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Need user opinions of Emerson Commander.

I'm getting out of the USMC in 7 months and need a strong, yet LEGAL knife for the civilian world. I like the Emerson Commander due to its' strong appearance and 3.75'' blade. Recently sold my last auto (Halo 2, Sigh!!) to be on the safe side. What are the opinions of you who have used and or own this knife??
Nov 16, 1998
I have used this knife much and still like it but it's not my best knife anymore. Hasn't been for a while now. For the same money, there are much better ones out there. Won't go into that here, though.

The size of the Emerson Commander overall is fantastic. The handle is very hard to beat for it's solidness and heft.

The drawback, is the Wave feature. Don't get me wrong, it really works, but it destroys pants (pockets) very fast. Another drawback is the finish on the blade. Beadblasted blades tend to rust somewhat if not taken care of. Go for the black finished blade, at least there is coating on it except for the edge!

The edge is single ground (not chisel). I rather have my blades sharpened on both sides, but the single ground edge does work very well and holds it's edge. It's easy to sharpen with only one side to do.

Overall it is a nice knife to have especially if you collect knives. But for the money, I would now go with another. At the time I got mine, it was the best, so I thought!

AKTI Member #A000003

P.S. Oh yea forgot to mention, the older ones the blades tend to loosen up which requires tightening. I think that the newer ones Loc-Tite is used on them to help in this.
" Knife Collectors Are Sharp People! "

[This message has been edited by Mark W Douglas (edited 16 September 1999).]
I have both a Commander and a CQC7b and use them regularly. The Commander, about a year old now, is one of my daily carry blades. I've had no problem with the wave damaging pants (and yes I do us it to deploy the blade) but I also take a certain care not to overdue it. Of the two, my votes goes to the Commander over the "7" which I consider a "utility" blade despite its rep as a fighter.
The heft of the Commander will let it tackle any job. The Emerson chisel V takes some getting used to and a lot of people really don't like it. I've never had problems with it. I sharpen the blade on a six-inch stone and polish with a very fine black stone and finish with a leather strop.
If you're looking for one (do-all) knife, the Commander is a good choice.

Life is a journey, not a guided tour -- GO ARMED!

The Emerson Commander sucks

I'll get heat for saying that, but I personally didn't like it. Blade looks gay
I recently purchased two Commanders and am in the process of getting another. I really like it. My background is military/Police and find the quick deployability in my line of work. The only drawback is that the point of the knife could be a little less blunt. A more pointed design, closer to the AFCK would be more appropriate.

Other than that, I love it. No problem with tearing pants. I usually wear ripstop BDU's at work and BDU short/pants or jeans off duty. Maybe the problem only crops up on lightweight pants. Or possibly overly aggressive removal.

Either way yhe Commander is great. handle one first, though, in case you really don't like it. I carry two Commanders (one on each side) and a Benchmade Eclipse for utility work.

Go for it. It's great to play with if nothing else. (They all used to poo poo the idea of a clip or opening hole, eh Spyderco)


AKTI Member A000360
I've got a Commander and I thought that the 154CM was the U.S. version of ATS-34. None of my ATS-34 blades show rust but my 154CM Commander does show rust. The blade screw continously loosens and I had to put lock tight on it to make it stop. The locking liner sticks, it is titanium, but none of my other titanium liner locks stick. Also depending how fast I open it the liner lock may or may not travel all the way to the other side of the blade. The blade always locks tight so there has to be some give, or bend somewhere, this doesn't seem correct.

Emerson could have done a better job at recessing the screws that hold the G-10 to the knife, details. If you don't like a single side grind like I don't, do what I did and sharpen the other side it comes out very nice with a Lansky.

All of these things made me buy the knife at a lower price than the Emerson $209.00. I fixed most of the problems that I mentioned myself. However not all of these minor problems were enough to discourage me. The knife is solid, good looking, feels great in the hand and for the adjusted price that I paid is well worth it.

My only complaint now is with the travel in the liner lock. It doesn't fail any of the spine wack tests. I guess my next step is to call Emerson and see if they can fix the problem of too much liner lock travel. I understand that on the new Commanders the liner lock problem has been fixed.

