Overwhelmed Knife Newbie


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HGM22
August 17, 2010, 06:01 AM
Hey, first post in this section. Just want to say that I feel a little overwhelmed with all the knife manufacturers and models available out there, and not quite sure where to get started.

Anyway, I've been thinking I need a good knife for utility and possibly defense. Would like a non-serrated blade, some sort of belt clip, and some type of stud or cutout to allow fast opening would be nice, but cannot be assisted-opening. Definitely want a folder.

Being new to knives for the most part, I'm not really skilled in sharpening them, so something that isn't too hard to sharpen would be great (I know a professional sharpener, but at some point would like to be able to sharpen it myself).

Also, I would like a rugged knife that I can abuse without worry. Maybe such a knife doesn't exist, in which case I want the closest thing.

Finally, the price should be right. I cannot afford to spend much more than $60 on the knife. I realize this might make things difficult, though I did see some nice knives from CRKT and Kershaw in this price range.

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shockwave
August 17, 2010, 07:15 AM
The best way to learn about knives is to start buying them. Ultimately, a knife is nothing more than a sharp piece of metal. There's only so much you can add to that basic proposition.

But oh, do they ever try! The folding mechanism, the lock type, the handle material, artwork, precious metals, they'll overwhelm you there. Then the steel snobs will follow to explain that you must have the special zombie-killing Japanese-forged hi-carbon blades. Only.

So be prepared to pay for your education with your own money, and start collecting. For me, a pleasant part of leaving the house every day is deciding which knife to carry. You want a selection that will meet the kinds of needs you expect to encounter.

RAVENSEEKER
August 17, 2010, 07:50 AM
The best way to learn about knives is to start buying them. Ultimately, a knife is nothing more than a sharp piece of metal. There's only so much you can add to that basic proposition.

But oh, do they ever try! The folding mechanism, the lock type, the handle material, artwork, precious metals, they'll overwhelm you there. Then the steel snobs will follow to explain that you must have the special zombie-killing Japanese-forged hi-carbon blades. Only.

So be prepared to pay for your education with your own money, and start collecting. For me, a pleasant part of leaving the house every day is deciding which knife to carry. You want a selection that will meet the kinds of needs you expect to encounter.
Amen to that brother! Couldn't have said it better myself!

I'm a big fan of KA-BAR knives as far as fixed blades go. Still trying to find the right folding knife though. Currently trying out a line of Smith & Wesson folding knives, but haven't quite settled yet. The search is still on! ^_^

nevermas
August 17, 2010, 10:32 AM
Looking for a knife is like finding a good woman, there are going to be lots of pretty ones with great/different features, but you really need a hands on experience to figure out which ones you like. mmm so that analogy didn't go quite as well as I recalled it, but yeah, you definitely have to go to gunshows/knife shops to touch/handle the products, and then what you want to buy.

Here's just a small intro to what's available:

CRKT is most renowned for their carson flipper and autolawks design. I have a cheap m16 zytel and I enjoy using the flipper. It is cheap enough (less than 20 dollars at walmart and many other places) for rugged use, however, the aus4 doesn't hold an edge quite as long as I like. The autolawks is just something that doesn't allow the liner lock to fail, or at least, fail less frequently. Personally I'm used to closing my crkt, but other people hate using it because they find it troublesome.

Benchmade's most used tech is the Axis lock system, which you can find a description of on their website. Very handy locking system, allows for one handed opening and closing easily. While many of their models are pricier than CRKT's, the Benchmade Griptillian line is great for beginners for their ease of use and quality. All Benchmade knives are now made in USA.

Spyderco is most well known for the cutout hole present in all of their knives. Spyderco's style isn't very widely accepted by the popular crowd, but the ones who accepts it swears by their quality and use. While I am a lover of knives, I do enjoy Spyderco's just a little bit more. Shop around, I once found a Spyderco Police for 60 bucks, and its a great knife. I highly recommend the Spyderco Endura, it is lightweight, tough, and the side clip can be switched for right/left/tip up/tip down carry.

