Best sub-$50 folder?

Oct 27, 2000
Looking for advice on a good, reasonably lightweight folder for all-around camping use. I've got to do this by mailorder, so I won't be able to handle samples in a shop. I want a 3 to 3-1/2-inch blade (I've got my SAK for the little stuff, and don't want to carry anything bigger). I prefer a drop point or similar blade shape to a skinner style, since I never skin things. I've narrowed it down to the following:

-- CRKT Navajo (OK, so it's just over $50, but it looks so sleek)

-- CRKT Pat Crawford Point Guard. That LAWKS locking system sounds attractive.

-- A.G. Russell Featherlite One-Hand Knife.

-- Spyderco Endura (I'm back into the knife world after a 15-year hiaitus, and I just can't get over the feeling that Spyderco blades look funny, so I'm not sure about this one.)

A few that I've considered and ruled out are:

-- Kershaw Blackout. I worry that if my kids ever got ahold of the knife it would spring open and bite 'em. Same goes for the Whirlwind, plus I don't like the blade shape -- and that also rules out the non-speed-safe Blizzard.

-- Benchmade Ascent series. Saw some less than enthusiastic reviews here.

-- CRKT Kit Carson M16 series. Looks like it should be a bayonet. I'm not planning on stabbing anything/one.

Thanks in advance for any advice you can offer.
Cold Steel Voyager series? The "Medium" has a 3 inch blade, and the "Large" has just a little over a 4 inch blade.

They are very strong, light-weight, and SHARP. The blades are AUS-8 stainless steel, and come in plain, 50/50 serrated, or fully serrated blades. The blades are either "clip-point", or "Tanto-style". They have a Zytel handle, with a steel pocket-clip.

Dann Fassnacht
Aberdeen, WA
ICQ# 53675663
The Endura would be an excellent choice.

Check out the Spyderco Goddard lightweight. Here is an interesting thread comparing it to some of the columbia river knives you mention:


Dennis Bible
Get a spyderco. They have super high quality for the $50 range. You can get good size strength and ergonomics and still have good steel.
My vote would be for one (or all ) of these 3 in no particular order:
delica 98- Just a little smaller than the endura, very lightwieght and slim. ATS 55 is great stuff. And one of the best handle and blade shapes I've ever used. Its very confortable to hold and gives you good cutting power and control.
Endura 98- just a slightly bigger delica

Goddard lightweight- Same scenario as the other 2- lightwieght, ATS55. Good knife any way you look at it. And the blade isn't really that classic spyderco shape that you don't like.
I may sound biased, but I'm not. My daily carry knife is a benchmade. They make good folders too but they're in a higher price range for the most part. It think for the $50 range spyuderco is the best there is.

It'll feel better when it stops hurting.
My vote: Spyderco Endura

I have quite a few folders, but this one has
almost everything going for it (including

Rock solid lockup on every one I have owned
(own two right now). Sharp out of the box.

For best bang for the buck (and for the

For best value for money in a hard working knife, Spydies can't be beaten. Get the Endura.

It probably needs to be mentioned that I'm not even a hole-in-blade fan but gotta give credit where its due.


"Praise not the day until evening has come;a sword until it is tried; ice until it has been crossed; beer until it has been drunk" - Viking proverb
Hi. I just checked, and the One Stop Knife Shop offers the Darrel Ralph designed Impulse for well under $50.00 delivered. I've admired and actually handled this knife, and I strongly recommend it.

There is a lot of value in that knife for <$50.00.
My vote is for the Spyderco Endura.

It may be 'funny-looking', but this knife is still my favorite carry knife.
You specify a 3 to 3 1/2" blade length and then say your considering the Endura, which has a 3 3/4" blade?

The Endura is a great knife, but your original criteria clearly exclude it.

actually the only Spyderco's I can find with your specified blade lengths and price range are the Jess Horn LW, Native & Rescue Jr. The Rescue Jr clearly is not "drop point", so it to should be excluded. the other two could be considered drop points, but the Jess Horn borders on being a clip point and they both have a false edge on top. which kinda goes against the whole purpose of a drop point.

[This message has been edited by AR15fan (edited 10-28-2000).]
CRKT Point Guard is nice, but the steel is kind of cheap. I wish they made it out of AUS-8 instead of AUS-6, I would be willing to pay the extra cost.

Spyderco Endura is a nice choice for your uses. Looks aren't everything, I'll admit I thought the Endura looked silly when I saw it, but when I handled it, I liked it. I don't personally own one, but they are really nice knives for the money.

You might also take a look at the CRKT Crawford/Kasper Fighting Folder. Heavy, but it is a tough knife and has the LAWKS as well.

Chang and the Rebels of the East
(Southern Taiwan Shall Rise Again!)

[This message has been edited by Comrade Chang (edited 10-29-2000).]
Goddard Lightweight over Endura - I REALLY like that knife! Good steel, good blade shape, good handle shape, lkightweight.. . but either are great. The Impulse is a very good value, I really like mine, but for an all-purpose utility blade I find the Goddard's got a better shape (& also the Endura) than the Imulse. Delica or Calypso Jr. are good smaller choices, although the bigger knives are pretty light and maybe3 a bit stronger. But with any of the zytel spydercos, the lack of steel liners means you have to be cautious about twisting or prying with the blade. The Cold Steel folders are stronger still, and worth looking at, although they lack the grace of the Goddard IMHO.

The beatings will continue until morale improves.

[This message has been edited by fishface (edited 10-29-2000).]
Thanks, all. It sounds like the Spyderco Goddard Lightweight will work best for me ... it's blade looks like it will do just what I need -- including spreading peanut butter -- better than any of the other choices.
Don't ignore the Outdoor Edge Field Lites. Lightweight but beefy Ztlet handle, lockback, and a nice strong looking, utilitarian spear point blade. Someone did a very favorable review not too lng ago. A real sleeper in the Zytel catagory, and tip strength probably better than Endura.
Spyderco Native in 440V is worth a look.

I don't suffer from insanity ... I enjoy every moment of it
I'm a Benchmade nut, but the Goddard is my work knife, and gets my vote for "best-for-the-money".
ChinaHand, of the ones you mention, the one-hand featherweight from A G Russell is markedly different from the CRKT knives. The CRKT knives have steel liners are linerlocks are heavier and thicker. The steel is 6A versus the 8A or ATS-34 for the CRKT. I am very favorlably impressed by the featherweight. I think this one is better than the rest of his one-hand line even though it is the cheapest.

My choice for best in class though would be the Delica by Spyderco. 3" ATS-55 blade and under $50.

Roger Blake
I too own a Wayne Goddard Lightwieght and I would have to say that it is the best knife for the money, and one of the best all around knives period. The truly dedicated shopper can find one for 40 dollars, as I did, maybe even less, I highly suggest that you handle all these knives for yourself before making a decision. If you must, go to a cutlery shop to handle them to get the feel and then order one off the internet. I would reccomend the Goddard Lwt all the way. It is my daily carry along with Buck 110, spydercard, ladybug etc...

Good luck, Poniard