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What Is The Best Pocket Knife Option Under $50?

by rickshah
Hey Folks,

I'm looking for a sturdy pocket knife that is low maintenance and easy to carry (relatively small and thin... nothing large and bulky that I wouldn't be comfortable in my pocket).

Thoughts?

  • Well, that's obviously going to be pretty open to opinion.... Plus, you don't say what kind of pocket knife you are looking for.... But my suggestion is a CRKT Carson Point Guard (http://www.agrussell.com/knives/by_maker/a_through_d/columbia_river_knife_and_tool/crkt_point_guard_large_version_plain_edge.html).
    - moses, 6 years ago
  • The Kershaw Ken Onion is a great blade. I think I got it for about $55. The blade is about as long as a credit card is wide. Spring loaded blade, SS, solid as a rock,.... what more could you want? I've had mine for a few years, the spring is as quick as it was on the first day, and I've only had to sharpen it once after some very abusive use.

    Edit- Link (http://www.knifecenter.com/kc_new/store_detail.html?s=KS1660), price came down a bit.
    - DEmac, 6 years ago
  • Well, that's obviously going to be pretty open to opinion.... Plus, you don't say what kind of pocket knife you are looking for.... But my suggestion is a CRKT Carson Point Guard (http://www.agrussell.com/knives/by_maker/a_through_d/columbia_river_knife_and_tool/crkt_point_guard_large_version_plain_edge.html).

    Moses- I don't know anything about knives- but I want a workhorse- nothing fancy... What types are there?

    Also- Does Spyderco have a good reputation? In terms of aesthetics- I find theirs pretty nice.
    - rickshah, 6 years ago
  • I tend to stick to the classic opinel in size 6 or 7, comfortable handle, nice edge retention for me anyway, and cost about £5 each. Plus being that cheap I don't mind if it drops out of my pocket when working or gets damaged in any way.


    Cheers,

    Richie
    - R-James, 6 years ago
  • Wow, that's a nice knife for that price. I'm going to have to look into one of those myself.

    I like the nice wood, horn, and other fancy material scaled knives on the market, but many of them seem more decorative than useful. For instance, I would never consider purchasing a knife without some sort of locking mechanism. My fingers are just too important to me. If it doesn't lock open, it's just a toy/conversation piece/pretty piece of art.
    - adamjaskie, 6 years ago
  • Big fan of case knives ... my baby ...

    http://www.wrcase.com/

    http://www.soonerstateknives.com/CA-5615.JPG
    - brooklynlou, 6 years ago
  • The Kershaw Ken Onion is a great blade. I think I got it for about $55. The blade is about as long as a credit card is wide. Spring loaded blade, SS, solid as a rock,.... what more could you want? I've had mine for a few years, the spring is as quick as it was on the first day, and I've only had to sharpen it once after some very abusive use.

    Edit- Link (http://www.knifecenter.com/kc_new/store_detail.html?s=KS1660), price came down a bit.

    They also come in 2 smaller sizes the Scallion and the Chive. Another option is the Spyderco Delica.
    - boboakalfb, 6 years ago
  • Hey Guys,

    What about these: Are these any good?

    http://www.spyderco.com/catalog/details.php?product=219
    - rickshah, 6 years ago
  • I wasn't even aware that W-M carried these until just this week. But here they are:

    http://www.walmart.com/search/search-ng.do?search_constraint=0&search_query=spyderco&ic=24_0&Continue.x=28&Continue.y=11

    The Delica in VG-10 in either the combo edge or PE or the Native might fill your needs including price point. I have both of the Delica models mentioned, and will likely be adding the Native soon.
    - Mr. Clean, 6 years ago
  • Buck 500 series are great stylish knives that are single blade, thin enough to fit in the pocket without bulk, but large enough to do real work. different versions have slightly different finish and material.

    http://www1.shopping.com/xPO-Buck_Buck_Squire_501
    - MotoMike, 6 years ago
  • SpyderCo knives are good quality for the price. Actually, I think they are probably a bit more bombproof than CRKT. My limited experience with Kershaw is that they are good stuff too. Although, I tend to shy away from assisted opening. Pretty sure they are legal pretty much everywhere, but not all police are guaranteed to be aware of that. Plus, it is that much more mechanism to fail.

    -Mo
    - moses, 6 years ago
  • What about these: Are these any good?

    http://www.spyderco.com/catalog/details.php?product=219

    I don't know, it looks kind of like a toy. If it's small enough to fit on a keychain than it probably won't fit my hand properly. Fitting your hand is really important. That's why I would suggest going to a gun shop and getting a feel for it in your hand, that's the only way you're going to know if it fits you right. I'm prejudiced, but the fact that wally-world is selling it make me suspicious of the quality.

    As far as the spring in my Kershaw, daily use and it is still as strong as the day I bought it (at least two years). It has been dropped on pavement, thrown (not by me, but an ex-buddy), and dunked in water while attatched to me. I'd swear by it.
    - DEmac, 6 years ago
  • rickshah

    My day to day pocketknife is a Swiss Army "Officer". It seems to take and hold an edge well, is nicely compact, and cost about $25 bucks.

    I second the Opinel suggestion too, although being simple carbon steel they need sharpening more often.

    Best Regards

    Graham
    - kestrel, 6 years ago
  • I don't know, it looks kind of like a toy. If it's small enough to fit on a keychain than it probably won't fit my hand properly. Fitting your hand is really important. That's why I would suggest going to a gun shop and getting a feel for it in your hand, that's the only way you're going to know if it fits you right. I'm prejudiced, but the fact that wally-world is selling it make me suspicious of the quality.

    Point Taken...

    Ok guys, I think I've warmed to the Spyderco knives now that you all have confirmed that they are pretty good quality.

