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Best (New - not used) knives - $100 and under

Discussion in 'General Knife Discussion' started by Hal, Nov 20, 2020.

  1. Hal


    Feb 26, 1999
    Yeah - $100 not $50, $60, $70, $80 or $90.
    Right from $40 to $100.
    My reasoning here is this.

    The Ken Onion designed Kershaw Leek. Just my humble opinion on this but - the Leek is probably the closest thing you can get to a cross-over between something with traditional style, tacticool workings & an EDC knife that will do almost everything you can run into in day to day that you need a knife for.

    My onetime - "perfection" knife was a Benchmade Leopard Cub.
    Fabulous knife. I carried it for years. One day the blade screw backed out and it came apart.
    I might still have all the pieces somewhere - but - I miss that knife a lot.

    Anyhow -for me the $100 and under is the Kershaw Leek.
    Smaug likes this.
  2. comis

    comis Gold Member Gold Member

    May 17, 2013
    Just did a quick search on BladeHQ(I have no affiliation or hidden interest with them), here are some that caught my eyes:

    Sypderco Para3 lightweight
    Spyderco Dragonfly 2
    Spyderco Tenacious
    Spyderco Delica 4
    Civivi Elementum
    Civivi Rustic Gent
    Buck 110
    Buck 112
    CRKT Homefront

    I have owned a good number of them, and the choices are virtually countless depending on what you like.
    old hippy, bigsurbob, ATJ999 and 3 others like this.
  3. unwisefool

    unwisefool Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 22, 2007
    I like the Kershaw bare knuckle. I got to play with my friend's and it was really nice. I picked up a Boker stout that I really like. There are also some spydercos like the endura and delica.

    Just do a search like @comis did and you will find a lot.
    Edgeoflife, Vis07 and Hal like this.
  4. cbach8tw

    cbach8tw Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 9, 2006
    Buck 112 Slim Pro in Micarta. s30v steel, and the point is a little different from the traditional 112 or 110.
  5. JPD1998

    JPD1998 Gold Member Gold Member

    Oct 18, 2004
    Since the Leek was mentioned, you could get a Leek on steroids for about $50.

    Ruike P135

    Vis07, jfk1110 and Billy The Hungry like this.
  6. NorthernSouthpaw

    NorthernSouthpaw Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 27, 2014
    You should take the parts, put them in a baggie and send it off to Benchmade. It might cost a few bucks (probably under $50), but I bet they can fix it for you. They have the best customer service in the knife biz for a reason.
  7. K.O.D.

    K.O.D. Sanity Not Included Platinum Member

    Aug 21, 2013
    Only sub $100 modern folder I have is a Civivi McKenna. Fantastic knife. Right at $100 is my Kershaw Launch 8 which is also great.
    FRNFanboy and Hal like this.
  8. MarkN86


    Sep 3, 2012
    I second the Para3 LW, good ergos and great blade geometry. It's not as nice as the G10 version but the action is smooth and the whole thing feels solid.

    Under $100 opens up a lot of Spyderco, Kershaw, Cold Steel, a few Benchmades, better Bucks, and a lot of USA made traditionals. You're also in Kabar/Becker and lower end ESEE territory.

    Overall I feel like the $100 mark is where some of the best value is.
  9. Tyson A Wright

    Tyson A Wright Basic Member Basic Member

    Jun 9, 2020
    I recently bought a GEC Toothpick for a little over $80 (and there are still a few of these available new at dealers so act fast!). I think this is my favorite knive. Classic style, great slicer, very ergonomic grip (the back of the handle has contours that are incredibly similar to a Benchmade Mini Grip).[​IMG]

  10. Velitrius

    Velitrius Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 3, 2000
    I'm not much of a Spyderco guy really, but the Delica in FFG VG-10 has got to be one of the finest EDC's I've ever encountered.

    Pound for pound, dollar for dollar they are pretty hard to beat. Come in a pile of colors, so everyone can probably find an appealing one.

