Today, we’re going to do something a little bit different. We’re going to take a look at our product specialist (and star of our YouTube channel) David C. Andersen’s favorite knives from 2018. Let’s check them out!
So, first up is his pick for Favorite New Budget Folding Knife, and it’s the ESEE Expat Knives MEDELLIN.
What’s really cool about this knife is it’s the ESEE 3 blade shape in a very easy to carry folding knife. It’s made in Taiwan with some excellent AUS-8 stainless steel. The frame lock makes it nice and slim, and the deep-carry pocket clip makes it very easy to carry – either tip-up or tip-down, depending on your preference.
David’s pick for the Best High-End Folding Knife for this year is the LionSteel SR-22 flipper.
The SR-22 is the smaller version of the SR-11, which is essentially a flipper version of LionSteel’s famous SR-1. There are a lot of cool things going on with this knife. First and foremost is the integral construction. The handle itself is made out of a single piece of titanium with milled holes in the back. There are also versions with anodized aluminum handles, but the titanium is just extra special. The flipping action is great. It has a very usable and versatile drop point blade. The steel is Sleipner, ensuring tons of edge retention, and the edge itself is nicely convexed for great slicing performance.
Another great feature with this knife, which is a LionSteel staple, is the RotoBlock safety.
With a simple twist of the disc, you’ve locked the lockbar in place, offering redundant systems for keeping that blade open. The final cherry on top with this knife is an excellent deep-carry pocket clip as well as a glassbreaker on the pommel.
Next up is the category of Most Improved, and hands down David’s favorite this year is the Buck 110 and 112 Folding Hunters.
These are fully modern renditions of some of Buck’s most famous designs, and they’re optimized for the way most people carry their knives today. The base models of these knives feature Buck’s famous 420HC steel and Nylon handles, but if you step up to the pro model, you get your choice of either black G10 or a couple different colors of Micarta for the handles. You’ll also get S30V blade steel.
They’ve also modified the blade shape just a little bit from the classic 110 and 112, with more of a straight clip as opposed to the half moon clip. You’ll also get a nice, strong deep-carry pocket clip to complete the package. Overall, this is a great improvement on a classic design that we think compares well to competitors such as the Spyderco Endura and Delica.
Moving on to his Favorite New Fixed Blade from 2018 is the KA-BAR BK62 Becker Kephart.
What’s really appealing about this knife to David is that it’s a direct link to the past. This is as close of a reproduction as you’re ever going to get of the classic Kephart knife, modeled after the only original 5” Kephart known to exist, which belongs to Ethan Becker.
The steel is KA-BAR’s excellent 1095 CV with a stonewashed finish. It’s full-flat ground for slicing performance with a swedge running along the entire length of the spine to aid in efficiency. The scales on this knife are made of walnut, and the tang itself is actually tapered, which helps maintain the excellent balance and lively nature of this knife.
Next up we come to Best In Show, and this is David’s favorite folding knife that was released in 2018: the ZT 0609 by RJ Martin.
The cool thing about this knife is that it’s sized perfectly for EDC needs. It features a machined titanium handle with gold anodization, looks fantastic with some really cool texture on it, and the clip point blade has a ton of style and complements that handle very nicely. CPM-20CV blade steel means it can absolutely perform, and overall this is a fantastic gentleman’s knife option from Zero Tolerance.
There have been a lot of great knives that came out this year. These are just David’s favorites, but what do you guys think? Do you like what he picked? If not, tell us what your favorites would be in the comments!