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Best EDC Tactical Folder?

Discussion in 'General Knife Discussion' started by Stephen1337, Nov 19, 2011.

  1. Stephen1337


    Nov 5, 2011
    Hey guys looking into to getting a tactical folder for heavy duty edc use. I think that Zero Tolerance, Emerson, Benchmade, and Striders make the BEST tact. folders in my opinion. So if it you were me which one would you buy? Im leaning throwad the Emerson Mini Commander and Zero Tolerance 350 or 200 they seem like very solid knifes for the price and not that heavy but thats just what im thinking. So what tact. folder should I get please help?
    Thank you in advance,
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2011
  2. Sidewinder1282


    Nov 18, 2011
    i own a Zt 0200 and while they are a hard use folder for me it is way too large for EDC
    If size and weight aren't an issue i would go with the ZT purely because from my experience you can't get a better bomb-proof knife for the money and the 154cm blade comes hair popping sharp right out of the box and holds an edge for a good while.
  3. moxie


    Jul 3, 2006
  4. ThePharce


    Sep 16, 2010

    Or, you can still spend less than a Strider, and have Pat Crawford make one for you....
  5. stormyone


    Dec 19, 2006
    If it were me, I'd get a

    1. Spyderco Military


    2. Benchmade 710

    3. A limited edition Benchmade 806
  6. Cynic2701


    Mar 31, 2009
    What, exactly, does tactical actually mean? I've been on the forums for a few years now, and have yet to come across what I feel is an adequate answer. Can you provide a list of attributes that you are looking for?
  7. diamdave


    Nov 29, 2001
    Tactical means, to me, something that will fit in with and flow with my tactics. For me, as long as the handle grip is 'good' and the edge is sharp, nothing else really matters. If its a folder, you've got to be able to open it easily and quickly. That covers about three hundred knives, give or take, that I know of :)
  8. matt1987


    Nov 2, 2009
    I EDC a ZT 0300. It's not as heavy as people make it out to be IMO. In hand the knife has a solid heft, but when it's in my pocket I can't feel the weight.

    I recommend a Zero Tolerance or a Spyderco Military.
  9. Gunsnknives


    Mar 26, 2011
    1. Benchmade AFCK
    2. Spyderco Military
    3. Combative Edge M1/SR11
    4. BM 950 Rift
    5. Spyderco ParaMilitary
    6. Spyderco Manix
    7. Spyderco Police

    ZT is nice but a bit more Tacticool than I like. If I were in security/LE/Military, I'd go ZT.
  10. Shorttime


    Oct 16, 2011
    A question fraught with peril! I don't think there really is an answer that we could all agree completely on. There are some general characteristics, such as a thumb ramp, recurve blade, pronounced swedge grind, and some form of one-handed opening mechanism, but I'm sure there are knives which have none of these charcteristics, and still manage to look tactical.

    The genesis of the common definition of a tactical knife seems to have started as a general purpose knife that had enough "fighting knife" characteristics to be useful in that role.

    Modern tactical knives seem to be more biased toward strength of blade and lock mechanism, and any utility they have as fighters is the result of ergonomics.

    It seems that when most people say "tactical folder", they are thinking "work knife".

    In the context of "work knife", there is hardly any difference between ZT and Emerson, in terms of build quality. The features that tend to make the difference, for me, anyway, are mainly in how the handle feels.
  11. Cynic2701


    Mar 31, 2009
    An interesting answer. Why is a swedge grind desirable? What makes a recurve grind better suited to fighting or utility than a more traditional blade shape? Wouldn't ergonomics depend on knife-fighting style?
  12. Insipid Moniker

    Insipid Moniker Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 28, 2011
    Benchmade 710 or 860 might be good for you. Cold Steel makes some very strong folders that would probably for the bill, maybe a Recon 1 or AK-47. They use a steel with somewhat worse edge retention, but AUS8 is very tough and generally won't chip put too badly if you abuse it.
  13. nick425


    Apr 22, 2011
    Strider SNG
  14. jstrykr74


    Mar 7, 2011
    Always loved the military, but I'm rapidly falling in love with the SERE 2000.
  15. Tim616


    Sep 13, 2011
    Tactical means one thing and one thing only. "Will it serve a defensive/rescue/emergency-situation purpose" If not, it's not tactical....

