Need a Knife Suggestion


December 23, 2002, 02:06 PM
I don't have a decent knife. I know a lot you carry everyday and respect your opinion. Law here states 3" or less in length. I need something easy one hand opening, and being the way I am I prefer a carbon blade. Affordable.

I used to carry a larger knife, but went low key returning to school. I lost all my hunting and fishing knives in last move. My Al Mar I had--lost in a situation a while back.


If you enjoyed reading about "Need a Knife Suggestion" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!
Steve Smith
December 23, 2002, 05:35 PM
Working, fighting, or a little of both?

Don Gwinn
December 23, 2002, 05:35 PM
Spyderco Delica would be my choice. Small, but sharp and quick as can be, and Spyderco quality is legend. Actually, I think my Native is less than 3" of blade, and it's just awesome.
These are stainless, but good quality stainless. You won't have any problem getting these suckers sharp, and they come from the factory sharper than just about anything else out there.
For my money, the Spyderco hole opening device is the simplest, most instinctive out there, besides being cheap, ambidextrous, and much less likely to snag.

Byron Quick
December 23, 2002, 05:39 PM
I carry the Spyderco Native. Very impressive knife for the money.

December 23, 2002, 06:18 PM
Grew up not being dressed without one. Carried a Case(tm) Trapper for years. Skinning/clean game, pare an apple, open a box kind of guy. Bit slow for 'social' uses, but figured that steel would do the job. Then the lockblades came out...later the one hand opening...then the half serrated blades. Learned the later a good feature for rope.

I keep a low profile, but CCW unless signs or detectors dictate other wise. Need something that's in keeping.

I'll search for the Delica and get a pic. Just need another "tool" for the box. Thanks everyone.

Steve Smith
December 23, 2002, 06:25 PM
I'm partial to Case myself. Unfortunately, a Stockman isn't all that "tactical" so I carry a Benchmade Mini-AFCK most of the time. You never know when you might have to use a knfe one-handed, you know? I agree with the others. If you can't afford a Benchmade, get a with the plastic handle, not the metal.

December 23, 2002, 07:06 PM
I carry a Benchmade Mini-AFCK while in uniform, but have carried a Spyderco Native for a while in civilian life. I do believe the Native is over 3" blade, though. Delica is a good choice.

December 23, 2002, 07:58 PM
Been checking the sites/suggestions.
I'm kinda used to walking into the hardware store,handling one, and buying that way--times have changed huh?

Steels, clips, designs, ...Hey I shoot 1911 style and wheels mostly--no doohickey's...oh well, I'll keep checking.

Delicia seems ok, the lightweight version , but no clip, good/bad/?

Understand I appreciate fine craftsmanship--used to do that sort of thing...used real fine tools...worked on /with expensive stuff ...just this is a new one on me. My carbon steel tools, bits ,etc,used in the business worked better than some of the new steels...thats all

Jim V
December 23, 2002, 09:16 PM
A couple of suggestions for on line places to look at knives, Atlanta Cutlery ( and the Cutlery Shoppe ( I have bought from both of them, on line, and have never had a problem.

And if you are into armor, mail, swords, helmets, pikes, etc. Atlanta Cutlery will be the place to look.

Steve Smith
December 23, 2002, 11:47 PM
I say get the clip. It keeps it in the same place all the time. frees up the bottoms of pockets, too.

December 24, 2002, 03:20 AM
May run into your 3" length problem, but one of the best out there, IMNSHO, is a Gerber Guardian Backup.

Full tang, nice fully adjustable pull sheath, straight pull/no-flip - grab it & you have a blade = knife. Zip nada. A quick knife.

About $35+ - abouts. Why flip when you can drag out a blade?

& depends too on what you'd want = "social" or a thing to cut stuff sometimes.


I've a couple SAK "mumble" li'l things always in my pockets that does a wonderful job for anything basic - slices things open, gots the "mini"-scissors & a cuopla other things & weighs in at about nothing. A very handy tool I'd never be without.

In my other pocket, I'll carry a bigger bladed SAK that is a bit more heavy duty, & with a couple extras.

I might carry that Gerber Backup sometimes.

I've never needed the "tactical kinfe."

I've carried it sometimes to "be sure" in some uncertain times - mostly, when extreme backpacking & the like. Very nice to be able to drag out a blade without having to flip anything - kinda like some of the better flashligths where you don't have to "ask permission" to get a light .....

If I need a "blade" in a "social experiement," please do give me my BHP.

