Cold Steel Recon 1 Knife Review

Cold Steel is a company that I have always had an affinity for. Their knives are very impressive and have even featured in a number of well known movies. The company was founded in 1980 and is based in California. They are a well known company amongst knife enthusiasts and most of their offerings receive high critical praise. They are known as producing good quality mid-level knives and many of their offerings can be classified as the everyday carry knives (EDC). The Cold Steel Recon 1 is one of the most popular knives released by the company and it is my pleasure to provide this review of the Recon 1 to my readers today.

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Cold Steel Recon 1 with clip point blade

Important Specifications and Features

The most important thing that potential owners need to know is that this knife comes in a wide variety of models. There is the micro, mini, standard and extra large (XL). Each size comes with 3 blade choices; clip, spear or tanto.

FeatureMicroMiniStandardXL
Overall Length4.3" (10.9 cm)7.1" (18.03 cm)9.3" (23.6 cm)12.25" (31.1 cm)
Closed Length2.3" (5.8 cm)4.1" (10.4 cm)5.3" (13.4 cm)6.75" (17.1 cm)
Blade Length2" (2.5 cm)3" (7.6 cm)4" (10.1 cm)5.5" (14 cm)
Weight1.2 oz (34 grams)3.6 oz (102 g)5.3 oz (150 g)8 oz (226 g)

Blade material: AUS-8A stainless steel
Approx Price: $40-60

My Impressions and Review

Blade

The blade is pretty standard for a knife at this price point. It is made from AUS-8A stainless steel that has been heat treated and quenched. This material is used for many pocket knives and it is certainly not a high quality steel. That being said it is suitable for most everyday applications and means that the knife is a little bit cheaper to purchase. The three blade styles (clip, spear or tanto points) really come down to personal preference, but Cold Steel is best known for the tanto blade. I really like the tanto and the clip point blade and can happily recommend both models. The spear point blade is not really useful for my needs, but it is really good to have the three blade options. The blade edge comes in plain or partially serrated, and again it is good that customers have this level of choice.

Recon 1 with tanto bladeThe blade is coated with a black “Tuff-Ex” finish which the company says will prevent rust and provide lubrication while cutting (I must admit I’m not exactly how this works). This treatment gives the knife a really awesome military look and it is quite pleasing to look at. The treatment is also designed to cut down glare, which would be useful in hunting and military operations. The coating seemed pretty resilient but, and keep in mind I am always concerned about scratching any coating, I did notice some minor scratches after moderate use.

Sizes

For a mid budget knife it is surprising that Cold Steel offer so many options in the Recon 1. The various sizes offer blade lengths from just 2 inches through to 5.5 inches. The smallest knife, the micro, is not something that interested me, but for a beginners knife or around the house utility knife it would be a perfect choice. I found the XL model a little big for my needs and I found myself drawn to the standard size offering. The weight and size of this model was more comfortable for me and would made a perfect knife for many situations. That being said, the mini offering is also a very capable model in this capacity.

Handle

The handle is made from a non-slip material and is ergonomically designed with comfort in mind. I had no trouble with this knife slipping in my sweaty hands and it was also very comfortable to use for all the different tests that I put it through. The handle also features G-10 laminate scales and these are just perfect for increasing grip. This is a really well thought out design and I can see why this knife has been so popular. The knife also features high strength fasteners and spacers, which look well designed and should handle a lifetime of use. The Recon 1 also features an ambidextrous pocket clip and thumb stud. The pocket clip is super strong and I can confirm that it holds on in any situation!

Mechanism

The Recon 1 features a Tri-Ad locking system and this mechanism features a newly designed stop-pin device that is touted by the manufacturer to be immune to failure. This is a bold claim, but I can report that it works really well and the blade is held safely in place without any signs of failure. The only real downside with this new system is that the secure lock can be difficult to disengage when the knife is new. However, I can assure potential buyers that this problem dissipates with use.

Useability and Care

This is a great all round knife in the mini and standard sizes and the choice of blades mean that there is an option for almost any cutting task. There is absolutely no blade play in the model that I have been testing, which is a fantastic result for a knife at this price. Sharpening the blade is relatively easy and it holds an edge to a satisfactory level.
A Cold Steel knife unfolded.

Cost/Pricing

The cost varies between the many different models, but you can expect to pay about $40-60 for a standard model. This is a genuine bargain at this price and Cold Steel could easily be charging in excess of $100 for this premium knife. There have been some compromises to achieve this price, such as the use of AUS-8A steel, but it is a definite buy in our opinion. There is almost nothing else on the market that compares to the style and quality of the Cold Steel Recon 1 in this budget class.

