View Full Version : What knives have impressed you?

June 23, 2008, 01:01 AM
The question is just that. I was on a search for a good quality, yet affordable Karambit Folder. Of course if you run a search, the Emerson comes up the most, or some by Terani. Good knives, but more than I want to spend. These brands run from $150 to over $200. I wanted something under $100. I came across the Mantis MK line of Karambit Folders.

I had never heard of Mantis Knives before so was kind put off. Not many reviews exist so I was not able to really make an educated decision, but I pick up the MK-3 for around $70. Once I got, I was greatly impressed by the great feel in my hand. I was lightweight, built strong and sturdy, and really sharp. There was no loose wiggle in the blade, which I have found on many expensive reputable brands. I also quickly realized at how well this knife held an edge. I was pulling the knife through paper, cardboard and rope right and left. After all that, it still held a razor-like edge.

The only other knife that has surprised me was my SOG Mini X-Ray Vision that I will soon replace with a Mantis Chaos Folder. I will let you all know what I think of it after running it through the paces.

What knives have impressed you and why?

June 23, 2008, 08:59 AM
i picked up a spyderco titanium salsa that i love.....just the overall fit and finish, and the short but superfat blade. ive really been wanting a stilleto like the infidel or piranna lately, just having a hard time justifying 400$

June 23, 2008, 11:24 AM
Benchmade offers a variety of nice blades. I received one some time ago as a gift. Prior to that, I usually had a Buck or similar in my pocket. I'll not be switching back any time soon. :)

June 23, 2008, 11:46 AM
When Kershaw came out the the assisted opening "black out" I bought one and been a fan since. I currently own 5 different Kershaws and each one has been great.

June 23, 2008, 12:07 PM
Truthfully, Emerson, Chris Reeves, Warren Thomas, Strider, Crusader Forge, Greg Lightfoot, Kirby Lambert, Microtech, Grahm Brothers, CnC Bladeworks, Tops, Rick Hinderer. There are more but those are the ones that stand out most to me. They are all superbly made with the best and newest materials. They manage ultimate function while still managing to be rediculously beautiful. Most of the makers I mentioned and their designs are very out of the box but are still more useful than most conventional makers/designs. They will be sharp and stay sharp for a long time.

If you are looking for a karambit for about 100$, spyderco still makes one I think.

June 23, 2008, 07:46 PM
I have actually looked at the Spyderco Karambit. I like the looks of it but it looks really small. I would have to handle one before buying it. That is what made me go with the Mantis Karambit, I new the size was a good fit.

A Spyderco Delica was the first knife I ever bought. I still have it. It did its job very well. Until I found a Benchmade that I loved. Then went to a Kershaw and then the SOG. I still want the Mantis Chaos Folder though. It just looks amazing. Plus the materials make it one I desire.

June 23, 2008, 08:02 PM
Right now I carry an inexpensive Gerber, but my favorite is a Seki Cut. Mine was stolen but I'll be replacing it soon.

June 24, 2008, 06:27 AM
I sell knives and survival gear at trade/gun shows (thesourceincorporated.com) That doesn't make me an expert but does expose me to many knives. I think for the money the Benchmade Dejavoo is the top of the heap, and a top of the line knife. The S30V steel is quite good (actually close to the best available), the self lubricating pin is a plus, the design is great, the quality is top notch, the price is reasonable for what you get. Look at it, if you can find one. I prefer the "plain steel blade with no serrations" they are hard for even me to find. They are a great knife.

June 24, 2008, 07:04 AM
For production knives and or folders in general, Benchmade has always impressed. Quality, workmanship, materials, performance, warranty...etc. They are fantastic.

But the toughest knives in existence have to be the ones made by Busse. It is unreal how tough they are. They only do fixed blades, however and are quite expensive. But they are backed by a warranty which dares you to abuse them.

June 24, 2008, 08:27 PM
Picked up one of these on E-Bay for $100 - very nice ;)


June 25, 2008, 07:07 AM
When Kershaw came out the the assisted opening "black out" I bought one and been a fan since. I currently own 5 different Kershaws and each one has been great.

+1 on Ken Onion designed Kershaws. I've got half a dozen different models. Always have a small Scallion in my pocket.



June 25, 2008, 08:59 AM
+1 for the Kershaw Ken Onion knives. I have a Scallion I carried for several years. I currently carry a Boker 1001. The Boker impresses me because the Kershaw needed to be sharpened every month or two (I cut cardboard alot) but I have only needed to sharpen the Boker once since last August. I do miss the easy opening of the Kershaw but the spring was wearing out so I bought a new knife.

