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Five Top All Purpose Blades

Five Top All Purpose Blades

Personal Protection—AlMar Back-Up

Wickedly aggressive looking and in reality, not much good for anything but opening up some troll intent on doing you bodily harm. I'm OK with that; bad guys beware—you got no business messing with me. This devilish-looking, 3.6-ounce knife was designed by mastersmith Kirk Rexroat. Sure, you could use it to open boxes and even pick your teeth but best keep it sharp and in its 2-ounce sheath until you really need it. MSRP $199 www.almarknives.com

Auto-Escape—Break-Out Tool

The Break-Out works with either hand, has two seat belt cutters and two glass breakers. It's just what the name implies; a tool to help you break out of a car in an emergency. Options include rare-earth magnets to secure the unit to any metal surface and LED lights to help you change a flat, work on your car or find stuff under the seat. Prices range from $27.99 to $47.99, depending on options. www.breakoutsafetytools.com

Hunting—Remington Premier Elite Hunter 3-Blade Folder

The entire Remington Premier Cutlery line is manufactured in Italy using 440 Stainless blade steel. The 3-Blade Folder comes with a drop-point blade, a bone saw and what some people call a gut hook that should more appropriately be named a skinning zipper. This knife is a bit large for pocket carry, but comes with a nice, form fitting leather sheath and should work for everything from bunnies to bears. MSRP $118 www.remington.com

Every Day Carry—Spyderco Stretch

The definition of everyday carry can be different depending on who you are and what kind of day you're having. I like a knife with an edge retaining blade, about 3 inches long and made of stainless or high-chromium-content steel to resist corrosion. Indestructible handles and a pocket clip to permit tip-up carry are my preferences. The limited-production Spyderco Stretch is all that and more. The pocket clip can be positioned for right or left and tip-up or tip-down carry, the hard ZDP-189 steel holds an edge and the carbon-fiber handle stretches the definition of ruggedness. MSRP $339.95 www.spyderco.com

Just Plain Cool—Spyderco Pacific Salt

It's cool because it cannot and will not rust. Oh, you think all metal will rust, well if it has carbon in it like most blade steels do, it will. The more carbon, the easier it will rust. You can buy a low-carbon content blade, but they are a devil to keep sharp. The blades on all Spyderco Salt series knives are made from H-1; a precipitation-hardened alloy with .1-percent nitrogen, but no carbon. It will hold and edge like premium carbon blades and hardens as it is sharpened. All internal components and titanium clips on Salt series knives are impervious to rust too. MSRP $ 109.95 www.spyderco.com

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