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Pics Only: Lowest cost knife you might consider for EDC if your life depended on it

Discussion in 'Non-Firearm Weapons' started by SharpDog, Apr 30, 2018.

  1. SharpDog

    SharpDog Member

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    So, in the misdt of shopping for a good EDC knive that will last for years, I saw some intriguing knives that were a little sketchy. This GateWayKnives 25444 was the best one of those. This is a lot of Chinese knife for $10. Think of it as the knife equivalent of the $6 Chinese Cree flashlights,

    71za%2B9eTzYL._SX522_.jpg

    Pros: $10 on Amazon

    Quick and slick to open. Lockup seems good, Blade geometry seems good. the Spear-point 3.5" blade is 420 C and sharp as expected. Hollow grind, assisted opening works well with the flipper. Tip-down carry. The blade even has a blood groove and some jimping-like features on the back.

    Nice looking knife, Somewhat aggressive but not overly aggressive profile to scare sheep.

    Cons:

    No information on heat-treat (re: basic) No Idea what the handle material is (could be aluminum). The liner lock tends to stick and needs 2 hands to unlock.

    Long-term I need to see how well it stays together and further guage the toughness of the blade re; heat treat,

    https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B073QV2KL1/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o02_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2018
  2. ugaarguy

    ugaarguy Moderator Staff Member

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    IMG_20180430_205633.jpg
    Ganzo G745. $12 shipped from Amazon last year. They're $18-25 now depending on blade and handle color. The blade is 440c that has a decent heat treat. The G Lock Axis Lock clone is the strongest low cost knife lock I've used.
     
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  3. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

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    Yeah, I'd bank on a Ganzo "axis" lock. I've handled a bunch and sold a bunch and the reports back have all raved about them.

    We've done inexpensive good value knife threads before and Opinel, Mercator Black Kat and a few others always win the vote. The Ganzo folders would be included now.

    That "GateWay"... nope.
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2018
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  4. JShirley

    JShirley Administrator Staff Member

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    To add to what fellow staff have said:

    I would never, ever, ever trust a cheap liner lock. EVER.

    John
     
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  5. jmr40

    jmr40 Member

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  6. mole

    mole Member

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    Can't figure out how to post pics in the new set up quickly, so google it.

    Ganzo G704 I've used one quite a bit taking care of the yard. It's heavier and thicker than it needs to be, but it's a rip off of a discontinued Benchmade.
     
  7. dayhiker

    dayhiker Member

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    Here is the real one of the Ganzo clone ugaarguy posted.

    2u95zlk.jpg

    HK (Benchmade)14715 Axis.

    15qrllh.jpg

    D2 steel, G10 and for $95 was, to me,the best value knife Benchmade made. Sadly discontinued when Benchmade stopped doing the HK knives.

    This is the lowest cost folder I have that I would trust my fingers with. Stitches and a ER visit are expensive.

    That's a steel braided hydraulic line I cut a fitting off of so I could pull it through my machine. Much easier to do without a fitting getting hung up backwards.

    I couldn't bring myself to carry a clone.
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2018
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  8. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

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    Last edited: May 1, 2018
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  9. ilbob

    ilbob Member

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    20180501_103947[1].jpg ganzo seems to be trying to corner the market for value knives. They are becoming really popular for the value they bring.

    personally I would not keep a knife I did not have at least some faith in. But I am also not a knife guy so have very little interest in an expensive knife I will never get any use out of.

    I have a Kershaw Vapor II in my pocket everyday. I think it was like $20 in the Cabela bargain cave several years ago. Wish I had bought the smaller version though. The thing is a little big and a little heavy for my pocket.
     
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  10. MikeJackmin

    MikeJackmin Member

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    I'm pretty impressed with the $40 Spyderco Tenacious.
     
  11. If1HitU

    If1HitU Member

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    These two Buck's. 14632828_1137554342989973_3333819165899807715_n_zpsvnzbsjsi.jpg
     
  12. ugaarguy

    ugaarguy Moderator Staff Member

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    Some people don't have $100 to spend on a knife. I wish Ganzo would offer original designs, but they do at least offer strong, safe knives for folks who are on a budget. For those who don't want clones Cold Steel offers numerous low price models with Andrew Demko's Triad Lock. The Triad lock is a back lock on steroids, and it may be the strongest folding knife lock available. There are also numerous sub $40 frame locks from Kershaw and CRKT. Esee even offers their Avispa and Zancudo frame locks for under $40 with D2 blades.
     
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  13. huntsman

    huntsman Member

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    C169CF2B-D261-486E-9FE1-F6A304C7C0D2.jpeg Cheap as I go
     
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  14. ugaarguy

    ugaarguy Moderator Staff Member

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    Cold Steel Mini Tuff Lite. The mini is discontinued. The standard version is still made and is available in at least 4 colors for $25 - $31 shipped from Amazon.

    IMG_20180501_173052.jpg
     
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  15. dayhiker

    dayhiker Member

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    I know. The OP didn't ask for low cost knives.

    He asked what was the lowest cost knife you would consider for EDC if your life drpended on it.

    That is my least expensive folder I trust. Though it's my beater and I daily carry a CTS-204p Spyderco Military.

    I'm sure the Triad is strong but Lynn Thompson won't see a dime of my money. And a Demko custom is out of my price range.
     
  16. spartandemon

    spartandemon member

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    I would rely on a pencil if I absolutely had to.
    However in terms of cost to quality, I’m surprised cold steel isn’t on there. More then $10 but they have fairly good and inexpensive options.
     
