Another week, another great batch of tactical knives and gear from KnifeCenter. From karambit flippers to American-made balisongs to self-defense pens, this collection features some seriously hardcore combat essentials.
No combat list feels complete without a karambit – especially a folding version that flips as well as these models from Fox Knives. These self-defense tools feature the patented Emerson Wave, a thumb slot and a flipper tab, so you’ll have your choice of deployment method. We have a great selection that includes aluminum, carbon fiber, and G10 handle options with Bohler N690 blades. We even have a trainer model with 420C steel if you need to do some practicing before handling the real deal.
We’ve had a few whirlwind weeks since Spyderco announced their annual list of discontinued knives, and we’ve got only a few models left that will never be produced again. These (now super collectible) knives have been severely discounted, so check out the last of what we have to offer before they’re all gone for good!
This model is one of three Chaparral folders we have left, and this one is particularly eye-catching because of the unique blue handles. After a complex initial machining process, the stepped titanium scales are color anodized to give them a brilliant blue hue, and then they’re machined again to make the alternating layers that create the unique pattern.
Sometimes it feels like we focus so much on the bladed portion of our EDC that we take for granted all of the awesome gear that should be added to any rotation – and that includes a capable flashlight. Dropping a ton of cash on a flashlight may seem silly, but its utility can’t be debated. A flashlight is a lot like a knife, you never know when you may need one, but it’s always best to have one on hand.
But first, let’s address the obvious: what the heck is a lumen? To put it into perspective, a 60 watt incandescent light bulb is equal to about 900 lumens. While a watt is technically the amount of energy it takes to power a light, it’s the lumen count that describes how bright it shines. Here’s our ranking:
Now that we’re all much wiser about a flashlight’s lumenosity (get it?), there are many different styles of flashlights – and one size doesn’t fit all. We’ve broken these flashlights down by their specific utility so you’ll be able to find the right fit for you.
We’ve got two limited edition variations of Spyderco’s popular Para 3 with peel-ply carbon fiber handles and 52100 carbon steel, which provides exceptional wear resistance and edge holding capability. The newest variant is now made even more versatile with a partially serrated edge. These premium materials combined with the Para 3’s open-backed construction and patented Compression Lock mechanism make this a workhorse knife ready to be used, no matter which edge you choose.
Try this: whip out your phone and text the biggest outdoor and survival knife enthusiast you know and ask them this – “who makes the best survival knives in the business?” Chances are, they’re going to tell you that ESEE ranks pretty high (if not the highest). Since 1997, Jeff Randall and Mike Perrin have been changing the game when it comes to the wilderness industry. Their goal is to offer realistic tools that are designed for people that are going to use and abuse them, which is why their brand has been so successful. Their ‘no questions asked’ warranty doesn’t hurt, either – you’re essentially covered for everything but rust. If you break it, they will replace it.
Even in the company’s philosophy, it clearly states that one of the most important aspects of the business is that ESEE won’t provide a piece of gear that hasn’t been tested in the real world. How seriously do they take that mission? Considering that ESEE’s founders also run an adventure and training company that regularly does jungle survival courses in the Peruvian Amazon, we’d say – very. Anyone who regularly handles outdoor knives knows the power of 1095 carbon, and ESEE is able to get more out of that steel than any other production knife company thanks to their famous heat treatment.
You know the drill by now – as the leading cutlery retailer, we’re overqualified to cherry-pick the best ESEE knives for you. Let’s begin with the knife that started it all…
General purpose field and utility knife that’s perfect for bug-out bags or survival kits
Why We Love It
What the ESEE 3 lacks in size, it more than makes up for in strength. It’s the very first knife that Jeff and Mike debuted at ESEE, essentially making it their flagship knife. The National Tactical Officers Association gave it a 4.77 out of 5, cementing its reputation as a favorite with law enforcement and military teams.
Why You’ll Love It
Like we said before, you’re going to get more out of that 1095 carbon steel than you will from any other knife company. This knife is comfortable and easy to carry thanks to its size and versatile sheath. Because this is such a popular knife model, we have over 40 iterations of the ESEE 3. From combo blades to Venom Green finishes to highly visible orange scales, we can pretty much guarantee there’s a model out there for even the most eccentric knife user.