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Conclusion and Rating

The Good: A solid, functional and sturdy knife that performs really well. Heaps of models, styles and blades to choose from. Great handle. Fantastic locking mechanism!
The Bad: AUS-8A steel is only just OK. Lock can be difficult to disengage when new. The blade coating does scratch.
Wrap up: Fantastic knife and if you are looking for a knife in this budget then this needs to be on your short list.
Rating:
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Spyderco Delica 4 Review

The Spyderco Delica 4 is a stylish offering from the well known knife manufacturer Spyderco. I have made no secret of the fact that I own a number of knives from the company (I have also reviewed the Spyderco Tenacious before) and I am impressed with every one of them. I am an active fisherman and my everyday fishing knife is a Spyderco. The company is based in Golden, Colorado and was founded by Sal Glesser who developed the C01 Worker. Today, there are numerous different models and the Delicia is one of the oldest and most popular knives. The Delicia 4 is an update of an old favorite and I was so happy to get my hands on this one to review. Let’s find out if it holds up to my high expectations and from what we have all come to expect from a fine knife company!

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A Spyderco Delica 4 Blue pocket knife in the open position.

A striking design and a great little knife. This is just one of the colors available.

Important Specifications and Features

Overall length7.12 inches (18.08 cm)
Closed length4.25 inches (10.79 cm)
Blade length2.87 inches (7.29 cm)
Blade materialVG-10 stainless steel
Weight2.5 ounces (70.87 grams)
Approx. PriceAbout $50-60

My Impressions and Review

Blade

The blade of the Delica 4 is made from VG-10, which is a higher-quality Japanese steel that was originally designed by Takefu Special Steel for the kitchen knife market. However, pocket knife manufacturers soon learned that this steel was perfect for use in their products. Some of the features of the steel that make this perfect for a pocket knife include; high quality rust resistance, ability to hold a super sharp edge and ease of sharpening. Spyderco, along with rival manufacturer SOG, uses this steel for a number of their knives.

One of the main negatives of this knife is the optional titanium carbon nitride blade coating. This gives the blade a great tactical black appearance, but this coating is too easy to scratch and this black coating will eventually wear off. In fact, with only moderate use I noticed scratches and marks on the coating. This does not affect the quality of the steel, but it does detract from the overall look. I wouldn’t recommend this coating to prospective buyers.

The knife features a flat grind drop point blade. This means that the blade is perfectly suited to both slicing and dicing and is capable of cutting just about any material. The blade of this knife is super sharp right out of the box. Sharpening this blade is quite easy and the blade gets super sharp. However, it doesn’t retains an edge as well as other types of steel.
Spyderco Delica 4 in brown color.

Dimensions

The dimensions of this knife make it a perfect everyday carry knife (EDC). It weighs just 2.5 ounces, which is much lighter than a number of the more expensive EDC knives on the market. Of course, to have a knife that weighs so little means that there will be some sacrifices. The blade length is just 2.8 inches long and this will put some people off. The Delica 4 features a quad mount pocket clip (this means that it can be carried tip up or down as well as for a left or right-handed carry). It also features a lanyard hole for those who prefer to carry the knife this way. The knife also comes in a number of colors, including pink, purple, brown, green and blue.

Handle

A pink Spyderco Delica 4  in folded position.

Pretty in pink!

The knife handle is made of a material called fiberglass-reinforced nylon (FRN) and it has liners made of stainless steel. The FRN material is textured and provides perfect grip for a knife handle. This knife is comfortable to hold in any conditions and I experienced no slipping during use. I really appreciate the overall ergonomics of this knife.

Mechanism

As you would expect from a Spyderco knife, the mechanism of the Delica 4 is superb. The blade opens smoothly and easily and, with the addition of the trademark “spyder hole” thumbhole, one-handed opening is a breeze. The locking mechanism works really well and keeps the blade locked in open and closed positions.

Useability and Care

The knife is perfect for many cutting tasks and is a great all round option for those that require an EDC knife. Some users have reported some vertical blade play when using high levels of force, but I couldn’t replicate the problem with the knife that I tested. The VG-10 is relatively easy to sharpen, but I was a little disappointed at its ability to hold an edge. You can expect to sharpen this knife more often than other models. The handle and blade are held together with Torx screws so you can disassemble the knife for cleaning or maintenance. The weight of this knife makes it perfect for an EDC and It is so light that I sometimes forgot that I was carrying it. The pocket clip is lower quality than I expected (some users have reported breakages), and some users feel it rides a little high in the pocket.

Cost/Pricing

Considering the high end steel and high quality construction you could expect to pay close to $100 for this knife. However, the fact that you can pick up a Delica 4 for under $55 is truly amazing. This means that you are getting a high quality knife for a relative bargain. It is for this reason that we can happily recommend the Delica 4 to prospective buyers.

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Conclusion and Rating

The Good: Lightweight and easy to carry, great high quality steel, very sharp.
The Bad: Some users report small vertical blade play under high exertion of force. Stay away from the optional black coating. Pocket clip could be improved.
Wrap up: This is one of the finest EDC knives that you can own and despite having high quality features it remains affordable. This one is knife that you must check out!
Rating:
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Benchmade 710 McHenry and Williams Knife Review

If you are a regular reader of this site you will know that we are huge fans of Benchmade knives. After all, this quality US knife manufacturer has been churning out some of the best quality knives on the market since they were founded in 1988. They make knives to suit just about anyone and they produce a vast majority of models. Despite this, there is a constant focus on maintaining the very best quality manufacturing standards. Our testing of their knives, especially the Benchmade Griptillian, has left us feeling impressed every time and we are hoping that the Benchmade 710 lives up to our high standards.

