View Full Version : New to knives, need advice

March 27, 2002, 05:13 AM
I'm not into knives, but lately I sure could use one. For utility and defense. Here's my situation, I hate carrying stuff. Don't own a cell phone, pager, not even a keychain for my keys...I'm not the "utility belt" guy. Whats a light, small packaged knife that is made of strong material and can be carried with easy access ?

I've seen fixed blades that attach horizontally to a belt, are those any good ? Easy to carry ? What about this K.I.S.S I 've heard about ? Are those strong enough to put up with general use (opening boxes ect.) ?

Also, I don't even know how to sharpen a knife ( :rolleyes: ), what type of material holds it's edge the longest and what's a good sharpener that's easy to use and won't break the bank ?

March 27, 2002, 08:28 AM
I have some personal prejudices regarding knives in general and don't want to "color" your decision. I collect RandallMade Knives and if you know Randalls, 'nuff said!

There are so many great knives out there today that in most cases, if you spend between $50 and $100 bucks, you'll likely get a good quality piece.

I'm personally fond of Benchmades if you're looking for a folder....they can pretty much match up a consumer's desires with a knife in 99.9% of the cases. I really like their collaborations with the custom knife making greats such as Pardue, and others...you get great quality, unique designs at affordable prices....but most importantly, you get Benchmade customer service which I've found to be unquestionably superb.....

So, have I answered your question...likely not.....I have within easy reach all of the following: Benchmade/Pardue 3" folder that I carry in my pocket....a Leatherman tool, a Swiss Army knife, a large Gerber Bowie in the trunk of the car.....The Randalls are for collecting in my case....though I do have one that I used when I once hunted....

Go to BladeForums.com and post the same question among those knife nuts....you'll get an incredible response.;)

Mike in VA
March 27, 2002, 08:39 AM
ATeaM, try these two sites -

Blade Forums can tell you anything you need to know about knives - it's the TFL of the knife world. The Knife Center has the best selection, prices and service I've found on line once you've made up you mind on what you need/want.

RE: the K.I.S.S. knives - I have both the stiff KISS, which I wear as a neck knife and use around the house and yard, and the folder, which is a basic pocket kife. Both are simple, sturdy knives that are fine for the type of utility work like you desceribe, but are a little small for defensive use. The Stiff KISS is very versitile (comes with a kydex sheath), and can be worn vertically or horizontally on the belt, clipped in the boot, or as a neck knife, and is less than $25 at the Knife Center. CRKT (the mfr.) makes some of the best values in knives on the market today (IMO). Mine do have a tanto-style blade that is not the best for slicing, but they do have a chisel grind edge, which make them easy to sharpen (Bladeforums has a tutorial that explains all that if you need it).

Be careful. Once you get into knives, you may find they're like guns - one ain't enough. Good luck & have fun!:D

Inspector Callahan
March 27, 2002, 09:08 AM
I would suggest the CUDA EDC from Camillus in D2 steel. (It is also available in Stainless and Talonite, but I'd stick with D2 due to both cost and edge-holding ability). Affordable and supposedly holds an edge very well. I'm planning to get one soon. Sorry I couldn't be of more help.

Here's a link to the EDC (http://www.camillusknives.com/camillus-cuda-edc.htm)

March 28, 2002, 01:54 AM
I'm mulling over all the info right now, thanks.

Mike in VA
March 28, 2002, 08:49 AM
I'll second the EDC. I recently got one in CM154 steel. Came out of thebox razor sharp and has held an edge realy well. A quick lick on the crock stick is all it takes to maintain the edge. I'm also fond of my Benchmade AFCK for general purpose carry.

March 28, 2002, 12:53 PM
You may want to check your state laws on carrying knives...... some designs and blade lengths are illegal in different states. For a fixed blade, Randall's are pretty good....... maybe a Combat Companion or a Model 15 Airman. My favorite folding knives are probably the Benchmade AFCK axis or the CRKT Kasper. For a folder that's relatively compact, the Benchmade Osborne is pretty nice. The Chris Reeves Sebenza is supposed to be extraordinary, but I've never owned one.

March 28, 2002, 03:46 PM
Plenty of great knives out there. I'll add Spyderco to the list of can't miss manufacturers. And Emerson too.