    Of those, three are sticking out to me.
    1. http://www.walmart.com/catalog/product.do?product_id=5244171
    (The Native Knife)
    2. http://www.spyderco.com/catalog/details.php?product=21
    (Native Knive in stainless- I think it looks really great and is at a discounted price)
    3. http://www.spyderco.com/catalog/details.php?product=169
    Nice price, I like the stainless, and it looks like it would be functional.

    I don't know anything about different types of blade steel materials- so if any of these stick out to you as being of inferior quality- please let me know.
    - rickshah, 6 years ago
  • Get a spyderco Delica. CRKT's have neat designs, but their heavy, poorly made (in China) and have a really crappy steel which doesn't hold much of an edge.

    The Spyderco Delica uses VG-10 Steel (arguably the best stuff out there as it'll hold an edge ALMOST as well as ZDP189, yet it is MUCH easier to sharpen, and it is more resistant to corrosion) and has a VERY lightweight FRN handle (fiberglass reinforced nylon) and weights in at an incredibly light 2.5 oz.

    The FRN handle is INCREDIBLY grippy, light and strong (it is reenforced with a skeleton of stainless steel), the locking mechanism (back lock) is vastly superior to a liner lock, Delica's have a flat saber-ground blade (very robust) outstanding ergonomics, with jiimps in all the right places, has a pocket clip that can be put in 4 different configuration (tip up, tip down, front/back of knife), fully ambidextrous spyderhole for one handed opening (and unlike studs can be used with gloves on) with phosphor bronze bushings on the hinge to make the blade open smooth as butter.

    It has an MSRP of $80, but can be easily/readily found online for $40 - and for the money, it simply cannot be beaten. If you opt for the spyderedge (serrated) the length of the blade stays the same, however the cutting edge grows by 24% since it has the serrated crevices which add more "cutting edge" - and for a knife of it's size/weight - it's REALLY a lot of knife. Another big plus - if you take it out to open a box, etc in the office - you won't scare anyone.

    No offense to CRKT fans, but a CRKT is a complete P.O.S. compared to a Spyderco.
    - joel, 6 years ago
  • BTW, the Spyderco native as you linked to is another good knife, and certainly looks nicer (especially the Native III) however it has a hollow ground blade (not as robust as the grind on the Delica) S30V Steel (which is really good stuff - but the VG-10 holds an edge longer) only has a 2 position pocket clip (versus the Delica's 4) which rides lower, and is more comfortable in the pocket, the spyderhole is larger on the Delica (easier to open), and the Delica has phosphor bronze bushings (the Native doesn't) which means it'll open smoother/easier.

    The Natives are great knives, don't get me wrong - and if you really want one - get one, it's a fine knife, however I wouldn't get the ones you linked to, as they're the "older" generation Native - get the Native III FRN which looks better, is more comfortable, and uses the superior VG-10 steel. It's only $5 more expensive, and is a superior knife.

    The best buy though, is still the Delica, as it has more features/perks, is lighter, is a more robust design, and is $10-15 less expensive.
    - joel, 6 years ago
  • I was given a Cutco Pocket Knife (http://cgi.ebay.com/Cutco-Pocket-Knife-1886-Black-Handle-Excellent_W0QQitemZ270209804540QQihZ017QQcategoryZ 50412QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem) way way back when I graduated from highschool.

    It has been an excellent pocketknife. I have never sharpened it and this thing is still razor sharp (almost literally).
    - ada8356, 6 years ago
  • My personal favorite is the victorinox (swiss army knife) tinker model. The worst thing that happens is that they get lost (I've only lost one), I currently have 3 in different parts of the country, just in case.

    There are some locking swiss army knives, worth looking at if that's what you need. Watch out for useless things though as they can get big and heavy pretty fast. The big ones are more novelties I think and I wouldn't want anything bigger than the tinker.
    - sporkboy, 6 years ago
  • buck knives are the best and they have a wide variety. they have a knife for just about everything and they are as solid as a rock. buckknives.com
    - jat9096, 6 years ago
  • +1 on the Spyderco Delica......I've carried one for several years, even after I was given a Benchmade Mel Pardue Auto as a gift (I now alternate between the 2). It's a quality everyday knife, with a secure locking mechanism, the blade holds an edge quite well, and it's light enough to not feel cumbersome.

    Another option would be the non-auto Benchmade Mel Pardue with the liner lock instead of the auto. I've got one of those also, and it's very comparable to the Delica, although it may be over your $50 limit by 15 or 20 bucks.
    - Groundhog, 6 years ago
  • I like to carry the Swiss Army Soldier model.The one with the aluminum handle.
    - Churchill, 6 years ago
  • buck knives are the best and they have a wide variety. they have a knife for just about everything and they are as solid as a rock. buckknives.com

    "The Best" :rolleyes:

    I'd love to know why you think this.... the steel they use is mediocre at best, they do a poor heat treat, and the fit and finish is so-so. For the money - they're "ok" - but they are a far, I mean a FAR cry from "the best" which is a pretty bold statement.

    If you use a knife for VERY light tasks - IE opening a box once a week, or cutting the tag off a piece of clothing, cutting into an apple once in awhile, etc - they're fine, but for heavy users and those who REALLY depend on knives, they're absolutely terrible. You'll never find someone in search and rescue, a firefighter, a police officer, etc who carries a buck folding knife, as they just plumb don't make the grade for a heavy user.
    - joel, 6 years ago
  • I agree the Spydercos you showed were like toys. I don't recommend Buck Knives either. I don't find them very useful.

    It's really up to you what you want for size/type. I alternate between a Douk Douk and a Gerber Harsey Air Ranger. If you want a knife that is slim and easy to carry in a pocket the Douk Douk is great. It's not pretty but it has a beautiful high carbon blade that you can shave with, some people do. The Harsey is light weight and has an aluminum handle but is a fairly good blade.

