For a production folder I find the Chinook ideal. I'll copy what I posted in the Spyderco forum:

I just picked my Chinook up yesterday. I must say that this knife is truly outstanding in every respect. It's design, while obviously tactical, I have found to be more than slightly utilitarian due to the point and edge shape. The way everything regarding the knife is constructed, it is the only folding knife I have handled when training with a post that I have not been worried about it closing or being unduly damaged. (The post is wrapped in two layers of carpet)

Perfect for direct slicing, thrusting, twisting slices and stabs, and back cuts; the butt is more than adequate for punyos. The blade is thick enough to use for impact over the spyderhole while the rest of the blade is ideal for hooking and line clearing. Reverse grip techniques take on a whole new dimension with this folder as well as draw cuts. And all on a relatively compact package.

I can cause the lockback on every other lockback knife to fail with a good, complete grip on the handle, especially when using it; Every other locking folder when adjusting grip due to hard contact with the target inevitably creates some insecurity and possible failure by causing the hand to touch and possibly move the liner, button, or slide that releases the blade when you may need it the most. Accidental contact, grip and adjustment during use with the Chinook lockback mean nothing due to the design and construction.

You must properly and intentionally engage the lock if you wish to close the blade. The Chinook is so ugly in it's appearance, design and construction, it's beautiful.
Best for the $$, Benchmade Ascent 840, pretty much a lockback AFCK, for half the price. 830 and 820 if you need a shorter blade.
1. Crawford Kasper FF, if it can be had with either a frame lock or the Rolling lock

2. MOD Dieter CQD

3. R.E.K.A.T.-Crawford Carnivore


History is littered with the wars which everybody knew would never happen. ~Enoch Powell, Speech to the British Conservative Party Conference, 1967~
The best tactical folder I can think of is the Heckler and Koch G-36 assault rifle with dual optical sights.

Oh! Folding KNIFE? Tactical?

Best Overall? Give it to the REKAT Sifu. Big strong and sharp, and really not absurd in price.

Best Cheap knife? Goddard lightweight or CS Voyager.

Best price/ performance knife? $2 Chinese tactical ripoff. They might be weak and dull, but they are much cheaper than any good knife, and I doubt the person being stabbed will notice.
The best all around tactical folder is the one you have with you when you truly need it. Find one that has features you like and still remains within the legal limits of your jurisdiction. Then, make sure it fits into your budget well enough so that you could replace it if you had to. Keep it clean and razor sharp and above all else, have it with you.
If you're going to spend between $50 - $100, try the Cold Steel GunsiteII. Great knife. Got another $50 or so? Get an Emerson Commander. I'm crazy about mine.
Well, If I have to leave my Benelli and Sig home, I would choose:
2) Military, CPM 440V

Barry H
I have owned or own just about all of the major factory tacticals. I could equally recommend the Spyderco Military, Starmate, Wegner, or the Benchmade 710 and AFCK as the best mass produced tacticals in the 4" range.
The Al Mar SERE is also a great knife with incredible value for the price. The 3-3.5" range is more difficult but I believe the Kershaw Boa is the best in that Category with the Benchmade 730 in a virtual tie.

Recently, I picked up a custom that easily outclasses all of them: the Terzuola ATCF. Mine is G-10 with a black blade. It is buttery smooth without flopping open like liner locks. The lock engages fully without a hint of stickiness. The knife is very light even if it is not extra thin. The disc is ambidextrious and quick. The knife really remind me a the Starmate but it is 3 or 4 times as good (no offense Spyderco). I can't imagine a better knife. The ATCF is without a doubt the best tactical knife in the world.
I meant the ATCF does flop open like other liner locks. It is perfectly smooth but has a great ball detent. It just has matchless quality.
Is that before or after it scrapes the liners? Damn BT2 and Ti scales... DOH.

And they say Benchmade are getting better!


"To strive to seek to find and not to yield"
Ranger motto
Where could I see a picture of a Terzoula ATCF?

I noted with interest somone's listing of the Spyderco Native.
I would not have listed a Native as a Tactical Folder, but I do like mine.
It travels well, through airline security and most if not all states.
The other day I misplaced mine and, thinking I had lost it, it gave me some comfort to realize how little it would cost to replace it.

Luke 22:36, John 18:6-11, Freedom
If one takes care of the means, the end will take care of itself.
1) REKAT Carnivore
2) Spyderco Military

I saving up to buy a Pat Crawford Carnivore.
Crawford Point Guard!!!!! Titanium Scales
Spyderco Military/LCC/AFCK
CRKT M16 (I have the tanto)
SIMPLE Microtech Socom Elite for the price it cant be beat! And Microtech is the Best Factory knife made! With Masters of Defense next! Buy anything else would be junk!!
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Chiro75:
Ho hum.

1) Spyderco Wegner
2) Benchmade Pinnacle/MonoLock
3) Spyderco Endura

I am impressed that Chiro mentioned the Wegner. It definately is a folder that gets overlooked when speaking of "tactical" knives. The Wegner is not only an excellent candidate for best all around tactical folder, but also could be considered a candidate for best all around folder period.

I believe that it is often overlloked because it is marketed as a folding hunter. If one was to look at the design without any preconceived notions its ability as a tactical folder would shine through.

I have carried this knife more than any other. I have tried other knives, some much more expensive, but keep coming back. I carry the Wegner on duty as a full time law enforcement officer. I trust the Wegner that much.

