A good, cheap knife

Posted by: teacher

A good, cheap knife - 08/06/21 07:36 PM

What are your favorite under $50 blades?
For work, carrying in the car, etc.?
Posted by: hikermor

Re: A good, cheap knife - 08/06/21 10:32 PM

Mora
Posted by: Bingley

Re: A good, cheap knife - 08/06/21 11:13 PM

I was into nice knives that cost hundreds of dollars... until I had to use them. I'm more comfortable with a cheaper knife that does the same job, like Mora.

Also, a few years ago I watched a video about making the traditional knife of the indigenous peoples of Taiwan. What we might call survival today is just regular life to those guys way back then. I assumed such a hardy people would have fine knives. But that turned out to be wrong. An actual indigenous person explained that often they made knives from whatever steel that was available because steel was that scarce for them. But they made do with these knives. They didn't need super ninja bainite alien tech steel in tactical black.
Posted by: hikermor

Re: A good, cheap knife - 08/07/21 03:19 AM

And before there was steel, there was stone. Cutting instruments are among the earliest of man's tools that we can recognize today. Stone knives served us for many thousands of years and actually work pretty well. A knife made from obsidian 9volcanic glass) is actually theoretically sharper than any steel. The cutting edge is fashioned by striking the rock in the right manner and splitting off a flake. The edge formed in this manner is comprised of the smallest possible component of the obsidian and is more than razor sharp. But it i also extremely fragile and dull rapidly.

When you investigate an archaeological site where obsidian is used, you find many of the discarded flakes - edge retouch flakes - as sharpening is a never-ending process. You are better off with 440HC....

Enough of these cutting remarks.
Posted by: dougwalkabout

Re: A good, cheap knife - 08/07/21 03:22 AM

Yep, Moras punch way above their weight.

Currently, my go-to workhorse beaters are Titan wrecking knives, the chisel tip version. Stronger than the Moras I have, just as sharp but not as rust resistant, scandi-grind, take a great edge, and good for digging/prying as well as cutting. Made in Taiwan. I bought a ton of them on a once in a lifetime sale for $5 each. I should have bought a whole pallet to sell on ebay/Amazon for a fat markup. Silly me.
Posted by: chaosmagnet

Re: A good, cheap knife - 08/07/21 04:13 AM

For an inexpensive fixed blade, a Mora is real hard to beat. There are a number of models to choose from, I prefer the stainless steel Compainion..

For an inexpensive folding knife, Cold Steel and CRKT both make great options.
Posted by: Phaedrus

Re: A good, cheap knife - 08/07/21 05:38 AM

I'd have to also vote Mora for an inexpensive knife. All told I probably have 50 or more Moras. Most of my larger kits (eg day hiking and large PSKs) have a Mora in them. But as great as they are I virtually never carry one for EDC, mostly because I fixed blade is almost never part of my daily carry. When hiking and camping I will usually have an ESEE Izula or Izula 2 which is a fixed blade but pretty small. My EDC is usually a Spyderco (normally a Delica or Dragonfly).

My favorite sub-$50 EDC is without a doubt a Victorinox SAK of some kind. My favorites for EDC are probably the ALOX Farmer, the Huntsman or the Classic.
Posted by: haertig

Re: A good, cheap knife - 08/07/21 06:30 AM

My EDC carry is a Spyderco Native in CPM S35VN. This one was a gift from a friend, and it replaced my previous Native that was CPM S30 I think? This current one is above your $50 price point, but IIRC my original Native was something like $49 on sale (but that was many years ago). It's a good EDC knife. I have a bunch of Moras around the house too, as everyone here seems to as well. I don't carry them - fixed blade is not my carry style - but for tasks around the house and yard, they are my GoTo choice.
Posted by: M_a_x

Re: A good, cheap knife - 08/07/21 06:31 AM

For under 50$ it would be a tie between Mora and Martiini. I have samples of both brands and I am very satisfied with them. They come wicked sharp, hold an edge and are easy to resharpen.
I switched to fixed blades for daily carry for legal reasons. As long as itīs not a dedicated fighting knife (or maketed as such) I can carry up to just under 5" blades. Carrying a locking folder of any size is sailing in murky waters.
Posted by: KenK

Re: A good, cheap knife - 08/07/21 04:13 PM

My favorite LOW COST folder - the one I bought for my kids when I assumed that they'd eventually lose them - is the Kabar Dozier Folding Spear. I don't think the Dozier Folding Spear is currently available, but the Kabar Dozier Folding Hunter is very similar.

