Gerber Knives 10th Anniversary 06 Auto

This time on Spotlight Series we’re highlighting a little something for our military and law enforcement friends: Gerber’s 10th anniversary edition of their 06 Auto folder. This beefy, rugged knife was built in the USA, right out in Portland, Oregon, and celebrates the design’s anniversary in style with exclusive OD green handle scales.

As with all versions of the 06, the first thing you notice on this model is the unique shape and of the large handle. You’ve got a couple of large finger guards and two very pronounced finger indents, which contribute to ergonomic, safe handling. The top guard doubles as a thumb ramp, with a stretch of jimping providing that sense of control in precision cutting. At the pommel is a large striker or glass breaker, which features a lanyard hole large enough for 550 cord or webbing. It also sports a reversible pocket clip, enabling left or right side, tip up carry, and designed to let the knife sit high in the pocket for a quick, easy draw.

The blade is deployed with a push of the oversized release button, which is easy to find and activate even with gloved hands. The deployment is not the fastest auto action I’ve ever seen, but it’s responsive and quick nevertheless, launching the blade out with a satisfying thunk that gives the whole package a really formidable feeling. The 06 features your basic safety switch, red means it’s ready to fire, the other way means you’re safely locked up.

The blade on this model is a solid 3.8″ drop point made from S30V stainless steel. Typically you see the 06 in a combo edge, but this one is a basic plain edge. The stonewash finish looks very nice in combination with the OD green handle scales, and there are some markings on the side to denote the tenth anniversary this model celebrates.

All-in-all, Gerber Knives has commemorated their beloved 06 Auto in the best possible way – by offering up a sturdy and stylish new version of the knife that will serve you in the field for years to come. To learn more about this knife, click here. To see our entire inventory, visit knifecenter.com

SOG XV71 X-Ray Vision Folding Knife

This time on Steal of the Week we’re going to check out the SOG XV71 X-Ray Vision, a capable folding knife with a few unique features. SOG’s guiding principle in the design of this one was “tactical and practical,” which is really apparent when you look at the knife’s clean lines and easy functionality.

The best thing about this model is the totally ambidextrous build. The blade is deployed by dual thumb studs, it’s got an ambidextrous version of the ARC lock, and the pocket clip is reversible, allowing for left or right side, tip up carry. The pocket clip is SOG’s deep-carry bayonet style, which lets it sit nice and low in the pocket for an unobtrusive, comfortable carry. It’s still pretty rare to see a knife that is completely ambidextrous without any features excluded for the lefties, so that’s a welcome design feature for sure.

Ergonomically speaking this is a very sound design, as well. The taper of the handle not only feels comfortable, but it also gives you a pretty ideal cutting angle. Combine that with the pronounced thumb ramp and this is a super solid knife for your serious cutting tasks. The handle is manufactured from glass reinforced nylon, making it both lightweight and durable.

Being a righty the ambidextrous elements don’t appeal all that much to me, but as a serial fidgeter I really appreciate the variety of opening methods offered by this model. You’ve got the aforementioned dual thumb studs, which you can activate with either your thumb or middle finger for a quick and easy deployment. A secondary option is to pull down the ARC lock, and snap the blade in or out with a flick of the wrist. When it comes to opening this knife you’re almost spoiled for choice.

The blade here is a full 3.75″ of bead-blasted VG-10 stainless steel, though there is also a 3″ variant available. It’s a combo edge with some really heavy-duty serrations, and a tanto tip, making it excellent both for slicing and for piercing.

All-in-all, SOG has taken a terrific basic design, made it super friendly for lefties, and built it out to the nines with some solid materials and great Japanese manufacturing. To learn more about this knife, click here. To see our entire inventory, visit knifecenter.com

Zero Tolerance 0620 Emerson

This weekend our special is an awesome collaboration between Ernest Emerson and Zero Tolerance, the 0620 folder. Emerson’s utilitarian, tactical design paired with ZT’s top-notch American craftsmanship has produced an admirably rugged folding knife, so let’s check it out.

Design-wise this looks exactly like what you’d expect from an Emerson design, especially the G10 version. That G10 face scale and the patented wave opening feature on the blade instantly scream Emerson. These are precisely the kind of stout, sturdy workhorse folders Emerson is known for.

This knife sports a razor-sharp tanto blade made from Elmax stainless steel with a black powder coating. Handle is large and comfortable, with the G10 scale and a long stretch of jimping providing a really secure grip. The back frame is titanium with a bead-blast finish, and the sturdy frame lock keeps the blade safely locked in place. As nice as the G10 version is, I prefer the carbon fiber variant with its two-stone stonewash/satin blade, which is manufactured from a premium grade Carpenter steel.

Deployment is handled by either the ambidextrous thumb stud or the wave feature. The benefit of ZT’s construction is a much smoother action than is typical with an Emerson. The large, deep-carry pocket clip enables both a secure hold and a smooth draw, and can be positioned for either left or right side, tip-up carry.