It is as close to a perfect folder that I have found. There is currently several threads on the Spyderco forum asking for some slight upgrades on the next run of Wegners. These upgrades are:
- VG-10 or BG-42 blade steel
- Slightly larger opening hole ala Military and Chinook
- eccentric pivot ala Military and Starmate
- and Spyderco's new "cobra hood", which is supposed to be like a hood over the hole to help facilitate opening. Think of the combination of a thumb disc and Spyder hole.

These improvements would bring an already excellent knife that much closer to perfection. And that, after all, is what we should all be striving for.

Here is a qoute from the designer, Tim Wegner, on his take on the Wegner as a tactical folder. He makes some very valid points. As the designer he should know the knife better than any.

From Tim Wegner:

<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Hi guys! I figured I had better jump on line to see if I could shed any light on the subjects being discussed surrounding the Spyderco/Wegner Clipit. Before I get started, I would like to invite you all to view the Clipit Story on our knife page at our website

The question was posed, "Is the Spyderco/Wegner Clipit a hunter's knife or a tactical knife?" In my humble opinion the very things that make this knife an excellent hunter's tool make it a great tactical blade as well -- consider this, its' primary function is to cut flesh!

First, let me explain the Spyderco/Wegner Clipit's role as a hunter's tool. Most people look at a hunting knife as being just a skinning knife and neglect four other very important tasks: field dressing, quartering, disjointing, and caping. All of which can be accomplished without the aid of an ax or saw. This hunter's tool should also include the knife's possible use as a survival tool.

I designed the Spyderco/Wegner Clipit to be a multi-roled knife which will accomplish all that a back country hunter would require of it in the field while working on an elk sized animal, and still keep its' edge. Keep in mind that any knife will dull if it is used to cut through the dirty hair of a game animal.

The design is what I would call a modified Loveless semi-skinner. The original Spyderco prototype which appeared in pre-production photos had a tip that was too wide for intricate cutting, and the belly was too acute and would have been detrimental to its' intended role as a utility hunter. Spyderco made the changes at my request. The only differecne between the custom version and the production version are the point, the semi-skinner hump, and the length. The point is 1/8" lower on the production knife and the semi-skinner hump is slightly less pronounced. The length at 3 5/8" is 1/8" shorter than the custom. I kept these slight variations in the production knife because they make it an even better knife for all around utility without sacrificing any of its' capabilities as a hunter. The weights are as follows: custom titanium - 5.25 oz, custom lightweight - 3.75 oz, production Spyderco- 5.0 oz.

By using the term back country hunter, I am referring to a person who does most of his hunting far off the beaten path. This type of hunting requires the most efficient, lightweight, and tough equipment that you can afford. This is especially true when the fun stops and the work starts, you are fie miles from camp, and you have to make several back breaking trips paking out 150 lb elk quarters. I know I have done it more than once.

The concept of using one knife to do all the field work, saves on the hassle of having to carry three knives far into the field. I must confess though, I always carry a backup folder in my pack or vest and of course it's a plain edge Spyderco/Wegner clipit.

The Clipit blade is dropped enough to open a carcass without snagging the paunch. It's skinning belly is comprised of a gradual sweep that works great removing the hide from the largest game by using an even rocking motion utilizing the blade's full belly, rather than the tip.

Caping is more of a specialty chore and many hunters elect to have their taxidermist do it. Oh yes, I realize not everyone is a trophy hunter, but I'll bet there are a good number of hunters who, like me, will not turn down a nice trophy if the opportunity arises. The knife's tip strong and sharp, not only aids in opening up the body cavity, but more importantly, it's sharpness gives the ability to perform intricate cutting chores where precision control is required. Despite all of this, the tip is still plenty strong enough for the demanding job of disjointing and quartering. I personally know of two AFCK's (great knives in their own right) that were used to pop joints on elk, and now sport screwdriver tips.

The Clipit's lightly hollow ground blade is just right for cutting flesh, but will take heavy abuse if the situation warrants. The edge geometry is great right out of the box. I can personally attest to the strength of this knife as I seriously tried to break one on a big fat mule deer buck right after I received the first shipment in Nov. '97.

On numerous occasions I have even used my Clipit to split wood for an afternoon warming fire on a frozen Montana day. And in a survival situation I would feel confident that this knife will not let me down.

The handle was designed to fit all hands, gloved or not, by using a larger two finger sized cut out rather than a single finger cutout, which in my opinion would have been a less universal grip format. This also makes the handle comfortable for long periods of time in all grip configurations.

I have said all this to say "Yes, the Spyderco/Wegner Clipit is a great choice as a tactical folder." Datu Kelly Worden also agrees, and he has quite a bit of positive insight as to why this clipit makes a great defensive knife.

Yes, at one time Gunsite was willing to promote this knife as the official GTC knife, but Rich Jee and I decided that it would be better in the long run to promote the knife as the utility hunter it is rather than give undue attention to the "new" knife by portraying it as a fighter. Especially if down the road some poor chap were to use the knife to ginsu his way out of trouble and end up in the court system. In the mean time, Lynn Thompson approached Rich about doing a Gunsite Tactical folder and I wholeheartedly gae them both my blessing.

Sal Glesser and his great Spyderco design team did a fantastic job on transforming my custom knife design into a production piece that is not only accurate but one that rivals the custom version in quality. We have sold over one thousand knives and I have yet to find a bad one. The staff at Spyderco are a great bunch and they are a blessing to work with. Sal and Spyderco's integrity are second to none, they have my utmost respect.

Thanks for taking the time to read this long thread! GOD BLESS!

Tim Wegner

Tim Wegner


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