View Full Version : Do I really need a $60 folder?

Jack 99
July 17, 2000, 02:37 PM
I was looking at some nice folders at the local gunstore the other day in the $60-$100 range and the cheapo in me couldn't help but wonder if I couldn't get away with a $15 knife. I would only be using the thing once, at most twice, in the most dire of circumstances. If I need a blade for anything else, I'll use the Leatherman or other pocketknife.

What do you guys think? Is $60 worth it for a knife I'll probably never use? Do I really need that much "quality"?

July 17, 2000, 03:28 PM
Hello Jack 99,

Well, a lot depends how you feel about expensive knives. Who is the maker? Will it be used as a work knife or a keeper? Will it likely appreciate in value in the coming years?

I have been collecting knives for a long time and have a sizeable collection. The original Gerber Paul knives made in the 70’s cost about $30 and are now selling for 10 times that amount, if you can find them. Chris Reeve “Sebenza” (Zulu for work), Barry Wood, Randell, Boker and many other well-known maker’s knives will always be worth more than what you paid for them in the future.

At a show last year I picked up two S&W baby autos, stag sides, selling for $175 each. The dealer cut me a deal because I am a semi-regular customer. I have never really opened the factory wrapping and they remain in their boxes, untouched to this day. If S&W bites it, their value may sky-rocket for collectors in the years to come.

As I have always been fascinated with the different methods, styles, and materials used in folders, I am a self-admitted blade addict. Let your own conscience guide your decision. Good luck.


Mike in VA
July 17, 2000, 08:27 PM
As with most tools, you get what you pay for. Depending on it's intended use, a $15 folder for knock-around, beat-around use makes sense. If you're going to fight with it, well, I'd go for something with a lot more beef and reliability. I like Benchmades alot (have three), but for a good value that comes close look at CRKT. No-name stuff may be fine for your tool- or tacklebox, but for yourpocket in a strange place w/ strange people, get something decent and work with it to the point that you can open, close and otherwise handle it reflexively. stay safe, M2

July 17, 2000, 08:42 PM
A great all round blade and a serious self defense/offensive pocket folder that is not too expensive,my vote would have to go to Spyderco Endura!

July 17, 2000, 08:44 PM
MAINE HARDBALL is above poster.

Jack 99
July 17, 2000, 09:48 PM
I guess I wasn't clear enough.

This knife would just be a last-ditch save your bacon type knife for daily carry.

Why would I need something expensive? Especially when it'll only be used once or twice at most? Will the $15 knife really not be up to snuff?

July 17, 2000, 11:06 PM
If I were to rely on a folder for self-defense, it would be a $60 knife. Specifically, the large size CRKT Crawford Kasper Fighting Folder. I bought my first one near retail, at $55. The second, and its smaller version too, at only $30, via the web. Check it out!

July 18, 2000, 10:43 AM

Give us a link to where you got them for $30, please. I want one or two of these myself.


If your looking to government for the solution, you obviously don't understand the problem.

July 18, 2000, 11:18 AM

By that logic, would you carry a Lorcin? :)
Yeah, you might get a shot of two out of it, but maybe you won't.

As the price point goes up, you're going to notice some things change.

there's a difference between the steel used in a $10 knife and a $100 knife. The difference between a $50 and a $100 may not be as appreciable. I like the ATS-55/34 or CPM440-V, but I don't think the object being cut will know the difference. Edge holding, corrosion resistance, and ability to sharpen well should be factors. You don't want something to sit in your pocket and have it rust out (especially if you live in a humid/tropical area where the air is salty.)

Handle materials.
You can either go with a Zytel/Fiberglas Reinfornced Nylon(FRN), G10, Carbon Fiber, wood, stainless, titanium... etc...etc.

I have no problem with Zytel, and it will certainly lower the price of your knife. I find stainless and carbon fiber to be a little too slippery. You also have to consider that the conditions this knife will be used in may not be optimal for keeping a good grip (wet from rain/blood, etc)

Your defense knife should have a good, solid, lockup. You don't want vertical or horizontal play, and you don't want to be able to cause the lock to fail by either squeezing the handle hard (white knuckle test) or by slamming the spine of the blade on a table (for liner locks) Dealing with folders means dealing with moving parts, which is just bound to bring Mr. Murphy into the equation. This is the best reason to justify a more expensive knife.