    As for the Leek, I like the carbon fiber version. It comes in CPM-154 steel and the carbon fiber is sweet as well. Really nice piece.

    If it were me, I'd send the Leopard Cub back to Benchmade and see if they will put her back together. They're pretty good CS-wise.
    bigsurbob, Edgeoflife and Hal like this.
  11. afishhunter

    afishhunter Basic Member Basic Member

    Oct 21, 2014
    Buck Custom Shop 110, Nickel Silver/German Silver bolster & liners, with or without cover pins, S30V blade option, and one of the higher end cover choices will get you to $100 ... or maybe up to $20 or so over if you add one of the optional ($10(?)$15(?)) leather sheaths.
    Or for around $44 plus tax and shipping (if any) a standard Brass and Ebony 110. Depending on where you buy, it will include the leather sheath, rather than the nylon.
    mqqn, FRNFanboy, eveled and 2 others like this.
  12. bruno_go


    May 19, 2015
    My list:
    Spyderco Endura 4
    Spyderco Delica
    Spyderco Para 3 LW
    Cold Steel American Lawman
    Kershaw Blur S30V
    Ontario Rat 1 D2
    Edgeoflife, rje58 and Hal like this.
  13. gazz98

    gazz98 Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 3, 2008
    Cold Steel Recon 1 is a few pennies under the $100 . Granted, it's a big knife (4" blade) and most folks don't want to carry something that big. I like mine.

    The Tenacious has S35VN and is a few bucks under $100 too.

    Spyderco Chaparral in CTS XHP.
    bigsurbob, jux t, Wurger190 and 2 others like this.
  14. Skar


    Mar 24, 2020
    Ontario Rat 1, Spyderco Delica 4
    Are Fantastic knives.
    Personally I don't like the leek. The safety feature alone keeps it out of my pocket.
    evilgreg and Hal like this.
  15. Lee D

    Lee D Basic Member Basic Member

    May 27, 2013
    This might be my favorite knife I bought in 2020

    Manly Wasp
    Hal, Icky Thump, Edgeoflife and 3 others like this.
  16. Smaug

    Smaug Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 30, 2003
    Agreed on the Leek. Lately, I'm finding the delicate tip to be so useful for every "open the package" type job. That tip just glides right in, then I slide that slicey, razor sharp edge through. The blade and handle shapes are perfect.

    I'm not sure if it's a top choice in the < $100 range though. It has some flaws that are inexcusable for a knife of this price and maturity:
    • Lanyard hole prevents the clip from being in the best place for tip-up carry. Get rid of the lanyard hole; no one sensible person carries these on lanyards!
    • 420HC steel in a $55 knife? C'mon. Ontario gives us D2 for the same price in the RAT series. 420HC should be reserved for a budget $30 model with FRN scales.
    • Needs a sharpening choil, even a small one. That last 1/16" of the edge is unsharpened anyway. Just grind a choil there instead.
    • Needs more scale options than color anodized aluminum. G10 at a minimum. How about polished micarta?

    You should dig up the parts and put it together for a winter/COVID project. It will be like having an old friend back.

    Hmmm. You put "knives" in the title, but you chose just one. Well, I will play it both ways then:

    1. Victorinox CyberTool M ($99.95) - This knife just blows away any single blade knife out of the water, where versatility is concerned. We Swiss Army Knights often find that it's hard to go back to a single bladed folder, unless it is just to have a properly hard blade steel and/or locking blade.

