Top 6 Folding Knives for 2012

Dealing with knives for a living, I have stumbled across some really interesting high quality folding knives, and some knives that I honestly don’t care to waste my time on. Let’s stay positive and take a quick look at the top six folding knives that I would use and why they are at the top of my list. I picked out an important quality that each knife holds. Each knife has a quality that I really really like; any of these six knives would make a great A-One knife. Lets start at six and work our way up.

#6: Benchmade Mini Griptilian (My favorite small EDC)

Benchmade Mini Griptilian Tanto at BladeHQ.comI chose this knife to be on my list for several different reasons. It is really light weight, coming in at just over 2.5 ounces. With a knife that light, you won’t notice it sitting in your pocket. Essentially, that is a big perk for some people when choosing an EDC.

Another great thing about the Mini Griptilian is the materials that come with it. 154-CM steel is one of the most solid steels out there to this day. The 410 stainless liners improve the strength of the handles so you can have a light knife that is still solid.

My total selling point when first introduced to this knife was the price. You can pick one of these up for under $100.00! You can’t seem to come across high quality knives made from top manufacturers for that price now-a-days.

#5: Spyderco Manix 2 83mm (My top EDC)

Sypderco Manix 2 Folding Knife at BladeHQ.com

I chose this great blade due to it being one of the most user friendly knives that I have came across. Whether you like to whittle wood or you are looking for something that can withstand with an extreme amount of hard use, this is the knife for you.

The first thing that I noticed about this knife is how comfortable it is to hold. It almost feels like it’s an addition to your hand more than something your hand would hold. The choil is one of its best features. There is jimping almost throughout the whole knife: They aren’t too aggressive, but just enough to promise a firm grip.

From the 154CM steel on the blade to the ambidextrous use of the knife (including the pocket clip), this is one of the toughest knives that Spyderco has produced. There are several other reasons as to why this knife is in my back pocket almost daily.

#4: Hogue EX01 (Best ergonomics)

Hogue EX01 Drop Point Folder at BladeHQ.com

Hogue is fairly new to the knife world, but they came blasting through the door with guns blazing. Some gun collectors out there might recognize the name. They started out making pistol grips. When you think about a gun, who wants one that is uncomfortable to hold? Not me. Comfort and ergonomics are what their known for when it comes to grips. Hogue transitioned almost seamlessly from grips to knives: Hogue Knives has perfected the comfortable knife.

The handles are made of G-10 that Hogue refers to as “G-mascus.” They put a piranha texture on the handles for a much better grip. Even when this knife is wet, it is going to be hard to drop it. There is a manual and automatic version of this knife. I prefer the manual over the automatic.

The blade is made from 154-CM steel. Making it a very durable blade with a razor sharp edge. Hogue offers this knife in a drop point and tanto style blade with heavy stonewash.

#3 Spyderco LionSpy (Best hard use)

Spyderco LionSpy Folder at BladeHQ.com

This is a collaboration knife between two huge knife manufacturers Spyderco Knives and Lion Steel Knives. Some might say it has some of the best designs you could look for in a knife. It looks like the SR-1, but has some Spyderco features like the Spydie hole.

This is a knife that can take some abuse. From the solid RotoLock mechanism to the high quality Elmax PM 170 steel on the 4.5mm thick blade, you can trust this knife to come through for you. The handles are CNC machined perpendicular to the blades length to ensure a nice solid grip on the knife.

Some might say this is a gentleman’s carry, but has features that are undeniable for a hard use knife. I guarantee this knife is made and designed to be put to hard use.

#2 Chris Reeve Sebenza 21 (Best design)

Chris Reeve Large Sebenza 21 Folding Knife at BladeHQ.com

I chose this knife for best designs for obvious reasons. The knife has features that every single person looks for in a knife. The one thing that might not suffice to some is the dual thumb lugs. However, they do have a model that has that feature.

Not only is it user friendly, but you can also get left handed models of this knife. The pocket clip is ambidextrous and is intended for tip up carry. If you are like me, tip up carry is a huge selling point.

The Sebenza 21 is intended to look good in any situation. Several collectors that I have met with have at least one model of the Sebenza in their collection. Recently Chris Reeve Knives (CRK) had the 25th anniversary edition come out; it very quickly sold out everywhere. I ensure you this is a knife that you won’t regret getting your hands on and is well worth the money.

#1 Strider SMF (Solid knife)

Strider SMF Folding Knife at BladeHQ.com

Strider Knives did a really good job designing such a sturdy knife. This knife will last through any endeavor that you decide to embark on. It’s very comfortable in your hand and has smooth functionality. Whatever task you set for this knife, it will not fail you.

With an easy steel to work with like CPM154, you can keep your edge sharp easily and work with it in the field if needs be. However  you most likely won’t have to work to keep your edge sharp: this steel suitably holds its edge.

The handle is made of two parts. The bottom being solid titanium frame lock with the really cool heat striping finish. The top is a really rough textured G-10. Jimping is strategically placed around the handle to provide a firm hand on the knife.

The simplicity of this knife is so perfectly lined up to produce a rock-solid knife. It might be pricey, but it’s a buy I guarantee you will not think twice about if you ever get your hands on one.
Quite frankly, if you are looking for a folder to add to a collection or something more specific in a folder, I definitely recommend any of these knives.