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?

 

Spartan Blades Akribis Folders

Spartan Blades Akribis Folders

Here at the KnifeCenter, we strive to offer you the best edged tools available and we believe these Akribis folders fit that bill nicely. Spartan Blades is well known in the industry for their stout, well built fixed blade designs. The fit and finish on any Spartan Blade is very Chris Reeve-esque with great attention paid to the ergonomics and cutting angle of each knife. The Akribis is their first folding knife and we are very excited about this one. It features titanium handles, with a Rick Hinderer lock bar stabilizer, available in meteorite grey or flat dark earth and your choice of G10 or carbon fiber scales. The 3-1/2″ blade is made from S35VN stainless steel and also comes in your choice of a meteorite grey or black PVC blade coating. The opening action is buttery smooth and the loud click of the lock bar engaging is one sweet sound you’ll definitely appreciate. This is a hard use, tactical folder that’s as at-home in your jeans or khakis as it is on your LBE. There’s no doubt you will be proud to show this knife off to your friends, check them all out at www.knifecenter.com.

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Chris Reeve Knives – New One of a Kinds

Chris Reeve Knives - Unmatched Quality

New one of a kind knives from Chris Reeve! When it comes to production knives, Chris Reeve stands alone atop the mountain. He has made many innovations and collaborated on designs that have forever changed our industry. He is the father of the one-piece knife concept, with his original model MK IV, the chief innovator of the Reeve Integral Lock, commonly referred to as a Frame lock, and was even crucial to the development of S30V stainless steel. He worked alongside the Crucible Materials Company to develop the first steel specifically designed for the cutlery industry. The various inlays, CNC machined graphics on the handle scales or beautiful Devin Thomas Damascus steels can make your production knife one of a kind. If you don’t love Chris Reeve Knives, then you probably haven’t handled one – they’re that awesome. Check out all the Chris Reeve fixed and folding offerings and the new one of a kind models while they last at www.knifecenter.com.

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Spartan Blades Harsey Hunter and Model II Combat Knives

Spartan Blades Harsey Hunter and Model II

If you’ve ever wondered what the ideal tactical “go-to-war” combat knife may be, the Harsey family from Spartan Blades might just be the answer. The Hunter and Model II are classic, functional designs with some hi-tech, new-age features. The full-tang S35VN blades are 3/16″ thick which provides excellent torsional strength and are available in your choice of color. The canvas micarta scales are 3D machined and contoured to give you a firm grip while also offering superb ergonomics in the forward and reverse grips. Many people believe a fixed knife is only as good as it’s sheath and if that’s the case, this is where the Spartan Harsey blades excel. You have the choice between a MOLLE compatible Cordura sheath or one made from Kydex, both lock in the knife extra securely and provide an ample array of carry options. These knives are based loosely off “The Yarborough” fixed blade designed by William Harsey, which is the knife presented to each cadet of the US Army Special Forces Qualification Course upon their graduation. You can see these works of edged art at www.knifecenter.com.

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New Spartan Blade Designs in at KnifeCenter

Spartan Blades are  some of the finest fixed blade tactical and combat knives produced within the United States. Their designs are simplistic, elegant, and most importantly ultra-functional. Spartan Blades use the highest quality components, materials, and steels to produce a product second to none. Every detail is scrutinized thoroughly from blade grind and swedge shape, to sheath material and even the included or excluded lanyard. Military professionals, combat personnel, and collectors around the world turn to Spartan Blades for the utmost functionality in a beautifully designed package. You can see their new designs at www.knifecenter.com.

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