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Quality of Mid-Priced Knives

Discussion in 'Non-Firearm Weapons' started by 460Shooter, Oct 9, 2019.

  1. 460Shooter

    460Shooter Member

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    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.
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2019
  2. The Evangelist Cowboy

    The Evangelist Cowboy Member

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    Is anybody going to San Antone?
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  3. bikerdoc

    bikerdoc Moderator Staff Member

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    Stay away from Schrade unless it was made before 2004.
     
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  4. Browning

    Browning Member

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    How are you figuring on carrying it?

    If it’s a larger knife is it just going to mostly sit at home? Or will you suffer through the Crocodile Dundee comments and carry it anyway?

    If you don’t want it on your belt to conceal it better have you considered a smaller fixed blade knife in a pocket sheath?

    CBFF1A50-AEC7-47B1-B761-3ED696873D96.jpeg
    A65506C3-375B-4140-BF30-27D0E54B7169.jpeg

    The Spyderco Ronin (Original run) is actually the only “Fighting Knife” I own. All the rest are just fixed blades knives that could be pressed into service for such a role. Fallkniven, Ontario, Buck, Al Mar, Several Puukko’s, ESEE ... Even a Don Llewellyn. Etc

    You could just get an ESEE 4 and have a pocket sheath made for it. They’re right around $100.

    https://www.bladehq.com/?search=esee+4

    0F304200-0CBD-49C3-A13A-9C052C1F7B43.jpeg
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2019
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  5. 460Shooter

    460Shooter Member

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    Those are certainly viable options. Though I've read mix reviews of Cold Steel. Doesn't mean the bad reviews are a trend though.

    Copy. Thanks.

    I have a few ideas on carry method. I have actually thought about getting a piece of horse hide making my own version of a Cross Breed IWB sheath, and carrying it week side under an outer covering garment.

    Yes, an excessively large knife isn't going to be carried, so a folder is still on the table. That pocket carry idea is interesting. I'm pretty open to any suggestions.

    1095 steel preferred?
     
  6. Browning

    Browning Member

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    The IWB homemade sheath or a pocket sheath are probably your two best bets in my opinion. Otherwise you’ll leave it at home.

    I have a Fallkniven F1 that I’ve always meant to have a pocket sheath made for.

    There are also pocket sheaths made by KSF and Insider. There are a bunch of different options for the various small and medium Bark River knives. I’m pretty sure that would put you over budget though.

    I’ve actually always liked VG10 better, but 1095 works well.
     
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  7. SharpDog

    SharpDog Member

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    Props for Kizer:

    20190731_222538.jpg
     
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  8. jmr40

    jmr40 Member

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    In a folding knife Benchmade and Spyderco are my go-to favorites. I think that for the most part the Benchmades are the tougher knife for outdoors use, but the Spyderco's are hard to beat for the size vs weight and the hole in the blade about the fastest method of opening one. Most of them are very slim and fit in a pocket easily.

    I'd be looking at one of these. #1 is a big knife with a 4" blade and G10 scales. If you can afford $200 this is a good one.

    https://www.amazon.com/Spyderco-Mil...788&sprefix=spyderco+military+,aps,151&sr=8-4

    A smaller version, both of these are USA made.

    https://www.amazon.com/Spyderco-Par...sprefix=spyderco+paramilitary+,aps,151&sr=8-1

    A very similar blade length as the Military with FRN handles. Much lighter. The VG10 blade steel isn't quite as good as the others, but not a bad steel at all, especially for the money. Made in Japan.

    https://www.amazon.com/Spyderco-000...659044&sprefix=spyderco+endura,aps,157&sr=8-2

    Another option that uses the Axis style lock used by Benchmade. This is also USA made.

    https://www.amazon.com/Spyderco-Man...9111&sprefix=spyderco+man,aps,153&sr=8-2&th=1

    If you don't mind Chinese made there are options that are very similar priced crazy cheap. And in all honesty, the quality isn't bad.

    https://www.amazon.com/Spyderco-Car...70659337&sprefix=spyderco+cara,aps,164&sr=8-1

    Ganzo is stupid cheap for the quality. There are other Ganoz styles, but this is my favorite.

    https://www.amazon.com/Ganzo-G7531-...ords=ganzo+knives&psc=1&qid=1570659508&sr=8-3
     
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  9. bubba in ca

    bubba in ca Member

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    I've been looking at the street bowie and street beat but haven't pushed the button yet. Check your state and local laws as most states are picky about concealed fixed knives.
    In folders, paramilitary and griptilian get good reviews.
    No Spyderco shill, just passing on my current thoughts.

    Discretely double check on your employer's rules. I was in felonious possession of a SAK for years without knowing it. Most jobs have rules against "weapons" without defining the term.

    As much as I value training, among the sane there is no such thing as "knife fighting". Knife SD is a desperation thing: get a little training, practice much, but don't get on the Zorro or Jim Bowie bandwagon. Keating and Janich tapes on Youtube are pretty good.
     
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  10. 460Shooter

    460Shooter Member

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    Thanks for the suggestions. Spiderco is another brand I’ve been considering.

    Ive noticed that knife in that picture before. Kiser seems to get good reviews.

    So maybe I should clarify. I’ve never taken a hand to hand defense class and that’s more what I’d be looking for. I plan to look for an instructor who incorporates knives as part of the training.

    I have no fantasies about battling ninjas, The Winter Soldier, or having John Wick like fights. I’d just like a bit of instruction on how to use a knife effectively.
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2019
  11. SharpDog

    SharpDog Member

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    For EDC and especially pocket carry I value corrosion resistance very highly, so S35V and Titanium works for me. It is also as quick (or quicker) to deploy as an OTF. The deep belly makes it more of an all-purpose knife and less of a fighter. But what it gives up in stabbing it makes up for in slashing. Strong frame lock and Very sharp.

