Howdy all, I used to have a bunch of knives that were inexpensive and poor quality. Some of them are still around and are used for what they are, inexpensive and cheap tools that if damaged or destroyed will not matter. I have a few Buck knives around, mostly folders, that sit in the pocket from time to time, but for the most part, I do not have any knives that are what I would consider a defensive knife. I live in a gun friendly state, but there are gun free zones, including my place of work. However the knife laws where I live seem extremely lax. So I can probably get away with a larger concealed knife without any problem. I will research that outside this thread though, so no need to even address that here. This thought process has left me sort of wandering into the fixed, or larger folding, blade market with pretty much no knowledge on the subject. Honestly I don't even know what steel is good or bad for a defensive type knife. So in looking at prices, I am considering a few brands, and I would appreciate any input folks are willing to give on these brands, the quality of their materials, ability to retain an edge if pressed into service of something other than a defensive role, and value for the money. I'm looking at: SOG CRKT Kershaw Kizer Hogue Benchmade I have no doubt I should be looking at other brands also, and I realize this is a stupidly open ended question. Bottom line is I don't know what I want. I have been eyeing up karambit style knives because they seem a design that would be easily deployed, and more easily retained due to the finger hole. I may be totally wrong on that though. Just seems if someone's coming at you and you are thrown off balance, that zipping that along an important surface would be easier with a hooked blade. Feel free to recommend styles or specific knives also. Anyways, please give me your quick impressions on these brands if you would. I tried searching and honestly there's a lot of individualized threads. I've tried Googling and the reviews are all over the place. So I'd even just welcome some good resource links for reading on steel quality. I'd really like to stay under $250, but am willing to go up. If it's a life or death situation, I'm not going to be upset I spent a little extra.