Doesn't anyone like United Cutlery knives?

Oct 6, 1998
I noticed that I haven't ever seen anyone say something good about knives made by United Cutlery. Why is that? I have one knife from them, The Paratrooper (the large one) and I think it's good enough for that price. What about their Special Forces Jungle Machete or the SF Utility Knife? They're both ATS-34, aren't they? I've handled them both and they please me, in both style and how they feel in hand. I'm just plain curious here, because I don't know this, and I thought the only way to find out is to ask.
United is a brand name that sells a lot of knives under a lot of brand names from a lot of places, of "variable" quality. If you go far enough through their wares, you'll find some good knives amid the other stuff. One that stands out for me is the Rigid RG80, a little liner lock, ATS34 and G10, that looks like it was made in the same factory that makes the Spyderco Wegners.


Hello, I don't have any problems with Uniteds. They are a very good starting point for young and new knife collectors. Their prices are reasonable and they make a lot of "fun" knives. If you MUST have a Rambo knife, United is where you'll find it. The knife world would be a less interesting place without the crazy knives they offer. My 12 year old nephew wants everything they offer -- talk about a market segment to have chasing you!


James - other good UC knives were those fixed blade Rigids that had ATS-34 (?) and stag handles. They were quite beautiful, and also limited editions,if I recall correctly. Junglee's Tak Fukuta knives sort of remind me of these UC Rigids.

Dexter Ewing
Knife Reviews Moderator

James is correct on this. I have seen UC's made in Japan, Taiwan, China, etc. I have UC's that are very quality, and have been duped by others. Usually the quality ones I have seen have been "made in Japan". I did buy some miniature UC folders once at a knife show, and they were really top notch. Guess what? They were made in Italy.
Thanks for the replies and the info, everyone. I was glad to see that there are people who like them. If I only had the money, I'd buy the Special Forces Utility Knife and the Jungle Machete.

Well, if a company makes enough junk, then sometimes their good stuff gets lost. I've handled so much absolute crap from United that I have a hard time taking them seriously at times. Though they do make some better stuff as well, it's just harder to find and handle.

The Lainhart designs -- the SF Utility Knife and Jungle Machete -- may be better-made than many United offerings, but I still don't like them. The utility knife not only doesn't have any guard at all, but from memory it has thumb grooves up top, to tempt you to put your thumb right next to that top sharpened edge. I realize this is a problem with many skeletonized knives, but you can find safer skeletonized knives. At retail $175, you can also find much better skeletonized designs overall than this. Even at discount, it's not a particularly good deal. In fact, for well under the retail price and not much more than the discount price, you can get much better designed knives from custom makers that fill the same role.

The Jungle Machete I'm undecided on. At first, I took them at their word and judged it as a machete. Here I had problems, it's really too short to be a good machete, much thicker than a machete needs to be, and ATS-34 makes no sense in a machete application. Never mind the $270 retail (or ~$150 at discount) price. As a machete, it just doesn't work.

However, someone convinced me to look at it not as a machete but as an inexpensive jungle bowie. It makes more sense in this application, I'll admit. However, I'd still probably rather go for, say, a $50 retail Ontario bolo in coated 1095. Moreover, the Cold Steel Trailmaster at $165 (at discount) is only $15 more expensive, and simply blows the United offering away.

I dunno, have I missed something? You tell me.


I don't remember the "put your thumb on the sharp edge" -thing, gotta take a look of that knife tomorrow (going to fondle the KISS folding knife in my local knife store). I like the Special Forces Utility Knife and the Jungle Machete because they look good and feel good in my hands, but you're right, there are better skeletonized knives out there, but I like so many
. About the machete, I doubt that I would find any use for it, I'd just fondle it all days long. That's why I think I would pick the Utility Knife if I found myself in a "Come one, make a pick, you'll get it for free" -situation where only those two knives would be.

Yeah, check it out. There are those tempting thumb grooves, and right in front of those, the serrated edge. But hey, if you just like the feel of 'em, go for it! I just don't quite understand the appeal


The few, very few knives I have had from United Cutlery were basically low quality all around. Sort of like cheap rip-offs from the top manufactures, kind of like Fury brand knives.

I see there is a large lockback Harley Davidson knife with a nice looking sheath from United Cutlery. Black imitation Delrin stag handles. Made in U.S.A.

I have only seen pics of it, not actually held it. I might want to get this one, but am hesitant because of the brand. It is hard to judge a book by it's cover! Does any one have this knife that will give an overall review of it?