On to sharpeners, if you want to get better at sharpening at a medium to advanced level, then I suggest the spyderco sharpmaker. The instructions are easy to understand, and it can sharpen anything in the house. Other companies also offer sharpeners in similar design, but I trust spyderco with their quality. If you just want an idiot-proof touchup tool, then I recommend the Smith Pocket Pal sharpener with preset carbide and ceramic angles, along with an attached serrated sharpener. I recommend buying a cheap 5 dollar knife and just practice sharpening it, well at least thats what I do.

hso
August 17, 2010, 10:34 AM
HGM22,

You may be setting your foot on a slippery slope just reading this forum.;) Many people innocently start discussing knives only to find they have half a dozen before they know it. :evil:

To answer your question ... you've not asked any questions.

You have described a typical one hand opening locking folder as something you're interested in and you've set the price for such a folder in a range where careful shopping should make it possible to find a knife of reasonable quality for every day use.

I have to ask, what do you mean by "abuse"? Also, what will you actually use the knife for?

wheelgunslinger
August 17, 2010, 10:46 AM
Knives are fun. Relax and enjoy yourself.
You couldn't tie your shoes or make a bowl of lucky charms when you were an infant. I'll wager you can do both of those now.
You'll learn. Keep your eyes and ears open for the right one, and then for the next right one.

heron
August 17, 2010, 12:32 PM
A trip to the local library might be in order for you, and there are other knife forums you can visit.

The criteria you mentioned cover quite a wide range of available knives. Maybe go to a sporting goods store and get the store clerk to let you handle them; that will tell you a lot, but don't buy one on your first visit; go home and think and research more about your choices.

You're at the steepest part of the learning curve, which is where everyone makes the most mistakes, so do your early hands-on with the cheapest stuff you can buy, and when you're ready to step up to a quality purchase, you will know what you want and why you want it.

Yo Mama
August 17, 2010, 01:18 PM
You may be setting your foot on a slippery slope just reading this forum. Many people innocently start discussing knives only to find they have half a dozen before they know it.


Uh, yup. Exactly what you all did to me. :)
It's ok, I'm much better from it.

OP, in your price range I fully recommend: 5 dollar knife as stated previously, and a spyderco native.

For 20 extra bucks, switch native with Benchmade Axis.

That's just from my experience with these knives, but I sure love them all.

JShirley
August 17, 2010, 01:46 PM
Spyderco Persistence (http://newgraham.com/store/product/6625/Persistance-PE/) is a good choice in an inexpensive folder if want a 2 3/4" blade. The next size up is the 3 3/8" blade Tenacious (http://newgraham.com/store/product/4566/Tenacious-PE-SC122GP/).

I've handled a Persistence that I gave as a Father's Day gift, and it was an attractive and well-made knife.

Demitrios
August 17, 2010, 02:07 PM
My personal every day carry (EDC) knives are the Spyderco Native, which has great steel and a great edge, for $40 at Wal-Mart (it retails for $100 on their website)http://www.spyderco.com/catalog/details.php?product=20.

My other one is my CRKT (Colombia River Knife and Tool) M16. There are many variations to this blade, pick one and it will hold an edge well. I know you're not a fan of assisted openers but this one has an assisted open that's very out of the way and makes deploying it quick as can be. The best part is even the basic models are good knives and retail for $45 on CRKT's website http://www.crkt.com/cgi-bin/crkt.pl.

Also if you're looking to "get into" knives consider getting yourself a knife sharpener, again I've had great experience with the Spyderco Sharpmaker http://www.spyderco.com/catalog/details.php?product=77. You can probably find one in good shape on eBay for $40.

That's my $0.02.

Dimis
August 17, 2010, 04:43 PM
+1 on spyderco

they can be "abused" a good deal before breakage but keep it realistic knives are not crowbars

if your pricerange was just a bit higher id say cold steel because they make a knife you can abuse lol

but staying in your range there are pleanty of good brands still to choose from

Spyderco
Boker
Cold Steel (check just in case they have dropped a price or two)
Ka-Bar (they do make folders)
SOG


my personal carry as of late fits your bill except for belt clip

Victorinox Soldier 2009

they make a non serated version too but its not called a soldier

bikerdoc
August 17, 2010, 05:46 PM
My persoal favorites. SPYDERCO. Native, Tenacious, Endura.

