Top 5 Sub-$100 Knives with S30V or S35VN Steel

CPM-S30V and CPM-S35VN stainless steels were developed by Crucible Industries, an American company that produces specialty steels. They worked with famous knife makers like Chris Reeve to create new steels specifically to be used for knives. First came the well-balanced S30V with its amazing edge retention and high corrosion resistance. Then S35VN came along and upped the ante in regards to toughness and its ability to be polished. Some may argue that S30V has lost its super steel status because it has become so prevalent in the EDC knife world. At KnifeCenter, we still hold high regard for S30V and S35VN steel – their Particle Metallurgy construction adds additional toughness thanks to the very refined grain structure, and the vanadium in their composition helps these knives cut better than those that rely on a higher chromium count. In layman’s terms: these knives cut, and cut very well.

If you’re thinking, “yeah, that’s great and all, but I can’t really afford a knife with such high quality steel”, we agree – these steels come at a price. There are plenty of mid-tech knives out there sporting S35VN steel that can easily cost you four-hundred bucks. We understand the importance of having top-notch steel, though, so we’ve pulled together our top five sub-$100 knives with S30V or S35VN steel. Now you can enjoy a premium EDC knife without losing a big chunk of your paycheck.

 

Cold Steel 58PS Code 4 Spear Point Folding Knife

 

 

Cold Steel’s Code 4 folder utilizes their world-renowned Tri-Ad lock, which was designed by Andrew Demko to be one of the strongest knife locking mechanisms on the planet. Why S35VN over S30V? Cold Steel is a known purveyor of some of the toughest knives out there, and S30V does have a reputation for micro-bevel chipping during tough use. S35VN’s elemental composition improves that aspect of the steel, so it’s a better option if you’re looking to do some more serious cutting work. Also, this knife perfectly shows off S35VN’s ability to be polished compared to S30V – just look at that high satin shine. This knife gives you all the cutting power of high quality steel in a lightweight package that perfectly complements any EDC.

 

 

Buck 347 Vantage Pro Large Folding Knife

 

 

In our opinion, the Vantage is one of the best affordable everyday carry knives on the market. From the molded nylon/CNC-contoured G10 handles to the dual steel liners, this American-made folder’s built to be a knife that you actually use every day – EDC isn’t just a title with this one. Joe Talmadge, a master of blade geometry, claims the S30V steel you’ll find on this knife might be the ultimate in high-end stainless steels thanks to its superior performance and sharpenability compared to other super steels in its class.

 

 

Kizer Cutlery Sliver Folding Knife

 

 

The Kizer Sliver’s sleek design is complemented by the high end materials – S35VN steel and uniquely worked aluminum handles. This knife is precision machined and engineered to the finest tolerances. While the S35VN steel is the cherry on top of this cake, it’s the orange handle that sets this knife apart. The overall shape gives off serious trapper knife vibes, and we are into it.

 

 

White River Knives Backpacker Fixed Blade

 

 

White River Knives doesn’t get the recognition that it should. In our experience, all we’ve seen from this knife company are truly great products. In fact, this is one of our favorite skeletonized neck knives on the production market. White River rounded the finger cut out so perfectly on the Backpacker that ‘comfortable’ doesn’t even begin to cover it. S30V steel is perfect for skinning knives and neck knives because its bailiwick is precision cutting. The Kydex sheath allows you to wear the knife on your belt in two ways, or around your neck if you attach a lanyard.

 

 

Spyderco Native 5 Folding Knife

 

 

 

To round out the list, we’ve got one of Spyderco’s greatest knife designs of all time paired with S30V steel. In some knives, it’s obvious certain materials are the reason for the price – be it premium steel or Micarta scales. With the Native 5, you’re getting an all-around great knife. Compared to the standard Delica or Endura’s VG-10 steel, the S30V is a pretty big upgrade. Many say this is Spyderco’s best pocket knife option on the market, and we have to agree – this knife easily rivals the performance of knives double its value.

 

There you have it – KnifeCenter’s top 5 sub-$100 knives with S30V or S35VN steel. There are other options out there, but we honestly feel that these knives provide some of the best bang for your buck. Now that these super steels are becoming much more common in the EDC knife market, prices are just going to become more and more accessible to a wider range of people. In our opinion, that’s the best way to run the knife game – because everyone should have steel in their pocket. Why not make it some of the best?