  17. JShirley

    JShirley Administrator Staff Member

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    I carried a Spyderco Native 2 LW for at least 10 years, every single day. I used a Native 2 during several fire missions in Afghanistan on my first deployment. Native Lightweights are up close to $100, now, though.

    When I was doing upscale security for a defense contractor in Virginia near DC, I wore a blazer and slacks. I carried a Kershaw Cryo II, which is very sturdy but relatively thin and didn't eat my pants. It's about the cheapest knife I would choose to EDC. The smaller Cryo can be had for around $20, though be aware this version has an all-metal handle. Some grip tape on at least one of the flats would be a good idea.

    John
     
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  18. ugaarguy

    ugaarguy Moderator Staff Member

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    The 3.5" blade Kershaw Thermite might be slightly thinner than the Cryo / Cryo II. The Thermite is also narrower from handle spine to blade spine closed. As can be seen in the pics it has a fairly handsome machined G10 show side scale and full length, textured, anodized aluminum back spacer. These are discontinued but still widely available for $20 - $25 shipped at many e-tailers.

    IMG_20180501_205159.jpg IMG_20180501_204541.jpg IMG_20180501_204517.jpg
     
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  19. Elkins45

    Elkins45 Member

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    I didn’t see that the OP specified a folder. A $10 Mora is the cheapest knife I would trust my life to, and I would do so with few reservations.

    71qJHExpKWL._SX679_.jpg
     
  20. Elkins45

    Elkins45 Member

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    I would never trust a liner lock. Period. Even if Michael Walker himself fitted it. There are simply too many better options available today to even consider carrying a liner lock.
     
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  21. GoPappy

    GoPappy Member

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    I don't buy clones. In other words, I don't support companies that rip off other people's designs and manufacture them (with underpaid labor) with lesser materials to LOOK like the original in order to fool buyers into thinking they are buying something "just as good" as the original. It is theft any way you slice it, and I won't support thieves.

    I see people say "I can't afford *** " (whatever *** is), but they drive a nicer car than me, have an iPhone X, go out to eat every day at lunch, etc., etc. So what they are really saying is "I chose to spend my money on other things." Personally, I'd rather buy the real thing - i.e., something I know is well made and is not a rip-off - and sacrifice in other areas of my life.
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2018
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  22. GoPappy

    GoPappy Member

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    My EDC knives are a Benchmade Griptillian for working around the farm, and a Benchmade North Fork for when I'm at the office or traveling. Both of them were bought used.

    There are a lot of good quality knives that can be bought for $50 or less that are not rip-offs and actually disclose to the buyer the steel that is used. A Buck 110 or 112 would be the first place I'd look if I wanted quality at low cost.
     
  23. stevehgraham

    stevehgraham Member

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    I have two Gerber Gator II knives made from 420HC steel. This steel is crap in my book because it won't hold an edge very long, but the knives are sturdy, and I think I paid less than $20 each. If you know how to sharpen a knife in under a minute, and you don't mind doing it once in a while, this knife will work for you.

    I quit carrying these knives because I wanted better steel.
     
  24. Gtscotty

    Gtscotty Member

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    Why? I've carried my modest inventory of liner locks for years and years with no problems, and most of my other EDC knives are similar framelocks, also with no problems.

    IMG_20180504_064705445_LL~01.jpg

    The Spyderco Sage and Chinese in particular I've probably carried more than most of my other knives combined, great knives.

    As for the OP, the cheapest knife I've used heavily as an EDC is the Kershaw Skyline in the pic above. I'm not sure what the "life depended on it" qualifier means, my EDC knives are carried as tools, like most any other tool they could be pressed into self defense service if I had no other options, but that's not how I plan what knife I'm carrying on any given day.


    BTW, I can't believe I hadn't heard of those Ganzo knives, I ordered a F7611-CF and a F7562 last night after reading this thread. For <$45 shipped for both, I couldn't resist. I actually like 440C, especially in a cheapo beater knife, I'll be interested to see how they compare to my nicer knives.
     
  25. ugaarguy

    ugaarguy Moderator Staff Member

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    There's a subtle but important distinction to be made here. Ganzo isn't cloning knives. They're making knives that are visually very similar to those of other manufacturers, but they're totally up front that they're the company making the knife, and what it's made from - most notably the 440C blades. They aren't making clones which are knives that are marked as originals, named as originals, and made to be as indistinguishable from the originals as possible. Benchmade's patent on the Axis lock has expired, so copying it and calling it something else is as fair game as making a frame lock now. Making knives that are visually similar but marked as your own is similar to slip joint makers making and selling Sodbusters, Canoes, Barlows, and all the other classic patterns. The Ganzo above is actually sized in between the two sizes of Benchmade / HK knife that it's designed after. The only thing that Ganzo is doing illegally is using Spyderco's trademarked perfectly circular blade hole on some models. That frustrates me, because Spyderco is a great company, and all Ganzo needs to do is switch to an oblong hole like every other Spyderco competitor.

    So why am I recommending a Ganzo? I bought the one pictured to see what Ganzos are all about, and it's been a very solid knife. When it comes down to the safety of someone's fingers, I'll always recommend a $16 Ganzo G lock (Axis style lock) over a cheap liner lock. Of course I'd prefer that they skip another fast food lunch or two and get a Kershaw or CRKT frame lock, but you can only push some folks so far on knife price. The final nice thing about Ganzos is that they're actually very well built. That build quality can open eyes to the benefits of stronger locks and better materials.
     
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