    As someone mentioned, Opinels make a good pocket knife. They are a very simple design and inexpensive but have an excellent blade.

    I had a Spyderco that wasn't too bad. It was better than the ones you showed.

    I would bet that the ones you showed us were made in a sweatshop in China.

    DaveS
    - Daves, 6 years ago
  • Buck 500 series are great stylish knives that are single blade, thin enough to fit in the pocket without bulk, but large enough to do real work. different versions have slightly different finish and material.

    http://www1.shopping.com/xPO-Buck_Buck_Squire_501

    +1 Buck is all I carry.:thumbup1:
    - hoselayer, 6 years ago
  • You'll never ... a firefighter, ... etc who carries a buck folding knife, as they just plumb don't make the grade for a heavy user.

    I guess you never know: :wink:


    +1 Buck is all I carry.:thumbup1:

    Personally, I'm actually not that impressed with Buck, though. I would put them about even with CRKT in quality, but well below SpyderCo, Kershaw, or definitely Benchmade.

    -Mo
    - moses, 6 years ago
  • No offense to CRKT fans, but a CRKT is a complete P.O.S. compared to a Spyderco.

    :lol: Joel when you have an opinion your really have an opinion :biggrin:
    - Winzzy, 6 years ago
  • You won't see any noticeable differences in the "quality" steels...VG10, S30, D2, zpd189...

    The spyderco Native is a fantastic sized workhorse of a knife. I prefer plain edge (pe) but the serrated is fine if you do a lot of rope cutting.. Here's a link to a review I did on the SPyderco Native a few years ago. (http://www.bladeforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=259193)
    It's an amazing price from Walmart..
    This is a representative size in hand of the Native. I think it's a Native III due to the smoothness of the scales
    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v116/TOB9595/KNIVES/nativeiii001.jpg
    - TOB9595, 6 years ago
  • PS..the review is from 2003..before I had a digital camera
    - TOB9595, 6 years ago
  • ...S30V Steel (which is really good stuff - but the VG-10 holds an edge longer) ...

    Maybe picking at nits, but I think you have that turned around. VG-10 takes an edge slightly easier, but the S30V will hold the edge longer.


    You won't see any noticeable differences in the "quality" steels...VG10, S30, D2, zpd189...
    Agreed
    - Mr. Clean, 6 years ago
  • "The Best" :rolleyes:

    You'll never find someone in search and rescue, a firefighter, a police officer, etc who carries a buck folding knife, as they just plumb don't make the grade for a heavy user.


    This one does. Its not the only one I carry with me, however I always have a buck with me. For the things the buck wont handle (solid wire, i.e. the stuff used for drop ceilings and such) I use a multi-tool, but none of the knives mentioned could stand up to that stuff. In all fairness though, I dont use a pocket knife for my firefighting needs. It is the bigger folding hunter. You'd be suprised how often that little Buck 503 does get used.
    - hoselayer, 6 years ago
  • Hey Folks,

    Thanks for everyone's suggestions.

    In the end I decided upon a Spyderco Delica Series IV w/ a Spyderedge and FRN handle. It seems like the most appropriate tool for my needs and the price was right.

    Thanks again,

    Rick
    - rickshah, 6 years ago
  • If you use a knife for VERY light tasks - IE opening a box once a week, or cutting the tag off a piece of clothing, cutting into an apple once in awhile, etc - they're fine, but for heavy users and those who REALLY depend on knives, they're absolutely terrible. You'll never find someone in search and rescue, a firefighter, a police officer, etc who carries a buck folding knife, as they just plumb don't make the grade for a heavy user.
    I don't think I'd say the "best" but the fact is I have put a large Buck stockman(307) through much, much more than any fireman,search and rescue,or cop will ever come close to...Their use is minimal compared to what I'm talking about....The pins stay tight and the blade works great for how it is used.....Try stripping 750 THHN cable for weeks on end at times over 15 years with the same knife.....Especially at low temperature....The torque that is put on those pins when used this way destroys many pocket knives....So much so that most linemen use a non-folder.....The example I'm talking about was bought around 15 years ago so it may be superior to what they are making today........
    - Bowcephalus, 6 years ago
  • I.....The example I'm talking about was bought around 15 years ago so it may be superior to what they are making today........

    Good point...this may very well be the case.
    - boboakalfb, 6 years ago
  • Well, that's obviously going to be pretty open to opinion.... Plus, you don't say what kind of pocket knife you are looking for.... But my suggestion is a CRKT Carson Point Guard (http://www.agrussell.com/knives/by_maker/a_through_d/columbia_river_knife_and_tool/crkt_point_guard_large_version_plain_edge.html).

    I like the CRKT knives...

    I carry the KISS model, it also functions as a money clip. a minimalistic knive and great design

    http://www.agrussell.com/knives/by_maker/a_through_d/columbia_river_knife_and_tool/crkt_kiss_plain_edge.html


    http://www.agrussell.com/knives/by_maker/a_through_d/columbia_river_knife_and_tool/kiss_in_the_dark_plain_edge.html
    - judge, 6 years ago
  • I just bought two 307 Stockmans off e-bay....These are new, old stock, in the box, made in the USA, not made by Buck anymore....A great knife for the money.........
    - Bowcephalus, 6 years ago
  • All my friends in the military carry bucks knives and swear by them, good enough for them, good enough for me.
    - jat9096, 6 years ago
  • I don't know about best but I've carried a Wenger Swiss Army Backpacker II (http://www.smartknives.com/Wenger-Knives/Wenger-Backpacker-II.htm) original version for many, many years. My kids have given me more expensive knives as gifts but this is the one I continue to carry. I've done everything from adjusting carburetors to an emergency tracheotomy with mine.