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Benchmade 710 pocket knife

Important Specifications

Overall length: 8.8 in (22.4 cm)
Closed length: 4.9 in (12.4 cm)
Blade length: 3.9 in (9.9 cm)
Blade material: D2 semi-stainless steel
Weight: 4.5 oz (127.6 grams)
Approx Price: under $150

My Impressions and Review

The Benchmade 710 in my hand.The Benchmade 710 is also known as the McHenry and Williams because it was designed by the well known designers Bill McHenry and Jason Williams. It has a very simple yet elegant design that will please most people and it certainly isn’t flashy. Some will describe this as a tactical knife, but it certainly doesn’t have the traditional tactical knife look. The Benchmade 710 is aimed at outdoor and sports enthusiasts, although it is certainly at the larger end of the scale. It is a little bigger than the full-sized Griptilian, but it is still suitable as an EDC knife. The knife comes packaged in a small box with instruction manual and draw string bag.

The blade on this knife is 3.9 inches long and is made from D2 steel. This is a very hard steel that is well-known for retaining a great edge and resisting wear. It is classified as a semi-stainless steel, but it is still resistant to corrosion. The blade on the 710 rates at 60-62 on the Rockwell scale and this will mean that it will keep the sharp edge for a long time. The downside to this is that there may be some problems with brittleness and it may be difficult to sharpen. However, the heat treatment used by Benchmade ensures that these shortcomings are not going to be a problem for most users.

The modified clip-point blade is not serrated and the grind is hollow. It is perfect for slicing and the shape of the blade also makes it good for thrusting and piercing. As you would expect from a quality manufacturer this blade is super sharp right out of the box.

The mechanism is the AXIS lock system that is similar to the Griptilian. This is a fantastic system and gets plenty of praise in the knife community for being one of the best mechanisms on the market. This locking mechanism is easy to operate and provides a very smooth action. This knife feels secure and you can be sure that it isn’t going to open or close by accident. This knife shows no signs of blade play, which we were suitably impressed with. The deployment of the blade is also easy and it features ambidextrous thumb studs. This knife certainly has one smooth and swift action!

The knife in a folded position.The handle of this knife is made of G-10 and it features extra grip. This material is fantastic for knife handles because it is durable and will be able to withstand most conditions. However, I did find the handle to be a little bit slippery with sweaty hands and I would’ve liked a little bit more grip. The handle also features a reversible stainless steel pocket clip and a lanyard hole. Unfortunately, Benchmade has left out the option to carry this knife in the tip down position. This knife is very light considering its size and it can be comfortably carried around without causing any intrusion.

Cost/Pricing

This knife is priced outside the budget knife market and is pushing towards the high end of the market at under $150. However, this is a high-quality knife and I believe that this price can be justified. It offers great performance and is manufactured to a high standard. I genuinely believe that it is a knife that can last a lifetime. This price will put the knife out of range of budget buyers, but anyone that can stretch their budget a little bit further will be very happy with this offering from Benchmade.
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Conclusion and Rating

The good: Great mechanism, super sharp (and strong) blade that maintains an edge and great simple design .
The bad: The price may put some people off. Handle grip in the wet. Blade steel can be hard to sharpen.
Wrap up: This is one of the best EDC knives that you can buy. It is an all round top quality pocket knife. If you can afford it you should definitely consider the Benchmade 710!
Rating
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Buck 110 Folding Hunter Knife Review

Buck Knives began in Kansas in the early 1900’s. A blacksmith’s apprentice, Hoyt H. Buck, was trying to find a better way to temper steel to improve its ability to hold an edge. His testing led to the first Buck Knife ever produced in 1902. Today, the company is well-known for producing high-quality folding and fixed blade knives. These knives are known for having a timeless and classic design, while still being very effective and useful knives. It was the introduction of the Buck Model 110 Folding Hunter in 1964 that further propelled this company, and this knife went on to became a classic. Today, this knife is almost as popular as it was when it was first released and it is our privilege to review this classic lockback knife.

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The Buck 110 Folding Hunter

Important Specifications

Overall length: 8.75 in (22.2 cm)
Closed length: 4.88 in (12.4 cm)
Blade length: 3.75 in (9.5 cm)
Blade material: 420HC stainless steel
Weight: 7.2 oz (204.1 grams)
Approx Price: under $50

My Impressions and Review

The handle of the Buck 110.The first thing that you notice when you set your eyes on this knife is a classic and elegant design. The dark wood handle features quality brass bolsters, which are a nice addition. The dark wood compliments the sleek blade and it has the appearance of being a tough and rugged knife that can handle anything.

This knife is not what I would consider to be lightweight. In fact, it’s actually quite heavy and you will certainly be aware that you are carrying it. The knife comes with a leather sheath and it is not designed for a pocket clip. I would not recommend this to someone looking for an EDC knife. The added bulk does add a solid and sturdy feeling while you’re using it, and this was a nice feeling.