I would echo the suggestion of some others and recommend the Spyderco Endura. If you have smaller hands, try the Spyderco Delica. Both have FRN handles, ATS-55 Steel, and lock back devices. You should be able to find one on the net for $45

If you want to go up a step from there, try the Benchmade AFCK ($85).. If you want to go up another step, there's the BM 710 ($100) (Axis Lock) or something from Round Eye Knife and Tool (REKAT ~ $120-$150)

Whatever you get, practice, practice, practice. Especially drawing the blade quickly. Always carry it in the same pocket, and don't put change in that pocket (can get stuck in the knife, DOH!)

http://www.combattech.com/ has some good training stuff, and is as good a place to start as any other.

good luck, and let us know what you decide to go with.


[This message has been edited by TomMarker (edited July 18, 2000).]

July 18, 2000, 11:19 AM
Last ditch use of a knife. I don't know about you but if I am down to a knife that means I have used all my ammo or my gun/hand is out of action for some reason. That knife is the only thing between me and a long dirt nap. I want the best I can get. You put whatever price you want on your last ditch tool to save your live. Might as well carry a Raven .25 too, hell they're cheap. Might not save your life when you need it though. But you are right, might never need it. It is up to you, just don't count on someone else saving your butt. It is up to you. Put as much or as little into it as you think it is worth.

"Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag and begin slitting throats." H.L. Mencken

July 18, 2000, 12:20 PM
I guess I don't think $60 is a lot for a combat knife...that sounds like a spyderco or cold steel price range.

Is the knife the only weapon you will have? Or will you have a gun or two?

If the knife was the only weapon I would spend a bit more and carry at least two knifes. The primary would be 4" or 5" Cold Steel Voyager with something a little smaller for "backup" Or a pair of Delica's or Endura's

July 18, 2000, 12:47 PM
Check out bladeforums.com or knifeforums.com for advice aplenty. My $.02 (I really miss having the 'cents' symbol !) - - for $30-40 you can't go wrong with Spyderco Endura/Delica (my everyday). For even less (<$30), you can get one of CRKT's new offers on the 'net (Point Guard, Kasper/Crawford). One of these will likely be my next purchase. haven't heard a bad word yet about them, and the folks at BF.com are brutal when it comes to testing/reviewing folders.

July 18, 2000, 12:52 PM
By the way, I've been a long time knife lover, but a longer time cheapo. I have a drawerful of $5-10 knives, and just gave in recently to start shelling out a little more ($40) for a couple differnt Spyderco models (Delica, G10 Rookie). the difference in quality of steel and construction is very noticeable. You would be well served and not feel like you wasted any $ by getting one of my above choices, or a Benchmade or Cold Steel Zytel models. Be forewarned - this can turn into an expensive habit !

Jack 99
July 18, 2000, 05:08 PM
I think I'll check out something in the $30 range. That sounds more like it and it seems I can get something decent.

Thanks guys.

July 18, 2000, 06:31 PM
OK, the dealer that had them on sale is www.cumberlandknives.com (http://www.cumberlandknives.com) Don't know what he has them for now.
TomMaker, and the rest: Check out this review thread: www.knifeforums.com/ubb/Forum18/HTML/000441.html (http://www.knifeforums.com/ubb/Forum18/HTML/000441.html)
You don't NEED to spend an exhorbitant sum for a decent, strong, safe knife. :)

July 19, 2000, 09:47 AM
thank you for reminding me about the kasper/crawford fighter.

i myself am a spyderco fan, so my answers are usually pretty biased :)

the only non-spyderco blade i carry on a regular basis is a BM AFCK, which has the Spydie hole :)

sometimes for fcun, i carry the vaquero grande :)

George Hill
July 20, 2000, 01:25 PM
If your not really a knife guy - but just want a decent pocket knife for general teeth picking and stuff...