All I can really tell you is what I carry:

Everyday: Spyderco Calypso Jr. w/ micarta grips and fully-serrated blade,
Meaner: Benchmade 710S partially serrated (great knife - but largish for everyday)
Next on the list: Emerson CQC-7 tanto plain blade with Wave

I need to add a Spyderco Rescue to the stable, too.

The best values are probably the CRKT knives. Good knives for great prices.

- Gabe

March 28, 2002, 03:52 PM
Another thought: for everyday carry, I like to carry a folder clipped to my front pocket. It's important that the knife sit as low in the pocket as possible, just so it's not so conspicuous. The Spyderco Calypso Jr. sits very low and the clip is black (I wear jeans almost exclusively). Not all knives sit that low. Look at where the clip attaches to the body and make sure it is as close to the end of the grip as possible.

- Gabe

PS: AS was mentioned, make sure you know the laws on fixed vs. folding knives in your state (no fixed knives out here), automatic knives and blade length.

Ask around on BladeForums.

March 28, 2002, 07:37 PM

A great online knife shop that I have been bery bery happy with. Great prices and they've never screwed up an order:


- Gabe

PPPPS: The Spyderco 'Sharpmaker' is a great sharpener for the money...they have it at the above shop.

March 28, 2002, 07:41 PM
Here's my new tactical. It was made by Terry Primos and should be appearing in this months Blade Magazine.

The knife has a 4" blade, double edged. Handle is Thyula Burl. Balance is right behind the guard. The top edge is a chisel grind while the main edge is a conventional double grind. The blade was hand forged and differentially heat treated. You can see the Hamon running up to the top edge.

This is the prototype for the knife and he will be making them as needed.
You can reach Terry at
Teryy Primos Bladesmith (http://www.primosknives.com/)



March 28, 2002, 08:53 PM
Be careful. Once you get into knives, you may find they're like guns - one ain't enough.

He is not kidding. Heed this warning!

...and this pic's at least a Kershaw Vapor II and a CRKT Mirage out of date.

Help. :o

March 28, 2002, 09:26 PM
Not into knives either, but they are good to have around.

How about the Spydercard? Nice and thin so you can carry it in your wallet so it's always around and never in the way.

All the knife classes I've been to the instructors always urge the carrying of multiple ones. However, under your conditions precedent, check out the Spydie. I think they are still approx. $35.00 (U.S.).

March 28, 2002, 11:46 PM
Nice pic Tamara. I think the KISS is definitely the one I'm looking for, thanks.

March 29, 2002, 09:44 AM
If you want a good, solid, smallish, no-frills but very capable knife for not a lot of money, you cannot go wrong with a Spyderco Delica. I think you can still get them for around $40.

I carry a REKAT Carnovur in Talonite for on-duty carry, and switch between that and a Benchmade AFCK in M2 for EDC wear. they are, however, substantially more expensive than the delica.


Just a thought
April 3, 2002, 01:37 AM
Hi Jar!!! Nice seein' ya!!

I like the Cold Steel knives and recommend them over anything but the best custom knives!

The best blade steels in descending order are:


Carbon V





1095 carbon steel


440 stainless steel

I know some steels are better then others for certain applications. This list is for general usage.

April 4, 2002, 01:30 PM
for lots of cutting in a lightweight, well designed package, I have to go with the benchmade 940. Check it out, I promise you won't be disappointed. Al handles, medium size keep it light, axis lock is reliable and strong. Cost: ~ $100

If you want a little more knife (and can spend a little more money) then you might want to check out the Chris Reeve Sebenza. Almost certainly the best built, strongest lock production knife in the world. Cost: ~ $350-$450

And the final level is a custom blade. Personally, I carry a wharncliffe "TNT" knife made by Tom Mayo. It's got Ti handles, a stellite 6K blade (rust proof blade material from hell) framelock mechanism. Wharncliffe blade shape has a straight edge from end to end and a curved back, sort of the reverse shape of what you normally think of. Cost: - $550

Hope some of this helps.


April 6, 2002, 02:42 PM
I'll have to also recommend The Spyderco 'Sharpmaker' for sharpening! It is the only thing I use on my knives.

Also, Like Mike and Tam said - be carful. It starts with one and then they mulitply (like they did for me). :eek: