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need a tactical folder

Aug 14, 1999
I'm in the market for a tactical folder. But I'm not looking to break the bank. I was looking at the camillus CUDA, but it's right hand specific (other than the lack of ambidextrous opening, what are your opinions of this knife?). So, I'm looking to spend about a hundred dollars, but could be conviced to spend more, if the argument was convincing, and if the quality was there. I carry a Spyderco remote release, but want something more task-specific (less for cutting chores, more for self defense).

Any comments would be appreciated.


The knife would serve as an extension of my Wing Tsun training (easily learned, easily applied!)

Also. I'm not a fan (at all) of serrated or half serrated blades.

[This message has been edited by thetoastmaster (edited 16 August 1999).]

[This message has been edited by thetoastmaster (edited 16 August 1999).]
My personal preference for comfort of carry, ease of employment and kindness to the wallet is the Emerson CQC-7. More experienced people will be along soon to give you some other good ideas. Remember, a defensive knife is only as good as your defensive training.

Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.
I recently bought a Spyderco Military. I would have to say it is one of the finest knives I have ever used. Phenominal edge holding, very solid lock up, and comfortable. If you do not wish to spend that much go with the Endura, I have used one for years and love it. I have only handled the Cuda once so I really cant say if its a good knife or not. I dont know what your primary use will be so I am only speculating and my suggestions may be way off. I use mine for work. There are plenty of very good people on here and I have listened to many and taken thier advice. One of them is bound to help you find the knife for you.
I like the CQC7 very much, but I think that the SpecWar is a better choice for defense specific carry. Here are a few more knives you may want to take a look at.

Gerber Covert (folding version of the famed Applegate combat knife, it comes in a larger size too but the covert is a better size. This is a serious knife, built for fighting and nothing else.)

Masters Of Defense Line (they are all very well made, and are all very well served to the purposes of self defense, I own a Trident, and even thogh it is the least combat orianted knife in their line it really is more then suited for fighting in my opinion)

Spyderco StarMate (more of a duel purpose folder, it has very strong tactical elements while not scaring the hell out of people when you take it out... But, then again, you might want people to be scared of your self defense knife, whoever you take it out in front of will most likely be your enemy)

EDI Genesis Series (more suited to combat then the Benchmade AFCK, and much smoother... Around 100 dollars, you should take a close look at this one)

The CUDA is a pretty slick folder, it opens fast but it really takes some practice to get into the method of blade deployment. Nice feel, kind of heavy, but a good knife all around.

Robert Joseph Ansbro

If it can be written, or thought, it can be filmed. -Stanley Kubrick, 1928-1999


I am the moderator on the forum "The Balcony" located at Cinematopia, please come support this brand new site
I have a mini styker it is pretty good, here are some other suggestions.

Emerson Specwar
Spyderco Tim Zowada C56
Microtech Mini Socom
Gerber Covert
Cold Steel Gunsite
Don't forget about the trusty ol AFCK. Check the F/S F/T forum you can pick them up for a fair price there most of the time.
If you really like the CUDA you might wanna check out the new left handed ones. Marcus
Almost every knife mentioned is "right-hand specific", and it sounds like you don't want that. A few of the knives -- like the CQC7 -- have lefty versions. If you want a truly ambidextrous knife, you'll want to go with a lockback or Benchmade's Axis lock. And you're in luck, the Benchmade Axis is my fave knife hands down, for a utilty defense folder. Otherwise, check out a spyderco delica.

Regarding the CUDA, does that have the sliding button opening thingie? I dislike that system, but that's just me.


Just like to say welcome to the forums. Don't be afraid to ask questions - there are some very knowledgeable folks here that will usually be extremely patient with you.

Just a word of advice - be careful using the "T" word...just look at this as an example


Oh, BTW, if you want to find out how anyone is doing stuff in their posts, you can click on the edit button (rightmost little icon above)...you won't be able to edit, but you can see how they did whatever it is.

JP Bullivant
For defense, I don't believe you could beat the big Cold Steel Vaqero. This is assuming you don't need it for utility, because it is almost useless in normal life. It does cut rope like crazy though. The Gunsite is a good compromise between utility and defense. If you want a knife to look at and brag about, then get something like a Kershaw or EDI. More bucks, but more quality.
The Emersons may be right-hand specific, but at least the grind is correct for lefties

Thanks for the advice, and the suggestions, especially regarding the "T word", I agree wholeheartedly with the connotation. I just meant to say that I needed a piece of steel well-suited to self defence. And now I've all of the hands on stuff to do myself. Now, does anyone know of any shops in the Salt Lake City area where I can wrap my grubby little paws around these fine examples?

If you're looking for a knife more for fighting, then you must get the large cs vaquero. I think it has the best reach and slashing ability. Good for thrusting too. I don't know of any reason why anyone would choose any other knife if used in a fight. With the Vaquero, you have such an advantage over any other knife.
More knowledgeable people out there please correct me if I'm wrong on this. I want to know what you think.
Tactical Tactical Tactical... In all honesty, is the Benchmade Axis-Lock made for self defense? The more I use mine, the more I see a utility folder then anything else.

Robert Joseph Ansbro

If it can be written, or thought, it can be filmed. -Stanley Kubrick, 1928-1999


I am the moderator on the forum "The Balcony" located at Cinematopia, please come support this brand new site
Kimber compact carry.

For a knife, just something you carry with you ALL the time, and provides a secure grip. Most everything else is esoteric. There are an abundence of great folders around now days, a far cry from the mid 80's when the Spyderco Police model was about the best, still a great design. be sure to check out the Spyderco starmate, EDI Genesis, and Emerson CQC7's.

"Women bring life into the world
and much death, for they sway the
destinies of men." -Anneas
I have carried a spyderco Endura for years, the old model with the non-reversible clip. It cuts anything with its serrations, but comes in a nice non-serrated format as well.

Are you sure you want a folder for defensive purposes? There are several good options in fixed blades for $50 to $100, most notably several models from Newt Livesay/ WKC, the Benchmade Nimravus, the MOD Razorback, the Spyderco Moran and the Schrade Sharpfinger ($20!!!) I have each of these and my personal favorites are the Livesay Uji, BM Nimravus and the Moran. I have Kydex for all three, Kydex being a form fitted plastic that retains without snaps or straps, and the deployment of a fixed blade is so much faster than a folder. You want to check laws on this before going with a non-folder, but if the law allows you to do so...do it.

Actually, it's the Kimber Classic Custom.

But we can't go around packing heat all the time right? And, for those times a knife, too, can be a great equalizer.

Still, where can I get touchy-feely with all of this steel? Does anyone know of any knife shows coming up in the near future, either in the Salt Lake or Phoenix area?