Benchmade is one of the most widely recognized knife brands in the business – just one look at that distinctive butterfly logo tells you you’re holding a top notch blade. Benchmade has a unique origin story. Les De Asis, the owner and founder, originally wanted to create a high quality version of the cheap butterfly knife he played with as a kid. Once that design was created after working with gifted knife maker Victor Anselmo, he took his prototype to a local gun shop – whose owner immediately wanted 100 more. Thus, Bali-Song, Inc. was born, and that eventually led to the company we now know as Benchmade Knives.
Benchmade says that they have one ultimate goal: make the best knives in the world. We’ve always been wowed by their wide array of distinguished knife designs – I mean, have you ever held a Griptilian? It’s downright sexy. Choosing only five of their top knives is pretty tough, but luckily we did the work so you don’t have to. Buckle up and get ready to scroll through the best knives Benchmade has to offer. From the designs to the materials to the aesthetics, these five Benchmade knives easily reach the caliber expected of such a great knife company.
What other knife can you kick off a Benchmade list with other than the famous Griptilian folder? Like many of Benchmade’s knives, the Griptilian features Benchmade’s patented AXIS lock, which is a 100% ambidextrous design that functions due to a riding, hardened steel bar that is machined into the steel liners. Not only is it strong, but it is also safe to use, as you can operate the blade without your fingers crossing into the path of the edge. The Grip’s designer, Mel Pardue, brought his passion for functionality to this design. The driving force behind Pardue’s collaborations with Benchmade is that less is more, and the focus has always been function over form. There are more iterations of the Griptilian than any other knife Benchmade offers. Our favorite is this upgraded design with G10 handles and premium CPM-20CV steel.
We may only be a little more than halfway through 2018, but we’ve been wowed by the number of incredible knives that have made their way onto the scene this year. We’ve picked what we think are the best pocket knives (so far) of 2018. These are definitely must-have additions to any EDC rotation.
A gracious gift, indeed! If you haven’t been brushing up on your Hebrew lately, that’s what Hanan means – and it pretty much describes this folding knife to a T. Designed by custom knife maker Brad Southard, the Hanan is one of the best gentleman’s folding knives to hit the market this year. Unlike most Spyderco knives, the Trademark Round Hole is much smaller than you’ll typically see, which is because this Spydiehole is mostly aesthetic. Instead, you’re going to rely on the flipper tab to deploy the blade. In our opinion, a gentleman’s pocket knife has to have certain qualities to make it worthy of the title – and the Hanan delivers that in spades. The two-tone G10/titanium hybrid handles are smooth and have an elegance that screams ‘class’. Plus, you can’t go wrong with S30V steel.
Why we picked it: Brad Southard is an amazing knife maker and designer, and his collaborations with Spyderco are no exception. This knife combines great design with high-end materials.
Cold Steel is one of the most popular knife brands for tough, durable steel and heavy-duty cutting tools. Over the last three decades, Cold Steel’s innovations have put them at the forefront of the knife industry. From the introduction of their unique San Mai steel to the debut of the ultra-secure Tri-Ad lock, Cold Steel has mastered the art of creating some of the best combat and tactical weaponry in the knife business. Cold Steel’s employees aren’t just knife fanatics, they’re also weapons experts and martial artists with years of experience. What sets them apart from many other knife and tool brands is that they see the value in redefining an EDC. Cold Steel is the type of company who will try to make a pocketknife out of a machete – that’s just how they roll.
That being said, there are eight Cold Steel products that we put on a pedestal above the rest. We’ve chosen the best Cold Steel knives so that you can skip the research and get straight to performance. We can only watch Cold Steel’s Instagram for so long before we’re itching to demo their knives ourselves!
Cold Steel’s 20LT Tuff Lite is one of our favorite small utility knives on the market. This folding knife offers the strength and dependability that you’ll always find in a Cold Steel knife in a package that is compact and comfortable to carry. This American knife company knows that the best tactical EDCs have to offer an ergonomic grip for piercing cuts, so the integrated finger choil ensures a full grip that makes this knife feel like an extension of your hand. Not only is this folder the perfect size for everyday utility tasks, it’s also a great concealed carry self-defense knife. The Wharncliffe point is going to allow for deeper, more penetrating cuts without appearing overly tactical, so you’re not going to draw any attention to yourself when you have it on hand.
We traveled to Bradford, Pennsylvania to meet up with the talented artisans over at Case Knives. They were kind enough to take us through the process of making their high quality and much beloved pocket knives. For those of you out there who have been waiting for a How It’s Made: Knife Edition, we’ve got you covered!
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