It has better range, better depth. Then, knives are for sissys. ;)

December 24, 2002, 04:44 AM
Before TFL, I spent a good bit of time on Knife Forums and Blade Forums. I was persuaded by One Who Shall Not be Named that only a fixed blade was truly "tactical". Blessed with this knowledge, I sold my functional Cold Steel 4" Voyager folder, and bought an assortment of small fixed blades.

I wore the handiest of them three times, I believe.

I feel that (1) folders are more likely to be easily present when needed, and (2) are much easier to explain than even a small "boot knife". If you're in a situation where a fixed blade can openly be carried (such as hunting), you can probably also carry a firearm.

So, yes, a fixed blade is good, but any blade is better than no blade.

December 24, 2002, 05:10 AM
JShirley makes a lot of sense in his "a fixed blade is good, but any blade is better than no blade."

Depending, most anything will do a pretty darned good job of 90%+ of what you'd want a knife to do. Mostly amatter of personal pref & we've all got that = tactical to bare minimum.

Personally? I always have at least a couple blades handy enough to do utilitarian-type stuff - rarely for anything defensive.

That's what a firearm is for.

Faster, more lethal, more definative.

Besides, it makes a bigger bang & scares the bad guys more. ;)

Slicing? half the time, they don't even know they're cut till ya tell 'em .....

December 24, 2002, 11:07 AM
My Sig line, got me to thinking.
Well I figure this goes for blades. Mil-Specs and model 19's work--though not ubertactical or uberexpensive. Course I get smug with some uses of the term tactical nowadays.

Up the ante to say a C note , clip, plain and serrated blade, keep the weight down. Not sure which is safest/surest on locking. Liner locks have used-careful on one hand closing. Just want the darn thing to work--iffen I got to use it.

All this because the sign and detectors said I couldn't CCW, and I couldn't keep carrying my
glass bottle of root beer around , wasn't thirsty mind you, just another" tool".;)

Steve Smith
December 24, 2002, 11:12 AM
I like the liner lock. You can close the knife with one hand too.

Try to get a blade with 1/3 serrated 2/3 plain edge so you can make nice cuts and tough cuts too. This is Spyderco's one big fault and why I've always liked the Benchmades more. Spyderco often gives you an all or nothing serration choice. (yak!)

December 24, 2002, 11:53 AM
what I've seen doing a search
so far--getting my attention

I appreciate everyone's experience
and input...just want to handle
one...real real bad !!

Dave Markowitz
December 24, 2002, 02:29 PM
I'll echo the suggestions for the Spyderco Delica. I've carried one almost every day for the past several years. It's light, quick-opening, and made of good steel. It does have a pocket clip as well. Mine is the straight edge, which I prefer, but it's also available with a serrated edge.

Inspector Callahan
December 24, 2002, 03:10 PM
Yeah, Spyderco rules the sub 3 inch folder category. They offer a dizzying array of choices that are sure to meet both your need and your price range. Send an email to and ask for a current price list. Best Spydie prices in the civilized world. Cheers.

December 24, 2002, 05:13 PM
You can't go wrong with a Spyderco. I think I have at least 1/2 dozen and want a couple of other models.

I do have my eye on a Benchmade axis locking knife now though that I hope is in the stocking tomorrow morning. ;)


December 24, 2002, 05:51 PM
Benchmade 705 or mini Griptilian. I went through a similar decision a few months ago and bought the 705. All of the other suggestions are good. The BM 705 has the axis lock, opens easily with a flick of the wrist, has a lifetime warranty. It's stainless, but uses 154CM, which seems to hold an edge well.

As someone else suggested, try for more info.

I also own a Spyderco and some other brands, but prefer a post to a hole for opening the blade.

Good luck!

December 24, 2002, 06:30 PM
I'm perusing the sites, drooling, do not turn me loose in a showroom-I'll embarass myself.

I'm generally a no frills guy--show me an old worn finished K frame or 1911 style -spittle on the showcase, oops!

I stole a tip from runt_of _ the_ litter: whetted a old hickory carbon steel blade(utility knife) on the old india stone, placed in truck.

decisions, decisons... may be best to give someone the $, let them purchase and just say "here ya go '73"

December 24, 2002, 06:42 PM
I carry an Emerson CQC-7B everyday but I've been looking at that Griptilian alot lately. Looks quite nice.

Steve Smith
December 24, 2002, 06:44 PM
The Emerson CQC-7 isn't a bad knife, but I never liked the chisel grind. Benchmade DIDN'T do a good job with their CQC-7 post-Emerson copy.

mons meg
December 24, 2002, 07:02 PM
If you like Al Mar, they make an Ultralight folder in a 3 inch comfiguration. My Eagle 4 inch is so llight I can clip it to sweatpants and forget it's there. AUS-8 steel, the smaller ones will probably set you back around $70.