All-in-all, Emerson and ZT are two of the finest knife makers in the game right now, and the 0620 admirably pulls together their best traits to make a knife that is well worth carrying. To learn more about this knife, click here. To see our entire inventory, visit knifecenter.com

Kershaw 1318KITX Starter Series Pack

This time on Steal of the Week we’ve got another one of Kershaw’s Starter Series Packs, this time with a little bit of a fun twist. Typically these kits are bundles of two knives or a knife with some kind of tool, but in this case the knife is accompanied by a set of Kershaw playing cards.

Obviously the main attraction here is the knife, which is worth the price on its own. As is typical for the Starter Series this is an all stainless steel construction with a nifty blackwash finish. The full steel build puts this one on the heavy side for its size, but that gives it a hefty, secure feeling in the hand. The handle shape is very ergonomic and fits the contours of the hand nicely, the only downside I can maybe see is that you feel the pocket clip against your palm a little bit, but it isn’t all that noticeable. The clip is equipped in the right-side tip down position, with the bayonet style enabling a deep, secure carry.

The blade is deployed by way of the flipper, which is very easy to snag thanks to its ample size. This knife features Kershaw’s proprietary Speedsafe assisted opening mechanism, so you know exactly what kind of snappy, responsive action you’re going to be getting. The blade is a 3.25″ drop point with a hollow grind, held ably in place by the sturdy stainless steel frame lock.

The playing cards in the kit are pretty standard, with a minimalistic scratched steel pattern and the red Kershaw logo on the back. It’s a pretty attractive set, and a nice change of pace from the kinds of things you usually see bundled with knives. If you’ve been putting off your dreams of being a street magician or card shark this may be just the kick in the pants you need.

All-in-all, this Kershaw kit offers up a perfect everyday carry flipper and the cards are a fun bonus, so for under $20 you really can’t go wrong. To learn more about this kit, click here. To see our entire inventory, visit knifecenter.com

LionSteel KUR Flipper

This week on Spotlight Series we’re taking a look at LionSteel’s new KUR line of flippers. This Michele Pensato design has awesome ergonomics, a sleek appearance, and even manages to offer up a surprise or two.

Looking at the knife, the design is very similar to last year’s TRE flipper series. The KUR is quite a bit larger, with an overall length of 8.27″ as opposed to the TRE’s 6.89″. The KUR’s beefy frame makes it feel very substantial in the hand, and the overall shape of the handle lends it outstanding ergonomics. The index finger milling on the presentation scale is an especially nice touch. There’s also some pretty rugged jimping up on top that lets you really lock your thumb in.

Deployment is managed using the flipper, and the IKBS ball-bearing system gives it a pleasantly snappy action. The flipper isn’t ultra responsive, so you need to press down with some authority to get the action you want. It’s definitely satisfying, and leaves little danger of accidental deployment. The blade is a drop point manufactured from Sleipner stainless steel, coming in at 3.43″. LionSteel is always good about making their liner locks nice and sturdy, and the KUR is certainly no exception.

For the aesthetically-minded among us, there are a lot of great style options to choose from in this line. Most of the models feature a stonewash blade finish, but there are two that have a tactical black stonewash finish, available with either black or brown G10 handles. The stonewash blade finishes come with black, orange, or OD green G10 scales, as well as two aluminum handle variations. The first is a basic black, and the second also appears to be black at first blush. But what you’re looking at is metamorphosis aluminum, which features a special heat-sensitive coating. Under normal room temperatures it’s a black handle, but once it hits over 73 degrees Fahrenheit it starts to change to a bright camouflage pattern. I’m not sure if there are any practical applications to this, but it’s an undeniably cool feature and the first of its kind.

All-in-all, the KUR series was manufactured with LionSteel’s unparalleled Italian craftsmanship, and they’ve augmented an already great design by offering up a staggering amount of variety, including an innovative new handle technology. To learn more about these knives, click here. To see our entire inventory, visit knifecenter.com

Kershaw Thistle

This weekend our special is the Kershaw Thistle, a robust EDC folder with a twist. This knife is highly affordable, highly ergonomic, and highly creative, so let’s see what it is that makes it so different.

Contrary to what your suspicions may be, the button is not for automatic deployment. This is strictly a manual opener, with the dual thumb studs providing an easy, responsive deployment using either the thumb or middle finger. It’s not a mindblowing action but it’s satisfying and quick. With the blade extended our big weird button now comes into play.

The blade is held in place with a liner lock, but you don’t deactivate it in the typical way. If you look in the handle here, a press of the button disengages the liner lock for you and lets the blade close down. This will take a little getting used to, I know the first few times I went to close the knife I instinctively reached over for the liner lock and was momentarily confused. You’ll also want to note that once you move the blade a little you can let go of the button. If you try to hold it continuously the other liner will actually block the blade and you won’t be able to close it down. It’s a different system, but once you wrap your head around it it’s pretty intuitive.

Beyond the exciting button situation, the Thistle is a really solid all-around knife. The handle is Zytel with the Kershaw K textured over it to enhance grip. It’s got an ergonomic shape that feels just about perfect in the hand and provides you with great leverage and a nice cutting angle. Pair that with the monster belly on the 3.25″ drop point blade and the Thistle delivers some terrific slicing performance. Another nice thing about this knife is that if you can get used to the push-button lock the whole package is very lefty friendly, thanks to the aforementioned dual thumb studs and a reversible, tip-up pocket clip.