    With this model, we have a veritable toolbox in our belt pouch. (or pocket, for the more hardcore Knights!)
    • Some folks here want a sturdier folder, so they can pry with it, but with a SAK in the pocket, it's never necessary to pry with a knife blade, as there are nearly always better options. (3 flat screwdrivers, can opener edge, and sometimes the reamer)
    • The pliers is perfect for when we need more grip than tweezers or fingers can provide, but not quite enough to justify a larger multi-tool or a trip to the toolbox.
    • Victorinox scissors are pretty legendary; no need to elaborate further
    • Cyber driver - Once you use this, it's hard to go back to just a dedicated flat or Phillips. The bits are hardened, there's a good variety of them* and it is long enough to reach many recessed screws.
    • Bottle opener / large flat driver - I use mine more often as a pry bar and bottle opener, as flat head screws are a dying breed.
    • Can opener / small flat driver - A lighter duty pry bar with a sharper edge. Sometimes the 90° point of it comes in handy for pulling something
    • Two blades - The blade steel is not hard, but there is a back-up blade, so that goes a long way. I find myself using the small blade for most general utility jobs, and I hold back the large blade as a clean, sharp one for light food prep, and as a back-up for when the small blade gets dull.
    • Corkscrew - This is useful to help untie tough knots as well as for wine.
    • Eyeglass screwdriver in the corkscrew - I've saved the day of glasses wearers more than once with this handy little driver.
    • Stainless steel straight pin - Just the thing, when combined with the tweezers, for getting a sliver out!
    • Toothpick - I use this multiple times per day
    • Hook - Doesn't get used much, but occasionally, nothing else will do
    • Reamer - I use this for drilling holes for fine adjustment in my belts. But it also serves as a general purpose poky tool. (saving the blades from abuse)
    • Pressurized pen - I don't know about you guys, but I'm ALWAYS getting caught without a pen. This one (like a Space Pen) writes at any angle.
    Other great < $100 knives:

    • Spyderco Polestar ($70) - It's like a Tenacious, but with slightly upgraded scales and steel. (BD1 instead of 8Cr) It maximizes cutting edge, unlike Delica, Manix 2 or Native.
    • Cold Steel Voyager, large ($50) - My choice for a heavy duty folder. Easy to pinch open, even with thick gloves on, and there's enough room on the grip for gloves as well. I wish they still made the medium...
    • Ontario Rat II in D2 "R2D2" ($50) - What a perfect and well-executed design! Every detail is thought of. I'd love to have one of these with a Maxamet blade, and that might even be doable for under a hunge.
    • Spyderco UKPK ($70) - This thing is a masterpiece, on par with the Leek, but without any flaws. Be open-minded about the lack of a lock; it really doesn't need it, thanks to a good stop and the forward choil that keeps the blade open.
    • A.G. Russell Medium Gents Folding Hunter ($75) - An elegant back lock folder. Ultra-smooth action. Big blade in a small handle. Super light.
    • Spyderco Dragonfly Lightweight ($65?) - THIS is the top < $100 old school Spyderco to have, in my opinion. Four finger grip, thanks to the forward choil and good handle design, and a nice VG10 blade and wire pocket clip. Take off the pocket clip and it becomes a "ultra-deep carry" option.
    If I had to pick just one from the above list, it'd be the R2D2.
    bigsurbob likes this.
  17. Smaug

    Smaug Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 30, 2003
    It unscrews.
  18. Hal


    Feb 26, 1999
    I figured other people would have something else...hence the plural. If that makes ant sense.
  19. whp


    Apr 26, 2009
    It so happens I m carrying my Rat 1 with a D2 blade today. Great work knife with good steel. Very well put together. Good ergonomics. Very slicy.
    Less than 50.00. A steal.

    When looking at deals for less than 100.00, go to the Cold Steel section of a major web retailer, and take your pick. In particular, two classics are the American Lawman, and the Recon 1. For the money, two of the best folders on the market under 100.00.
    Edgeoflife, Smaug and DocJD like this.
  20. DocJD


    Jan 29, 2016
    On clearance now , direct from CS for $99 :


    The top one , Cold Steel Frenzy . Maybe the most potent , slim carry SD folder . Great steel , handle and even the clip .
    bigsurbob and Edgeoflife like this.

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