Cold Steel, Benchmade or Spyderco??

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Apr 9, 2004
North Carolina
I have always used the Kershaw brand of pocket knives. I am in the search for another folder and also my first fixed blade. I use my knives for work (construction) and aroud the yard with some fishing thrown in every once in awhile. I want a strong, sound knife and a blade that will hold an edge well, one that is very sharp out of the box. This will be an every day use knife, so I don't want to spend over $125.00. Please give me some sugestions and your reason behind them. Thanks for the help!!
Was really into Kershaws---then on a whim----I bought a Spyderco Delica(all steel) for $49-----liked it so much I got an Endura(again---all steel)---now nearly 2 years later one of those 2 knives is always with me---I can't recommend them enough.

Was never interested in Spyderco in the '80's----I thought the hole looked stupid----was I ever wrong.

Benchmades seem nice----but to me---they are too expensive for what you get----just my opinion-------so have never bought one.

The only Cold Steel I own is a Hunter model back when they were cheap--like $42----I looked recently and they were pushing $80+. My Cold Steel is nice enough---but has been replaced by Bark River fixed blade-----the Bark Rivers are EXCELLENT and now I have 2---I also recommend the Bark Rivers VERY highly.
I've owned all three brands, and I'll stick with the Benchmade. When it comes to knives, it's all about the materials. Benchmade uses ATS-34 / 154CM steel for their blades. You won't find anything better, especially in that price range.
I don't have a Benchmade. But, I do have an Emerson and a few Cold Steels and my all-time favorite EDC: Spyderco!

I have the NativeIII. Holds an edge very well and is ultra-sharp out of the box. Fills my hand well, is lightweight in the pocket and has a useful shape. Can't ask for more. Oh, yeah. Costs less than the others you are considering.
I used to buy a lot of Cold Steel knives. I haven't bought any in a while now, though. The Griptilian is a good knife, and I bought one, and have a Mini-AFCK around here somewhere...but my Native is with me every day.

Hard to go wrong with a Spyderco.

My first knife was a Benchmade 710 with a M2 blade, right at your $125 mark. I'm really happy with the axis lock. Very fast ,smooth to open and it's easy to close one handed too.
I don't know call me shallow, but I just can't get into Spyderco knives cause they look so butt ugly IMO. But the Spydercos I've tried out seem to have a sharper edge from the factory, than brands in the same price range.
The Kershaw line is extensive enough to stay there if you like.

But wanting something different, it's hard to argue against the Spyderco Native. One of the best and most useful little knives out there.
Still wish Sal would make a 4 inch Native. I'd buy one in a heart beat.

Benchmade... I don't know... Other than the AFCK's with the hole in the blades, I find them uninspiring.

You might like some of SOG's folders too.
Spyderco makes GREAT knives. I carried a Delica everyday for several years, until I lost it at the range. I found it about three months later in the sand near the target frames. More details in this thread .

I've been carrying a Benchmade Griptilian everyday since Father's Day last year. I have the 550 with the plain edge. The handle fits my hand perfectly and I really like the Axis lock.

You won't go wrong with either of these knives.
Get either a Benchmade 551 Griptilian, or the smaller 556 Mini-Griptilian...These are some of the best folders to be found for under $100.
Agreed. I picked up a 556 Mini Griptilian for under $60 NIB. Best folder I've ever used. The AXIS lock is outstanding. Being left handed, liner locks are just not comfortable for me. After using the AXIS, I think I'm done with lock-backs as well.:p
Out of your choices, I'm gonna go with benchmade. I've had one for 6 or 7 years now, and it has been great. Edge retention is outstanding. On another note, I just got an Al Mar Nomad, and I like it so much that it's replacing the Benchmade, slowly but surely...
A few years ago I bought my Benchmade 940, plain edge. It immediately found its way as my EDC replacing the BM Ascent I had been carrying. Soon after I found a BM 710M2, then an 806D2 then another and another. I'd try them as EDC's and go back to the 940. Recently I started carrying a BM 960 and it worked fine, but when I packed to go on this trip, I put the 960 back in its box and packed the 940; all I needed to do was put it on the kitchen sharpening steel to get an edge that seems like it just came from Benchmade -- scary sharp. I'm going to be buying a second 940.

BTW, I keep a Spyderco Wegner in my truck, it's the only Spyderco I own and now you can only buy the improved version from Blade-Tech.
I would recommend Spyderco above anything else. You mentioned out of the box sharpness and edge holding to be some of what you're looking for. Spyderco is absolutely legendary on both counts. I've handled NIB Benchmades that were embarassingly dull (To be fair, I've heard they are shipping somewhat sharper nowadays). Imagine spending a c-note on a knife you have to bring directly home and sharpen. :rolleyes:

Spyderco's business was sharpeners before they ever got involved with the manufacture and design of knives. I think that says something. They also own and use a CATRA edge testing machine. The so-called mules they run on that machine come from all different manufacturers but the Spydies routinely blow them out of the water. Even the AUS-6 and AUS-8 Spyderco uses is the "real" stuff from the Auchi (spelling?) foundry in Japan, the originators of the steel. They cryo treat it carefully. Others use AUS-6 and 8 produced in Taiwan and China by knockoff foundries that may or may not be cryo treated and certainly isn't manufactured with the same pride and workmanship that goes into the real deal. The result is a knife blade steel that unquestionably works better in the real world (and on the CATRA tester) than knives that use the "knockoff" steel. Especially when you factor Spyderco's encyclopedic knowledge of edge angles and serrations (both visible and micro), blade profiles, handle ergos, etc. You are looking at a tool that performs head and shoulders above the rest. And that's just the economy blade steel. Most of Spyderco's lineup uses truly exotic blade steel both from Japan and the USA. Lots to choose from.