A 3" locking folder for a bit over $20!!

My son used that knife from Cub Scouts (when introduced to knife safety) until he aged out with his Eagle rank at 18 years of age. It has served him well.
Posted by: Blast

Re: A good, cheap knife - 08/07/21 07:50 PM

I'm a big fan of the CRKT M16-01KS knives. Under $40 and have been bombproof.
-Blast
Posted by: Ren

Re: A good, cheap knife - 08/07/21 11:45 PM

EDC in the pocket is usually a Victorinox Farmer.
Day pack has a Victorinox Walker as a spare pocket knife, and a Mora when have good reason to carry a fixed blade.
Law here requires a valid reason (camping/fishing/etc) for having a fixed or locking blade out in public.
Posted by: brandtb

Re: A good, cheap knife - 08/08/21 10:44 PM

I hate the way the Mora sits in its cheap little sheath.
Posted by: Ratch

Re: A good, cheap knife - 08/09/21 01:20 AM

Another vote for the kabar folding dozier. I carry one in orange so I donít lose it. There must be 20 knives in the woods and fields at my place.
Posted by: Phaedrus

Re: A good, cheap knife - 08/09/21 06:40 AM

Originally Posted By: brandtb
I hate the way the Mora sits in its cheap little sheath.


Mora sheaths are of the cheap-and-cheerful variety but there are many folks that do very nice kydex sheaths for them. A fellow at another forum has made several for me. A Mora is so inexpensive that even after buying a better sheath you're still well ahead of the game.
Posted by: KenK

Re: A good, cheap knife - 08/09/21 02:44 PM

Originally Posted By: Ratch
Another vote for the kabar folding dozier. I carry one in orange so I donít lose it. There must be 20 knives in the woods and fields at my place.


Great idea to stash knives all over your place! You never know when you'll need one in an emergency. grin
Posted by: Ratch

Re: A good, cheap knife - 08/10/21 02:49 AM

Same with glasses. Iíve got a pair I found while weeding that I had lost two years ago. Got scrapped by my snowplow and pushed into a garden, but the lenses are still good.
Posted by: Blast

Re: A good, cheap knife - 08/10/21 02:40 PM

Originally Posted By: Ratch
Same with glasses. Iíve got a pair I found while weeding that I had lost two years ago. Got scrapped by my snowplow and pushed into a garden, but the lenses are still good.

Yep! I have a pair of reading glasses in every room of the house and most bags/luggage. grin
-Blast
Posted by: Plainsman

Re: A good, cheap knife - 08/12/21 04:44 PM

Under $50, I would recommend:
Fixed blade-
BK 11 or 14
Moras

Folders-
Victorinox SAKs

Beyond that, Iím spending more money.
Posted by: quick_joey_small

Re: A good, cheap knife - 08/19/21 11:30 AM

No need to settle for lower quality.
The Terava's are cheap and first rate:
'Outdoor Gear Review' checks knives costing hundreds of dollars and think they are the best he's tried in years:

https://youtu.be/btQxnxvfNlk

and reviewers find them indestructible:

https://youtu.be/XzDB9SnNpNs


Just get a few sheets of kevlar and make a sheath, or tape some plastic together and put it in your pocket. You carry the rest of your gear there, why not the knife too?

Or if you don't mind a blade an inch shorter, they sell a plastic sheath for a few dollars.

qjs
Posted by: hikermor

Re: A good, cheap knife - 08/19/21 01:52 PM

It certainly seems that there are plenty of good knives for cutting and slicing available for 40 bucks or less. What is the point of spending more? Jewelry?
Posted by: teacher

Re: A good, cheap knife - 08/22/21 02:53 AM

I find a small. locking folder is most useful - because the big ones don't get carried.
Posted by: amper

Re: A good, cheap knife - 09/12/21 12:46 PM

For anyone looking for a good, basic, relatively low cost folding knife, my recommendations would be the Ontario RAT I or RAT II, or the Becker BK-40. These knives canít be beat for the price, and they are some of the only knives that allow you to mount the pocket clip in four different orientations. The only thing that could make these three knives better is if they actually offered them in left-handed lock versions.

