Guardian 3 or Lionsteel M1?

Discussion in 'General Knife Discussion' started by dryflytrout, May 19, 2020.

  1. dryflytrout


    Jan 15, 2017
    I want a fixed blade with M390 and micarta. 3 to 4 inches of blade, 8" or so overall. After way too long narrowing down choices, these are the last 2 for now. I'm open to suggestions because I like to torture myself... A Kydex sheath would be a plus.
    Which would you go with for EDC? It seems like the Guardian 3 is probably the better choice for me but I can't firmly decide.
  2. termite

    termite Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Nov 10, 2004
    They're both nice and you can't go wrong either way. I've got both (two M1's) and it holds the edge (pardon the pun, please) over the Guardian. It's just a classy little knife and the sheath is also top notch. Enjoy your choice.
  3. dsd5150


    Oct 26, 2007
    I agree with termite. Had a guardian (sold) and still have an M1. Couldn't warm up to the sheath that came with the Guardian. It got less and less carry time as I always seemed to favor the M1. The M1, to me just had a better feel in the hand and a higher level of fit and finish compared to the Guardian. I still consider it a very good knife, but not as good as the M1. Also, the M1 stock sheath is excellent. Even works well for pocket carry.
  4. dalefuller

    dalefuller Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 2, 2005
    I've had both. I kept the Bradfords and sold the M1. It was too small for me. I could never get a grip on it that I'd trust for serious work. The G3s are no problem. They fit my hand very securely and their performance has been outstanding. They're easy to sharpen, they hold an edge very well, and they're tough enough for warehouse work (think staples, computer cable, tough pallet strapping, industrial zip ties, etc.). I carry mine in an Armatus horizontal sheath most of the time, but the stock Bradford leather sheath is excellent for pocket carry.
  5. `br4dz-

    `br4dz- Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 18, 2016
    I have both, and my M1 is significantly thicker behind the edge than the guardian 3. Take that as you want, I prefer a thinner BTE thickness on steels like M390 since if I need toughness, I wouldn't be going with M390 in the first place.

    Also, if you're going with the G3, get the 3D scales, the flat ones make the cramped knife even more uncomfortable. Beyond that, both are excellent little knives and you'd be happy with either.
    Mikke likes this.
  6. Robot Mania Fu

    Robot Mania Fu

    Jul 21, 2007
    Both are excellent little fixed blades, but like the post above me I would rather have a thinner blade behind the edge with m390. Also, I prefer a finger choil for edc tasks....but that comes down to personal preference. In my experiences, the full flat ground guardian 3 with the 3d micarta is a very hard knife to beat for edc. I actually found out that despite what I thought, I prefer the stock leather sheath carried next to my belt buckle and it has quickly replaced every knife I used to carry.
  7. mikey177


    Feb 2, 2007
    I handled a Lionsteel M1 at a store. I didn't buy it because the grip felt too small for me. I prefer the Guardian 3 with 3D scales, and I now have one in each blade shape they produce. If you can handle both knives before making a choice, that would be ideal.
  8. gazz98

    gazz98 Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 3, 2008
    The M1 falls under your listed specs. The M1 has 2.875" blade with 2.75" cutting length. Did you mean the M4?

    Maybe Guardian 3.5 vs Lionsteel M4?

    Like others have said, both are great knives from great companies, no clear winner here for me. The Lionsteel runs about $30ish cheaper would cover the bulk of the cost of an aftermarket kydex sheath if that is important to you.

    Of the two mentioned, I like the look for the M1 and it has a little more handle (length and girth) then the G3 (albeit with less blade length). I'd probably go M1.
  9. Hale Storm

    Hale Storm Kydex Whisperer Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Gold Member

    Sep 18, 2013
    I've owned both and have had multiple Bradfords and multiple Lionsteels. You can't go wrong with either but the deciding factor in my mind would be what does EDC mean for you? EDC for me is a large folder or medium sized fixed blade (think hard use at work almost daily).

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