On sharpening, read the sticky on top, search sharpening on this forum, get some stone and some inexpensive knives to practice, then hold on for the ride of your life. It is addictive.

Creature
August 17, 2010, 05:52 PM
http://images.knifecenter.com/knifecenter/spyderc/images/51gpfg.jpg
(Spyderco Rookie Folding Knife 3" VG10 Plain Blade, G10 Handles; Part Number: SP51GPFG)


Slightly more than $60...but about as good as it gets.

6-gunfun
August 17, 2010, 06:04 PM
spent 30 dollars on a camo buck folding knife last week best 40 ive ever spent i cut a rusted barbwire fence with it and it did absolutly nothing to the blade it didnt even dull it in the area i cut it in best part is its light as a feather literaly i cant feel it in my pocket and yes it does have a clip on it its called the buck bantam i just looked it up http://www.buckknives.com/index.cfm?event=product.detail&productID=3094

shockwave
August 17, 2010, 07:04 PM
spent 30 dollars on a camo buck folding knife last week best 40 ive ever spent

Given the situation here I didn't want to mention any brands, just philosophy. But I was thinking about a good first knife, the sort you'd start building a collection around, and "Buck" came to mind first off. The Bantam is a superb suggestion.

Phydeaux642
August 17, 2010, 07:11 PM
Benchmade Mini Griptilian. Tough knife, great locking mechanism. Around $60 if you shop.

greyling22
August 17, 2010, 07:46 PM
+1 on the griptillian. I'd also suggest something by spyderco. maybe the native or the delica. but everybody's suggestions have been pretty good. go handle some of the stuff and see what you like. don't get to hung up on steel type and blade materials, and don't spend too much on your first one. you'll buy one, use it for a while then decide you want a bigger, smaller, thinner, different lock type, better steel, different shape etc. I went through about a knife a year until I found "just right" the benchmade osborne 940.

I liked the hole on the spyderco's for a long time until I figured out how to flick open a thumb stud knife. it's a faster method.

steer clear of serrated blades and recurve blades. they're had to sharpen. (recurve blade has at least part of the blade making a concave arc back towards the handle. you can't really sharpen it with a flat stone.)

conw
August 17, 2010, 08:07 PM
I liked the hole on the spyderco's for a long time until I figured out how to flick open a thumb stud knife. it's a faster method.

Honestly I think the flicking type knives may be "faster" w/ a lot of practice but I'm truly not convinced that they are more reliable, and what difference does 0.075 seconds really make?

You're way more likely to drop a knife or (under stress) not get a proper amount of pressure if you have to add an additional movement like snapping the wrist.

HGM22
August 19, 2010, 02:24 AM
Hey, thanks for all the replies and advice. I think I'm seeing a pattern in that I should go out and get some hands-on time with some different knives. I wouldn't mind spending $30ish on a knife just to try it out and see what I like and don't like so I can make a more informed decision later.

This knife will be used for general utility at home and at work. This includes cutting rope, tape, cardboard, shrink wrap, etc. It will likely be used as a crowbar and a screwdriver on some occasions (abuse?). It will be used to scrape paint and tape off metal, plastic, wood, glass, and cardboard. I doubt I'd ever use it for defense, thinking it better to either run or comply with demands, but who knows. A common tactic around here is for a group of robbers to surround someone walking at night and beat them up, which might not be a bad time to have a knife should things get severe.

HGM22
August 19, 2010, 02:25 AM
Oh, and before anyone asks, no I cannot conceal carry.

TimboKhan
August 19, 2010, 02:54 AM
If it has to be a folder, one good choice for many of the things you just described would be the folding CRKT Razel. The fixed blade Razels are wonderful (and, as the owner of the ringed version, I can state that with some knowledge), but the folder sounds like it would be a better fit for you.

Use as a prybar and a screwdriver is abuse, and will void the warranty for most manufacturers, but there are options. If the screwdriver feature is something frequently needed, consider a multi-tool or a swiss army knife or one of the leatherman knives that actually have screwdrivers in them. You will be happier in the long run because the tool will work better for you, and your also not abusing the tool or the screw.

