions of the assisted opening mechanism.  They are marketed under various names such as Nitrous Assist, SOG Assisted Technology, SpeedSafe, Outburst, and F.A.S.T.

It’s important to note that not all assisted opening mechanisms also incorporate a locking mechanism such as CRKT’s FireSafe which keeps the blade in the closed position in the user’s pocket.   Those knives without this feature can inadvertently open in the user’s pocket.  And that can damage your manhood. 

EDC Handle Design

When choosing your blade, you should also consider the size and shape of the handle.  Ask yourself a couple questions.

Of course, there is good reason for asking yourself these questions since the handle not only serves as a means of wielding and controlling the blade, but also serves as means of orienting the blades cutting edge and preventing it from twisting in the user’s hand.

Both the size and the shape of the handle should reflect its intended purpose.

Handle Material

Last but not least, when choosing an everyday carry, you should also consider the material from which the handle scales are made.

Most older folding knife designs incorporate handle scales made from materials as exotic hardwood, stag antler, jigged bone, or Delrin.

Manufacturers have departed from this practice and instead incorporate handle scales made from man-made composites such as linen or canvas Micarta, glass reinforced nylon, G10, Zytel, ABS, Kirinite, Kraton, and Hypalon just to name a few.

While such materials may not be as aesthetically pleasing to some users as natural handle materials, the fact is that man-made composites are invariably tougher than natural handle materials.  This minimizes splitting, cracking and chipping.  And because they are all impervious to the absorption of moisture, they will not decompose.

If your knife is to be gently used, then handle scales made from a decorative material such as exotic hardwoods or stag antler are a good choice, but if it’s going to see hard use, you should consider handle scales made from a tough material such as Micarta or G10.

Gerber Covert

Based on the original Applegate/Fairbairn dagger issued to British SS Commandos during WWII, the Gerber Covert is a truly dedicated tactical folding knife.

It features a closed length of 5″ inches with 3/4” spear point blade with a double bevel grind.  The blade is made from 7CR17MoV stainless steel with an unknown Rockwell Hardness.  It has apartially serrated edge with a black, titanium nitride coating.

The Covert combines Gerber’s F.A.S.T. assisted opening mechanism with a side locking mechanism to hold the blade in the open position.

The handle scales are made from textured, black, Gand incorporate deep finger groves with a right side only, tip down only, stainless steel, pocket clip.

Fixed vs Folding

This is likely the first decision to make when choosing your EDC knife. Most people opt for a folding knife as they tend to be smaller and can easily fit in a pocket or clip onto a belt.

As with many elements of finding a good EDC knife it comes down to preference and what environment you typically find yourself in. If you are in an urban environment a folding EDC knife will be a better option as it will be unobtrusive and lighter to carry. Being discreet is often important in urban areas making a small folding knife a common choice for city dwellers.

If you tend to live in a rural location a fixed blade knife is easier to justify as you may find yourself skinning game and cutting rope more often. Additionally, outside of big cities wearing a fixed blade knife has less of a cultural taboo. Regardless of this many rural EDCers tend to choose a folding knife for their EDC kit due to size and weight advantages of this option.

EDC Knife Grip Material

There are a vide variety of materials used to make knife grips, here are some of the most common:

Additionally, a quality pocket knife is less likely to bind at the hinge or pivot point or have a lock mechanism failure, letting you down when you need it most.

A good knife will take care of its owner, require less maintenance, and if taken care of becomes a hand-me-down for future generations, hopefully with a few good stories to go along with it.

Materials for Blade and Handle

The blade of a knife can be produced from a selection of materials. These materials feature their own benefits and setbacks. The most standard include titanium, steel and some manufacturers even use ceramics.

Carbon steel has a lot of advantages; it is ultra-sharp, is capable of holding its edge excellently and is easy to hone. However it can succumb to staining and corrosion. Stainless steel is not as sharp but is significantly rust-resistant. Blades made from high carbon steel material do not stain or get discolored and sustain its sharp edge.

Among all materials, steel blade is the most affordable.


Blades made from this material are often rigid and lightweight. Users are advised to provide proper care to it so it will retain its sharp edge. But they can be fragile and might break or get damaged once the item is dropped on a stiff surface.

Ceramic blades cannot be repaired or honed thus if they acquire damage, they should be replaced or get rid of. They are not as costly as titanium blades but are priced higher than steel ones.

Handles for the folding knife are typically textured to provide better grip and handling and are also ergonomically designed.

Majority of wood handles are designed well and they give great grip and handling but can be prone to water damage.


While plastic handles are the quite cheap, they can be slippery so they are not advisable for use in locations with frequent bad weather conditions or areas near water.

Rubber handles provide great grip like wooden ones and has exceptional water-resistant properties but they lack sturdiness.

Assisted opening

Once users unlock a blade, an assisted-opening system kicks in and opens the knife completely. This kind of pocket knife include a safety lock that is capable of disengaging the system once the device is closed to hinder the blade from accidentally unlocking.

Additional features

Many folding knives are just basic knives with one blade. But you can find several folding knives (camping folding knives) that are equipped with extra features. Many of them have an extra blade and most times this is a serrated blade. Other features you can expect are for instance screwdrivers, corkscrew, and bottle and can opener and other handy tools.

Clip point

It has a crescent-like drop on the blade’s top that produces a sharp, slim point. They are recommended mostly for piercing and provides users more control for intricate work but it does not offer the same strength as drop point blades.

The tanto point has an angular tip with a sturdy point that is ideal for wrenching and puncturing hard-wearing material.





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Final Word

First of all thanks for reading my article to the end! I hope you find my reviews listed here useful and that it allows you to make a proper comparison of what is best to fit your needs and budget. Don’t be afraid to try more than one product if your first pick doesn’t do the trick.

Most important, have fun and choose your Folding Knives wisely! Good luck!

So, TOP3 of Folding Knives



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