Knife Suggestions?

lkThe time has come, my friends, for me to purchase a new blade. My husband and I already have a couple of pocketknives, but there’s just something about working at Blade HQ that makes you realize what a good knife looks like, and that you need to buy one.

While I have learned a ton about knives since I started working here, I still wanted to get opinions on what knife I should get. And who better to ask than you? To help you understand my needs a little better, here’s a bit of background on my preferences and what I’ll be doing this summer.

Summer Activities

This summer, I’ll be hiking, camping, and backpacking a lot. Although the air here is really dry, there will be some times when my blade might get wet, too. For example, there are some waterfalls and rivers around some of the places I’ll be going, and it is likely that I’ll have a knife on me when I’m exploring those areas. I would prefer to have a knife that won’t rust the first chance it gets because of that, but also because I might not always be able to dry off my blade right away.

When I’m camping and backpacking, I will likely have a hatchet or a larger knife with me, so my new knife won’t need to be a primary cutting/chopping tool. However, I do want something that will be able to take a fair amount of abuse.

My Preferences

I wouldn’t say that I have tiny hands, but in comparison to a man, I guess I kind of do. I would prefer to have a knife that won’t be too big for me to handle. I’m flexible on the locking mechanism for folding knives, but I really, really like liner locks and thumb studs. They are easy to use, and I feel like I have more control when using them. That being said, I’ve also liked the Spyderco knives I’ve handled, so like I said—I’m flexible.

Let’s talk money. It’s often hard for me to spend money on anything I don’t “need,” but I do want to get a quality knife. My budget is somewhere in the region of $50. Slightly above might be alright for a truly awesome knife, but I’d prefer to stay as close to my $50 budget as possible.

Color is, unfortunately, too big of a determining factor for me. I really like lots of color, and my favorite is orange (bonus points if you can find me an awesome knife that is also orange). I would love having a knife that was also an awesome color, but functionality does come first.

 

Information overload? I hope not! Any recommendations you can give me really are much appreciated. I hope you’re making time to go enjoy the outdoors with your blade as well, and I hope you have a great weekend!

20 comments

  1. Spyderco Delica 4’s are small-ish, and come in orange, blue, purple, grey, brown, and black.

    I have a blue one, and I love it. It’s extremely lightweight, and keeps a thin profile in the pocket/purse. The VG-10 steel is amazing. The ergonomics are nearly perfect.

    This video convinced me to buy mine:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O4K5iHf7GpE

  2. Sounds like skyline is in your future.
    -Comes in orange
    -can be had for under $50
    -moderate to small in size
    -Liner lock with thumb studs

  3. I would recommend either a spyderco Endura or Delica. They come in a multitude of colors. I have one of the orange enduras, and it is a brilliant orange. The VG-10 steel is very nice on the rust resistance factor, as well as holding a good edge and being reasonable to sharpen.

    The Kershaw Skyline is also a good blade, but in my opinion it definitely comes in behind the Endura/Delica.

  4. I know this is written in search of a folding knife, but for the described usage, an ESEE Candiru would work perfectly.

    If the blade must be a folder, I would suggest the Ontario RAT 1, Benchmade Griptilian, or a Spyderco Endura.

    • Tyler-
      No, that’s great- I’m definitely open to a fixed blade! I love ESEE, too. I’ve been considering an Izula for a while, and had completely forgotten about the Candiru. Thanks for the suggestion!

  5. Spyderco Dragonfly 2 now available in Orange FRN in VG-10 steel.

    I have 4 of these and love them !
    I have the Salt edition which is rust proof
    The ZDP-189 Which is crazy sharp
    ZDP-189 with Nishijin Handle
    And the Pink save the ta tas edition.

  6. I’d say the Kershaw Blur, Spyderco Delica 4, or a Mini-Griptilian are all up this alley. They’re all pretty rust resistant, have smaller handle sizes, and come in many colors. The only trouble is that they may be just out of your $50 range, but you might be able to find them there if you look hard enough. The Kershaw leek also fits the bill.

  7. You might look at some of David Boye’s offerings. I know it’s not bladeHQ, but it might have something right up your ally. They’re made for watery backcountry use, and they’re not so bad for folks with smaller hands. Granted, this is well out of your ideal budget. I think it would be exactly what you’re looking for, but the price is just north of jaw dropping, if $50 is what you’re after.

    As for the skyline or the delica, which are both easily within your budget and color choice, you won’t have to worry about the blade rusting on you, but you might get bogged down by the internals, which are not made of steels as robust as the blades. The biggest detriment to taking those knives through any kind of watery environment is when sand and grit gets into the bushings. Even after hard use on my Endura (which I absolutely love) I have to strip it down and clean it out, because it gets harder to open when gunk gets in the sides.

    Benchmade just came out with a nifty little folder called the 755 MPR. It’s made of a stainless super steel called M390. I dunno if BHQ has that yet, but at $200, it’s at least coming down to only four times more than you wanted to spend. It’s small, light, and tougher than nails.