The crowbar part is a little harder to recommend, but you can buy little keychain pry bars for cheap from County Comm that would ultimately be a better deal for you if you do a lot of small prying jobs.

You have plenty of options, man. Just remember that a knife is a tool, and the more time you spend looking for the features you want (which, as pointed out, aren't particularly hard to find nor particularly expensive) the happier you will be using that tool. The great thing is we live in an age where you can buy one heck of a good knife for not a lot of dollars!

CaliCoastie
August 19, 2010, 07:44 AM
best thing i can say is play with them(not like that), see what fits your had the best. I cary a sog x-ray vision and it fits my hand like a glove(and i definatly have bigger hands), and its the older model with ast34 steel. But its a tanto point with 1/3 serations. Check ebay when you find something you like, even if its more expensive retail you can run arocss some good deals, if you dont mind used knives.

conw
August 19, 2010, 01:55 PM
Yes, if you need a crowbar and screwdriver you will want the Razel.

I'd say just get a good knife that *isn't* good for a screwdriver or crowbar, and get a keychain screwdriver and a keychain pry widgy from countycomm.com.

http://countycomm.com/picopry.htm
http://countycomm.com/screwzall.htm

hso
August 19, 2010, 02:57 PM
It will likely be used as a crowbar and a screwdriver on some occasions (abuse?).

Then get a crowbar or a screwdriver because a knife isn't designed for that purpose (especially in your price range).

If you insist on this I'll second you getting a Razel fixed blade. If you're intent is to have a folder then get something else for those abusive tasks.

The Highlander
August 19, 2010, 10:46 PM
Spyderco Tenacious! Best $30 you'll ever spend.

mustang_steve
August 19, 2010, 11:05 PM
a good inexpensive knife to get used to carrying is a Gerber Paraframe. It's not silky smooth opening, but it's a good reliable knife. It'll set you back $20-30. The only problem with the paraframe is the clip may snag on some clothing or furniture (I have a rip in my couch that started from wearing my paraframe in my back pocket, yes it's that thin)

conw
August 20, 2010, 03:35 AM
I vote for Tenacious or Full Flat Ground FRN (colored) Endura in your choice of color, complemented by the countycomm accessories I posted.

6-gunfun
August 20, 2010, 03:40 AM
ya sorry about that whole spent 30 best 40 thing my bad but i really did only spend 30

however i recently had a problem i was bailing hay and caught the clip of my knife on

the bail and it ripped the three screws holding the clip on the knife right out luckly i

noticed and it is now going in to buck to be fixed lets just see how the costomer service is

Zeke/PA
August 20, 2010, 11:46 AM
I am a big fan of the more traditional stuff like Case and Old Timer (now defunct).
Careful though, knives have a way of becoming a Disease.

greyling22
August 20, 2010, 03:23 PM
I don't know the source, but I heard once "A knife is the most expensive and least effective screwdriver you will ever use" same goes for crowbar.

Big Bill
August 20, 2010, 04:48 PM
Spyderco Tenacious! Best $30 you'll ever spend.Don't you mean: best Chinese manufactured knife you'll ever spend $30 on? And, it's not worth a penny more! (Buy a Byrd Crow, for less, and get a better knife.)

Spyderco Tenacious Knife Review, Part 1

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i9T-NwSBqPE

Spyderco Tenacious Knife Review, Part 2

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=byU7lzYi8l4&feature=related

However, if you want a nice knife made in the USA, then look at a Kershaw Junk Yard Dog II. There's one here for the price you want to pay.

http://www.knivesplus.com/kershawjunkyardke-1725.html

Don't buy cheap chinese junk! You'll regret it. Spyderco should be ashamed of the Tenacious.

sm
August 20, 2010, 05:11 PM
You know the older I get, the more I understand how Mentors & Elders had a handle on so much of what folks concern themselves with, such as knives.

Understand, many folks, used the same pocketknife, for decades, heck, some used the same knife all their life.
Carry a screwdriver, and/or pry-bar, in addition to whatever knife you settle on.
Honest, the screwdriver, makes a very good defensive tool. Ask ( or pay attention to) street criminals, or even undercover cops, and others, that deal with street thugs.

