Home Runs & Strike Outs

Aug 7, 2003
This thread is intended in spirit to be more of a “things I learned“ than “things I hate on” experience. Few knife brands are “bad” end to end in the catalog, and likewise, no one has offered the one true sword yet either.

Here we go:


Benchmade AFCK: Strike Out. Loved the size, loved the construction, didn’t love the D2.

Benchmade RUKUS: Strike Out. Just too big to be a practical EDC.

BUCK 110 Customs: Home Run, as long as they are S30V with finger grooves. Strike out on the basic ones in blister packs.

Douk Douk: Home Run, though I prefer the ones with the chromed body and blued blade over the others. Nice and flat slipjoint.

Opinel #8 and #12: Homeruns. Other sizes and styles from the company need not apply. Number 8 blades with upgraded wood are especially sweet.

Buck Marksman: Strike out. Interesting knife, not comfortable in my hand.

Spyderco Endura: Struck out swinging. I want to love it, but that nylon/plastic back spacer ruins it for me. Not a really hard use design.

Spyderco Military: Home run—if you rid it of the aluminum back spacer and swap in some stand offs.


ESEE 4: Strike out. The handle is just too abbreviated for me.

ESEE 6: Home run. One my favorites.

Ka-Bar USMC: Strike out. A classic design but not as useful as imagined.

Ka-Bar USN MK1: Home run. The handle is almost too short, but somehow it’s not. The full flat grind is way more useful than its saber ground cousins are.

Skookum Bush Tool Mk1: Home Run. Glad I got in when the wait time was only eight months though. Saw a “is it worth it?” thread. Answer is yes, if you got it directly. Most sublime grip ever put on a full tang knife.

Mora 2000: Strike out. Good value, but too much taper towards the tip makes for a weak point in stainless.

Mora Garberg: Just clears the fence. The sheath is not my fave, but the knife is great.

Jääkäripuukko 140: Home run. Is there a more capable knife out there for less than two Jacksons?

Condor Barong: Home run. Sadly discontinued, but Condor beaters are nearly unbeatable at their price points.


Sanity Not Included
Platinum Member
Aug 21, 2013
Strike outs:


Ikuchi: Terrible action, centering issues. Would barely open without adjusting pivot screw, which made it run off center. Very rough laminate CF.

Smock: location of the button smacked into my thumb. Action was gritty, more tough laminate CF.

Nilakka: The thin blade to thick handle didn't work for me.

Southard: I don't think I have it enough of a chance.

All Benchmade knives. Over priced, poor quality control.

Maserin AM-4: Beautiful, so-so action, poor ergonomics, handle is too thick. Pocket clip was weird.

DPX Heat: Too much handle to blade, too heavy for it's size.

Large Sebenza: Just couldn't get a grip on the thumbstud. And I stopped liking Ti framelocks.

ZT 0801, 0561: Too heavy.

ZT 0770cf: Would have been a winner were it not assisted.

Home runs:


Manix 2 CTS-XHP Sprint
Yojimbo 2
Gayle Bradley
Para 3 Spy27 lightweight

All excellent for everything IMO. All of these went out of the park.

Heretic Manticore E: Took some break in time, but is excellent.

Brian Tighe and friends Twist Tighe OTF
Can't say enough positive things about this knife.

Hogue Exploit: Another excellent knife

Kershaw Launch 8: a well done modern stiletto.

Southern Grind Spider Monkey: they are still looking for this one on Waveland. Amazing.
Apr 17, 2020
Home Runs
Benchmade Proper. I didn't care about it, only wanted to try something with micarta when I was at a store. It turned out so nice I bought it and started to like slipjoints.

Kershaw Fraxion. Very light, carbon fiber sticker that doesn't pretend to be real CF and one of the best detents.

Manly Comrade. Simple slipjoint but it just does everything right.

Rough Riders, mainly trappers. I didn't expect much at first, they just were the only traditionals with real bone handles available in my local stores. They are surprisingly good quality for the price, right size for me and many handle designs to choose from.

Real Steel Metamorph. Good quality, nice design, probably the first front flipper that doesn't cost a fortune.

Strike Outs
Benchmade Griptilian. It was my first higher end knife, everyone recommended it. Axis lock springs broke and plastic handle was so cheap and underwhelming I started to hate both.

Benchmade Crooked River. In general the knife could be very good. I thought if it looks so nice, I won't mind it's bad lock. It didn't work. If only it was a backlock.

Case Trapper. I read a lot about how great they are, American classics and heirlooms. I guess handle is nice, but blades are garbage. Uneven grinds, dull edges, rounded tip, worst burr I've ever seen. Very bad steel for the price. No swedge or half stop. When I got it, it was very underwhelming compared to my RRs.

Kershaw Brawler. I thought tantos, coatings and assist are cool, until I tried them. Now they are my dealbreakers.

Slipjoints with linerlock. I'm not sure if other companies also did this, but Rough Rider ruined a few nice designs in this way. I really can't understand this pointless stupidity. Like if it was designed by a lawyer or someone similiar obsessed with safeties, who never handled a knife and only heard stories that they suddenly and randomly close like a bear trap and cut off fingers.
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