June 25, 2008, 11:14 AM
I love my Benchmade 710. I have carried mine for a few years now even though I have quite a few ither knives. The blade is 154 CM and the scales are made of slip resistant G-10 laminate. The knife has a nice heft and the Axis lock is super smooth and strong. Corrosion resistance is excellent, expecially for an everyday carry.

I had a Kershaw Vapor (also a Ken Onion design), but it developed some surface rusting very quickly. If I recall, it had in integrated liner lock and was made entirely of stainless steel. It was a nice knife, but corrosion resistance was horrible.

June 25, 2008, 11:35 PM
Speaking of corrosion resistance, I have accidentally sent my SOG through the wash twice and it still looks new.

June 26, 2008, 05:44 PM
Well I have been a student in boxing, TaeKwondo, Judo, Shui Chiao, and Tai Chi. I have studied Pentjak Silat extensively by book, but have been unable to locate a decent instructor. I have practiced with Katana, Chinese broad sword, and a few others. All my knife practice was done with ball point pens, but I have put in a few hours with that also. I just applied for a CCW but doubt I will ever use it because I feel so secure carrying just a knife. Not trying to brag, just indicating I have some idea how melee weapons function.

If you pull a knife on me with a serrated blade and I am unarmed, I will feel very confident that I will win the fight. Serrated blades are for wal-mart tactical snipers only.

Fairbairn Sykes mk III. Knife used by the SAS. GUNGHO makes a very good one (GUNG HO is Chinese for work together). Not balanced for throwing as it should be(throwing knives is also a waste of everyone's time in my opinion).

For something lighter a cheap switch blade bought out of Hong Kong. $10 and as much for shipping. The james dean style. Don't have to worry about throwing on in a trash can if you goto a concert and are unexpectedly going to get pat down or something. The springs don't last forever but at $10 who cares. They get weak but never break so you have plenty of time to replace without a failure. You can't sharpen them b/c the metal is cheap, but again $10. Don't worry about losing.

I can pick up any rifle made in the world and be proficient very quickly.
I am very particular about blades.

Adventurer 2
June 26, 2008, 06:40 PM
I wish these guys made knives (I would buy several). This is a Gransfors Bruks mini-hatchet. Impressed the hell out of me. The sharpness of the blade makes up for the small size. If anybody out there knows of a comparable knife steel composition please tell me.

4V50 Gary
June 26, 2008, 10:37 PM
Sorry to be a kill joy but I like the old Boy Scout knife with a spoon & fork.

June 27, 2008, 01:17 AM
Fehrman "Last Chance" in Satin.

Bill DeShivs
June 27, 2008, 02:19 AM
NO kerambit has ever impressed me. Get a real knife, not some fad, ninja knife.

June 27, 2008, 09:34 AM
I'm not real impressed with the karmabit design. It seems like a knife you would just hang on the wall with other ninja stuff.

I do like a lot of the SOG blades. Most are reasonably priced and well made. The Twitch XL is one of my favorites. Had one and lost it. Still have my Twitch II and a Blink though and others. I really like the SOG Mini-Vulcan for EDC. I may not replace the XL since I have the mini-vulcan. It is more knife than I need for most tasks, real fun to flip open, stays very sharp and is not too difficult to sharpen.

As a kid, I thought the SAK's or the copies were a bit gawdy and the ones I was aware of then, way too big to carry everyday. I carried a basic Case folder then which I still have. Later, I traveled a lot with my job, so I bought a Vic Tinker (the smaller one) and carried it for years, loosing them and replacing as soon as I could... Then I tried a Soldier model and really liked it. Decided it wasn't big enough for a lot of cutting, so I bought the Adventurer model which I often carry these days along with the SOG Mini-Vulcan. I have been most impressed with the dollar for dollar quality of the Vic SAKs and I highly recommend them for EDC. They are very non-threatening knives. In fact until 9-11, I routinely carried my SAK in my pocket during all airline travel and never had any problems. Try that with a karmbit design and you won't get past the metal detector even prior to 9-11.

The old Case knives always impressed me. The older Schrade knives and the classic Buck 110 were excellent knives. The Schatt & Morgan knives are well made folders of high quality. Spyderco makes good blades.

I don't own any Emerson's as they are too expensive for a using knife for me. I know they are well made blades however and if you can afford them, you probably won't be let down.

