I personaly prefer the HD-7 but to be honest there is little between them. The striders perhaps look a bit better to some folks with the coloured Ti slabs but i find the EKIs much nicer to use as the Strider folders i had (PT, AR and SNG) just didnt fit my hand as well as the HD-7 or any EKI for that matter. But this is a personal thing, they may well be just right for some one else.
The materials used are the same, bar Striders S30V blades, but that is not a huge difference at the end of the day.
I have no Striders at all now (for a few reasons) but i have MANY Emersons :thumbup:
I would say the HD-7 is right-there, with Strider. I love and understand the chisel-grind. Both Co's make fantastic folders. My HD has a zero-grind, so it's a slicer, not a beater. My HD-7 is with me every day.
The HD-7 is really a nice knife & what I liked in it over the SnG, is its narrowness in the pocket (The wave feature didn't hurt, either). My only problem with it is that darn chisel grind. I understand it for SD & carried a CQC-7 for yrs when I was in Patrol (The chisel grind does allow for an incredibly sharp edge & it's great for SD), but outside of that, I prefer other knives (& other Emersons).
However, in comparing the 2, I think the HD-7 definitely holds its own against the Strider & other HD folders.
Oh yeah, I've heard from someone that should know, that Emerson is not planning on mass producing the frame-locks anymore (I would guess that's the HD-7 & CQC-12, right?).