    Richard
    - Lionhearted, 6 years ago
  • There is one major bad thing about the Spederco delica knives----losing them, I had one for a few years lost it I think one day climbing in or out of my truck at the time. I have had and have quite a few other knives some much cheaper some much more expensive but for the price I think they are a great buy and I was more attached to that one then others I have that cost many times more.
    - crankymoose, 6 years ago
  • A guy at work bought one of these as a substitute for the Buck 307 and so far over the last few months of running it through the mill he is very pleased with it....Looks like it might hold up well.....Looks good too...I have a soft spot for the stag, but most of the Case stags I have get loose quickly under hard use....
    - Bowcephalus, 6 years ago
  • I'm a merchant seaman who carries an Opinel size 10. They are dirt cheap, light weight, with a good quaility blade which is easily sharpened. They are nothing fancy. Simple and dependable. Just like me. :wink:
    - Smell The Glove, 6 years ago
  • Personally, I don't think you will go wrong with buying either something made by Buck or something made by Case, IMO these are the better knife makers.
    - bigmo, 6 years ago
  • Spydercos are a great choice in this price range. Bucks are too, regardless of what some steel snobs might say. And in fact there are a lot of guys in SAR, firefighting and LE that carry Bucks regardless of what some people might say who have probably never worked in one of those fields. They are cheap and tough knives.

    I have carried Spydies and Bucks as my EDC for many years because they were good knives for the money and I kept my expensive ones for occasional carry. But for the last few years I've been carrying the Bladetech Pro Hunter Lite, a very well made knife that can be had for around $50. It has dual steel liners and has very good fit and finish. The blade is 440C which is a good but not great steel but what do you want for $50? It stays sharp fairly long and I use the hell out of this knife at work. This picture is from when it was still new.

    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v357/TorzJohnson/100_3144.jpg
    - TorzJohnson, 6 years ago
  • Also- Does Spyderco have a good reputation? In terms of aesthetics- I find theirs pretty nice.

    I have many Spydercos, from every price point. You'll not go wrong with a Spyderco though some people object to their "look". They use great blade steels and will come out of the box incredibly sharp....and will hold that sharpness. I haven't purchased any in awhile, but I'd look HERE (http://www.newgraham.com/SearchResult.aspx?CategoryID=82). A very good Internet retailer. A Spyderco Delica may just be what you are looking for.
    - tim8557, 6 years ago
  • "The Best" :rolleyes:

    I'd love to know why you think this.... the steel they use is mediocre at best, they do a poor heat treat, and the fit and finish is so-so. For the money - they're "ok" - but they are a far, I mean a FAR cry from "the best" which is a pretty bold statement.

    If you use a knife for VERY light tasks - IE opening a box once a week, or cutting the tag off a piece of clothing, cutting into an apple once in awhile, etc - they're fine, but for heavy users and those who REALLY depend on knives, they're absolutely terrible. You'll never find someone in search and rescue, a firefighter, a police officer, etc who carries a buck folding knife, as they just plumb don't make the grade for a heavy user.

    I agree with all of the above 100000%
    - tim8557, 6 years ago
  • So Tim, give us the examples of the Bucks you've had and all of the LE FD types you know who fit this description......Tell us how as a really heavy user who really depended on your Buck,it let you down....As far as "You'll never find someone in search and rescue, a firefighter, a police officer, etc who carries a buck folding knife, as they just plumb don't make the grade for a heavy user".....Someone here is lying......
    - Bowcephalus, 6 years ago
  • i agree. second of all why would a "search and rescue" person be trying to use a buck pocket knife priced under $50 for heavy duty jobs? i dont think whoever started this post is going to use it to chop the wood for his log cabin. bucks are fine knives and IMO the BEST!
    - jat9096, 6 years ago
  • So Tim, give us the examples of the Bucks you've had and all of the LE FD types you know who fit this description......Tell us how as a really heavy user who really depended on your Buck,it let you down....As far as "You'll never find someone in search and rescue, a firefighter, a police officer, etc who carries a buck folding knife, as they just plumb don't make the grade for a heavy user".....Someone here is lying......
    Absolutely, this annoyed me too. To say that Buck does a "poor heat treat" when Paul Bos is in charge of the heat treat, is ridiculous. Maybe somebody needs to look up who Paul Bos is. The steel is not the greatest wonder steel, but with the excellent heat treat it receives, it will perform very well for most tasks and helps keep the cost down for the working men who use these knives.

    The fit and finish... well I have 2 110's, a 112, a 500 and a BuckLite that all show fewer flaws than some of my hand-made customs. They're good for a hell of a lot more than opening a box once a week, cutting a tag off a piece of clothing, or cutting an apple. Generations of farmers and people who work with their hands daily have all made Buck what it is today, one of the premier knife manufacturers in the world. Their knives are used by regular people who use knives every day for real-world tasks. As to not being fit for SAR, I can't tell you how many Bucks I saw in the hands of cox'ns and crew during the 20 years I was in the Coast Guard.
    - TorzJohnson, 6 years ago
  • Wow, that's a nice knife for that price. I'm going to have to look into one of those myself.

    I like the nice wood, horn, and other fancy material scaled knives on the market, but many of them seem more decorative than useful. For instance, I would never consider purchasing a knife without some sort of locking mechanism. My fingers are just too important to me. If it doesn't lock open, it's just a toy/conversation piece/pretty piece of art.