There lots of very good knives available these days and I by no means have tried them all or even tried a sample by each manufacturer. I'll leave the fixed blades for another day. I'm generally a folder guy. But, I'm thinking about getting a fixed blade Benchmade to try out.

urban assault
June 27, 2008, 11:30 AM
This is my Khukri from, surprise, The 'Khukuri House' in Nepal. Very high carbon steel, so it needs to stay oiled, but for $70[including shipping] I have a handmade, quality knife.

Full-tang construction, a MASSIVE spine, and a non-traditional handle that actually fits my hand.

It came sharp and is easy to keep sharp. This is a working chopper so it isn't shiny or fancy in any way by design, it's just a darn good blade that can take plenty of brutal use.

So far I have chopped off tree limbs, cut up roasted chickens, and dug up some deep weed roots. I would buy one again in a heartbeat.


June 28, 2008, 12:30 PM
Love my Scrapyard knives and my EDC Buck Striders.

June 28, 2008, 05:07 PM

June 28, 2008, 06:08 PM
I really like the Al Mar knives, but they have always seemed a bit on the scapel side of rugged (aka not rugged). But if I could only have one knife, I would have to take the Ontario OKC3S. I really like that knife/USMC Bayonet.


June 28, 2008, 09:14 PM
Hard to beat CUTCO knives. Most folks think they only make kitchen knives. I have two hunting knives myself and they are top notch. Most are under $100

June 29, 2008, 08:48 PM
Are we talking fight knives, carry in you pocket to open feisty packages or to go camping?

I just applied for a CCW, I doubt I will ever carry besides a few times just to get comfortable with the idea. I carry a knife, and as most well trained gunmen will tell you inside 7 yards I hold the advantage. Not why I choose the knife, I don't feel that threatened and feel more than adequately protected by a knife unless I know I am absolutely headed into trouble. Even my relatively massive knives are fraction the weight of a small pistol with a few mags, and I never run out of ammo. I ask all kinds of dumb questions about guns on here, so now I get to turn the tables.

he sharpness of the blade makes up for the small size.
I realize this is an axe and you are talking about chopping wood, but leads me to a good point. If we are talking about Self defense/combat/fighting you don't want a sharp blade. A sharper blade hurts less than a dull blade. Unless you know a lot of biology a sharp blade used for slicing will be ineffective. Now if for you sizing up a person includes guessing how many inches of fat separate the skin from specific blood vessels, muscles and tendons, you are good to go with an 11* blade. Otherwise 20-25* is better. More pain on slices and much much easier to keep sharp. Really you want to stab though. Lung, heart, lung from below the ribcage going up under it if your blade is long enough. With a knife you do not get the blunt trauma of a shock wave you do with a bullet. You actually need to hit some organ or main blood vessel to bring someone down quickly.

This is my Khukri
This is half machete half hatchet. If we are going to go this direction I recommend everyone carry a Naginata (http://home.earthlink.net/~steinrl/polearms.htm). Seriously I think we are talking about things we can easily carry here. It also seems to be towards knives for fighting. I do like this design as a brush clearer. Very popular in SE Asia and SA. If I was in the market for a brush clearer this is the design I would go with.

Survival knife, most are serrated. This is probably the one piece of equipment Marines carry that I think is absolute trash. They look pretty cool though, don't they? Try pulling a serrated blade out from between two ribs. Those little teeth really grip!!! Probably fit in well with an 10" AR-15 complete with NV scope, sixteen rails, a red and white light, laser, bayonet, grenade launcher, and microwave(doesn't everyone hate the heat packs in MREs?).

I will really pick on Electric lady since she posted the cliche "tactical" knife with everything but sword catchers and a blood channel.
Serration/sawteeth on back.- Again, stuck between ribs.
Tip wider than base-ribs again.
double edged-actually this is a must. Would be better if it was full length instaed of serration.
Contoured grip- try holding that back handed or with the primary blade facing up, very uncomfortable. If someone knows how to defend themselves well switching to a backhand grip quickly for a surprise is your best chance. Really you should hold the knife so that your thumb is on the wide part of the grip with the plane of the blade and palm parallel to the ground (or very close to it). Palm up. This allows you to slice any direction and deliver a forceful thrust. I know I said you have to stab. You still have to keep them worried about slices.