It would be best, to NOT get into a knife fight, period. Folks are going to get cut, including the good guy, using one for defense. So a street punk knows to use a fixed "weapon" that is not dependent on a locking system of any kind, and he/she cannot get cut, as the shaft of a screwdriver, is not sharp.
Along with, after he/she shivs you, the screwdriver is just tossed, and they exit the area.

Same can be said of these of these small pry-bars, or even the free, paint can opener, with the bottle opener.
If.
If something should happen, (problem one) then perhaps dealing with problem two (officers, lawyers, court...) might be less difficult. Recall, anything one uses, to defend, will be defined as a "weapon". Be this a screwdriver, bottle of water, AA-Maglight, umbrella, rolled up newspaper/magazine...etc.

Another line of thinking is, could you do with the items you have on person, if a serious situation arose.

If one's workplace has restrictions, then one has to work within the perimeters. Some places do not allow locking knives, or restrict blade lengths.

Victorinox Farmer, is a good everyday knife, and works fine for "defense" in the aspect of survival, such as power outage, tornado, hurricane. Victorinox Soldier, the original issue, is another. Today, the Pioneer is the same knife, except, it has the lanyard ring.

A 500 series Buck, (Prince and others) are good knives. Already mentioned are various Kershaws, and Spyderco's.
I happen to like (have a history with) Case, and have "survived" some situations with Peanut, Slimline Trapper, Sodbuster Jr...
So have I with Victorninox, Boker, Shrade Old Timer, and some Custom Slipjoints, and Custom Fixed blades,.

Suggestion: You are the weapon, the world is your toolbox. Suggesting, one should not put / default to physical things, to keep them safe, and to deal with situations.

Just me, still one of these days, I am going to again take a pair of Channel Locks, and grind the ends giving me a flat screwdriver at the end of one handle and Phillips on the other end. The flat, works great for a pry-bar. Seven-and-a-half inch, and smaller ones, like around five inches work "real well".

md7
August 20, 2010, 07:00 PM
HGM22,

Wal Mart recently began stocking the Buck Vantage Avid Knife, and it sells for around $36.00 if I remember correctly. This knife has a very nice looking handle, decent steal (13C26 Sandvik), and is pretty fast to get open if you take about five or ten minutes to get used to it first. Its also made in the USA, if that matters to you. Kershaw Storm and Skyline would be some good ones also.

Spyderco Tenacious, Persistance, and Delica could probably be found in your price range. Spyderco is a pretty good knife, imho.

md7
August 20, 2010, 07:05 PM
Full Flat Ground FRN (colored) Endura in your choice of color

Yessir! I need errr.... want this knife!

HGM22
August 21, 2010, 03:01 AM
Hey, thanks all for the continued input. Again I'm seeing a theme in that I should not use the knife as a screwdriver or prybar. I hear you, but I think such use will be pretty infrequent (cutting and scraping will be the primary uses). In fact, probably infrequent enough to make it not worth carrying separate tools for the rare occasion I need a screwdriver or prybar. I think I will, however, take the extra time to go and get a prybar or screwdriver instead of using my knife if I can help it.

I have another question - anyone tried the onion/leek/etc. Kershaw knives? How are they?

dmazur
August 21, 2010, 03:38 AM
Another recommendation for Spyderco. I have had several Spyderco's, and the one I like best is the Caly3. It has G10 handles (rugged), VG10 steel (holds an edge), and a really simple wire clip that can be reversed for tip-up carry in either a R or L pocket.

I use it at work for cutting boxes, rope and tape. Sometimes to remove staples.

I carry a small screwdriver handle with 4 bits in a belt pouch. The knife just doesn't work as a screwdriver, especially with all the square, hex and Torx fasteners that are all over the place now.

I don't know of any folding knife I'd use as a pry bar, no matter how low a price I paid for it. The pivots generally aren't designed for a side load.

CDR_Glock
August 21, 2010, 08:56 AM
Hey, first post in this section. Just want to say that I feel a little overwhelmed with all the knife manufacturers and models available out there, and not quite sure where to get started.