    You won't loose your fingers with an opinel; they have a simple but effective lock called 'virobloc' that secures the blade opened as well as closed.I am a bit of a knife collector myself owning some 40 or 50 pieces including some great handmade ones but in the end I allways have my cheap Opinel No.8 (carbon steel blade) in my pocket for like 25 years now. I will keep on going collecting but Opinel will probably remain number one for me...
    - talibeard, 6 years ago
  • Spyderco Delica with a plain edge blade or a Buck knife anyday!
    The Buck 110 lockback folder is a well made knife whether camping, fishing, hunting, or general use.
    - Scotty, 6 years ago
  • If it doesn't lock open, it's just a toy/conversation piece/pretty piece of art.....What is it with all the dramatic overstatement in this thread? Something in the lather? How in the world have so many millions of working men in America done so much work for so long with a pocket knife without closing the blade on their fingers? I have used a pocket knife,for the most part, every working day for the last 30 years and have never closed it on my fingers.....There is surely a good reason for a lockback and many good examples out there, but the blatant misrepresentation of reality does not make for very sound advice on a forum that is frequented by so many who know better.....It is at best an unseemly display of misguided opinion presented as fact........Threads like this do however provide a great reference when seeking advice in the future....Mental note....
    - Bowcephalus, 6 years ago
  • The Paul Bos reference is an excellent point....For more info go here or simply Google his name...
    http://www.buckknives.com/technical_making.php
    - Bowcephalus, 6 years ago
  • Camillus, Case, Schrade... they made a lot of good slipjoints and lots of people use them. A.G. Russell sells a lot of them, and while some are going to be safe queens, a lot get used. I still carry a Queen or a Schrade pretty often. They're good useful knives. Canal Street Cutlery rose from the ashes of Schrade and they're building some great slipjoints now. People wait in line for a Tony Bose. They are not toys or objets d'art.
    - TorzJohnson, 6 years ago
  • Personally, I don't think you will go wrong with buying either something made by Buck or something made by Case, IMO these are the better knife makers.


    Unfortunately that was true about 20 years ago. Case still manufactures high quality products. But they have moved from a manufacturer of user knives to a manufacturer of low production, sprint run, collector knives.

    Buck on the other hand, has moved a large amount of it's product line from domestic manufacture to products imported from taiwan, and the phillipines. In 2000, buck also changed their grind angles. This was an attempt to reduce costs involved in manufacturing, this lead to knves coming from the factory dull. The QC leaves a lot to be desired, I saw units shipped with cracked scales, incorrectly aligned pivot pins, and pins that were not fully ground flush. It is the typical story of an American company trading on its past reputation while at the same time lowering its standards in the name of cost reduction to maximize profits. It is a true shame.

    I used to work in the cutlery field, and I personally could not recommend a Buck knife of recent vintage.
    - ReGZ_93, 6 years ago
  • I have carried the same Schrade Old Timer since 1980, it has a special place in my life. It was a gift from a shipmate of mine when he upgraded, and served me well for the entirety of my military career.
    - BMWRider, 6 years ago
  • Since the decision on what knife to buy has already been made, my input is purely academic at this point.

    For under fifty bucks a "made in Taiwan" Benchmade with a 440C blade is a great buy, as are the Spyderco offerings.

    Kit Carson knives by CRKT are also good, very rugged but a slight step down ergonomically, but a very tough knife for severe use if you don't mind some rust now and then.

    Buck folders weren't really well represented when I went through Ranger school last year, but fixed blade Bucks have always been popular. The Buck Nighthawk is a great buy.

    Gerber folders, well they are cheap so it won't break your heart when they rust.

    The knife I've been using for the last couple years is one of those made in Taiwan Benchmade Pika's with the 440C blade. It was designed by Spyderco with a license to Benchmade for manufacture.

    Jimro
    - Jimro, 6 years ago
  • I've got a Byrd I really like and a couple of Opinels.

    As far as price/quality you can't go wrong with opinels. They're soo cheap that when they finally DO go dull you might as well just buy a new one since it's less effort than sharpening it.

    They're among the best in my book.
    - LX_Emergency, 6 years ago
  • I think of a pocket knife as something you can carry in your business suit or your blue jeans. It is more for light duty work such as opening boxes and letters, cutting string or cord, and slicing up the odd apple. The two most popular pocket knife designs are the trapper (usually a two blade) and the stockman (a three blade). For such light uses one cannot go wrong with a Case trapper or stockman with stainless steel blades and stag or bone handles. The stainless will hold a decent edge for light duty, and the blades will maintain their nice shiny look. Such is a good looking knife. I once had a Case stockman with damascus blades that I thought was very handsome. However, I have lost so many of those da-- things I no longer carry them.

    Now, I just carry a MooreMaker double lock back trapper with yellow plastic handles and carbon steel blades. It is a good work knife. The carbon steel is easy to sharpen. The lock back feature is not necessary for light duty. But, it is a nice feature to have when castrating bull calves or earmarking calves. As you might imagine, calves don't exactly stay immobile during earmarking or castration, and the lock feature obviously keeps the knife from closing on your hands during the odd kick, wriggle or throw of the head. The downside is that the carbon blades stain and rust easily. But, if one does not have to have something that looks like new, the MooreMaker is a good working tool.
    - texcattlerancher, 6 years ago
  • I agree with tim8557's recommendation of New Graham Knives as a quality e-tailer. I get a kick out of their inclusion of band-aids with each knife order. :smile: True story, within the day of receipt of my first Spyderco purchase I had to employ the use of said band-aids. That from a knife handler of 4+ decades. :blushing:

    Re the bashing (?) of the Buck knife brand. I only know that I have owned a trapper style for the better part of 3 decades. My only complaint is that it is too heavy for dress pants.
    - Mr. Clean, 6 years ago
  • Buck on the other hand, has moved a large amount of it's product line from domestic manufacture to products imported from taiwan, and the phillipines. In 2000, buck also changed their grind angles. This was an attempt to reduce costs involved in manufacturing, this lead to knves coming from the factory dull. The QC leaves a lot to be desired, I saw units shipped with cracked scales, incorrectly aligned pivot pins, and pins that were not fully ground flush.
    I agree about the imported Bucks, all of my comments were referring to the U.S. made ones. I felt that the new edge geometry, at least on my 110's, was a noticeable improvement on the edges that came on my older Bucks. I mean, they were magnitudes of sharpness beyond Bucks I got in the 80's. Of course, I may have gotten lucky to get some especially sharp knives, I don't know. Also, I'm not sure how changing the edge grind can be any kind of cost-saving measure? A 30 degree inclusive angle is no more expensive to produce than a 40 degree angle. Are these QC problems you've noticed been happening since the move to Idaho? I only have one Idaho knife, and it's pretty excellent; again, maybe I just got lucky.
    - TorzJohnson, 6 years ago
  • I have to get a decent pocket knife. You never know when I'll have to perform a tracheotomy, or slit my own throat.
    - ouch, 6 years ago
  • Hey Folks,

    I have a quick and utterly stupid question... While closing a pocket knife- does the actual blade edge touch anything on the inside of the handle?