    They were recently down to $125. I got mine for this price.

    upload_2019-10-9_21-10-43.png

    https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B076GXMLKF/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2019
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  12. Slamfire

    Slamfire Member

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    What's not to like about 440C or 1095?

    sWmcLcH.jpg

    these are great knives and very affordable for the quality.
     
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  13. 460Shooter

    460Shooter Member

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    Can I ask what you all think of Boker?
     
  14. bubba in ca

    bubba in ca Member

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    Some inspiration here, along with 2 other stickies on same page

    http://www.warriortalk.com/showthread.php?56085-Ten-Points-Of-The-Fighting-Knife
     
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  15. Browning

    Browning Member

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    http://shivworks.com/

    Also do a search for Escrima/Arnis/Kali or FMA gyms in your area. They all provide knife (and stick) training.
     
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  16. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

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    Find a Filipino MA school and learn first before buying a bunch of knives only to find they don't fit your training.
     
  17. Mizar

    Mizar Member

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    Boker makes some fine knives, although expensive. But be advised that Boker offers many outsourced or simply rebranded knives, so "do your homework" first, starting from the Boker USA site.

    I ain't going to give you any advice on a fighting knife because:
    A) I never really fought with one (just like 99% of the people on THR), so...
    B) I like simple, or let's call it subtle, designs and this is clearly not the trend today (Don't do video games either...).
     
  18. 460Shooter

    460Shooter Member

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    I think there are a number of very nicely designed and simple knives out there that can be utilized for self defense. I hope I haven't given any sort of mall ninja fantasy type vibes. I really just don't know what I'm looking for but defense is a desired use. I have actually edited my OP to focus a little less on the defense side of things, and after reading the responses so far, I'm getting the impression it's more important to have something than not have something, and being able to get to it fast are the most important factors. Blade style seems a little less relevant than when I first started thinking about this. I actually wonder if simply finding one with a thick enough grip isn't all I really need to help with my grip and retention, and made of quality materials of course. I have skinny fingers but large hands, so hanging onto a small handled knife may be challenging if too narrow.

    That's a good thought. May save some money and not end up with a box of knives I don't need.
     
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  19. Mizar

    Mizar Member

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    No, you didn't. It's just that I think, from my very limited experience, that something in the lines of Peltonen Sissipuukko M07 is fine for the intended purpose. Or the ESEE blades that Slamfire posted (minus the orange handles - what is wrong with you, Slamfire?!? ;)). But the common trend today is against such blades - they are not gaudy enough to satisfy the COD type of user...
     
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  20. Slamfire

    Slamfire Member

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    I actually like orange!

    ETkMqGx.jpg

    cUAR7An.jpg

    The color is cheerful and practical. It is a lot easier to find something orange on grass or leaves than something brown or black. I remember losing a camouflage seat cushion in the woods. I back tracked my steps for hundreds of yards. Never found it. That was when I decided, I wanted things with contrasting colors, so I would have a better chance of finding it if I dropped it.

    It is hard to find orange or yellow wallets, but when I find one I like, I use it till it totally falls apart!.

    I also like pink, regardless of the cultural or gender connotations. I have the most beautiful coral bell Azalea bushes and I decided, the heck with the world and everyone else's hangups, pink is just fine.
     

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    Last edited: Oct 10, 2019
  21. Ohen Cepel

    Ohen Cepel Member

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    If you want a defensive knife I think the Kabar TDI may fit the bill. Worth a look, small but has potential and good for a less trained knife person (like me).
     
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  22. Elkins45

    Elkins45 Member

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    Most of my locking folders are either Spyderco or Bemchmade, mostly Spyderco. To me the Paramilitary 2 is as close to the ideal knife I have found. SOG and CRKT aren’t generally considered to be in the same league as Kershaw, Benchmade, etc.
     
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  23. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

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    Boker is a manufacturer that makes a range of useless to great designs in the cause of making a profit.

    What you need is to understand the use of a knife in defense and offense before you pick a knife. Learn the basics of defense and offense through finding training and through dedicated practice and then pick the design that fits your style. There will be a broad range of manufacturers and makers who will fit that after you understand what you want. Or find Bessinger and buy a knife from him and learn to use it.
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2019
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  24. stevek

    stevek Member

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    A nice flipper would be a good choice. Check out the WE Practic, M390 blade steel, great fit and finish, and very comfortable for non-knife people in an office environment. Also check out the Ferrum Forge collaborations on Drop (previously known as Massdrop) And there are many different offerings from Spyderco that fit your criteria...PM2, Manix etc. Good luck in the hunt!
     
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  25. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator Staff Member

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    This is really where your journey should start. I bought several knives before i got any training and haven't seriously considered using them since.

    I attended a 2-day class with Michael Janich and it was a real eye opener in how knives are used defensively...plus his techniques transition easily to unarmed defense against a knife attack. While he was working with Spyderco at the time, Yojimbo 2 (folder) and Ronin 2 (fixed blade), he also taught a technique of getting a folder into action without using the Spyder hole. (I live in a state that has quite a feel restrictions on the carry of fixed blade knives, but very few on folders) https://www.bladehq.com/cat--Janich-Michael--1306?search=

    Spyderco-Yojimbo-2-CF-Satin-BHQ-84392-er-thumb.jpg

    I'd personally avoid the offerings from Cold Steel as lacking in grace...but that's a personal esthetic perference
     
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