Inexpensive Folders: Ka-Bar Dozier vs. Kershaw Vapor (2) vs. Other?

Joined
Oct 23, 2004
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2
Hi,

I'm looking for a good quality folder in the $20-30 dollar range. Not $40, $50, etc. but $20-30. I've looked at other threads about inexpensive folders but I am still unsure, so I've decided to make this post a bit more specific than the others that I read.

At the moment, I've been eyeing the Ka-Bar Dozier (AUS8A steel) and the Kershaw Vapor 2 (AUS6A steel). Is there any reason to get one or the other despite the steel? Also, are there any other knives that fit this budget and hold similar or better quality than the Dozier & Vapor 2?

Thanks,
~vsergeev
 
Joined
Sep 21, 2002
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Cold Steel Trail Guide (large)!

I love mine- put it in a drawer a few months ago and came across it a few days ago- rubbed a little oil on the blade after touching up the blade to keep it from pitting. The darn thing is a little razor!
 
Joined
Feb 14, 2003
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The AUS8 Ka-Bar Doziers are great values. I personally prefer AUS8 over AUS6 for the better edge retention. Nothing against the Vapor, I'm just not a fan of AUS6
 
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Oct 1, 2003
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If you have a couple of weeks and are patient, you can score a mint Spyderco Endura for around $30 on eBay, and the VG-10 blade/overall quality is excellent.
 
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Sep 11, 2004
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I wouldn't recommend the Vapor. :barf:

Na, starter knife/grunge knife is... you can find better.
 
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Oct 12, 2003
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Buy used-check out the Knife Exchange on this fourm and the other forums-also check out Buck 110s on eBAY-I've gotten 2 for sub $20 :p
 
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Jan 20, 2004
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I like the feel of the Benchmade Pika. It's a lockback knife with 440C steel for the blade. The blade is 3.5 inches (it also comes in a Mini Pika version). New Graham knives has the large one for $21.87 and the small one for $18.75. Both sizes are available in either plain or combo edges. Here is a link for them:
http://newgraham.com/bm_pika.htm

Happy hunting :)
 
Joined
Jan 28, 2001
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3,709
If I were to choose between the first two knives you mentioned I would pick the Kabar Dozier Hunter over the Kershaw Vapor. The Vapor isn't a bad knife, but the Kabar Dozier is the better buy. If you want to spend a little more than just $20 bucks, take a look at the Kershaw Storm. It too is much better than the Vapor and it's made in the USA. The Benchmade Pika is another good budget knife which also can be found for around $30 bucks.

Consider how often you'll be using the knife. Will you be using it constantly or only when the need arises? If you're going to use it constantly (example: at work) I would suggest a higher grade steel. Look for one that holds a good edge so you won't have to constantly be sharpening it. If you're looking for an everday carry knife to use just when the need arises, then AUS-6 will do just fine. Heck, 440A and 420HC will do despite what the steel snobs say and when they finally loose their edge they won't be all that difficult to sharpen.
 
Joined
Aug 27, 2002
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Have a look at the AK 74's. http://www.knivesplus.com/boker-ak-47-ak-74-knives.html
I got the http://www.knivesplus.com/boker-ak-74-knife-bk-kals74.html and am very pleased with it's value. It is not a liner lock, it has a push button lock that I rather like. Nor does this model have thumb studs.

I find it to be a nice hefty solid knife. A much more substantial piece than the Ka-Bar Dozier that I have. But that's not to say you'd go wrong with the Ka-Bar.

Note, none of the models have pocket clips. I find it carries nicely in pocket or in a belt sheath.

It's a
 

RH

Joined
Jan 31, 1999
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2,094
I have both (small Vapor and 2 Doziers) and like the Dozier better, especially the thumbhole version. I like Zytel due to it's light weight, much lighter than the all-steel Vapor. I personally favor lockbacks above linerlocks or framlocks.

Don't rule out the Pika or mini, great knives for the money in this pricerange. I did a mini-review here:

http://www.bladeforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=317927&highlight=pika

Depends of course on your intended use. If you want something light that will disappear in your pocket, but is high quality, you can't beat the Dozier or the BM. I personally find the Dozier more comfortable, because the handle has no bumps or ridges that limit your finger positions. The Vapor gets raves here, I just don't care for the extra weight or the framelock. It is a pretty knife though. It's a knife that a woman or non-knife person could appreciate as being nice, as opposed to the Dozier and BM which are high on utility, but low on style.
 
Joined
Dec 3, 2001
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I'd recomend the Kabar over the Vapor myself. I have a Vapor and while I used to think it was a pretty good deal over time I grew not to like it. First of all the steel sucks IMO. I'm not a steel snob at all but mine is a pain to sharpen because the steel is so soft the burr usually just flops back and forth and it a pain to get off. Also the edge was ground horribly thick from the factory, nearly 50 degrees included. And once you do get it sharp it'll go dull if you look at it wrong. I also have issues with the lock. Mine locks up solid with absolutely no blade play, but of course I had to test it. It fails even a mild spinewack every time. I don't normally spinewack my knives I just did it for the heck of it. And while I highly doubt I'd ever stress the knife that way while using it and cause the lock to fail the bottom line is I'll never trust it so therefore I don't use it. To give Kershaw some credit the Vapor had nearly perfect fit and fininsh, incredible for the $20 price tag and the factory edge was hair popping sharp (just didn't stay that way long).

All that being said I've never seen or handled the Kabar in person even though I live about a 15 minute drive away from the Kabar factory and store.

YMMV

Jamie
 
Joined
Mar 27, 2004
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I have a benchmade PIKA and it is the best 25 dollar knife i've ever had. actually better than some that were close to $100. Tight lockup and a good design with superior steel (440c) for this price range.
 
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May 31, 2004
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445
You may want to check out a Schrade X-Timer folder. I'm happy with mine, especially for what I paid for it. Checkered aluminum grips, good pocket clip, and my example came with a well ground, sharp out of the box blade. Still available on ebay and alot of internet dealers for around 20$. I managed to get mine on ebay for 10$ plus shipping, but that was before Schrade went under.
 
Joined
Oct 23, 2004
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2
Thanks for the replies and comments everyone...

I'm probably (99%) going to go with the Benchmade Pika... (10400 with N690 stainless steel, 3.5" blade). It seems to be a good quality folder and I haven't heard anything horrible about it.

Once again, thanks everyone for helping me make a decision.

Thanks,
~vsergeev
 
Joined
Mar 3, 2003
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726
I've never had any of the problems anyone here has had with the Vapor. Mine locks up fine, passes the spinewhack, takes a great edge, and holds it OK. I personally think it would be a good starter knife, but the Pika looks great too.
 
Joined
Apr 29, 2002
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5,557
love the kabar...although I have since given it to a relative. One thing tho', the steel is fairly soft and will roll if you give it the 15 (or less) degree per side angle, which is what I like on my small knives - I don't pry with my knives. I think factory angle is 20 degrees.
 
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Sep 5, 2004
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I have had one ever since they first came out. I love it and it is an EDC. I don't mind lending it if asked for a knife by someone. It sharpens easily and holds a great edge
 
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