The knife that I use more than any other knife is *still* my Victorinox Rambler.

Otherwise, any fixed blade knife with a blade about 4-5.5Ē long made from a tough stainless steel. I like 420HC for this purpose, because itís really tough, really stainless, and sharpens easily with field-expedient methods. Itís an inexpensive steel, so if you screw it up, itís nothing to cry over, but it will get the job done.

All the other details about knives are more or less only important if you want to discuss specific task suitability. The knife I carry in the backcountry is a vintage Gerber Pro-Guide II Drop Point Hunter, from back when Gerber still made everything in the US. These used to go for a song on eBay, but I have been seeing some crazy prices recently.
Posted by: amper

Re: A good, cheap knife - 09/12/21 12:49 PM

When it comes to the ďScandinavian utility knifeĒ style, I prefer Hultafors to Morakniv. Iím not the hugest fan of the Scandinavian grind, but these knives are very cheap, very tough, and will definitely do a workmanís job as a survival tool.
Posted by: paulr

Re: A good, cheap knife - 09/13/21 07:45 AM

I was once into nice knives but these days my main EDC is a Milwaukee Fastback compact utility knife, you know, the folding box cutter type. I rarely need more than the inch or so of blade length that it gives me for opening packaging, cutting cords, that sort of thing. I don't have to worry about messing up the blade hacking through something tough, because replacement blades are about 10 cents each and I have a box of 50 at home (I've used about 5). The blades are thin and sharp, and the handle is beefy and sturdy. So I like this option a lot.
Posted by: LesSnyder

Re: A good, cheap knife - 09/13/21 02:38 PM

in my former occupation I carried a Spyderco C37 Walker light weight and later Kershaw Leek.... still carry a replacement Leek
Posted by: amper

Re: A good, cheap knife - 09/13/21 06:04 PM

My actual EDC folder is not an under $50 knife, but the same vintage Gerber Harsey AirFrame I've been carrying for over 15 years, now. There's probably a post here from when I bought it, since I joined ETS 19 years ago. I actually have two of them, one with the titanium scales that is my EDC, and one with the aluminium scales that I reserve for formal occasions, since it's lighter, so it won't hang as heavy when I clip it to my lingerie under an evening gown or toss it in my evening bag.
Posted by: Treeseeker

Re: A good, cheap knife - 09/22/21 11:32 PM

As long as I can remember, my EDC has been a SAK Tinker. I probably use it at least five times a day.
Posted by: UTAlumnus

Re: A good, cheap knife - 09/23/21 03:30 AM

+1 on the M-16 series. It's my cutting EDC unless I need something more covert. Other blades carried are not carried for the blade.
Posted by: amper

Re: A good, cheap knife - 11/29/21 05:37 PM

Originally Posted By: teacher
What are your favorite under $50 blades?
For work, carrying in the car, etc.?


Under $50? What kind of knife are you looking for?

Generally speaking, the first knife I will recommend is always the Victornox Rambler.

But, if you are looking for a good quality folding/locking knife, my first two choices in that price range would be the Ontario RAT series or the KA-BAR Becker BK40. Good design, good steel, and unlike most other knives on the market, 4-way clip mounting. The only thing that could make these knives better is if they were offered in left-hand version for the liner locks.

I do not understand why the knife industry has gone so heavily for tip-up carry knives. I'd never, never, ever, ever carry a knife tip-up. That is a disaster in the making. Tip down always, because safety first.

So, I will never buy a knife that only offers tip-up carry, but I'm happy to recommend knives that offer the user more options.

Fixed blades are harder to recommend, because there are just so many of them out there. But I will say that I would look for anything made in 420HC high carbon stainless. It's a budget steel, but it has ideal properties for a field knife. It's inexpensive, highly corrosion resistant, extremely tough, and extremely easy to sharpen using field-expedient methods.
Posted by: haertig

Re: A good, cheap knife - 11/30/21 04:47 AM

Yesterday, I was rummaging through some long forgotten boxes of stuff in our spare bedroom (storage room). I found four Moras sitting there, never used. That's in addition to the four or five other Moras that I have and use. So I guess I don't need to buy anymore, huh?

A Mora is one of my goto "filler items" when I need, say, a $50 order to get free shipping and I only have $40 in my cart. It seems I've reached my limit on filler Moras. I'll have to start adding something different in the future!