    Benchmade also offers this nifty orange option, the 915-ORG Triage
    http://www.bladehq.com/item–Benchmade-Triage-Rescue–7817
    It’s 150, so now we’re only down to 3 times more than you wanted to spend. But ORANGE! Also, it’s made of N680, which is very comparable to the popular H1 steel that Spyderco uses for it’s rust-proof knives. So it’d handle any sort of water you throw at it. It’s also got a nice AXIS lock that’ll make one handed opening and closing easy, and a nice sheepsfoot blade so you don’t have to worry about stabbing anything important.

    Dropping down into your budget, CRKT’s orange offerings include the classic M16 line
    http://www.bladehq.com/item–CRKT-Carson-M16-13ZE-Spear-Point–11441
    And the Kommer 2-Shot
    http://www.bladehq.com/item–CRKT-Kommer-2-Shot-Orange-G-10–11428

    Neither of these are very great offerings when it comes to steel quality. But they’re servicable, and they’ll do just fine for a few weeks out of the year out in the backwoods. They’re not lifetime quality knives, but they’ll do the job you need. Also, I think your smaller hands might find them comfortable.

    Orange Delica. You already knew this existed. It’s not a bad knife by any means.
    http://www.bladehq.com/item–Spyderco-Delica-4-Flat-Ground–10397

    Dropping down to the far opposite end of the price spectrum, you might actually dig some of the Cold Steel Micro Recon knives. http://www.bladehq.com/item–Cold-Steel-Micro-Recon-1-Spear–17312
    Orange? Orange. It’s AUS-8, so take a pocket sharpener with you, because if it gets wet, it’ll probably rust a bit. But all the other parts aren’t going to corrode on you, and it’s small enough and simple enough I think you can strip it out for easy cleaning.

    The K-Bar Dozier wouldn’t be too bad. Again, AUS 8, cheap enough to make you notice, and pretty light weight.
    http://www.bladehq.com/item–Ka-Bar-Dozier-Orange-Folding-Hunter–11229

    Don’t count out Victorinox’s line, either. There’s a reason it’s a classic. If you’re only going to be gone for a few days, here’s a nifty orange outdoor knife that’s a lot of bang for the buck.
    http://www.bladehq.com/item–Victorinox-Swiss-Army-Knife-Hunter–16187

    • Wow, thanks for the response! I am open-minded to more expensive knives, so thanks for including them. And you got about a billion bonus points for all of those orange knives!

  8. It sounds to me like you want an orange Delica4 FFG. It’ll perform super well, is light and compact, VG-10 is supposed to be pretty rust resistant (I’ve never had my Endura4 FFG spot or anything). I like my blue Endura a lot, so I think it’s a great bet. The only caveat is that if your fingers don’t fit the finger rests exactly (they’re not really finger grooves at all) then it won’t be as perfect a knife. My other pet peeve about it is the ricasso that puts the cutting edge farther from your hand; but despite these two complaints, I’m still impressed by my blue Endura, and I think that says a lot. As far as a liner lock…. I highly recommend the Byrd Raven, though it’s probably not as rust resistant as you want and it might be a bit big, handle-wise, for you. Which I guess would imply the Crow would be better; but you’d still have the potential for rust. You can’t go wrong with Byrd or Spyderco–so many people don’t consider Byrd, it seems, but Byrd knives are excellent. You might be able to find a Kershaw that fits your criteria better–they have a lot of liner locks and if you don’t mind hollow grinds then your options are open. I’ve never owned one, but all I hear are good things. Actually, a last option is the ESEE Izula. It’s flat ground, comes SUPER sharp; you only /have/ to dry off and oil the edge, and it packs well since it’s so flat. I’d recommend getting some scales for it, though…but I’m apparently in a minority of people who don’t think paracord wraps are grippy. If you wrap yours, BE VERY CAREFUL IT STAYS IN THE SHEATH. I cut myself pretty badly with mine.

    tl;dr consider a Byrd like the Crow, a Delica FFG, and an Izula
    Good luck!

  9. This Schrade Extreme Survival Knife is pretty nice and under-$50.

    But if you want a nice folding knife, I have (and love) the CRKT M-16.

  10. I didn’t see anybody mention the Spyderco Tenacious yet, but for the money it is a really awesome knife that can withstand some abuse. Unfortunately it doesn’t come in anything but black, but it does have a nice robust liner lock. The steel is 8CR13MoV, which will work alright and doesn’t rust all that easily. In any case, worth considering at least.

    Hope that helps.

  11. I have a dozen or so knives most between the $50-$150 range and i have a new love. I recently got a Mora HD MG in carbon steel (also happens to come in orange AND stainless). It cost me all of $15, I forced a patina. With a maximum of 4 strokes on the ceramic stone it will shave my arm clean, holds an edge very well, has an extremely functional sheath and is just all around one of the best knives i have owned at any price. If you feel the need to spend more and you want a stainless knife, you can opt for the Mora bushcraft, comes in orange includes a ferro rod and sharpening stone on the sheath… its a steal at about $60-70.

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