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Old May 4, 1999, 02:37 PM   #1
Mike Spight
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Ok, here I go again, asking for advice. I don't know much about folding knives other than it's a good idea to have one with you at all times...I lost my Gerber LST last September while TDY in Korea. I know I need a good folder (I've owned a Randall Mod 14 [one of the greatest fixed blade, all around fighting knives ever made, IMHO] for about 20 years) but want to borrow on what I've discerned to be the high level of expertise on this forum. So far, I've figured out this much:

1. I don't want to spend over $200.00.
2. Blade length must meet FAA requirements as I spend a lot of time on airplanes (I believe there is a 3.5" limit on folders).
2. Go with spear point or tanto...Advantages/disadvantages of each?
3. Steel type? I hear ATS-34 (or equivalent) is the HOT set-up...what do you say?
4. Serrations on blade or not...and why or why not?

Emerson Knives (Redondo Beach CA) sent one of their catalogs, and I like the specs (and price range) of their products. The CQB-7 lists with a 3.3" blade and is available w/spear point or tanto type blade. What's the poop on his knives?

All advice will be greatly appreciated.
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Old May 4, 1999, 03:05 PM   #2
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The Cold Steel Voyager series are worth looking at. The AUS 8A stainless steel blades measure from 1.75 to 5 inches. You also have a choice of having either a clip or a tanto point. The handles are made of Zytel with a nifty clip so you could put it in your back pocket. You could visit the Cold Steel website at
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Old May 4, 1999, 04:20 PM   #3
Joe 543
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Be careful about FAA regulations! I don't know the exact stipulations, but, "threatening" is one of them. I was stopped at the gate because I had a "threatening" two inch "serrated" blade.......

So, unless its plain vanilla, your going to have a tough time.
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Old May 4, 1999, 04:39 PM   #4
Mike Spight
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Alpha/Joe 543: Thanks for the info...Joe, you've raised a good point. I'd hate to spend $150 on a good folder w/a blade length that meets the written FAA requirements, only to have some twit make a judgment call over what constitutes a "threatening" vs. a "non-threatening" folder.
Is anyone else able to expand on Joe's point? That maybe why my old Gerber LST was never challenged...single edge, no serrations and only a 3" blade (maybe only 2.5").
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Old May 4, 1999, 05:09 PM   #5
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There's hundreds of choices available, many below the price range you mention.

Check out Spyderco or Benchmade, but everyone has an opinion on this.

The people on (TheFiringLine's sister site) will be more than happy to add their two cents here.


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Old May 5, 1999, 11:22 AM   #6
Mike in VA
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For comparison shopping, the Knife Center of the Internet [] has a wide selection o many of the more popular brands, decent prices, too. FWIW. M2
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Old May 5, 1999, 10:30 PM   #7
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Joe hit it on the head,"threatening" is determined by the boarding security, no
"serrated" blades or portions of. Pilots and crews must also abide. Hope this helps.

Good Luck,
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Old May 7, 1999, 05:58 AM   #8
Join Date: October 14, 1998
Location: Ft. Lauderdale, FL
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1) You'll be able to find plenty of folder for under $200.
2) FAA/airline stipulations often become very arbitrary, as a knucklehead with little pay or training is usually staffing the station.
3) One sided chisel grinds and geometric tanto points aren't so hot for cutting tasks, though they're fine for defensive work. The curved belly of clip and spear point designs is preferable for utility, as they make cutting tasks easier by presenting more continuous blade surface.
4) ATS 34 is the standard steel for production folders, and provides an adequate compromise between edge holding, corrosion resistance, and general toughness. There are some other steels that work better than ATS 34, but include limitations from the standpoint of maintenance or expense. ATS 34 will do.
5) Serrations are nice if you're working around fibrous materials - rope, fabric, etc. A combo edge blade will accomplish many tasks for you. Downside of serrations is that they require special equipment for sharpening.

Ernie Emerson's knives are extremely popular, and his designs are practical, robust, and well executed. You may find his Raven clip point folder or Specwar clip point to be worthwhile. I'm not a fan of the chisel grind designs. The CQC7's handle profile is functional, though they pale next to the Specwar and Commander handles, which are extremely comfortable and well designed. For the dollar, you'll also find the Spyderco Endura or Delica to be of high value -- for $35 or so each, you can afford to have a few and not worry about losing them.
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Old May 7, 1999, 09:25 AM   #9
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I like the spyderco's myself and use the delica almost exclusively anymore....full of the reason is there warranty....this knife has been replaced 3 different times at no cost except the postage to ship back to spyderco.....if you are unable to acquire the knack of sharpening the serations--spyderco will sharpen said knife free, and as already mentioned they are inexpensive. There is also the combo blade or just the plain cutting edge, so options are available.....fubsy.
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Old May 7, 1999, 11:17 AM   #10
Mike Spight
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Hilton/fubsy, et al: Many thanks for the good advice. I appreciate it very much. Will let you know later which one I go with and my impressions.

Regards, Mike
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Old May 8, 1999, 08:33 PM   #11
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The REKAT Carnivour is also worth checking out.
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Old May 8, 1999, 11:40 PM   #12
Join Date: April 6, 1999
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Ahh.. something i can actually give feedback about.

Try the Starmate from spyderco, it's coming out soon. I'd avoid anything from REKAT though, the carnivour is the most benign looking but still rather "threatening."

Microtech mini Socoms are nice. 3 and an eigth blade lenght. 154-cm blade steel. And they come in colors.

Also at bladeforums, (not sure if its a possibility) but theirs a forum commemrative knife that's bright blue and not threatening at all.

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Old May 12, 1999, 09:23 PM   #13
Byron Quick
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My Spyderco Navigator is nice. Available with and without serration. I chose without because of the chumps who might whine about 'em. Also, the price is right. If some cop or security guard decides he just cannot survive another day without confiscating my knife for his collection, well, it's not worth so much I have to fight him for it
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Old May 13, 1999, 10:04 AM   #14
Mike Spight
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Spartacus: That's sound wisdom!
Thanks bud!
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