    I ask because I've always just closed knives by pressing the lock mechanism and pushing the blade until it reaches the point where its own momentum slams it shut. It occurred to me that if the edge of the blade is actually hitting the inner wall of the handle as it slams shut- this might actually dull the blade over time.

    Thanks,
    Rick
    - rickshah, 6 years ago
  • I have a quick and utterly stupid question... While closing a pocket knife- does the actual blade edge touch anything on the inside of the handle?

    Rick,
    Not unless it is a very poorly designed knife. There are any number of different ways of doing it, but almost always some not sharp part at the base of the blade hits something that acts as a stop, and keeps the actual edge from hitting anything.
    -Mo
    - moses, 6 years ago
  • Im surprised no one mentioned gerbers...i love there knives...they always seem to serve me well...but nothing beats my good ole' leatherman :biggrin:
    - solloron, 6 years ago
  • Im surprised no one mentioned gerbers...i love there knives...they always seem to serve me well...but nothing beats my good ole' leatherman :biggrin:

    My personal experience with Gerbers is poor. Cheap steel that won't hold an edge but they look impressive as hell at Pro Bass. If you spend any time in the knife forums HERE (http://bladeforums.com/) you'll see that Gerber, once acquired by Fiskars has gone way down hill from a quality standpoint. Apparently the Gerbers from yore were great knives, but their day has passed. (I'm sure that this will get me "flamed, but WTH).
    - tim8557, 6 years ago
  • My personal experience with Gerbers is poor. Cheap steel that won't hold an edge but they look impressive as hell at Pro Bass. If you spend any time in the knife forums HERE (http://bladeforums.com/) you'll see that Gerber, once acquired by Fiskars has gone way down hill from a quality standpoint. Apparently the Gerbers from yore were great knives, but their day has passed. (I'm sure that this will get me "flamed, but WTH).

    Yea i guess i shouldve been more specific...i have the applegate-fairbairn...and thats not a cheap knife...but i do think there lower end models suck
    - solloron, 6 years ago
  • Im surprised no one mentioned gerbers...i love there knives...they always seem to serve me well...

    I have a Gerber "Gator" (a folder). It's a nice knife, but too large to be my EDC. I "had" to have it :biggrin: It sees only the occasional use, but works fine when called upon.
    - Mr. Clean, 6 years ago
  • I have to get a decent pocket knife. You never know when I'll have to perform a tracheotomy, or slit my own throat.

    I have my knife right here...close your eyes...let me help you with that...

    ..."trust me, I was once married to a doctor...like Hilary, that give me experience necessary to perform this operation."
    - Mr. Gillette, 6 years ago
  • My Gerber will take a nice edge, but it won't hold it very well. It's also pretty big, and I only ever carry it while hiking/camping. It's mainly to supplement my Leatherman, which is kind of a pain if you just need a blade.
    - adamjaskie, 6 years ago
  • [QUOTE=DEmac;456304]The Kershaw Ken Onion is a great blade. I think I got it for about $55. The blade is about as long as a credit card is wide. Spring loaded blade, SS, solid as a rock,.... what more could you want? I've had mine for a few years, the spring is as quick as it was on the first day, and I've only had to sharpen it once after some very abusive use.

    +1 I swear by my onion, you can get the smaller scallion i think for about $40
    - morajam, 6 years ago
  • Where can I get the Leek model?
    - adamjaskie, 6 years ago
  • I don't think I'd say the "best" but the fact is I have put a large Buck stockman(307) through much, much more than any fireman,search and rescue,or cop will ever come close to...Their use is minimal compared to what I'm talking about....The pins stay tight and the blade works great for how it is used.....Try stripping 750 THHN cable for weeks on end at times over 15 years with the same knife.....Especially at low temperature....The torque that is put on those pins when used this way destroys many pocket knives....So much so that most linemen use a non-folder.....The example I'm talking about was bought around 15 years ago so it may be superior to what they are making today........