As far as a knife for fighting the one I suggested before, the Fairbairn Sykes (http://www.esa-swords.com/FairbairnSykesBC7.htm), is by far the best design. Two British officers (Fairbairn and Sykes) of the Shanghai Municipal Police were basically getting their 4$$es handed to them in street fights in the Shanghai ghettos along with all the other Brit police. Over a few years they honed the knife to perfection. SAS adopted it in WWII and still using it. US tried to make Gerber Mark II but lowest bidder used crappy materials and it flopped. The gung ho are constructed from several available quality materials. I went with stainless blade titanium coating to decrease reflection and a skull breaker nut on the bottom. The skull breaker and titanium coating were definitely overkill, but both were free options. I rarely carry this in the US, but if I was headed to combat or some other situation I would accept no substitute. Bought for through hike of Appalachian Trail and a yearly trip on US/Mexican border.

Too heavy? Want a folder? carry one of these switchblades (http://www.switchblades.it/bin/ab.cgi/pager/main/10_cpst_5/6802-5-7518784160). Not nearly as tactically terrifying as a Ka Bar, but believe you me, when you pop that blade out the side and grin, they either pull a gun or run(never dealt with the gun, but it always crosses my mind). Knives are cheap and disposable. Available from other locations cheaper($10). I will admit out the front switch blades are better for a fight b/c they don't snag on sleeves when opening and most have a strong enough spring to open them into a person if you don't have a second to get it open before thrusting. The blade swinging out seems to keep me out of fights better though. This is the only weapon I have ever actually pulled, and on both occasions the blade snapping out was enough to deter aggression. When I was in Taiwan and Hong Kong I went and did wherever/whatever I wanted, and this style knife kept me safe. Very light and easy to slip in you pocket. I sewed a small sub pocket in the back pocket of a pair of pants when I was in Taiwan right next to my wallet. A little bigger than the knife and only about the length. Pretend like you are going for the wallet and boom.

When I go backpacking I worry about every ounce I carry. I have at times spent $10/ounce to reduce weight. I still don't try using something like a ka-Bar to handle everything. I carry two knives. A swiss Army Swiss Champ and the FS3. Swiss champ is not the best materials or price, but it has the best set of tools for a backpacker(it basically has every tool swiss army makes).

Trying to make a mixed utility/fighting knife like a Ka-Bar is like trying to make a single rifle that is SAW, DMR, and AR. As many of you know the US military loves to try this even though it is terribly ineffective. Carry a multi-tool all the time, and if you think you need a knife for defense get a knife for defense, not a crappy hybrid.

Anyone want to poke holes?

June 30, 2008, 03:02 AM
My if the defacation hits the rotary occalator knife is a Chris Reeves Project II. Great knife. Alot of people hype Busse, and Strider, but don't carry or use them in the real world. There is a small percentage that use their Busse and Striders, only take their advice on how well they work. I carried my CR while I was with the 101st Airborne!

June 30, 2008, 05:20 AM
johnwilliamson062- per the $10 autos...How can you -CENSORED--CENSORED--CENSORED--CENSORED--CENSORED- on a proven classic like a Ka-Bar and advocate something you yourself pointed out is disposable? The blade profile on those is best at nothing. Penetration effectiveness is comprimised by the narrow width and further hampered by extremely crappy steel (more likely to push aside a vessel, and if you hit bone, kiss it goodbye). You could score a liver shot but you could with a screwdriver too. Now for losing it, what happens when you get pulled over? Switchblades are a felony around here. I had one of these open in my pocket on a date once, the safety never worked from day one. These things, at least at this price level are novelties, not serious weapons.You are right on about the edge, too. Never saw anything like that. I used a diamond sharpener and got a chipped and broken edge.

There are different styles and schools of thought. It would ACTUALLY have to be life or death for me to get it on with a knife, but I favor thrusting as well, and have found the push dagger to be very natural to use. My Cold Steel model had wide belly on both sides and cut pretty good. Carries very well, but like an auto knife is illegal as hell.
Some go for a less-lethal trap and slash style, which I'm sure would leave me with a bisected bicep or wrist cut to the bone. Some study knifefighting and have a whole arsenal of snap cuts and the like. Most people are not going to carry a weapon only knife, nor would they without adequate training.
I like CS products. Good quality and design for the money. More SD oriented than most makers, and offer a lot of classic and ethnic styles used for centuries, in modern materials. They have a lot of variety and I've never been dissapointed.