H&K Fan
December 24, 2002, 09:45 PM
You need to define affordable a bit narrower. It really is a different thing to different people when it comes to knives. I work with people who make over $50K a year and when I show them Microtech Amphibian automatic knife which set me back $160 they are stunned that anyone would spend that much money on a knife. Even though the dinner they buy at Ruby Tuesday's on Friday nights runs a tab of $90 or more. Besides, it depends on whether you are buying a knife from a forum, a brick and mortar store, a website or (spit) ebay.

December 24, 2002, 10:03 PM
What don't you like about the chisel grind Steve? The CQC-7A has a traditional spear point instead.

Steve Smith
December 24, 2002, 10:52 PM
Not talking about the tanto tip, that's fine, but talking about the one sided chisel grind. Having worked in a knife shop for several years for "gun money" I saw more than a few of those CQC's ruined by folks who didn't understand the chisel grind. I always thought it went dull faster than a double grind becuase the edge lacked support. In addition, the chisel will push the knife sideways through the cutting stock. Lots of negatives on the chisel grind. Good edge for slicing flesh open though...better than double grind because there's less friction.

December 25, 2002, 08:57 AM
I've had trouble with Benchmades, not with the blade or actions but with the pocket clip screws constantly backing themselves out. The instruction manual says that Locktite is contraindicated. Any ideas?

Steve Smith
December 25, 2002, 10:04 AM
Jack, I had that problem with my first Benchmade, called them, and they said locktite them!

December 25, 2002, 10:14 AM
All I can tell you is that peeling an apple right-handed with one of Ernie Emerson's designs is contraindicated... ;)

December 25, 2002, 11:59 AM
Hi Tamara.
Since I'm obviously new to this, I have no idea of which you speak. I do believe you though. You have any suggestions, with pics?

December 25, 2002, 12:14 PM
99.99% of the time, you'll find me with an old Sebenza in my left pocket and an Emerson Commander in my right.

(What I was referring to about the Emerson is that the chisel grind is backwards for normal right-handed usage, such as peeling apples or opening envelopes, because holding the knife in your right hand and the object to be cut in your left puts the beveled edge facing the object. It kinda hampers delicate work.)

Other frequently-carried knives that I like: Benchmade 910 Stryker, Microtech Lightfoot LCC, Kershaw Vapor II, Spyderco Massad Ayoob or Shabaria. Sometimes my Beretta Avenger or one of my customs if I'm dressing nicely...

December 25, 2002, 12:21 PM
Thanks Tamara.
Duh, I shoulda known that. I used to use gravers and hand hone a particular 'edge' for a task. Can't cut if designed to go another way--yeah--I tried--don't work.

I'll do a search, unless you have a pic. Source?

Steve Smith
December 25, 2002, 12:30 PM
Tamara knows of which I speak! LOL The apple did it for you, huh?

I used to have a 910 as well, but some nice lookin' hussy walked off with it. Never saw her or the knife again.

December 25, 2002, 02:27 PM
Ok...yes I agree. It isn't the best for those types of tasks. But, thats what my Obenauf is for. :D

December 26, 2002, 02:49 AM
I guess I am very lucky in that I have a knife shop close at hand.I watch the used cases and I have picked up 2 benchmade for about 1/2 price.Both excellent and showed a min of wear from carry.Allso check pawn shops for used ones.They are easy to check out for wear and about the only thing that gets messed up is the edge from someone that does not what they are doing.Even that can be fixed with a little work.Cost savings are great doing it this way.
Good Luck

December 26, 2002, 11:49 AM
3 inch legal limit? No question, Spyderco Lil' Temperance Leaf point. Its the BIG little knife.

December 26, 2002, 02:02 PM
I'd recommend the Cold Steel Voyager with a 3 " Blade . I have one with a 4 " tanto blade and I like it quite a bit .

December 26, 2002, 05:24 PM
New guy here, first post. My all time favorite is the MOD Hornet. Slick, smooth, but 3.1 inches, if can get by with 0.1 over your limit. It is thin, rides low, good steel, and feels great in the hand for a small knife.

Oh wait, I pulled out the tape measure and the sharpened length is just under 3".


Line Rider
December 26, 2002, 08:05 PM
I carry either my Spyderco Police or Recuse. Also I carry an Old Timer Stockman.

December 26, 2002, 08:36 PM
Still learning and listening.

December 26, 2002, 08:40 PM
Steve and Tamara, LOL, thank you very much....:D

December 26, 2002, 08:47 PM
I'm with mons meg on the Al Mar Ultralight series. I carry the 4" Eagle daily, and like the versatility of the standard edge, rather than a serrated. The Cutlery Shoppe sells the three different models.