The Buck 110 features a semi-hollow ground blade with a clip point shape. This blade is made from 420HC stainless steel and the high carbon content of this knife steel does improve corrosion resistance of this blade. The special heat treatment that Buck uses on this blade is really the number one reason why it performs so well. It is very suitable for hunting and skinning and this was the reason that the knife was created in the first place. The main drawback of this blade is that it is not as sharp out of the box as some of the modern folding knives that utilize higher quality steel.

The handle is made of Macassar Ebony wood and the edges have all been smoothed so it is comfortable to hold. This wood is extremely rare and there is a good chance that Buck will have to switch to a different wood in the future. The knife feels very solid in the hand and the extra weight is actually a good thing while you are using it.

The locking mechanism of this knife is a rear lockback design and Buck were one of the first companies to produce this type of mechanism. There are some complaints regarding this mechanism because it doesn’t hold up to the more modern designs, but testing has shown that this system is still one of the best locking mechanisms available.

When reviewing or using a knife like this it is important to remember that it is a classic. This knife has remained popular for so long because it performs in the field and you can rely on it to perform every time. Of course, some of the more modern knives have probably overtaken the Buck 110 Folding Hunter, but you can’t put a price on 50 years of quality service!

Cost/Pricing

This knife can be purchased for less than $50, which really makes it a bargain. In our opinion this knife would suit a collector or enthusiast, but it would also be a very capable knife for outdoor use for someone on a budget.

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Conclusion and Rating

The Good: Classic and elegant design. Very sturdy and solid. Inexpensive.
The Bad: Weight – this is not an EDC. The blade does not hold an edge as long as some of the more modern knives and you will need to maintain it to keep it sharp.
Wrap up: This is a classic knife that everyone should have in their collection. It is a quality knife that will last you a lifetime.
Rating:
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SOG Flash II Pocket Knife Review

SOG Specialty Knives was established by Spencer Frazer, who is a knife designer from California. The idea for his company came from the jungles of Vietnam. The name of the company comes from the Studies and Observation Group, which was a special operations unit during the Vietnam War. This unit used a specially designed type of bowie knife during their missions. Frazer decided to try and re-create this knife with his company and it became a very popular. In fact, SOG became the official knife brand of many military forces around the world. We at bestpocketknifeadvice.com have come to expect the very best when we come across this famous brand. Today we are going to review the SOG Flash II, which is a favorite EDC tactical knife of many people.

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The Flash II from SOC.

Important Specifications and Features

Overall length: 8 inches (20.3 cm)
Closed length: 4.5 inches (11.4 cm)
Blade length: 3.5 inches (8.9 cm)
Blade material: AUS-8 stainless steel
Weight: 3.1 ounces (119 g)
Approximate Price: Under $50

My Impressions and Review

The SOC Flash II in folded position.The SOG Flash II is the bigger brother of the SOG Flash I, which is also a popular folding tactical knife. The first thing that impresses about the Flash II is the weight. It is a fairly large knife at 4.5 inches in the closed position, but weighs just over 3 ounces. This means that it can well be considered an EDC knife. The blade is made from AUS-8 stainless steel with an impressive satin finish and fully flat grind. The blade is a simple, yet elegant, drop-point design. The quality of the blade is top notch and it is very effective at a number of different cutting tasks. Overall, it is a great knife for everyday needs as well as tactical or combat situations.

The main downside of the blade is the stainless steel, which is high quality, but not the higher end steel we would’ve liked to see used for this knife. That being said, it is quite easy to sharpen and will hold its edge fairly well. The blade also comes in a partially serrated edge for those that prefer this option.

The deployment of the blade is spring assisted by SOG’s patented Assisted Technology. It opens really fast and is very smooth as well. The safety lock feature prevents the blade from opening accidentally and this is a really nice addition, especially for those who are going to be carrying this around all the time. The blade is nice and tight with some minor side to side blade play, which can be adjusted (but not removed) to suit your preferences.

The choice of handle material is fantastic and it helps to keep the weight of this knife on the low side. It is fiberglass reinforced nylon, which is better known as Zytel. This is a very tough material and you would have a hard time to damage or break it. It really will handle the toughest of conditions and you will be able to put it through hell. The main downside of this material is that it doesn’t have as much grip as some of the other handle materials on the market. However, it is commonly found in the low to mid range knives because it is a cheap material with great performance. The handle also features a reversible pocket clip, although these positions only offer tip-up orientation.

The SOC Flash II in my hand.The handle feels excellent in the hand, although it may be a little chunky for some people’s tastes. It does sit well in the hand and I did not experience any slipping while I was gripping the knife with sweaty hands. It is comfortable to use for any period of time and it really is a very versatile knife that is perfect as an EDC.

Cost/Pricing

Considering the materials and construction the price of the SOG Flash II is hard to believe. You will be able to pick up this knife for less than $50, which in our opinion is an absolute bargain. It is for this reason, along with the quality of the knife, that we are happy to be able to recommend the Flash II.

