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Overwhelmed Knife Newbie

Discussion in 'Non-Firearm Weapons' started by HGM22, Aug 17, 2010.

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  1. HGM22

    HGM22 Member

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    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.
     
  2. shockwave

    shockwave Member

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    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.
     
  3. RAVENSEEKER

    RAVENSEEKER Member

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    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! ^_^
     
  4. nevermas

    nevermas Member

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    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.
     
  5. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

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    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?
     
  6. wheelgunslinger

    wheelgunslinger Member

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    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.
     
  7. heron

    heron Member

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    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.
     
  8. Yo Mama

    Yo Mama Member

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    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.
     
  9. JShirley

    JShirley Administrator Staff Member

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    Spyderco Persistence 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.

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

    Demitrios Member

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    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.
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2010
  11. Dimis

    Dimis Member

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    +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
     
  12. bikerdoc

    bikerdoc Moderator Staff Member

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    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.
     
  13. Creature

    Creature Member

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    [​IMG]
    (Spyderco Rookie Folding Knife 3" VG10 Plain Blade, G10 Handles; Part Number: SP51GPFG)


    Slightly more than $60...but about as good as it gets.
     
  14. 6-gunfun

    6-gunfun Member

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    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
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2010
  15. shockwave

    shockwave Member

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    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.
     
  16. Phydeaux642

    Phydeaux642 Member

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    Benchmade Mini Griptilian. Tough knife, great locking mechanism. Around $60 if you shop.
     
  17. greyling22

    greyling22 Member

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    +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.)
     
  18. conw

    conw Member

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    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.
     
  19. HGM22

    HGM22 Member

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    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.
     
  20. HGM22

    HGM22 Member

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    Oh, and before anyone asks, no I cannot conceal carry.
     
  21. TimboKhan

    TimboKhan Moderator

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    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!
     
  22. CaliCoastie

    CaliCoastie Member

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    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.
     
  23. conw

    conw Member

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    Last edited: Aug 19, 2010
  24. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

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    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.
     
  25. The Highlander

    The Highlander Member

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    Spyderco Tenacious! Best $30 you'll ever spend.
     
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