December 26, 2002, 10:06 PM
Give the smaller Timberline Kelly Worden tactical folder a look see. Excellent knife. Reasonable in price. Sharp. Light weight. Fast to open. Strong lock. Safe for the user.

Not only is the blade a weapon, but the handle with blade closed makes a good sap. And the small brother is legal most places. Liner locked you can one hand open and close this tool very effectively.

December 26, 2002, 10:12 PM
I'll hafta bite here.

Been well served (I thought) till reading more 'n more about knives - & always willing to learn.

What is up with the "better" knives that one can't get from a very sharp blade that does the job?

Curious that seemingly "the job" can be done so much better .... or is this just another where personal preference is the deciding factor?

A very good bud's a paramedic-type & swears by his Spydy-Cos/serrated (cuts seat belts like the Dickens, but so will any very sharp blade) ... what's the diff? & why?

(Steve, I shouda talked to ya longer .... ;) )

& there's so many applications (as Steve indicated) for a blade; "just" cutting, defense, yada ....

December 27, 2002, 12:40 PM
How about an Emerson Commander they come in full size and mini. I have a mini commander for my everyday carry knife and love it. The CRKT Casper Pro is a nice folder too.

December 27, 2002, 06:32 PM
Kershaw Leek, a Ken Onion design, #1660

I was going to wait, but due to 'recent events' stepped up my purchase. I handled a bunch of different brands and styles as suggested, had to consider budget. Final choice was hard. I also used the input from a friend whom has been in SF, and "other stuff". I will seek some training from him, he had BTDT. One of his EDC is this knife.

I will have to wait on the Benchmades, and Microtech's until $ is better, this I think will be a great learning tool. Oh, I re checked the law here: 3.5" blade legal limit. Yes this knife is legal here (auto assist opening). Retail: $42.00

Thanks everyone, I have and will continue to learn.

December 31, 2002, 02:01 AM
Benchmade Knives
Any of the Osborne knives
Griptillian series

They will all serve you well :)


April 1, 2004, 09:52 AM
Did you get a Benchmade yet? How do you like the kershaw?

April 3, 2004, 01:43 AM
Another good company to consider would be Columbia River Knife and Tool. I carry a CRKT M16-00K everyday. While too long for your requirements, the M16-00K is a straight edge, tanto point made of AUS-6 steel with an aluminum handle. Liner lock is unobtrusive, yet strong. The other great feature is the LAWKS safety that allows you to lock the blade open even if the liner lock is depressed. The blade has a titanium-nitride coating and holds an edge very well. The patented Carson flipper on the back definitely helps with opening.

Perhaps one of the roll-lock designs would work. Great company and customer service is top-notch.

April 3, 2004, 02:57 AM
I can't believe I have carried the Leek everyday since Dec of 2002.

The day I bought it , I took off that silly lock that slides into to place near the pointy end.

I'm one that anything that Mr. Murphy could use to work against me I try to alleviate. I could foresee that safety dealie being locked at the wrong time and wrong place.

I have used this knife for a bunch of stuff and is still in great shape. I have yet to use a whetstone. I just touch up every once in a blue moon with a set of ceramic sticks, or sharpening steel.

I know it is not in the catagory of some knives and all, but I really like it. In fact I have given one as a gift and the one like it next size down ( forget name).

I used hand tools for way too many years. I made many to fit the task. I use tools, I take care of tools, but yes I expect them to be used and I do.

I have some items /tools that are more of pride of ownership, sentimental and all. This Leek ain't one.

Not sure what the blade shape is on the Leek, never had one quite like it before. I really like it, it performs a lot of tasks very very well.

I'm also glad I listened to Tamara and others on getting the straight edge. I understand the "defensive use" of such an edge.

I also found it does not handicap one if a seatbelt or such needs to be cut. I had no problem on cutting a seat belt with the Leek in a hurry and getting a blasted infant seat loose with a 6 month in it.

My thinking originally ran to a half straight, half serrated. Like I said I better understand the defensive knife. The liner lock is also very good and strong, I'm not worried if I have to "seriously" use the Leek , my hand will NOT release the tab and the blade become non rigid and not effective.

Yes that was me testing / learning with instructor on a side of beef in a Mom & Pop butcher shop.

Sure I will get another knife someday, perhaps. I have handled/used some mentioned by others.

I have some other priorites and new developements, pressing matters and such to contend with. So for now , the Leek will do its part If I do mine.

If you enjoyed reading about "Need a Knife Suggestion" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!