 

This Week’s Best Custom and Mid-Tech Knives

Every day we get some of the best custom and mid-tech knives from the greatest knife designers delivered straight to our door. As you can imagine, it’s pretty much Christmas year-round over here at KnifeCenter. This week we’re showing off tactical knives that can only be described as works of art, including new Microtech Socom Elites and a Liong Mah Warrior 2 V2 flipper. Coming soon we’ll have Tac Butchers and Mini Cleavers from ADV, more Spectras and the Mini Decepticon from CKF, and new Microtech Limited Edition Cypher MK7s. Talk about one heck of a wish list!

 

GTC Custom Integral Commando Flipper

 

This GTC Commando flipper is the epitome of tactical art featuring a stunning integral Zircu-Ti handle. This eye-catching material wraps around the spine of the knife and even folds over to form the pocket clip, all in a single piece! If you are brave enough to carry the Commando, a CPM-154 blade and sturdy frame lock ensure this knife is more than just a pretty face.

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The Top Five Best Buck Knives

When you think of some of the best hunting knives and camping knives in the business, Buck Knives springs to mind faster than the action on one of their folders. The Buck name is synonymous with the outdoor knife world, mostly because of Buck Knives’ century-long endeavor to produce high-quality tools that give people what they need. Back in 1902, Hoyt Buck, a blacksmith apprentice at the time, started making knives by hand with worn-out file blades – a method still used today by many knifemakers and an appropriate beginning for a company that now offers one of the best-selling folding hunters on the market.

With such a long history of making great knives, weeding through their entire knife collection to find the top five best Buck Knives was no easy feat. Luckily, when it comes to knives there’s nothing we won’t do to make sure you have the best performing tools in your arsenal. Check out KnifeCenter’s picks for the top five best Buck Knives – you won’t be disappointed!

 

Buck 110 Folding Hunter

 

 

 

Let’s start off with Buck Knives’ most iconic knife, the Buck 110 Folding Hunter. It is so widely recognized that knife enthusiasts and non-knife users alike think of this particular model when they hear the words “Buck Knife”. Just like other proprietary eponyms such as Kleenex and Xerox, the phrase “Buck Knife” has been used to describe almost any lockback of this style.

This is undoubtedly one of the best-selling knives that Buck offers, and it remains one of the most recognizable and popular knives ever created. This knife design changed the game when it was first conceived in 1963 when Buck decided to develop the ultimate folding utility and hunting knife. The Buck 110’s sturdy design gives hunters a great tool without all the bulk of a fixed blade. It’s no shock that this knife is one of the most copied knife designs out there, but nothing can stand up to the real deal. With its strong lockback mechanism and refined aesthetics, the Buck 110 has been a top pick by knife enthusiasts for years.

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The Best New Pocket Knives of 2018

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.

 

Spyderco C227GP Brad Southard Hanan

 

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.

 

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The 8 Best Cold Steel Knives

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 20LT Tuff Lite Folding Knife

 

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.

Check out the entire Minituff Series at KnifeCenter!

 

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Reviewing New Liong Mah Designs!

 

We took some time to bust out Liong Mah’s new mid-tech knives, the Eraser, the Warrior One, and the Get S*** Done (GSD). We’re partial to the GSD Tuxedo variant, but we’ll leave it up to you to pick a favorite.

New Fixed Blades and Folders from Olamic Cutlery

 

It’s always a good day when we get to handle new knives from Olamic Cutlery. They continue to raise the bar when it comes to mid-tech folding knives and fixed blades, and the variety of Damascus steel and premium handle materials make this collection truly one-of-a-kind. Check out our review of the new Busker and Wayfarer folding knives and the Voykar HT and Kovda fixed blades!

The Best Customs of the Week – KnifeCenter’s Picks!

Another week, another fresh batch of custom and mid-tech knives. This time we’ve got two production knife features, so check out the list below to find your next EDC or safe queen.

 

Arcform Catalysts by Geoff Blauvelt 

 

Geoff has knocked another one out of the park with the Catalyst from Arcform Knives. This mid-tech WE Knife variant of Geoff’s impressive custom build is simply superb with amazingly crisp, satisfying flipping action and ergonomics that promote all day hard use. Continue Reading

Two of Spyderco’s Best Folding Knives Get a Makeover

The Endura and Delica, two of Spyderco’s most popular folding pocket knives, got a serious glow up with these new FRN Zome Camo handles. Zome is an ancient Japanese art form that focuses on dyeing textiles using dyes from plants, flowers, fruit, and other natural sources. Take a look at KnifeCenter’s review where we dive into what makes these handles so unique!

What Does a 3.15″ Mini Karambit Look Like?

 

It’s compact, it’s useful and let’s be honest, it’s downright cute – any real man can admit that. Looking to add a useful karambit to your EDC or keyring? Check out our video where we show you just how much Fox KnivesMini-Ka folding karambit can handle.