    It's ok. Spyderco fans are sometimes nearly fanatical in their loyalty.... they're almost as bad as Benchmade groupies....:biggrin:
    FWIW I AM in search and rescue (I'm a helicopter rescue swimmer) and perhaps I missed the memo because I have none of the above suggested reservations about Buck OR CRKT. I've had very good service from both.
    Don't know who's making CRKT these days but I have a CRKT special forces M16 I bought in Iraq (the small one-it fits perfectly through a webbing loop) that has worked great for 4 years now... my all-time favorite knife? maybe not, but reliable? sure. It might not be a high end Porsche race car, more like the old Honda that you keep trying to kill so you can "upgrade" but just won't die. Same thing with Buck, Gerber, and some others not listed here.
    Spydercos are also a good knife. I know an ordnanceman who has had the same Spyderco police for about 12 years. Just because Spydercos are good does not mean the others are not. Definitely consider them-they are sturdy (especially the all stainless ones) and Spyderco INVENTED the one-hand opening idea now common, along with a few other things.
    I guess you have half the battle done-you passed all the 10 dollar bargains out there. I think you have in your own mind what you want in a knife already, and what you want to use it for. If you want a polite, dressy knife no need buying one seemingly built with prying tank treads apart in mind...
    I recommend going to a place where you can hold the knife. Not to buy, but to find what you like first. Does the blade lock up securely? or does the blade have play back and forth?
    Is the blade simply stamped with a nation of origin or does it also have the designation of the steel? (if it doesn't, chances are you are better off not knowing) you could then debate for weeks or longer (go check bladeforums if you don't believe me) on which steel is better or for what purpose. What kind of warranty does the knife have and does the maker have a good reputation? A good knife will often be guaranteed for your life with the possible exception of blatant misuse, and some makers will STILL honor their warranty.
    Finally, aesthetics. Do you like how the knife feels in your hand? how does it feel in your pocket. Walk back and forth in front of the counter and see if it is something you would be happy carrying all the time or if it would bug you.
    I love multitools in my line of work but I don't carry one in my pocket all the time... Do you want a knife to fend off an attacker (if so do you have the proper training for that? I recommend it...) orjust mundane cutting chores?
    Multitool? SAK(Swiss Army Knife)? Tactical folder? Dress knife? Does the appearance of the knife present any issues (perhaps one of my favorite knives of all time was an Emerson Commander I got in 1998, the first year it was available-but because it was a fairly agressive, black "tactical folder" with a gimmick that makes it snap open agressively on its way from your pocket automatically, I found sometimes I had to be careful because people were alarmed by this....something to consider.
    I have no real maker loyalties; buy the best knife you can afford. You will not regret it. I do tend to attempt getting a US made knife if possible but if not get the best made knife for your money you can. Quality lasts for years; junk makes your regret it for years.
    So...now that I've thrown a few questions your way, what more specifically are you looking for?
    John P.
    - JohnP, 6 years ago
  • Yea i guess i shouldve been more specific...i have the applegate-fairbairn...and thats not a cheap knife...but i do think there lower end models suck

    Thats a sweet knife. I gave away my A-F combat folder, and carried an A-F covert for quite awhile. I highly recommend it if one is willing to spend a little more....
    John P.
    - JohnP, 6 years ago
  • Where can I get the Leek model?


    HERE (http://www.knifeworks.com/index.asp?PageAction=PRODSEARCH)

    A reliable internet dealer. I have purchased a number of knives through them. Under SEARCH in the upper right corner, type in "LEEK"
    - tim8557, 6 years ago
  • Oh, there IS a Leek model. I thought I was being clever and making a funny joke re: very large aliums. :blushing:

    I suppose there is also a chive model?
    - adamjaskie, 6 years ago
  • Oh, there IS a Leek model. I thought I was being clever and making a funny joke re: very large aliums. :blushing:

    I suppose there is also a chive model?

    Try the shallot for concealed carry! Or the chive for close up work?:001_rolle
    - guenron, 6 years ago
  • Oh, there IS a Leek model. I thought I was being clever and making a funny joke re: very large aliums. :blushing:

    I suppose there is also a chive model?

    Yes (I have one - nice stealthy carry in a pair of dress slacks) plus Scallion and Shallot :001_smile Each reasonably priced and, at least in my area, locally available.
    - Mr. Clean, 6 years ago
  • So the chive is small/light enough I can put it in the pocket of my suit pants without a saggy bulge? Hmm, that might be something to look into.

    I pretty much only carry knives when I'm wearing jeans/hiking pants because then I can stick it in a belt pouch and not feel silly due to my Batman factor.

    Though, if it's acceptable to wear your blackberry on your belt, I don't see why I shouldn't be able to wear a big bowie knife with dress slacks and a sport coat...
    - adamjaskie, 6 years ago
  • I think so. Check it out and see what you think.

    http://www.kershawknives.com/productdetails.php?id=41

    FWIW It is not my smallest or lightest knife. That would probably be an older Gerber (IIRC - and I can't remember the model) that is both smaller (form factor) and lighter (Zytel handle vs. SS).
    - Mr. Clean, 6 years ago
  • I know, I'm a bit late to the party, but this has been my favorite knife for the past 7 years:

    http://www.buckknives.com/catalog/detail/259/238

    it's an everyday type knife, but I've used if for everything from hunting, fishing, cleaning my nails, removing jumpers from hard drives, cutting yo-yo strings for my kids, opening cd/dvds, etc.

    **EDIT: I haven't tried shaving with it though, I'd imagine it would fall waaaaay short :biggrin1:
    - sol92258, 6 years ago
  • For a small/cheap/light pocket knife that's good for slacks and everyday wear, I like Kershaw's 1700 LFK. Can be had at about $25 at most sporting good stores, ebay, and elsewhere online.

    http://www.knifecenter.com/knifecenter/kershaw/images/1700.jpg

    Blade is 2 1/8 in. (and very sharp out of the box) and weighs 4.2 oz. The AUS6A steel isn't the greatest, but it's sufficient for light work.
    - PaulR, 6 years ago
  • I found this googling around the internet, I guess I should just search B&B first from here on out.

    I currently carry a Lone Wolf PAUL executive, however it is no beater in my mind and I would hate to see it get abused as it was a gift.

    I guess to refine the question asked, What is the best pocket knife under 50 dollars that is not made in China? Most the sites I have gone to do not list the "Made in ___" and it is a concern as I have had blades from China fail on me with rather minimal use.
    - subrosa, 6 years ago
  • Do you want one that locks open? Is the ability to open it with hand important? How big? There are many nice knives out there, for well under fifty bucks.
    - Roman414, 6 years ago
  • I was checking out our local knife shop and they had one that I really liked. It is smaller then my cheapy Smith and Wesson, but it looks sweet and is made in the good ol' USA.

    Kershaw 1620 Scallion, great little "spring assisted" opener. I checked out quite a few of the knives in this thread and I got to admit this was the best for the price. The Opinel was cheap and felt ok, but it didn't have any heft, I might just pick one up to mess with. I did like the looks of the CRKT Hisstasu, but ummm that isn't particularly useful outside of knife fights.

