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Reasonably Priced Knives That Work!

Discussion in 'Non-Firearm Weapons' started by SGW Gunsmith, Oct 1, 2019.

  1. SGW Gunsmith

    SGW Gunsmith Member

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    I'm by no means an authority on knives, so my thoughts about those I have only consist as to how GOOD they do their intended job:
    njQD7gLl.jpg
    I have several firearms customers who also belong to EMT units who need to attend to some very nasty vehicular accidents along Highways 53, 70 & 77 in these parts. These guys & gals don't really need a $400.00 knife when a much lower priced knife combination will do just as good a job at getting to an injured person. A few of the out-the-front knife systems above have a window breaker on the butt end, and then the push button to get the blade out and ready fast to cut seat belts and free an injured person using only one free hand that's available.
    I carry the one at the very top of the above picture. This lever-letto style knife has a very smooth action and the blade holds a very sharp edge that will do whatever a knife costing 5 to 6 times as much. The artificial bone scales still provide a good purchase even when hands are wet with "red-stuff".
    If you consider yourself to be even a slightly interested in knives person, check out the web-site "Grindworx.com" if you'd like something to do on a crappy day outside, along with a hot cup of coffee. There are some really neat knives on this site and costs will not break the bank, or there will be no worries if you drop one of these knives on a hard surface. Some of the over-polished and engraved "BLING" knives seem to be more at home in a display case rather than out in the field earning their keep!
     
  2. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Member

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    There are lots of reasonably priced knives that function as a knife very well. Many require more frequent sharpening due to the steel that was used, but I know how to sharpen a knife and that usually isn't a big problem for me (within reason). My most used reasonably priced knives are Victorinox Swiss Army Knives (SAKs). I'm not into auto knives of any kind although years ago I did buy a few switch blades out of curiosity. Now, I don't even give them a second look regardless of price.

    Flippers are about as "auto" as I care for.
     
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  3. dh1633pm

    dh1633pm Member

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    Knife expert me? Lets just say you shouldn't trust your life to my knife opinions. My needs are different than some of the others. I work in IT. I carry everywhere, except when riding a plane, and then my knife is in my suitcase. Open a box, cut a steak, cut a zip tie, cut a cat6 cable, open an envelope, and any other task you could think of. I carry a bench made mini grip. It sharpens up and stays that way and the company has a never need warranty (you only need a warranty if it breaks). I know that there are a lot of knives not as expensive that will do the same tasks. I checked many a knife out. The problem was I kept going through them. I got to the point I didn't want to guess which one was better than another. Thanks for sharing the website. I marked it and looked around a bit. I read all the knife related posts here because I like learning on the subject.

    I do carry an less expensive knife in my truck that has a seat belt cutter and window smasher because you never know.
     
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  4. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Member

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    The least expensive knives I would consider carrying are Rough Ryder (RR) slip joints that run generally in the $10-$15 area. I like them quite a bit, but the SAKs always win for some strange reason.;) So, my RR's mostly just accumulate when I get the urge to pick one up that catches my eye.
     
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  5. jmr40

    jmr40 Member

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    I consider $50-$100 " reasonable", maybe a touch more than $100. That means a Benchmade, Buck or Spyderco in that price range is what I carry. I won't name any particular model since I go back and forth as to which I like best. And I have several to choose from.

    But for a lot of people $30 or so is "reasonable". Fact is you can get some very serviceable knives in the $20-$30 range, but most come from China. They are good knives and I do own some but I just prefer USA made if practical. The blade steel is worth the extra cost to me. SV30 seems to be the best balance of all things to me but I have some 154 CM blades that I like as well as some with D2. The Spyderco's with VG10 is OK too.

    I'm OK with the better handles made with FRN. The other materials are nice, but don't really make the knife any better, just adding costs. I have some, but I'm not a huge fan of either liner or frame locks. I really like the Benchmade Axis lock or the old lock back like used on Buck. I do like the ones with the lock in the middle vs at the back of the blade.