    A slipjoint is not tactical. (Not practically anyways.)
    An axis lock folder that deploys quickly, is tactical.

    That sums it up. The word tactical is not just "what it means to me" .... It's already a defined term.

    For example. I carry 2 knives, one is a working slipjoint, the other is a tactical folder for emergency use/ heavy tasks which require a large blade.

    Hope this helps.
  16. Flash Owl

    Flash Owl

    Aug 24, 2011
    im a fan of emerson designs, i like the simple construction, thick blade tips, large pivot, the handle ergos are good for thrusting, and of course the wave feature which is the fastest deployment method for a folder.
    my only complaint... is that its a liner lock design, and price is alittle on the high side compared to todays standards.

    i also have a ZT 0200, and its a very well built folder. its solid all around. excellent fit and finish. too heavy for me though. if you dont mind the heft, like many have suggested, ZT are heavy duty in every sense of the word, and are priced very well.
    when you hold it in your fist, it inspires confidence.

    cold steel make some very decent tactical folders, especially for the price. i usually dont care much for the premium blade steels, but the AUS-8A that cold steel uses rolls too easily on me. i definitely notice its edge gets duller more quickly.
  17. drillsgt71


    Dec 1, 2010
    I'm a big Emerson fan. I have a Super CQC 7, a Roadhouse, a CQC 7V and an original Benchmade CQC 7. I also have a ZT 350. I've responded to other posts about this same question with the reply that either of these brands will serve you well. I prefer Emerson's myself, but my ZT 350 is a great knife. It came sharp and is easy to open, plus feels good in hand. The ZT is less expensive and easyer to find than Emersons, that might be a factor in your choice. Good luck!
  18. ThePharce


    Sep 16, 2010
    As I've said repeatedly on here. I don't have any 'tactical' knives. I don't care if I'm carrying a Spyderco Warrior. If I have to pull it out to defend myself, it means I've burned through two magazines of ammo. Obviously, at that point, there's nothing tactical about the fight because my tactics have sucked!:p
  19. hatidua


    Jul 28, 2010
    I think the ZT0300 is well worth it's price tag and I've owned two of them but just never really bonded with them so they were sold. For me, it's a combo-edge Spyderco Military, -does everything I can think of needing a knife to do.
  20. corwise

    corwise Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 10, 2006
    If you've been here several years you've probably seen many threads/arguements on what is a tactical folder, does it actually exist or is it just a buzz word, etc.
    My take:
    If you're a mall ninja then 'tactical folder' means a bad ass looking knife that you can use for self defense against terrorist and gang members.
    For most folks a 'tactical folder' is a folder with the following characteristics: One handed opening, a locking mechanism, single blade, modern materials (ie macarta, carbon fiber, not jigged bone).
    But, everyone will argue this one for the next couple of decades.

    As not to steal the thread, short answer I'd go with a Benchmade. Emersons have never appealed to me for some reason. I have a ZT300 and while it's an awesome knife it's also extremely large for EDC use. I also have a Stride SNG and the blade profile is way to thick for EDC use (in my opinion at least). I'd like to get one with a slicer grind, I think that would work a lot better. Maybe if you can pick one of those up, they're solid well made knives as well.

    All that being said, there are a lot of custom makers who can get you something almost or as cheap as a Strider or good Emerson. Check the custom knife maker for sale forum. Check the individuals selling custom knives. David Mosier, John W. Smith, Todd Begg, Kirby Lamber, there are a lot of great tactical folders out there for a reasonable price.

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