    Maybe I was under a rock but the spring assist stuff rocks, works quite well! :biggrin:
    - subrosa, 6 years ago
  • I've also grown to like my Byrd more and more. I own a Byrd Cara Cara, it cost me €23 (around $40) stays sharp like a beast, feels GREAT in the hand and is quite easy to resharpen.

    They're pretty much Spyderco's without the name attached and the materials they use and the fit and finish of the blades is close to or on par with Spyderco's.
    - LX_Emergency, 6 years ago
  • My knife knowledge is non-existent compared to the info in this thread, but this fit the bill for me perfectly:

    http://i11.ebayimg.com/01/i/07/63/ea/d7_1.JPG

    I'm the suit-wearing, never-cutting-anything-more-than-string/packing tape user. It keeps me from having to carry a knife and a jumpdrive, and the screwdriver is functional enough to take apart small electronics.

    Overpriced for just the knife at $60? Probably, but like I said, the combination of the tools offered fit the bill for me. :001_smile
    - zlinedavid, 6 years ago
  • Victorinox have some nice stuff out there. Personally I've recently gotten a Leatherman TTi which is also available with the same tools in the form of the Leatherman New Wave. I love the thing to death! I'll probably never switch from a multitool again.
    - LX_Emergency, 6 years ago
  • I'm more fond of Camillus knives, but then again, I sell a Dura Tool line. :tongue:
    - ECOSSE, 6 years ago
  • The Kershaw Ken Onion is a great blade. I think I got it for about $55. The blade is about as long as a credit card is wide. Spring loaded blade, SS, solid as a rock,.... what more could you want? I've had mine for a few years, the spring is as quick as it was on the first day, and I've only had to sharpen it once after some very abusive use.

    Edit- Link (http://www.knifecenter.com/kc_new/store_detail.html?s=KS1660), price came down a bit.

    I second this. Its a great little knife.
    - AustinC9, 6 years ago
  • Just out of curiosity... how would you sharpen one of the spyderedge blades?
    - burningdarkness, 6 years ago
  • i kinda like the crkt KISS design, minimal parts, one hand opening and open locking. Opinel is great too. a nice victorinox with the tools you use is also nice. (have a boating version i carry in my lifejacket, serrated blade for (hitech) rope cutting)
    - swartzkip, 6 years ago
  • While on this topic, I found that on Craig's List you can usually get great deals on knives locally and they are usually willing to ship.

    I got a SOG toolclip the other day for 10 dollars, which was a steal.
    - subrosa, 6 years ago
  • For small, slim- Case Sodbuster Jr in yellow- classic carbon steel blade
    For something solid, slim with a lock, the Spyderco Delica 4 in Stainless handle
    Benchmade 530 is nice too, but the frame is flexy

    The CRKT KISS for me is more novelty than knife. The chisel grind means you can't cut in a straight line, the liner line is a small tab
    Kershaw Leek/Scallion/Chive is nice, but I'm not an AO fan.

    Just my 2 cents

    Also: New Graham- best dealer bar none, IMHO
    - GarageBoy, 6 years ago
  • "The CRKT KISS for me is more novelty than knife. The chisel grind means you can't cut in a straight line"

    true, forgot to mention that, i mostly use it to open packages and the likes, so it does not really matter.
    - swartzkip, 6 years ago
  • I know jack and sh*t about knives, really, but I have a Gerber Paraframe I (http://www.gerbergear.com/product.php?model=8443)
    and it suits me just fine. I think I picked one up at Wal-Mart for a hair above $20. It's light, looks badass, has a thumb-flipper doodad.

    http://media.rei.com/media/700567_321Lrg.JPG
    - Beast, 6 years ago
  • Just out of curiosity... how would you sharpen one of the spyderedge blades?

    Serrated edges generally don't require as much maintenence as a straight edge. The Spyderco Sharpmaker has a tutorial on how to resharpen with their triangular rods and a light touch.
    - tim8557, 6 years ago
  • BTW, the Spyderco native as you linked to is another good knife, and certainly looks nicer (especially the Native III) however it has a hollow ground blade (not as robust as the grind on the Delica) S30V Steel (which is really good stuff - but the VG-10 holds an edge longer) only has a 2 position pocket clip (versus the Delica's 4) which rides lower, and is more comfortable in the pocket, the spyderhole is larger on the Delica (easier to open), and the Delica has phosphor bronze bushings (the Native doesn't) which means it'll open smoother/easier.

    The Natives are great knives, don't get me wrong - and if you really want one - get one, it's a fine knife, however I wouldn't get the ones you linked to, as they're the "older" generation Native - get the Native III FRN which looks better, is more comfortable, and uses the superior VG-10 steel. It's only $5 more expensive, and is a superior knife.

    The best buy though, is still the Delica, as it has more features/perks, is lighter, is a more robust design, and is $10-15 less expensive.


    This is extremely incorect vg10 has nothing close on s30v s3ov is one of the most high end steel right now it can be seen on the frr native for 60 bucks and all the way up on chris reeve's knife witch have unmatched quality for maybe four hundred dollars don't get me wrong vg-10 is good steel but it's not s30v or 154cm what benchmade uses . My s30v does not hold a edge as nearlyas long as my delica.I know this is really old thread but i still think for people searching best pocket knife should be missinformed by you.
    - spyderman, 4 years ago
  • Delica is something I am looking at, or a Tenacious. Looking for $30 to $40 range, as my only real knife. Serrated, plain edge or combo? Pros and Cons?

    Best price on Delica?
    - Sam, 4 years ago
  • I just picked up a Kershaw Scallion and am quite pleased with it for the price (30 @ dick's sporting goods)
    - Obiwan, 4 years ago

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