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Conclusion and Rating

The Good: Affordable (especially considering the excellent quality), lightweight, great looking design, very good ergonomics.
The Bad: Small amount of blade play.
Wrap up: This is our new gold standard in tactical EDC knives within this price range. This knife from SOC should definitely be on your short list.
Rating:
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Kershaw Ken Onion Leek Knife Review

Kershaw are a quality knife manufacturer known for introducing a number of important innovations into the industry. They are also known for producing uniquely styled and quality knives in a number of different categories. They back up their products with a Limited Lifetime Warranty, which means that you can expect a Kershaw knife to last a lifetime. I have been impressed with almost every Kershaw knives that I have ever owned. At last count I have 10 different models and each one is a top quality knife that I am proud to own. That being said, even though I hold this company in high regard, I expect any knife that holds their name to be top quality. On top of this Ken Onion is one of the most celebrated custom knife makers in the industry so his name brings an added prestige. Let’s find out if the Kershaw Leek series stands up to my scrutiny.

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Kershaw Leek Folding Knife

Important Specifications

Overall length: 7 inches (178 mm)
Closed length: 4 (102 mm)
Blade length: 3 inches (76 mm)
Weight: 3 ounces (85 grams)
Blade Steel: Sandvik 14C28M stainless steel
Blade Edge: Partially serrated or plain
Approximate Price Range: $30-60

My Impressions and Review

Kershaw Leek designed by Ken Onion.As soon as you take this knife out of the box you can tell that it is a well-designed knife made from quality materials. The handle design is extremely ergonomic and the mechanism on this knife is first class. The handle is made from 410 stainless steel and comes with a pocket clip that can be configured to tip-up or tip-down and on the left or right depending on your preference. The handle is also ready for a lanyard if you prefer to use your knife this way. The main downside in the design comes from a usability point of view. The lack of texture on the grip and the polished stainless steel can make this knife hard to hold in the cold or wet.

The Kershaw Leek is a total of 7 inches in length when opened and 4 inches when closed. The blade is 3 inches and comes in smooth and partially serrated options. It is described as a modified drop point blade, and the shape of the blade on the Leek will not impress everybody. The cutting edge is excellent and this knife would be suitable for most general uses. The blade is made from 14C28M stainless steel, which Kershaw worked with Sandvik to produce as an upgrade to the 13C26 steel (which some users didn’t like). I believe that this steel is an improvement and the mix overcomes some of the shortcomings of the 13C26 formula. This steel is designed to hold an edge while being very easy to sharpen. However, as you probably know this combination has been very difficult to achieve for knife manufacturers over the years so I look forward to seeing how it will fare in the future. For the short time I have been using it I have found that it has held its edge well and sharpening certainly didn’t feel like a chore.

The blade features a thumb stud and, together with Kershaw’s patented SpeedSafe locking mechanism, provides for quick and easy opening of this knife. The spine of the blade also has Kershaw’s Flipper, which allows you to move the blade out of the handle even more easily. As you would expect the frame lock on this knife is super secure and the blade feels really secure during use and when it is followed. A Tip-Lock slider is used to lock the blade in the closed position when folded.

Kershaw certainly haven’t let down the Ken Onion name with the Leek series, as this knife definitely incorporates the quality materials and fine level of craftsmanship that this company is known for. It is a superb everyday carry (EDC) knife and has very little that lets it down. That being said, I am not a fan of stainless steel handles and this is really what lets the Leek down in my opinion. Apart from that, this knife should be on anyone’s short list.

Cost/Pricing

The Kershaw Leek series ranges in price from about $30-$60 for the standard model. Upgraded models can cost up to $100, but there is a knife to suit anyone in this range. It is priced in the middle of the market where it has lots of competition from other quality knives, but I genuinely think that it is well worth the cost.

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Conclusion and Rating

The good: Great mechanism, ergonomics, great blade (at this price point).
The bad: Stainless steel handle without texture for grip
Wrap up: This is a top quality knife and is suitable for knife collectors, outdoors enthusiasts and the budget conscious as well. If you are searching for a knife at this price point then the Kershaw Leek definitely needs to be on your short list.
Rating:
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Spyderco Tenacious Knife Review

Spyderco is a Colorado based knife manufacturer that is known for the many innovations they have brought to the industry. They are also renowned for trying something a little different, and many times they pull it off successfully. I have owned a few Spyderco knives over the years and I have been very impressed with most of them. This is why I was really looking forward to reviewing the Spyderco Tenacious – a budget knife that promised great performance. I was a little disappointed with the last budget knife I reviewed and I was hoping the Tenacious could make me a believer again. Let’s find out if it lives up to my tough expectations.

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The standard Spyderco Tenacious pocket knife.

Important Specifications

Overall length: 7.75 inches (197 mm)
Closed length: 4.4 inches (112 mm)
Blade length: 3.375 inches (86 mm)
Blade material: 8Cr13MoV stainless steel
Weight: 4 ounces (113 grams)
Approx Price: under $40

My Impressions and Review

A Spyderco Tenacious knife in the folded position.This knife features a modified drop point blade that is non-serrated (although serrated blade and combo blade options are also available). The blade has been ground flat from the spine to the cutting edge .The blade is made from 8Cr13MoV stainless steel , which is a mid range Chinese steel with added chromium for corrosion resistance. This is the type of blade we would expect to find on a knife of this price. However, don’t be put off by the Chinese made blade as this is a very decent blade for the price. The blade is quite broad and the unique leaf blade shape is perfect for most regular tasks and could even be used for light hunting. It is easy to sharpen, but the steel is quite soft so you will need to be regularly sharpening this knife. That being said, the blade features great cutting performance for a knife in this price range. The only real downside that I could find was some slight side to side blade play. I would rate this as a great blade for a budget EDC knife.