    Some good "reasonably" priced knives. Not all meet all of my requirements, but are close enough.

    https://www.amazon.com/Buck-Knives-...569951187&sprefix=buck+vantage,aps,161&sr=8-2

    https://www.amazon.com/Buck-Knives-...id=1569951257&sprefix=buck+110,aps,156&sr=8-1

    https://www.amazon.com/Spyderco-C22...id=1569951293&sprefix=spyderco,aps,161&sr=8-3

    https://www.amazon.com/Spyderco-End...51329&sprefix=spyderco+endella,aps,155&sr=8-1

    https://www.amazon.com/Benchmade-Gr...d=1569951366&sprefix=benchmade,aps,159&sr=8-1
     
  6. Bama59

    Bama59 Member

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    I used to carry one of my dads Case but afraid would lose it so bought a small Buck pocket knife and $18 folder. Today have CRKT Pilar also keep a Old Timer lock blade in tool box
     
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  7. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

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    It is important to remember that there are far fewer $400 knives out there than serviceable $100 or $40 knives that will serve to cut a seatbelt.

    If in a First Responder role a knife is a tool instead of a toy and reliability and ease of use are more important than cool factor.

    The Spydercos shown above easily fit the description of easy to use reliable knives as does the Buck Vantage. Stay away from cheaply made gimmicky knives when the situation is life or death.
     
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  8. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Member

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    You bet and good advice.
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2019
  9. bikerdoc

    bikerdoc Moderator Staff Member

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    Second endorsement for Spyderco. Reasonably priced, excellent steel, good customer service.
     
  10. Armored farmer

    Armored farmer Member

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    Has it really been 35 years since I became a volunteer firefighter? It's hard for me to believe, but true. 1984.
    We get called to action AFTER things have already gone south.
    A multi tool for me. It's pretty rare for me to leave the house with only a blade.
    Many who frequent the knife forum have forgotten more about knives than I will ever know.
    15699863520975609471126077440501.jpg
    As you can see, I'm partial to SAKs. I also like leatherman tools. I often wear one on my belt.
    The cost of your gear is of little concern when you have skin in the game. I'm not arguing for expensive, but for quality.
     
  11. Browning

    Browning Member

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    I’ve been an EMT for 22 years and while there aren’t any $400 knives in the pile, there are a couple $200 ones.

    The three I carried the longest are the Al Mar SERE 2000, the ZT and the Benchmade Presidio.
    70DDA8AD-8A63-464D-8326-36073EA042F4.jpeg
     
  12. lemaymiami

    lemaymiami Member

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    Don't believe I have a single blade that cost more than $100 but there might be one that came to me as a gift... At any rate my daily carry is a long discontinued full sized Benchmade Ascent. It fills all of my needs with the main requirement that you can open it one handed in case I'm ever tangled and getting dragged over the side by my own net or anchor line. Working on a small skiff miles from any boat ramp in the backcountry of the Everglades has made me a lot more cautious than I was as a young man... I also have two backups - one on my skiff - a brand new un-used Benchmade Griptilian, full sized, that I've added a wrist loop to (dropping a knife on the water leaves you without that knife - until you buy a replacement...). The second back-up is a pretty good lightweight full-size Al Mar Eagle that's kept in my tow vehicle. It's intended purpose is purely defensive... Like the Griptilian it's never been used - but is a pretty good "in case" tool...

    Funny thing, I also have more than one fish cutting blade - both on my skiff and kept in my truck for serious fish cutting purposes. These days, though, with many going to "catch and release" my days of cutting 100 to 300 pounds at a time seem long gone.... My favorite fish cutters are big stainless steel butcher knives from Forschner - one is a breaking knife - the other a scimitar...
     
  13. SGW Gunsmith

    SGW Gunsmith Member

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    That's quite a splendid array of knives you own. Several of my firearms customers are EMT and they rely on a knife that can be operated one-handed, if need be, and be able to break the safety glass on a vehicle for internal access, again, if need be. Blade must hold a sharp edge and opening action should be faultless, with the ability to break a window without using a sledge hammer and cut through a seatbelt quickly.
    Seems most of the responses here also look for the same thing.
     
  14. herrwalther

    herrwalther Member

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  15. Browning

    Browning Member

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    Thanks. Yeah, I can operate all those knives one handed.

    For breaking windows you can use a knife, but I personally prefer a spring loaded punch or a fire axe if there’s no time. Using those typically involves sinking vehicles or those that are on fire. Even with a glove using a knife can sometimes mean laying your hand open.

    Mostly I’d prefer simply not breaking the window and using a lock out kit if there’s time.
     
  16. FL-NC

    FL-NC Member

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    I have more knives for more different purposes than you could shake a stick at. For a cheap blade that can do a lot, I really like those $15-20ish mora companions. I have one in my jeep and one in my truck- good enough of a blade to do anything I need, and cheap enough so that if it gets lost or damaged doing something that it shouldn't have been used for in the first place that I will just buy another.
     
