2016 Shooting Illustrated Knife Guide

posted on November 23, 2016

Everybody needs a good knife, whether as part of your EDC gear or just for opening packages. Here are some of the best options that give you the razor’s edge for any tactical task, no matter how mundane.

1 | Al Mar Knives S.E.R.T. Automatic
Al Mar’s S.E.R.T. (Sheriff’s Emergency Response Team) is a coil-spring-driven automatic knife featuring an ambidextrous pocket clip, positive safety, aluminum scales and clip-point blade. Length 7.9 inches. Blade Length 3.3 inches. Weight 3.9 ounces. MSRP $240 almarknives.com

2 | Bear & Son Cutlery 5” Black Butterfly
This butterfly knife boasts a 440 stainless steel blade in an epoxy-powder-coated zinc handle, making it both lightweight and easy to deploy. Length: 9.25 inches. Blade Length: 3.6 inches. Weight: 5 ounces. MSRP: $53.99 bearandsoncutlery.com

3 | Benchmade Amicus Flipper
Slim, lightweight and ambidextrous, the Amicus Flipper utilizes Benchmade’s proprietary AXYS assist mechanism for nearly effortless opening with one hand. Length 7.7 inches. Blade Length 3.2 inches. Weight 2.9 ounces. MSRP $250 benchmade.com

4 | Blackhawk C.Q.D. Mark I Type E
The C.Q.D. is loaded with features, from a glass breaker to a seatbelt cutter to a reversible pocket clip. It also has a plunge lock, which makes it extremely safe to close. Length 9.5 inches. Blade Length 3.75 inches. Weight 7.6 ounces. MSRP $102.45 blackhawk.com

5 | Browning Black Label No Boundaries
Sculpted G10 handles, titanium finish, a drop-point blade and two opening possibilities allow Browning’s No Boundaries knife to live up to its name. It is also available in black. Length 8 inches. Blade Length 3.75 inches. Weight 5.5 ounces. MSRP $34.99 browning.com

6 | Browning Wihongi Folder
Browning Pro Staff member Jason Wihongi’s Maori heritage is evident in the tribal tattoo design on the blade. Custom molded grips and a straight-razor-like blade profile also make this knife stand out. Length 8 inches. Blade Length 3.75 inches. Weight 6.3 ounces. MSRP $34.99 browning.com

7 | Coast FDX302 Double Lock Folder
Twin locks ensure positive blade engagement, while a short section of serrations makes cutting tasks simple. The pocket clip is reversible for either point-up or point-down carry. Blade Length 3 inches. Length 7.5 inches. Weight 4 ounces. MSRP $23.99 coastportland.com

8 | Cold Steel Swift II
An assisted-open knife, the Swift II lives up to its name by deploying with extreme speed. The G10 handle provides solid purchase, and the Carpenter CTS XHP alloy blade is tough as nails. Length 8.6 inches. Blade Length 4 inches. Weight 4.6 ounces. MSRP $234.99 coldsteel.com

9 | CRKT Homefront
Need to take your knife apart for a full cleaning? The Ken Onion-designed Homefront makes it easy with CRKT’s “Field Strip” innovation that uses a lever to separate its components. Length 8.3 inches. Blade Length 3.5 inches. Weight 4.8 ounces. MSRP $150 crkt.com

10 | First Tactical Copperhead Knife Spear
This compact, lightweight, spear-tip folder eliminates any excuse for not having a knife as part of your EDC gear. The AUS8 stainless steel blade and G10 handle ensure it will function well when needed. Length 7 inches. Blade Length 3 inches. Weight 3.6 ounces. MSRP $49.99 firsttactical.com

1 | Gerber Edict

Designed specifically to be an everyday-carry knife, the Edict features glass-filled nylon scales with a rubber overmold, glass-bead-finished blade and ambidextrous thumb stud for one-handed opening. Length 8.5 inches. Blade Length 3.6 inches. Weight 3.6 ounces. MSRP $80 gerbergear.com

2 | Krudo Knives DAO
Capable of multiple blade-deployment methods, the elegant DAO sports a stylish recurved reverse-tanto blade, and a curved-handle design, accented by black G10 scales and paired with an integral sculptured bolster. Length 9 inches. Blade Length 3.75 inches. Weight 9.3 ounces. MSRP $149 krudoknives.com

3 | Krudo Knives VINIX
The multiple grind and curved-edge design along with its black and silver tone give the Krudo VINIX a sophisticated appearance. Yet, its multiple blade-deployment capability provides the confidence to handle whatever defensive situation that may arise. Length 8.4 inches. Blade Length 3.5 inches. Weight 8.8 ounces. MSRP $195 krudoknives.com

4 | Ontario Knife Co. Carter Prime
With a stonewash plain-edge design, the Carter Prime employs a flipper for single-handed opening. A titanium handle combines with serrations for proper purchase under any use. Length 8 inches. Blade Length 3.4 inches. Weight 5.11 ounces. MSRP $144.95 ontarioknife.com