The design of this knife really impressed me and it reminds me a bit of a tactical knife. The blade features the typical large “Spyderco Round Hole” and jimping on the spine which both provide easy opening and finger positioning for slip proof use. There is no assisted opening mechanism which makes opening this knife singlehanded a little more difficult, but it is possible with practice. It certainly isn’t a deal breaker, although it would have been a nice addition. The blade is well secured and it feels very secure when it is in the locked position.

The handle on this knife is made out of G10 laminate and this material is fantastic because it can handle being knocked around a bit without scratching, cracking or chipping. I think this is a better choice than the stainless steel handle used in the Kershaw Cryo, which is priced at a similar point to the Tenacious. It also means that this knife is fairly lightweight and can be comfortably carried around all day. The handle come pre drilled for a lanyard and a pocket clip can be attached to either side and with the tip up or down (basically a four way pocket clip). This is a really great feature for a budget knife! The handle has great ergonomics and is really comfortable to hold, they have definitely put a lot of time into creating a really great handle.

Cost/Pricing

Spyderco has long been known for their quality knives and although the Tenacious is aimed at the budget conscious it is still a quality knife. The MRRP of this knife is approximately $60, but you can easily pick up this knife for under $40 at the right retailer. This makes the Tenacious a genuine bargain for a budget EDC knife!

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Conclusion and Rating

The Good: Affordable, great handle, decent blade. Very high quality design and construction for the price.
The Bad: Soft blade steel, a small amount of blade play.
Wrap up: My review of the Kershaw Cryo showed that most budget knives have to sacrifice on quality somewhere along the line. The same can be said of the Spyderco Tenacious, but I believe that the Tenacious is a superior knife. It is a must buy for those searching for a budget knife and would make a great second/spare knife for anyone. Spyderco should be congratulated for making one of the best budget EDC knives on the market!
Rating: {rating}

<<Click Here For Customer Reviews of the Spyderco Tenacious!>>

Kershaw Cryo Knife Review

Kershaw Knives is one of the best known knife manufacturers around the world. The company began in 1974 and has since been known for their quality knives and innovation. They produce a wide variety of knives – from tactical knives to everyday kitchen knives. One of my first pocket knives was a Kershaw and I am proud to say that it remains one of my favorites to this day! That is why I was so excited to receive the Kershaw Cryo for review. It certainly looks the part, but let’s find out if it meets the high standards I have come to expect from this company.

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The Kershaw Cryo

Important Specifications and Features

Overall length: 6.5 inches (16.5 cm)
Closed length: 3.75 inches (9.5 cm)
Blade length: 2.75 inches (7 cm)
Blade material: 8Cr13MoV stainless steel
Weight: 4.2 ounces (119 g)
Approximate Price: Under $40

My Impressions and Review

The Kershaw Cryo took out Blade Magazine’s Best Buy of the Year award in 2012 so I was super excited to put this knife through its paces. However, I started reading more reviews while I was waiting for it to arrive and noticed quite a few negative reviews from users. This left me puzzled and I just had to test it out for myself.

The Cryo is designed to be an all purpose EDC knife and at about $40 it is really targeting the low end of the market. Although this isn’t necessarily a bad thing I have had some bad experiences with “cheap” knives in the past. The Cryo looks like a much more expensive knife, but it doesn’t take long to start to spot some of the short cuts that allow this knife to be priced in the lower end of the market. Firstly, the 8Cr13MoV steel used in the blade is a Chinese all round budget steel. The blade holds a decent edge, but is a little soft for my taste. This does make sharpening easier, but you will need to resharpen this knife more often as well. This knife does suffer from some blade play, but it isn’t enough to make it a deal breaker. All of that being said, this blade is very decent when you take the price tag into consideration!

The design of this knife is what most people will be attracted to. The size makes it a great EDC knife and it will be suitable for many general applications. The weight of this knife was surprisingly heavy for the size, but you must remember that it is made entirely out of stainless steel. Another nice design feature is that the Cryo has an open design to allow water to flow through the body. This makes cleaning the knife a breeze.

A partially folded Kershaw Cryo.The spring assisted deployment mechanism is fantastic for a knife in this price point. The blade opens fast and without resistance. For some reason Kershaw have included thumb studs and a flipper arm, but most will choose the flipper arm because it works so well. The blade locks into place with a framelock mechanism and it does feel very secure indeed.

The handle is solid and is constructed of titanium coated stainless steel. It gives the knife a great look, but it isn’t quite as nice to use. I happen to be a sweaty individual and I found that the knife didn’t quite feel right when my hands were wet. I am going to try and use this knife in the rain to see how it feels (I’ll keep you updated). The handle is easy to grip, despite being a small knife, and I would imagine that only those with the largest of hands will have any negative issues. I may have some personal complaints, but you cannot argue that this is one of the sturdiest handles in the low end of the market. The pocket clip can be mounted on either side and this is a nice feature for a budget knife.