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  17. JeeperCreeper

    JeeperCreeper Member

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    I have no skin in the game.

    But personally, I think expensive knives are a diminishing return. I don't think a $400 knife is 10x better than a $40 knife. Having said that, I think it's cool that there are premium stuff... I like Lambos even though I'll never buy one.

    For every need, I like cheap knives. My go to brands are:

    1. Morakniv (companion and craftline for just about anything and everything)
    2. Kershaw (for assisted opening pocket knives)

    I also like Buck folders, Cold Steel fixed blades, and random Gerber's.

    Plus I'm not mad if I lose one.
     
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  18. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Member

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    Just remember, there is "cheap" and there is "inexpensive". Both of course are relative terms. I would never settle for just Mora knives unless I had to. They have their uses however.
     
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  19. Boattale

    Boattale Member

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    My most favoritest reasonably priced knife is BM barrage. Lately I've been carrying a what can only be described as a cheap knife, Ka-Bar Dozier design folder. Super light for summertime in shorts. I've got a bunch of others, but those are my favorite ones. The barrage was used at lunch today, to slice instead of maul apart with a butter knife a rare tuna steak. Love my Benchmades.
     
  20. cheygriz

    cheygriz member

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    Most of the LEO/EMT types I have known and worked with over the years carry the Spyderco or Benchmade folders with blades of top end steel. Usually in the $175-$300 price range.

    That sounds expensive. But when lives are on the line, cost loses some of it's importance. My Spyderco "Military" models rode in my pocket on duty for many years. And were used many times.
     
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  21. lemaymiami

    lemaymiami Member

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    My carry on the job down here in south Florida was a single bladed folder in the Sodbuster pattern (full sized) by a german outfit, Henckels, that no longer makes folders at all... With a thin carbon steel blade it was literally the sharpest cutter I've ever owned, the fellow that sold them was a leathersmith - and he used his to cut 3/8" leather cowhide for making sandals - with a single pass... I used it to cut free flexcuffs (after cautioning the subject not to even breathe while I was releasing him...) and for cutting victims out of seatbelts at crash scenes. That same blade would easily cut through 1 1/2 " radiator hose like it was nothing...

    It was also intended as a last ditch backup in case I was ever disarmed on the street - fortunately it was never needed for that purpose... I carried it in one side of a double magazine pouch meant for hi-cap auto mags so that it didn't show at all but was easily reached by either hand if needed... I never considered it a stabbing weapon - but a few carefully placed strikes would disable a hand or an arm (or something more vital...). Cuban slang on the street for an extremely sharp fighting knife... was a "bonecutter"... Pretty sure it qualified...

    That Henckels got retired when I left police work - it wouldn't last long around saltwater where I'm still working - 24 years after retiring from police work.... I still have it carefully stored away...
     
  22. Browning

    Browning Member

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    I’ve cut a bunch of seatbelts, but it’s not every shift or anything. These days having to cut the curtains on airbags in order to get to your patients is much common.

    617AFB6C-183E-4C9C-ABB8-213334419FFF.jpeg

    There’s not any way of detaching them. You basically have to cut them. That’s much more common than seatbelts ever have been. Seatbelts jam, sure ... but not on every wreck.

    The Spyderco I have now is thin and slicey, so it does a good job of doing that. Plus there are tons of medical boxes to get into.

    DE995A56-BB3A-45CA-B7AC-E1BA5292BDDD.jpeg
     
  23. jaysouth

    jaysouth Member

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    Here is a Camillus Titanium that I bought at Walmart for $9.97. So far so good. It sharpens razor sharp and seems robust. It opens very smoothly and locks up solid. I can afford to lose several of these camilius titanium.jpg
     
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  24. Goosey

    Goosey Member

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    The $20 Cold Steel Pro-Lite (and its almost identical friend the "Working Man") is a good cheap little knife and it's built like a tank. Extremely strong lock back. Linerless FRN handle, but it feels more solid and has less flex than my Endura 4s. Fairly neutral ergonomic design, too. Has a decent pocket clip for once. The 4116 steel is alright. It's $20. You can get multiple colors and blade styles now, too. I like it quite a lot for a basic, no-frills pocket knife.
     
  25. dvcrsn

    dvcrsn Member

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    there is much to be said for Opinels since they are easy to keep sharp and come in a wide range of sizes--the 10 and 12 are plenty long to handle most jobs
     
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