All-in-all, the Kershaw Thistle is about as affordable as EDCs can get without sacrificing on functionality and performance, and the unique locking mechanism is just icing on the cake. To learn more about this knife, click here. To see our entire inventory, visit knifecenter.com

Cold Steel Ti-Lite

This weekend our special is another unique product from the outside-the-box thinkers over at Cold Steel knives. Designed to evoke the classic switchblades of the 1950s, the Ti-Lite quickly became a Cold Steel favorite, but was unattainable to many due to its higher price point. Cold Steel rectified that situation with the 26SP, a smaller, affordable variation of the design.

The thing I love the most about this knife is how much versatility you have when it comes to how you choose to open it. The most obvious is the thumb stud, which grants you a super swift, snappy action. That’s probably going to be the preferred method for most users. The secondary action is to snag the backside of the double finger guard on your pants during a pocket draw for a quick wave-style opening.

If you want to get really crazy, you can also use the finger guard with your thumb like a front flipper, or snag the jimping on the finger side of the guard and use it like a regular flipper. This staggering variety of deployment methods make the Ti-Lite a lot of fun to open. The one detractor I can see on this model is the liner lock, which is a little difficult to disengage due to its stiff lock-up and smooth finish, but that’s preferable to the alternative of a loose, unsafe lock.

Handling is pretty comfortable, considering the straight shape of the handle. It’s a good size and a nice width, so it feels substantial in the hand, and grants you some excellent dexterity in either your forward or reverse grips. Handle scales are a glass-reinforced Zy-Ex, which is durable and impact resistant and its use was one of the ways Cold Steel was able to get these to their affordable price point. The scales are built over some sturdy stainless steel liners, so this is an all-around solid knife, with a nice 4″ spear point blade that comes razor sharp out of the box.

Overall, the Cold Steel Ti-Lite is a fun, functional folder that makes a great alternative for folks who would love to have a switchblade but also need a knife that’s not illegal to carry. To learn more about this knife, click here. To see our entire inventory, visit knifecenter.com

KnifeCenter Exclusive Benchmade Nakamura

This week on Spotlight Series we have a very special KnifeCenter exclusive that we’re super excited to be able to bring to you. When it comes to Benchmade gentlemen’s folders the Nakamura is one of the very best, and the elegant knife just got even more sophisticated with the addition of gorgeous wooden handle scales.

As far as its overall size and shape, this version is the same as the other varieties of Nakamura that have come before. But as far as I’m concerned, the wooden handle scales really take the aesthetics to another level, with the darker finish on the wood nicely offsetting the lighter stonewash finish of the blade. The cherry on top is the slick orange pivot accent, which matches the barrel spacers, making this an all-around eye-popping piece.

Fortunately this knife is much more than just eye candy. The deployment action is just as smooth and responsive as is typical for Benchmade, with the ambidextrous thumb studs making for some snappy action using either the thumb or middle finger. Blade is a 3.08″ in a drop point shape, manufactured from M390 stainless steel. The M390 is going to be good for edge retention and corrosion resistance, so you’re going to get some solid use out of this knife. Blade is held in place with Benchmade’s trademark AXIS lock, which also gives you another method to snap the blade out quickly.

Handle is the same shape as previous Nakamura models, but the smooth, contoured wood gives it pretty much an all-new hand feel. The already ergonomic shape feels really comfortable to hold, and the four finger indents give you that sense of control you want. Add in a reversible, tip-up pocket clip and this is a great all-around package.

Overall, Benchmade is without question one of the best in the business, the Nakamura is a terrific design, and this wooden variation may be the most elegant version yet. To learn more about this exclusive, click here. To see our entire inventory, visit KnifeCenter.com

Memorial Day

All of us at the Knifecenter of the Internet want to express our heartfelt gratitude to the American service people who have given their life, limbs and time to protect and support all of our citizens. A society is a complex system of interrelated activities. We work hard to create an enterprise which creates jobs that support people so they can pay taxes and these go to infrastructure and a military to protect it all. While we are busy doing our part of the puzzle, it is easy to lose sight of those doing theirs but this day and weekend gives us that opportunity. So thank you, American service personnel, we are extremely grateful that our country is safe and secure so we can go about our daily business without worry. The sacrifices that you give, while we are not able to fully understand all of them, are appreciated and honored. We salute you!

Popular Knife Variations Infographic

Ever wonder if serrated or plain edge is more popular? well we’ve put together our sales data to make an infographic with just that information. We found 68% of people buy plain edge knives over 32% of people who buy serrated/combo. We also calculated the average cost of a knife based on it’s blade steel. On the cheaper side the average cost of 8CR13MOV knives was $30, while the average cost of a Damascus knife was $353. In the Fixed vs Folding realm folding won with 6 out of 10 people buying folders. Knives made in the USA were most popular while China made knives were second. Liner lock was nearly 50%  of all sales based on lock type. We hope this information helps you make a buying decision on your next knife.