What it all boils down to is value. There's way more bang for the buck with Spyderco. Cheers.
Another vote for the Native. I had a Native I stolen, and a good friend replaced it for me with a Native III. What a knife!

George, I never even thought of lobbying for a 4-inch version. That would be. . . . cool.
I went from a Kershaw Whirlwind to a Benchmade Grip and Mini-Grip. I have absolutely nothing bad to say about my Kershaw (it got lost) but I can tell the Grippy's are worth the slight extra $$. I checked out Spyderco and others but it came down to how the open knives felt in my hand. Mel must have hands like mine.
There a lot of Benchmades and Spydercos to look in that price range. I own several Benchmades, only 2 Spydercos, a Spyderfly and a Fred Perrin. The Fred Perrin is a great fixed blade, and I would totally reccomend it.

However in the folder department, based on what I've seen I would reccomend Benchmade. The only Spyderco folder besides the Sypderfly I've ever handled was a Native, and it was insanely dull. That probably was not Spyderco's fault, however, as it was from a mall store. (my Spyderfly and Perrin were much butter in the sharpness department) The good point was that the lockback on that thing was the best one I've ever seen, no blade play at all, strong, but still easy to disengage. Unfortunatly nothing exactly blew me away about the native, so I didn't get it. (plus it was way overpriced).

All the Benchmades I have handled pleased me a lot more, in terms of grip, asthetics, and cutting. However, all the Benchmades are also a lot more expensive than the Native, so that may be a moot point.

As far as sharpness goes, I'd say it's a tie. The Benchmade's I own except for the 630 came sort of dull, (nothing that couldn't be fixed on the sharpmaker however). The Fred Perrin was a little sharper, but not shaving or anything. The Spyderfly was very sharp on the front half of the blade, but that was ruined by the fact that near the handle the edge bevel didn't actually meet, and I had to remove a lot of steel to change it from \_/ to \/. Note: all these blades came with angles over 40 degrees, which the sharpmaker is set on. It's not hard to sharpen them, however, at slightly over 20 degrees per side. The fact is, all factory knives I've ever seen came like this, except for my two Bucks. If your'e looking for NIB sharpness, in my experience nothing beats Buck knives, the 110 and 560 I have both shaved hair easily when I got them, and have edge angles less than 20 degrees per side.

Oh, also, it may not be what you had in mind, but get a balisong. Everyone needs one, and you can choose between a Benchmade 4x series of a Spyderfly. Just keep in mind that the Benchmades are slim and light, while the Spydefly is huge and heavy. The spyderfly comes with a pocket clip too.

Bottom line is, you will be happy with either a Spyderco or a Benchmade
Years ago, I carried a Buck 110 folding Hunter. Boy, times have changed! I bought Cold Steel's Voyager (both the 3" and 4") and carried those for some years. One on the left side and the other on the right side. I received a Benchmade 556 Mini-Griptilian as a present and then carried it either exclusively or on the left with the Cold Steel's Voyager (4") on the right side. I have nerve problems in my right arm/hand now so I decided the replace the Cold Steel's Voyager with a Kershaw/Onion Blur cam assist opening 3.3" blade. Any of the knives mentioned will do the job well. I believe it is preference, comfort, feel.
Those Spydercos are great knives. I used to carry one all the time..... until I started buying Benchmades.... ;)

Whenever we would pull into Pearl Harbor, I always tried to go to the huge Flea Market they held once a month at the footbal stadium in Hono. There was always this one knife wholesaler there who had incredible deals, and that's who turned me on to Spydercos first, then to Benchmades a couple of years later.
i have bought alot of knives, some cheap, some expensive. the best knife i have ever bought is my Benchmade Griptilian 551 SBTOD, the S=Serated. the BT=BT2 coated black blade, and the OD = OD green handles. The reason i like this knife is because its dependable, i use mine everyday for something and it has not failed at all, it even cuts through wire when im doing electrcal work! the lock has to be the best i've ever seen too, if you hold the "slide" back and flick your wrist the blade automaticly deploys just like an automatic. you can get them for about 75-105 bucks. The knife is also very easy to disassemble and reassemble for cleaning which i do about once a week along with sharpening just to keep it razor sharp and i put a dab of bearing grease on each side of the blade where the bolt goes through. theis knife is ecellent. its also built about 20 minuits from my house!

Here is a good deal, they have most versions of the Griptilian ~
I have Kershaws, SOG's, Benchmades, Gerbers, and many more, BUT- I always carry my
usually my Native, often my Delica II, and my Endura II when things might get hairy!
I use my knives for work (construction) and aroud the yard with some fishing thrown in every once in awhile. I want a strong, sound knife and a blade that will hold an edge well, one that is very sharp out of the box. This will be an every day use knife

Spyderco FRN delica.
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