Best production knife of the last 20 years?

Sep 9, 1999
All the knife 'experts' are saying that we are living in a 'Golden' age as far as production cutlery is concerned so I thought it would be intresting to ask the following question.

What knife would you consider to be the best production knife of the last 20 years?

My personal choice would probably be the AlMar Falcon with ivory micarta scales. Outstanding design, materials and construction. Over to you...

[This message has been edited by mjjbecker (edited 16 September 1999).]
This is going to be an interesting topic. We have people that have been into knives for 20+ years and people that have only been into knives for a few years or less represented here. I predict the answers may be different depending on when people started. People who have been knife knuts for longer may pick an older knife and the newbies may pick a new knife.

I would have to say the sebenza. Or would you consider that a custom?


Spyderco Endura

Spyderco changed the face of pocketknives with their clip, their one-handed opening hole, and their serrations. The Endura (and Delica) brought this "to the masses" with a fine knife at an affordable price.

The Endura uses a glass-reinforced nylon handle to make a strong, low-cost handle. The blade steel has changed over its life but has always been a good steel for its price point. Its Zytel clip was good; the new reversible metal clip is better. Spyderco's serrations remain among the best, and you just can't beat "the hole" for fast indexing and easy opening.

As Joe Talmadge has put it, every folder purchase after the Endura is a case of diminishing returns. Yes, there are tougher and prettier knives out there, but the Endura rules in bang-for-the-buck. After about a decade it continues to be Spyderco's strongest seller, and is still among the finest Zytel knives you can buy.

Best Production Knife - has to be Benchmade's 710 Axis Lock. For the money, nothing I've come across has better functionality and reliability. Sure, some others have been more popular. Give the Axis Lock a few years though, and it'll catch up!

If we had to limit ourselves to knives that have been widely available for at least 2 years, I'd say the Endura. It would definitely be the most influential.


Knowledge without understanding is knowledge wasted.
Understanding without knowledge is a rare gift - but not an impossibility.
For the impossible is always possible through faith. - Bathroom graffiti, gas station, Grey, TN, Dec, 1988

AKTI Member #A000831

[This message has been edited by Codeman (edited 16 September 1999).]
While the above suggestions have merit, I think that the only logical choice is the Sebenza. It IS considered a production knife after all, commands a high price, satisfies customers, and WORKS.

Further, the frame lock, successor to the liner lock, is an integral part of this knife. Good quality steel, good blade geometry, and bank vault feel to the construction. What else could you want?

The Sebenza, hands down.
I couldn't have said it better.

"Worst of all my foes, I fear the enemy within"
*John Wesley*

Romans 10:9-10

"Military" Fans Unite!!

It all starts with the greatest influence on knives in the past, I guess 30 years, and that is Michael Walker.
I will have to agree with Walt. Chris Reeve Knives Sebenza.


I too think the Buck 110 is the best knife in the past 20 years. But I think this design is older than 20 years. Not sure.

You gave no criteria so I'll state mine. Affordability, Materials, Construction (Fit & Finish), Ergonomics, Customer Support and Overall Satisfaction. The 110 does not excell in any of these categories except maybe affordability. But to me it is the overall winner.

"A knifeless man is a lifeless man"
-Nordic proverb

My first "good" knife was an Al Mar Falcon, ivory micarta handles, carried it ~6 years. Lost it.

Two years ago was trying on a pair of jean not worn in 15 years (cleaning out the attic)...Hello, there was the falcon!

Equal to many customs I own, a great choice!

i'll go with corduroy on this one,but with a slight change and it is the POLICE MODEL by spyderco. it came before the endura and was spyderco's first best seller.
and it changed the face of the industry.the first to offer the new"super" steels ,the serrations,and the clip and one hand opennig
to the masses[the worker and mariner came first].but were not as popular. as for the SEBENZA yes..i agree it is a beeter knife but it is hardly made any major impact on the knife world as the spydercos. i am not sure that the whole knife rainasanse would have happen at all if it wasn't for the creation of the CLIPITS.
I'm gonna go with the other "sebenzanites" and say the sebenza.

I would have gon with the above mentioned Endura and Police model, that is until the Starmate arrived. And for the $89.95 I paid for it, it also gets top honors in the bang for the buck catagory.
My vote goes to the Buck 110. Without that (still) very good knife being carried by so many soon to be in the "Golden Age" carriers, there would have been no market nearly as large as it is today for all of the Spydercos and Sebenzas to exist. I think the Buck 110 is the "Big Bang" of the locking folder. It wasn't the first, but for a long and critical time, it was the standard that challenged all who would come later to try and better it either on features, design, quality, price, or any combo of those facets. If you are overlooking the Buck 110, you probably aren't old enough to appreciate the "Dark Ages" world of knives as short ago as 1979.

That Buck would be what I call influential. That knife is, as they say today, Old School.

[This message has been edited by lawdog (edited 16 September 1999).]
I guess I'd have to go with what I carried constantly for a dozen years or so, a Gerber Bolt-Action. It stays sharp, is good sized, real light, and the lock still works well. It can also be opened and shut one-handed. Since I turned nifenut its boring and now carry an auto because I think they're neat.

I'm sure there were many better knives out there but the Gerber gave me many years of good service without fail.