5 | Pro-Tech The Godfather
The signature product of Pro-Tech’s line of automatic knives, The Godfather springs open and locks at the push of a button. The slim, needle-point blade has a hardness of 59 on the Rockwell “C” scale. Length 9.6 inches. Blade Length 4 inches. Weight 4 ounces. MSRP $280 protechknives.com

6 | Remington G10 Tactical Folder
Designed and built in partnership with Bear & Son, Remington’s assisted-open G10 folder has a 440 stainless steel blade and, as the name implies, a G10 handle. Length 7.25 inches. Blade Length 3.1 inches. Weight 4.1 ounces. MSRP $39.99 remingtoncutlery.com

7 | Ruger Knives Carter 2-Stage
This Robert Carter-designed blade features a tanto edge, frame lock and flipper opening mechanism. The pocket clip can be arranged for right- or left-hand and tip-up or tip-down. Length 9.5 inches. Blade Length 4 inches. Weight 8.1 ounces MSRP $79.95 ruger.com

8 | Smith & Wesson Black Ops M.A.G.I.C.
Using a proprietary M.A.G.I.C. assisted-opening mechanism, deployment is instantaneous and one-handed. A safety mechanism located in the aluminum handle locks the blade if desired. Length 7.7 inches. Blade Length 3.4 inches. Weight 4.96 ounces. MSRP $58.66 taylorbrandsllc.com

9 | SOG Targa Satin
Fabricated using edge-holding, cutlery-grade VG-10 stainless steel, SOG’s Targa uses the company’s arc locking mechanism and features a reversible, low-carry belt clip. Length 7.7 inches. Blade Length 3.5 inches. Weight 3.1 ounces. MSRP $127 sogknives.com

10 | Steel Will Apostate 1113
Bearing a contentious name and tanto edge, the Apostate uses a flipper opening mechanism and features G10 scales on one side and a titanium handle on the other. Length 9.6 inches. Blade Length 4.1 inches. Weight 6.35 ounces. MSRP $174.99 steelwillknives.com

1 | Blackhawk Crucible FX2
Designed by close-combat instructor Kelly McCann, the Crucible FX2 features an AUS8 steel blade with full-tang construction and a textured, G10 grip. Length 7.9 inches. Blade Length 3.2 inches. Weight 6.2 ounces. MSRP $132.95 blackhawk.com

2 | Bear & Son Cutlery Bear Ops Constant Neck
The Constant comes with a Kydex sheath and a chain, so it can be safely and comfortably worn around your neck. The 1095 carbon steel blade is epoxy coated to resist corrosion. Length 6.25 inches. Blade Length 2.88 inches. Weight 2 ounces. MSRP $61.99 bearandsoncutlery.com

3 | Camillus Soar
Titanium-bonded construction adds strength and durability to the segmented, 440 stainless steel blade with full-tang. An ergonomic G10 handle rounds out the Soar. Length 9.5 inches. Blade Length 4.25 inches. Weight 8.5 ounces. MSRP $45.99 camillusknives.com

4 | Cold Steel 3V Recon Tanto
Cold Steel established the tanto blade as a preferred tactical solution, and its latest model features American CPM 3V steel that’s been DVC coated for extra corrosion resistance.
Length 11.75 inches. Blade Length 7 inches. Weight 9.6 ounces. MSRP $264.99 coldsteel.com

5 | CRKT Shrill
A resin-infused, polished-fiber handle offers purchase on this slim, double-edge blade designed to ride in a boot or waistband, while the spear-point blade tapers to a very fine edge. The Shrill comes with a leather scabbard. Length 8.7 inches. Blade Length 4.8 inches. Weight 4.3 ounces. MSRP $69.99 crkt.com

6 | Gerber Ghostrike
Capable of being carried on the belt, around the neck or in a boot, the Ghostrike is lightweight and maintains a slim profile to be unobtrusive but always there when you need it. Length 6.9 inches. Blade Length 3.3 inches. Weight 3.6 ounces. MSRP $59 gerbergear.com

7 | Gerber Strongarm
A glass-filled nylon handle (also available in black) fitted around a full-tang blade, the Strongarm’s sheath is MOLLE-compatible so it can be attached to most packs. Length 9.8 inches. Blade Length 4.8 inches. Weight 10.9 ounces. MSRP $86 gerbergear.com

8 | Hogue EX-F01 7” Fixed Blade Drop Point
Built with a strong drop point, the EX-F01 7” is crafted from cryogenically treated A2 tool steel. A Cerakote coating and 3D-sculpted G10 scales add functional distinction. Length 12 inches. Blade Length 7 inches. Weight 12.4 ounces. MSRP $249.95 hogueinc.com

9 | Hogue EX-F02 4.5” Fixed Clip Point
Featuring a hybrid polymer/overmold-rubber handle in assorted colors, the EX-F02 is easy to hang onto when using its 154-CM stainless steel blade for arduous tasks. Length 9 inches. Blade Length 4.5 inches. Weight 5.5 ounces. MSRP $149.95 hogueinc.com