I like the TOPS Tom Brown Tracker, what a ingenious design.
Was pretty impressed by the Kershaw Leek when it came out. Just as fast and effortless as an automatic, wafer thin also, and sharp-was still getting bit months after. Just got an Endura, should have got a Leek instead. My pocketknives, guaranteed lost or stolen every 6 months give or take. Sunglasses a lot less than that.

June 30, 2008, 12:46 PM
TOPS, USA made Colt's, USA made Ontario's, Timberline.

June 30, 2008, 12:59 PM
Schrade Old Timer (U.S. made) Model#250T & 153UH

Jack O'Conner
June 30, 2008, 02:53 PM

COLD STEEL Carbon V knives have the attributes I admire: Ease of re-sharpening plus ability to hold and edge. I really like the Master Hunter model. But I don't have knowledge of their newer stainless steel.

BUCK USA knives are still built right. You can purchase their grooved grip folding lockback knife for less than $60.00 ! This has always caught my eye for quality.

Marble's USA made Plainsman is another favorite.

Schrade LB7 is a sturdy lockback that is my everyday carry knife. My nephew showed me his new one by Taylor. Its made in China but I perceived same quality as my older LB7. Schrade is an old name remembered for affordable quality.


Adventurer 2
July 1, 2008, 10:38 AM
What impresses me about the Gransfors Bruks mini-hatchet is how small and useful it is. It does the job of a hatchet but it can also replace a knife. I think it is even better than a survival type knife in this niche. That is what impresses me. I own two other hatchets and I would never think of replacing a knife with either one (unless I had to).


July 1, 2008, 01:25 PM
My favorite carry and woods knife for the past couple of years has been the Benchmade Griptillian. They are under $100 and very nice. They are durable, light, and have an awesome blade. It is a great every day blade.

July 1, 2008, 02:15 PM
When I was a teenager I had an "Eye" brand pocket knife -- a 3-blade folder with a bone handle. That was my first really good knife.

My current favorite knife is a Gerber EZ-Out, bought when they were still made in USA instead of China. I bought another one for my Dad after they went to Fiskars and the knives look the same but they are not. The older USA knife was sharp as a razor out of the package. The Chinese version was only half-assed sharp. They are both hard to sharpen (stainless steel.)

I've heard good things recently about Opinel knives and I'm intrigued by them. Gonna order an OP8 and a OP6 on eBay (carbon steel, not Inox.)

July 1, 2008, 10:15 PM
"Benchmade offers a variety of nice blades."

I'll second that. I think I paid $55 for my Benchmade folder about a year ago. It's not quite up to the level of my Gerber, but that was $40 in 1970. I haven't priced a Gerber recently or know if the quality is the same as the old ones.

If you can live with a fixed-blade, no one ever went wrong with a Ka-Bar. I got one a couple of years ago for ~$50, including sheath.

I did blow $200 on an Italian-made stilleto with a damascus blade in a walnut presentation box. So far, it's just sitting in the gunsafe, unused.

I've got a couple of cheap (~$20) Maxam folders that I use every day. and they're not half bad.

Good luck to you. Knives are addictive. :)

July 2, 2008, 02:22 AM
johnwilliamson062 - holy smokes dude!
The Fairbairn Sykes Knives look awesome. Most of those knives I've seen are immitations. These are the real deal - thanks for the link :)

July 2, 2008, 01:29 PM
These ought to send them running, and they won't stick in their ribs ;)

This one's discontinued (I don't know why).


This one's old. Used to carry it as a teenager and it has actually seen a little action.

Here's an actual pic of the "cliche" tactical. It's made in Spain (my people) and this one in particular is issued to Special Operations (rare). The sheath & knife bare the same emblem; engraved into the blade.

None of these knifes ever see daylight (purely collective). I'm not trained at knife-fighting and I'm better off at pulling a trigger. At work I carry a Buck Strider SBT - it'll do in a fix.

July 18, 2008, 01:24 AM
I got it used with 3 other nice knives for $60 at a garage sale, which i realize will probably not ever happen again, but I love my Benchmade 610 Rukus. It's my daily carry, because it opens faster than my wife's Boker AK-74 Auto Knife, and with the 6" handle, it fits my hands like most don't.

July 18, 2008, 08:55 AM
How can you -CENSORED--CENSORED--CENSORED--CENSORED--CENSORED- on a proven classic like a Ka-Bar and advocate something you yourself pointed out is disposable?

Maybe disposable is a term you view as a negative. There have been a few times traveling internationally where having a knife I didn't give a crap about was very convenient.

July 18, 2008, 08:56 AM
I'll take my Ka-Bar any day of the week