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Want to know how to choose a good knife? That’s easy. Don’t buy crap! Here are some good knife brands by type, quality and price. This is a quick “short list” of brands I would go with when choosing a good knife. Brands I’ve personally used in the field, and brands I have owned in the past or own now.
First and foremost is practicality. No one wants a knife that doesn’t do the job. Forget it. If you’re going to by a cheap knife then you deserve what you get. Broken blades, dull edges, bent or broken tips, a knife that doesn’t hold an edge, and worst of all, a knife that’s not dependable is a dangerous knife.
Knives that dull easy (caused by softer cheaper steel or steel that’s not been tempered correctly because of shoddy manufacturing) are a danger. The old adage that “a dull knifes cuts more people than a sharp one” is true. It’s true because when using a dull knife you have to press harder and use more force to cut, and this causes slippage and many times results in the user getting cut. The cause for this is simple, either A) the person bought a cheap knife or B) they didn’t take care of their knife. There is no other reason that matters.
The simple rules are as follows.
Don’t buy a cheap knife!
Take care of your knife!
Take care of your knife!
Following these two simple rules will go a long way to making sure you are prepared when you have the need for a good knife.
Without further ado, here’s the short list of knife brands I recommend based on quality, price, type and practicality.
(Note: this list is my opinion based on decades of outdoor and survival experience, and ultimately my personal preference based on my experience in the field.)
Folding Pocket & Tactical Knives:
***** Benchmade = $50-$200+ (hands down the best manufactured pocket knives IMO)
**** Spyderco = $30 to $200+ (lots of inexpensive quality models as well as higher end knives)
***** Victorinox = $30 to $100+ (your traditional Swiss Army knife)
*** Buck = $30 to $100+
**** Case = $30 to $100+
*** CRKT= $20 to $80+
*** Gerber $20 to $80+
Fixed Blade & Survival/Utility Knives: Good quality practical
**** KaBar = $40 to $200+
**** Camilllus = $40 to $100 on average
*** SOG = $40 to $100+ (used be be good, older SOG are better)
*** Cold Steel = $40 to $200+ (used be be good, older are better)
***** Leatherman = $40 to $150+ (Awesome tools!)
*** Gerber = $40 to $100+
As a rule, a good knife is perhaps the most important tool in your life’s arsenal of tools. NEVER EVER trust a cheap knife. Period. It could literally mean the difference between life and death. Especially in a survival scenario.
Don’t spend money on cheap knives. A knife is a tool, and if you buy cheap tools, you get cheap results. You get what you pay for. If you’re going to trust a knife to do the job, why buy a cheap knife.
When buying a knife consider what you will use it for. Get a good all round knife. One you’ll carry on you at all time, a good pocket knife is best for this. If you’re an outdoorsman or own a farm or ranch, both a pocket knife and a good fixed blade knife is a must have.
Buy a knife for what is can do for you, not what it looks like or how pretty it is. Practicality is the number one thing to consider.
A “good knife” is one that does the job for a long, long, long time.
A good knife that does the job and lasts a lifetime is priceless.
It’s really that simple.