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?


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!


Continue Reading

Cold Steel Code4 Heavy Duty Folding Pocket Knives

code4blogCold Steel Code4 Heavy Duty Folding Pocket Knives
Cold Steel Knives create the best and most reasonably priced knives for various applications. No one does a better job of it. They wanted to create an easy-to-carry heavy duty folding pocket knife for law enforcement and military that wouldn’t break the bank. They have the production done in great factories and they use great materials and they create the absolute best designs. Like I said- nobody does it better! The Code4 series are flatter than the plastic handle models like the Voyagers or the G10 handle folding knives like the RECON series. They are super strong and feature a good stainless blade. We applaud Cold Steel for really doing it right! You can see the entire series which is now all available, at www.knifecenter.com
Here is some more information from Cold Steel: Continue Reading

Cold Steel Mini Tuff Folding Knife

Cold Steel Mini Tuff Folding Knife
Cold Steel Mini Tuff Folding Knife
Cold Steel Knives has released this very cool little folding pocketknife. The Mini Tuff features a tiny, razor blade like blade that really reminds us of a Kiridashi style. The handle offers a variety of ways to grip the knife and to hold it for a variety of tasks. They are really nicely made and offered at amazing pricing.
You can see them at www.knifecenter.com
Cold Steel has the following information: Continue Reading

Cold Steel Kobun Fixed 4″ Tanto

Cold Steel Kobun Fixed
Cold Steel Kobun Fixed 4″ Tanto
Cold Steel is bringing back some classics. Among them is the Kobun ultra thin tanto. These were an incredible hit years ago when they were introduced because the thin profile allowed for easy carry in the boot or at one’s side. This is about the third iteration of the model from Cold Steel Knives and we’re thrilled to see them. They seem as well built as ever and the sheath holds them tightly. The price now is $29.95 and that is truly incredible!
You can see these at www.knifecenter.com
Here is the description from Cold Steel knives: Continue Reading

Cold Steel Extra Large Espada VII 7.5″ Blade with Aluminum and G10 Handle Scales

Cold Steel Extra Large Espada VII
Cold Steel Extra Large Espada VII 7.5″ Blade with Aluminum and G10 Handle Scales
This is a BIG knife from Cold Steel knives. The Big Espada features a 7.5″ blade, but this folding knife feels like a sword or carnival item, it is soo large. It’s a monster. You can see them at: www.knifecenter.com
Cold Steel Knives has the following information: Continue Reading

Cold Steel Laredo Bowie 10-1/2″ SK-5 High Carbon Fixed Blade

Cold Steel Laredo Bowie
Cold Steel Laredo Bowie 10-1/2″ SK-5 High Carbon Fixed Blade>
Cold Steel Knives makes large fixed blades. The Laredo Bowie has been a feature in their selection for years and this new version is a great addition. This new Laredo Bowie has SK5 carbon steel and was probably made in Taiwan since Cold Steel Knives no longer produce the American model. It comes with a grease coating to prevent rust. They are available at www.knifecenter.com
Here is the full explanation from Cold Steel. Continue Reading

Cold Steel Knives Spartan 4.5″ Lockback Blade

Cold Steel Knives Spartan 4.5
Cold Steel Knives Spartan 4.5″ Lockback Blade
Cold Steel Knives comes out with another “MONSTER” folding knife. This new Spartan is amazing- a full 4.5″ blade, but that doesn’t tell the whole story. The blade is Kukri shaped and thick. When open, the handle is a real handle- it actually fits your hand in a grabbing position. The tail of the handle can also be used as an aggressive weapon. This knife joins the pantheon of super beefy folders from Cold Steel- along with the Super large Voyagers, The Vaquero Grande, the Extra Large Espada, the Rajah Series and probably some others that don’t come to mind. It is truly amazing
Here is the story from the folks at Cold Steel: Continue Reading

Cold Steel Pendleton Custom Classic San Mai Fixed Blade

Cold Steel Pendleton Custom Classic San Mai Fixed Blade
Cold Steel Pendleton Custom Classic San Mai Fixed Blade
Cold Steel San Mai Series is famous. It’s famous for the top manufacture quality and fit and finish as well as materials and design. This small fixed blade is awesome. Cold Steel Knives has done it again! The style is “Dozier-esque” in its short and stout nature. The full tapered tang houses the Micarta handle material that sit on an ultra-slim red base. The bolster and tang are highly polishes. We have a video for this knife at it’s detail page at www.knifecenter.com
Here is the information from Cold Steel: Continue Reading

Cold Steel Black Rock Hunter

Cold Steel Black Rock Hunter
Cold Steel Black Rock Hunter with Rotating Handle
This is a unique, low priced “using” knife. Perfect for back country treks or for having in the tool box for general use. The handle rotates around to cover the blade and back again to reveal it- spring locking in both positions.
Here is Cold Steels information: Continue Reading