Our Knife Guide

Can't decide what to buy, or what you need? What kind of knife is best for every day carry? What brand specializes in what? What's the best blade steel for me? This page can help us help you find that perfect knife you're looking for.

 

what are the best knives?

The best knife is the one you have on you, that does the job you need it to do. 

A knife as a tool. Some carry a knife to cut open boxes at work, some carry for self-defense, and some carry to process an animal at the end of a day of hunting.

 

That perfect hunting knife might be overkill for opening boxes or have questionable legality for every day carry, and the perfect knife for the office wouldn't survive for long in the hands of an outdoorsman.

What do you need your knife to be perfect at?

types of knives

We have a knife that can fulfill your specific purpose and preference.

 

Hunting

The vast majority of hunting knives are fixed blade, built tough and weather resistant, and generally rank higher in cost due to their extra mass and build quality.

 

every day carry

The most subjective category of knife. Do you prefer something you barely notice in your pocket while working in the office? Or would you rather have a sizeable, intimidating chunk of steel while working in the field? This one is totally up to you.

 

self defense

Almost any knife can be used as a defensive tool, but some fill that role better than others. You'll want to look for a knife that can be retrieved quickly and deployed easily while under stress. Also consider your legal intent for carrying the knife. In some places, the legality of carrying a fixed blade knife resides in a bit of a grey area of the law. 

 

Never venture into the wilderness without a knife or two that can handle the most severe conditions, and unforgiving abuse. Stick with a full size fixed blade knife and durable, tough steel. Make no compromises. 

 

survival

 

the best brands

Each knife brand we carry has established itself to satisfy a certain niche in the knife market, and they all do it well.

popular brands we recommend

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High quality "modern-meets-traditional" knives that specialize in field use and hunting.

The gold standard of American knife making. They offer a wide variety of knives to fill many roles.

One of the most popular brands, Kershaw offers an incredible selection of affordable EDC knives.

Microtech leads the industry in OTF (out-the-front) knives. Good for self-defense or EDC one-handed operation.

An excellent choice for high-quality affordable EDC folding knives with unique but uniform functionality and design.

 

knife steels

All knife steels vary in edge retention, toughness, and corrosion resistance. Harder steels will generally be difficult to sharpen, and tougher steels will generally sacrifice edge retention for a blade that is less likely to chip or shatter.

best for 
edge retention

best for 
toughness

best for 
corrosion resistance

CPM-3V

CPM-4V

1095

A2

H1

knife terminology

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tip

The tip, or point of a knife, is where the cutting edge meets the spine of the blade. The shape of this Chris Reeve Knife is called a drop point. Other types include tanto, clip point, spear point, etc.

edge

The edge is the cutting end of a knife. Can be plain edged like above, or serrated ("teeth" machined into the cutting edge). Watch your fingers around this part!

belly

The belly is the curved portion of the blade. A "deeper" belly aids with cutting efficiency. Some knives have no belly, like a stiletto or dagger, which are mostly designed for piercing efficiency.

grind

The grind describes the front profile of the blade, or the angle of the knife from the width of the spine to the cutting edge. All grinds are variations of flat and hollow.

choil

The grind describes the area where unsharpened metal meets the blade grind, or the surface between the tang and cutting edge.

spine

The widest point of the blade, opposite the cutting edge. It provides rigidity to the blade, and is most often dull. In most cases, the wider this is, the stronger the knife.

jimping

Jimping describes the machined grooves at the base of the spine, added for thumb texture, grip, and control while applying downward pressure to the knife during use.

pivot

The pivot is the axis of rotation on a folding knife where the blade opens out of the handle.

inlays

Inlays describe any texture or material "laid in" to the handle. In the above knife, an attractive box elder wood inlay can be observed. Materials like wood and carbon fiber are commonly used.

Every folding knife has a lock, which secures the blade into an open position. The above lock is called "frame lock" due to a separate section of the handle frame itself wedging the blade open. Some other common lock styles are liner locks, plunge locks and compression locks.

lock

butt

The base of the handle, sometimes including a pommel, which is a significant amount of extra material on the butt for weight balance or aesthetics.

lanyard

Some knives include a lanyard hole in the handle. The above Chris Reeve Sebenza includes a paracord lanyard as well.

 

knife laws

Legality varies between states. Double check the laws where you live before making any final decisions about what to buy or carry.

for the best up-to-date information visit:

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did we miss anything?

Feel free to contact us if there's anything else

you'd like to know that wasn't listed here!