I recomend the Spyderco Native.
Also, I suggest taking a look and Gigand knives. They are generally around 33 bucks and are quite nice as well. If Benchmade produced these knives - they would sell for over 80. www.gigand.com (http://www.gigand.com)

Glenn E. Meyer
July 20, 2000, 09:54 PM
I used to carry a Benchmade CQC-7 or an AFCK.
However, a class convinced me that the placement of the thumb opening on Delicas was better for self-defense.

Also, the first two just ate up my pants pocket.

Another factor for the medium price knife rather than the expensive folder is when you are riding in the rear of a jeep across the hill country of TX at night after jack rabbits and big bump and the $$$ hurtle into the night.


July 20, 2000, 10:54 PM
If this knife may be a last resort let me say that it is REALLY IMPORTANT that it function WELL!!! Kinda like motorcycle helmets . Got a $10 head ? Get a $10 helmet .
I carry a Gerber Combo Tool . I used it a bunch when I was driving long haul truck . It served me well . It was well worth the $50 or so I paid for it . If it had broken when I needed it the sour taste of failure would outlast the sweet taste of low price . You get what you pay for .
Many good knives are used by hikers and other outdoor affectionados that equate weight to waste . One good blade will serve you well and for a long time .
Good luck in your choice .


July 22, 2000, 12:26 AM
go to knifeforums.com, ask this question there also. and look in the for sale forum on knifeforums.com there are alot of good deals in there. i got a NIB spyderco harpy with g10 scales for 40 bucks.
i also got a NIB outdoor edge large impulse for 30 bucks, they are around 55 retail.
hang out there for awhile in all the forums on knife forums, like the riddle of steel and the tactical lady and the general knife discussion room you will learn what you want to about knives in a very short time. also they guys and girls, over there are good folks, like here. go there, pick up some good info, profit from it.
i have and you will too.

July 22, 2000, 02:37 AM
Well, I carry a Buck Odyssy pocket folder. Sorry i don't see spending 200 dollars on a pocket folder myself and I am NOT flaming anyone who does but a good quality knife that is sturdy, sharp and keeps a good edge doesn't have to cost the same as a pistol.
It's not as if you are going to stick a BG and have him be like "oh that's a cheaper knife.."
People tend to want to substitute high price for pricelss knowledge of good tactics which are really much more important IMHO ;)
Again, I am not flaming anyone.

"what gives a government that arms the whole world the right to disarm it's own citizens?"

Hard Ball
July 22, 2000, 02:43 PM
I went through a similar decsion process last year and ended up buying an Emerson Commander folder. It cost me @ $160 but is a superb design and very well made. I figure if I ever have to defend myself with a folder I want it to be a damned good one.

July 26, 2000, 08:35 AM
I just got my Crawford/Kasper. It is the large size with the combo edge. It is larger than I expected. I have been carrying a Spiderco Endura and the Craw/Kas is significantly larger and heavier. This is a very nice knife. The balance is great and the action is smooth. The lock up with the safty is very secure. The only thing that disappointed me a little was the "Taiwan" stamped on the blade. I may order the smaller version to carry when I am wearing dress slacks.


If your looking to government for the solution, you obviously don't understand the problem.

Bob Locke
July 26, 2000, 09:40 AM
I own a Cold Steel Voyager with a straight edge and Tanto point. Best folder I have ever owned. And you can get them for about $55-60.

In my book, I don't want to be guessing if it gets down to blade-work at close quarters. A friend of mine (former SpecWar guy) pointed out to me a week or so ago that if you're close enough to cut your opponent, then he's also close enough to cut you. I want a good knife with a great piece of steel for a blade that will hold a razor's edge to make the cutting as effective as possible with as little effort expended on my part as I can.

Besides, you're going to have this knife for a long, long time unless you get rid of it. Why not spend the extra little bit of money for a quality piece?

July 26, 2000, 10:21 AM
Do you believe in Murphy's Law?
Even when you're well prepared with the best equipment,stuff happens. When it hits the fan,and your life is on the line, you do not want to stake your life on equipment that is less than 100% reliable.
If you're willing to stake your life on it,how about your wife or kids? Your choice.
Ever been to the range when even your always gun went "click?" because the ammo you used had a hard primer? and your firing pin didn't quite set it off?
Good luck.