Cost/Pricing

There is no escaping that this knife is affordable at just under $40. Unfortunately, the knife suffers from the efforts to reduce the cost, but it would still make a perfect first pocket knife, budget EDC knife or spare knife. If you are on a budget this is one knife that should be on your short list.

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Conclusion and Rating

The Good: Affordable, small, great looking design, good construction (for the price), good size for EDC.
The Bad: “budget” blade, weight, blade play, stainless handle.
Wrap up: A very decent “budget” knife with a few deficiencies. It deserves a close look if you have a tight budget, but if you have a little more to spend there are better options.
Rating: {rating}

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Update: Kershaw are planning on releasing an updated model of the Cryo (called the Cryo II). I am looking forward to reviewing this model and finding out if they can improve on the original.

Benchmade Griptilian Knife Review

The Benchmade Knife Company is one of the most popular manufacturers of sporting and utility knives in the world and also claim to produce more than 90% of their products in the United States. The Griptilian from Benchmade is one of their most popular knives and has earned a positive reputation with enthusiasts and experts alike. After reading many other positive reviews I was excited to put this knife through its paces and see if it managed to wow me as well.

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Griptilian Models and Variants

Before I start the review I should mention that the Griptilian comes in a wide variety of models and two distinct sizes.

There are three standard size Griptilian knives:
A standard size Benchmade Griptilian.
Model 550HG – modified sheepsfoot blade featuring thumbhole
Model 551 – drop-point blade
Model 553 – tanto blade

The Mini-Griptilian knives also comes in three models:
The Mini-Griptilian by Benchmade
Model 555HG – modified sheepsfoot blade featuring thumbhole
Model 556 – drop-point blade
Model 557 – tanto blade

Important Specifications

The standard Griptilian models feature:
8.07” overall length
4.62” closed length
3.45” (86mm) blade
3.82oz (115g) weight

The Mini-Griptilian models feature:
6.78” overall length
3.87” closed length
2.91” (74mm) blade
2.56oz (73g) weight

Other key features that are found on both models include
Blade Steel: 154CM (standard), D2, N680, S30V
Blade Coating: Black or satin
Blade Edge: Partially serrated or plain
Handle colors: Many available including black (standard), hot and light pink, green, neon, white, blue (royal and light), orange, olive and many more.
Price Range: $60-100

My Impressions and Review

Firstly, I have to admit this is my first review so please cut me some slack. However, I have been collecting knives since my Dad presented me with my first pocket knife when I became a man (ok… It was actually when I turned 13 with a face full of acne and arms like matchsticks).

My first impressions of the Griptilian were certainly positive and it remains one of the most sturdy knives I have ever held. The build quality really is top notch and you can easily tell this knife is a standard above the cheaper mass produced models sold by other manufacturers. The knife is also unbelievably light in the hand considering how sturdy it is. I carried the Mini-Griptilian on my belt and hardly noticed it was there!

Benchmade have done their research and the two size are perfect are a perfect complement to each other. The smaller mini size is a quality knife that is perfect for carrying around all day and the standard size is a genuine heavy duty knife that can be used for a variety of situations, but is still comfortable enough to carry around. Whichever model you choose they really are the perfect EDC knife. Benchmade also offer such a variety of customization options that will keep almost everybody happy.

The blade on each model is high quality premium stainless steel and comes sharpened on both sides out of the box (this is one of the sharpest blades I have ever encountered out of the box). It remains sharp even after being put through some minor abuse and it is covered by Benchmade’s lifetime sharpening service. The blade rates 58-61HRC on the hardness scale and can definitely take some punishment.

The handle features a unique polymer glass-reinforced grip which is comfortable to hold and provides resistance to slipping. The ergonomics of this knife can be summed up in one word – awesome. It fits well into my (standard) sized hand and I think that it would be comfortable in all but the largest or smallest of hands.

A Griptilian knife being folded.The stand out feature of the Griptilian knives is the patented AXIS locking mechanism, which is exclusive to Benchmade. It is advertised as a 100% ambidextrous design and I can confirm that my left handed friends were amazed how well it worked. In terms of the quality of the mechanism the knife always opens smoothly and the hinge action makes it easy to flip open the knife with a simple flick of the wrist (after the lock is pulled back of course). The blade is held securely when it is folded. The lock and hinge mechanism are of the highest standard and this really is the stand out feature of this knife.

The knife features a pocket clip, which can be mounted on either side. There is also a lanyard hole for an alternate way of carrying this knife. It does not come with a sheath, which is a little disappointing, but Benchmade do sell many sheathes that will suit the Griptilian knives. The knife also comes with cleaning instructions and tells you when the knife requires lubrication. They also advise frequent sharpening to keep the blade in great condition.

