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!

 

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Cold Steel Chaos Kukri vs. The Wilderness

 

You’ve seen Cold Steel’s Chaos Tanto go head-to-head with Jason’s pickup truck. Now it’s time to test out their Chaos Kukri – but this time, we’re going against a much more powerful foe: Mother Nature. Watch our demo to see how this beefy fixed blade handles the great outdoors!

KnifeCenter Reviews the Cold Steel Code 4 & Leatherneck SF

Cold Steel has built quite the reputation over the years by creating knives that have the durability of a tank – I’m sure you all remember us testing that theory on Jason’s truck. Spoiler alert if you haven’t watched that video: the truck lost. This time we’re taking a look at the Code 4 and the Leatherneck SF. Check out the video, then put one (or both) of these knives in your cart – you won’t regret it.

 

 

 

Introducing The Knife Guide!

You know KnifeCenter is the largest and original catalog of cutlery, but did you also know we’ve been an educational resource since our launch in 1995? From day one, we’ve been an international hub with the latest knife news. One of our biggest goals was to not only be able to give you the largest collection of products, but also have all the information you’d ever need about knives and tools to make an informed purchase.

One thing we take very seriously is making it easier for knife newbies to enter the industry. That’s why we’ve created The Knife Guide – a series of videos that will cover a wide range of topics, from learning about knife parts to knife and tool maintenance (and everything in between).

We already have the first two installments ready and rolling on our YouTube channel!

 

The Knife Guide 01: Defining an EDC

This video will not only define an EDC, but will explain a little bit about folding knives, pocket knives, fixed blade knives, multi-tools, and some rules for choosing a knife or tool that’s the right fit for you. You can also check out all of the products that we used in the video, just in case any of them caught your eye or seemed like a good fit for a first-time knife or tool buyer.

 

The Knife Guide 02: What is a Folding Pocket Knife? 

In the second installment of the series, we dug into exactly what a folding knife is – the parts, how they work, what additions impact the cost of a folding knife, the different types of locking mechanisms and how they function, and some of the trademarks you’ll see in folding knives from well known manufacturers like Spyderco and Benchmade. We pulled out some great knives to help showcase these features, that way you’ll know our recommendations and can feel confident picking up any one of these folders.

 

We’ll be adding new videos weekly on YouTube and featuring the products on our website. We’re going to talk about what a fixed blade is, the best way to sharpen steel, the different blade shapes and what blade types are best for specific tasks, the different types of steel and how they compare, the best knife handle materials, and more. We’re also eager to see what type of content you’d like to see in this series – nothing is off limits! Be sure to head to our Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to let us know what you think and your recommendations for what you’d like featured in this series next!

 

 

 

Taking Tactical to a Whole New Level

It’s time to get tactical. Self-defense is a no-brainer – why not make it easier with one of these high quality tools? We have knives from popular brands like Zero Tolerance and Cold Steel in this list, as well as a production version of a custom karambit from Richard Derespina we think you’ll love.

KnifeCenter is the original and largest online catalog of cutlery, and that includes the best tactical knives from some of the most famous knifemakers in the world.

 

Zero Tolerance 0770 Flippers

ZT’s 0770 was inspired by their award-winning 0777, and is a smaller assisted opening version that gives you the same solid performance of its predecessor. All of our models feature premium S35VN steel, and you have your choice of either carbon fiber or anodized aluminum handles.

 

Kizer Cutlery Pinkerton Little River Bowie Fixed

The Little River Bowie is a cool fixed blade with dependable 1095 carbon steel, black G10 handle scales, and a sleek Dirk Pinkerton design. This robust knife comes with a compact profile that makes it functional and easy to carry. Did we mention the ultra-tactical black-on-black color scheme?

 

Browning Knives Black Label Crack Down Assisted Folder


The Crack Down has a solid, no-nonsense build and sleek design that’s a steal at only $37.95. It’s a great assisted folder with textured G10 scales and finger grooves that guarantee a super secure grip. No silly bells and whistles – this tactical knife is simple in the best way.

 

Cold Steel Urban Edge Push Daggers

Cold Steel is the purveyor of some of the finest production push knives on the market right now, offering razor sharp edges and letting you maintain control thanks to those excellent ergonomics. The Urban Edge, specifically, delivers that same self-defense practicality you expect, but its size and shape grant additional versatility as a useful everyday carry cutting tool.

 

Pro-Tech Stiletto Automatic Folders

These semi-custom, USA-made stiletto automatic folding knives range from high end models to more affordable variations. Our large selection features great steel, cool handles, and many interesting touches that give each knife their own unique look and style.

 

Benchmade Mini Presidio II AUTO Folder


This new Benchmade Mini Presidio II is a great automatic knife that features a CPM S30V steel blade and a lighter, more concealable design. This variation has an ergonomic black aluminum handle with a milled texture that will give you an ultra secure grip.

 

Derespina Production Model 10 Karambit Fixed Blade


We think the Model 10 Karambit is one of the best CQC knives ever designed by Richard Derespina, and it’s one of the most deadly in the hands of a trained user. Now you don’t have to wait for one of his rare custom knives – this production version features the same materials at a fraction of the price of the original.

 

Weapons Care Tools

 


These care tools will ensure that your weapon gives you the best possible performance in the field. This selection ranges from inexpensive maintenance kits to high quality equipment for heavy duty cleaning.

 

Love what you see? Sign up for our newsletters and you’ll get lists like this every week with some of the best tactical knives and outdoor knives, as well as brand new items every Monday. What list do you want to see next?

Cold Steel 62KGC Rajah II Folding Knife

Cold Steel 62KGC Rajah II Folding KnifeThe Rajah II was developed by custom knifemaker Andrew Demko, one of the chief designers at Cold Steel. This knife does an excellent job taking the Kukri and adapting it to a folding version that will prove to be an instant classic. Try the Rajah today and experience for yourself the power of a Kukri that fits in your pocket. Find it at www.knifecenter.com.