Anyway, I've been thinking I need a good knife for utility and possibly defense. Would like a non-serrated blade, some sort of belt clip, and some type of stud or cutout to allow fast opening would be nice, but cannot be assisted-opening. Definitely want a folder.

Being new to knives for the most part, I'm not really skilled in sharpening them, so something that isn't too hard to sharpen would be great (I know a professional sharpener, but at some point would like to be able to sharpen it myself).

Also, I would like a rugged knife that I can abuse without worry. Maybe such a knife doesn't exist, in which case I want the closest thing.

Finally, the price should be right. I cannot afford to spend much more than $60 on the knife. I realize this might make things difficult, though I did see some nice knives from CRKT and Kershaw in this price range.

Amazon sells SOG knives for under $100. I have a Pentagon Elite and Trident Tanto that they sell for around $70, no tax or shipping. Benchmade makes the Griptilian which is not too bad either.

Ernest Emerson makes great knives and he has a budget line:

http://www.emersonknives.com/ekHardWear_intro.php

CDR_Glock
August 21, 2010, 09:54 AM
You know the older I get, the more I understand how Mentors & Elders had a handle on so much of what folks concern themselves with, such as knives.

Understand, many folks, used the same pocketknife, for decades, heck, some used the same knife all their life.
Carry a screwdriver, and/or pry-bar, in addition to whatever knife you settle on.
Honest, the screwdriver, makes a very good defensive tool. Ask ( or pay attention to) street criminals, or even undercover cops, and others, that deal with street thugs.

It would be best, to NOT get into a knife fight, period. Folks are going to get cut, including the good guy, using one for defense. So a street punk knows to use a fixed "weapon" that is not dependent on a locking system of any kind, and he/she cannot get cut, as the shaft of a screwdriver, is not sharp.
Along with, after he/she shivs you, the screwdriver is just tossed, and they exit the area.

Same can be said of these of these small pry-bars, or even the free, paint can opener, with the bottle opener.
If.
If something should happen, (problem one) then perhaps dealing with problem two (officers, lawyers, court...) might be less difficult. Recall, anything one uses, to defend, will be defined as a "weapon". Be this a screwdriver, bottle of water, AA-Maglight, umbrella, rolled up newspaper/magazine...etc.

Another line of thinking is, could you do with the items you have on person, if a serious situation arose.

If one's workplace has restrictions, then one has to work within the perimeters. Some places do not allow locking knives, or restrict blade lengths.

Victorinox Farmer, is a good everyday knife, and works fine for "defense" in the aspect of survival, such as power outage, tornado, hurricane. Victorinox Soldier, the original issue, is another. Today, the Pioneer is the same knife, except, it has the lanyard ring.

A 500 series Buck, (Prince and others) are good knives. Already mentioned are various Kershaws, and Spyderco's.
I happen to like (have a history with) Case, and have "survived" some situations with Peanut, Slimline Trapper, Sodbuster Jr...
So have I with Victorninox, Boker, Shrade Old Timer, and some Custom Slipjoints, and Custom Fixed blades,.

Suggestion: You are the weapon, the world is your toolbox. Suggesting, one should not put / default to physical things, to keep them safe, and to deal with situations.

Just me, still one of these days, I am going to again take a pair of Channel Locks, and grind the ends giving me a flat screwdriver at the end of one handle and Phillips on the other end. The flat, works great for a pry-bar. Seven-and-a-half inch, and smaller ones, like around five inches work "real well".

Great advice and comments.

The important thing about knife fights: you WILL be cut, and may even get stabbed. unless you are well trained, running shoes or a good pistol will serve you better.

hso
August 21, 2010, 10:08 AM
I have another question - anyone tried the onion/leek/etc. Kershaw knives? How are they?

Plenty of threads here on them and they're well thought of as well. Be sure to look at the tips and decide if you want a Kershaw with a fine pointy tip or one that is more robust.

HGM22
August 22, 2010, 01:24 AM
That is good advice about the knife fighting, and I've heard it before, so its not something to be ignored. I'd much much rather avoid the situation alltogether (avoid travel alone at night for instance). Since I will have the knife on me anyways it is something to think about as a defensive tool, but like I've said I think in most cases complying with demands or running is probably the best thing.

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