Cost/Pricing

The full size model Griptilian comes in just under $100, which is at the high end of the market. However, Benchmade list this as one of their “Blue Class” models to show excellence and quality so we can expect to pay a little more. It is hard to argue with that definition and I would agree that it is worth paying a little bit extra for a knife of this quality. The blade and amazing AXIS locking mechanism make this a bargain in the high end folding knife market.

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Conclusion and Rating

The good: Great mechanism, ergonomics, handle and a super sharp (and strong) blade.
The bad: The price may put some people off. Clicking noise when knife is opened may put off hunters and anglers who rely on complete silence.
Wrap up: This is one of the best knives I have ever used. If you can afford it you should definitely consider the Griptilian!
Rating – 5 stars!
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Benchmade 940 Osborne Design Pocket Knife Review

There is no doubt that we rate Benchmade knives very highly. The company has been producing high quality knives since it was founded in 1988. It is well known for using quality materials and ensuring that each knife adheres to their strict quality standards. The 940 has been a well loved knife for many years, and that is why our expectations for the, Warren Osborne designed, Benchmade 940 Osborne were so high. We want to share with you our first thoughts and experiences of this knife, along with the positives and negatives that we have found along the way. Read on to find out more about the Benchmade 940.

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Benchmade 940

Important Specifications and Features

This knife comes in a few different varieties and has a number of options available for a straight clip-point blade including premium and super premium stainless steel, carbon fiber handle scales and other additional features.

Overall length7.87 inches (20 cm)
Closed length4.47 inches (11.4 cm)
Blade length3.4 inches (8.6 cm)
Blade materialS30V stainless steel
Weight2.9 ounces (82.2 grams)
Approx PriceAround $200

My Impressions and Review

The Benchmade 940 pocket knifeThe Benchmade 940 features a 3.4 inch blade that is best described as a modified reverse tanto (a clip-point blade is also available). It has a closed length of 4.47 inches, and as a fully opened knife has an overall length of 7.87 inches. Amazingly this isn’t much longer than the Benchmade Griptillian Mini!. It certainly isn’t a huge knife, but we were impressed with the size which makes it a very suitable option for an everyday carry (EDC) knife. In addition to this, the knife weighs a measly 2.9 ounces. This is outstandingly light and you can almost forget you’re carrying it. The pocket clip allows for tip up or tip down carry and is reversible for left or right handed users.

The blade is another outstanding part of this knife and Benchmade has chosen to use S30V premium stainless steel (a super premium option for S90V is also available), which is a top line knife steel. It is capable of holding an edge even after months of usage and it is fairly easy to sharpen as well. The handle is made from aluminium with full stainless steel liners and a titanium backspacer. The pictures do not do this knife justice as it is a seriously good looking knife.

As you would expect this knife features the patented Benchmade AXIS locking mechanism and this is one of our favorite features of the Benchmade product line. The mechanism is bulletproof and provides a solid lock, but still allows for one handed opening and closing. The Benchmade 940 comes with an ambidextrous dual thumb stud opener and one-handed deployment is a breeze.

The design is top quality, as you would expect from a knife in this class, and it is one of the best balanced knives we have ever used. The anodized aluminum handle provides ample grip and is very comfortable to use for any casting task. I am well-known for having sweaty palms, but I have never had this knife slipped from my grip. The all metal construction may be an issue in the wintertime or in cold regions, but a pair of gloves should solve that problem.

Being the perfect size for an EDC knife, we tested it out in most everyday conditions. We used it for everything for cutting packages open through to cutting rubber tubing when making repairs to our vehicle. It coped well with everything we threw at it. We then took it on a weeklong camping trip and used it for everything from cutting rope to chef’s duties. This knife is capable of almost any casting task that you can throw at it and people have been known to cut metal objects with this knife (we don’t recommend actually doing this).

There are two small drawbacks with this knife that have been mentioned by some owners. The first is the paint on the pocket clip, which peels easily (we can confirm this). This is a real disappointment for a knife of this quality and price point. The pocket clip also seems a bit big for a knife of this size. The second problem that some have reported is the pivot screw working loose after multiple openings and closures. We cannot confirm this ourselves, but there have been enough cases to suggest that this can be an issue for some users. Benchmade will happily correct this problem, but if you are comfortable with maintaining your own knife it is an easy enough problem to fix.

Cost/Pricing

Benchmade 940 in fully folded position with the blade locked.The Benchmade 940 Osborne has a MRRP of $200+ with two of the higher end models selling for $310. However, this is only a guide price and many people have reported finding the 940 for under $180. At this price this knife becomes a super buy for anyone looking for a premium steel, high quality everyday carry knife. The knife is tried and tested and you can be sure that this Warren Osborne designed knife is worth the money. On the second hand market the knife ranges from $100-200, but as with all second hand products you should ensure that that the knife has been well maintained and cared for, and is in good condition before making a purchase.
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Conclusion and Rating

The Good: This is a high quality knife that can be used for just about any cutting task imaginable. The solid locking mechanism is superb. It is one good looking knife!
The Bad: Pocket clip size and paint chipping.
Wrap up: The very best knife we have used in this price range. It is our new favorite knife in the $150-200 range. If you are searching for an EDC knife at this price point then you should definitely consider the Benchmade 940!
Rating:
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