1 | J&T Companies DoubleStar Brand Hydra Drakon

With a scalloped, beveled-edge blade made from 1095 carbon steel and a finger-loop, the Drakon provides an intimidating look and the performance to match. Length 8.25 inches. Blade Length 3.9 inches. Weight 7 ounces. MSRP $177.21 star15.com

2 | J&T Companies DoubleStar Brand Hydra Fang
Built with EDC in mind, the lightweight, compact Fang boasts a tanto-point blade and a bottle opener on the aft end of its full-steel tang. Length 6.7 inches. Blade Length 2.9 inches. Weight 2.26 ounces. MSRP $145.90 star15.com

3 | Ontario Knife Co. Cerberus
The D2 tool-steel blade runs the full length of the tang and features black-oxide coating, while an ergonomic G10 handle anchors the Cerberus in the hand. A custom Kydex sheath keeps it handy. Length 10.2 inches. Blade Length 4.8 inches. Weight 7.7 ounces. MSRP $265 ontarioknife.com

4 | Ontario Knife Co. Chimera
Talk about a survival knife! The Chimera offers a glass-breaker cap on the handle, broad serrations for a wide variety of cutting applications and a .2-inch-thick blade more than 8 inches long. Length 13.6 inches. Blade Length 8.25 inches. Weight 15.5 ounces MSRP $127.95 ontarioknife.com

5 | Smith & Wesson H.R.T. Full Tang Spear Point Fixed Blade PPE Handle
A double-edge, full-tang blade complete with blood groove joins a rubber-wrapped PPE handle to create a dramatic, functional fixed-blade that comes with a leather sheath with belt clip. Length 9 inches. Blade Length 4.75 inches. Weight 8 ounces. MSRP $26.66 taylorbrandsllc.com 

6 | SOG Seal Strike
SOG’s Seal Strike features a black TiNi-coated, partially serrated blade, twin thumb notches and glass-reinforced nylon handle, and comes with a sheath integrating a linecutter, sharpener and firestarter. Length 9.6 inches. Blade Length 4.9 inches. Weight 5.6 ounces. MSRP $127 sogknives.com

7 | Steel Will Censor 1312
Designed as a boot- or neck-knife, the Censor series is available in multiple configurations. Clip-point, spear-point and a modified-simple-point blade are available, as are a choice of satin or Black Traction coatings. Length 7.7 inches. Blade Length 3.5 inches. Weight 5.5 ounces. MSRP $64.99 steelwillknives.com

8 | White River Knife & Tool GTI 4.5
White River collaborated with bladesmith and former U.S. Army Ranger Justin Gingrich of GTI to produce this series of tactical/survival knives. The blade features an ionbond coating, Micarta scales and a U.S.-made, MOLLE-compatible leather sheath. Length 9.75 inches. Blade Length 4.5 inches. Weight 9.3 ounces. MSRP $300 whiteriverknives.com

9 | White River Knife & Tool Scout (Black)
With a combination of a short CPM S30V blade and large black canvas Micarta handle, the Scout is designed to tackle everyday cutting tasks. Length 6.75 inches. Blade Length 2.5 inches. Weight 2.9 ounces. MSRP $140 whiteriverknives.com

1 | Blackhawk Hawkhook
Tools incorporated into the tiny Hawkhook include a glass-breaker, wire-stripper, seatbelt-cutter, bottle opener and flat-tip screwdriver/pry tip, making it a remarkably versatile piece of EDC gear. Length 5.5 inches. Blade Length 2.25 inches. Weight 2.54 ounces. MSRP $40.95 blackhawk.com

2 | Browning Shock ‘N’ Awesome Tomahawk
The Shock ‘N’ Awesome Tomahawk contains a G10 handle with a 2 5/8-inch main blade.  Best of all, the injection-molded sheath is MOLLE-compatible, so you can strap it right to your range bag. Length 13 inches. Blade Length 2.6 inches. Weight 8.87 ounces. MSRP $119.99 browning.com

3 | Canada Knives and Swords D8 Bayonet
Handmade from edge-holding D2 tool steel with a hardness of 60 on the Rockwell “C” scale, this bayonet means business. It has a full tang, G10 scales and strong tanto point.
Length 12.6 inches. Blade Length 7.5 inches. Weight 20 ounces. MSRP $139.99 canadaknives.com

4 | Cold Steel Trench Hawk
The drop-forged, one-piece head of the Trench Hawk offers a sharp axe for cutting and a wedge-style spike for more…pointed encounters. Length 19 inches. Blade Length 3.5 inches. Weight 29 ounces. MSRP $67.99 coldsteel.com

5 | SOB Tactical Custom Puncher
Made entirely from G10, the Puncher is an ideal EDC blade. It can be laser engraved with any design that will fit on its handle or blade, making it a great show-off piece, too. Length 4.4 inches. Blade Length 2.8 inches. Weight 1.2 ounces. MSRP $49.99 sobmanswag.com

6 | SOG Spirit
Labeled as a throwing knife, the Spirit has a secret: Unscrew the glass-reinforced nylon handle, and a standard broomstick can be added to make it a double-edge spear. Length 10.7 inches. Blade Length 4.25 inches. Weight 10 ounces. MSRP $51.75 sogknives.com 


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