I know I made it sound like a lot of problems but they are minor. You should definately shop around for a better price. I don't feel that if you get the knife at a discounted price that the quality should be any less, no knife should leave the shop with poor Q.C.. All of these problems are pretty consistant with many other people who bought the first go around.

Another knife that you should look at and really consider is the Spyderco Starmate, I also have one of these. I have no complaints with this knife at all. I did however make a couple of adjustments by adding a few more finger grooves and creating a more user friendly finger notch, like the one that Coudoury did in the Spyderco forum under starmate modification. You can get two Starmates for the price of one Commander, and I think that the Starmate steel is much better.
Try posting this in the Emerson forum you might get more opinions.
I bought one of these about a year ago and quickly put it on the shelf. The wave mechanism is neat but not necessary. The fit and finish aren't bad but not as good as a good Benchmade. My biggest B-tch is the single sided chisel grind on the blade....its too complicated to sharpen,and doesn't take or hold an edge well. For all the hype and the $210 dollars I spent I was really disappointed.
Well, i think there is a knife that is much less money, and is totally better, AFCK AFCK AFCK AFCK AFCK, this knife is just totally better, better blade, handle, warranty service, quality, the only emerson co. knives i like, but had to really fix up out of the box was there cqc7's, i have a drop point one, but please, go with the afck. Oh yeah, may i even add that the commander has a stop pin that would bend like nothing, it's to small, and not well thought out, all name, no function, there ya go, Tuff, i admire your honesty dude, i'm honest to, and i say the commander suuuuuuucks.......
I love the BM-800 series; the AFCK is a great design. I have a total of five (don't tell my wife). The AFCK is very fast to deploy from the pocket, grab the hole with your thumb and snap downward as soon as your index finger presses firmly on your thumb. The blade is just big enough for most every job and yet not so big as to be socially unacceptable. Good geometry and profile for excellent cutting ability. If that wasn't enough it comes in many versions (coated, satin, serrated, plain, left, right) and in either ATS-34 or M-2 steel. This knife set the standard; it will always be a classic. It has great tactical value and utility features. I carve walking sticks with a couple of them and have been using one for dressing game. The negative points of the AFCK are that the point can be damaged if you drop the knife onto a hard surface and on most versions in the field the knife is held together with screws into G-10. The newer versions have the steel inserts I believe. The M-2 versions I have both contain the steel inserts. However I've never had one of the older models loosen.

I've also got a couple of Commanders. The Commander is handfull. It feels very solid without being much thicker. It has a great feels great in the hand. The blade is broad and without a needle like point. The wave is simply awesome. I haven't noticed any excessive pocket wear. The sides of the clip and edges on the G-10 scales tend to wear my pockets not the wave feature. So I smooth off the edges of the clip and scales on both models. The edge of the Commander cuts better than even the M-2 AFCK and is easy to maintain. Get one of the v-type sharpeners with round sticks (Gatco cost $11.00 at the mall) sharpen the one side at 25 degrees and set the second stick at 10 degrees for wiping off the wire edge. I lightly polish both edges with the back of a rigid paper tablet. It creates an incredibly sharp and durable edge. The recurve on the Commander gives it exceptional cutting ability. As much as I love the AFCK's, I now carry a Commander in my right pocket.

The downside to the Commander is a slight blade wobble on some models that can be adjusted out especially if you use a high-tech lube on the washers. The lockup on the Commander by design is very tight. Sometimes the lockup is so tight it takes both thumbs to release. The Commander appears tougher and much more robust but I broke 1/8" off the tip of mine by putting the closed knife back into what I thought was my pocket. I thought the knife was in my pocket and let go. The knife fell to the floor closed. It hit on a ceramic tile floor hard enough to spring open about halfway. A huge section of the point area had flaked off. I'm sure the back of the blade hit the liner and it just lifted off this huge flake of metal. My favorite knife ruined from an accident that should not have caused any damage. I wrote Emerson and received no response. The accident was my fault I reasoned, so I bought another Commander. I have smoothed out the damage as much as possible (400,600 grit wet-dry sandpaper) and the broken one is still very useful just shorter.

Which knife is better, too close to call for me. The AFCK cost about 1/2 of the Commander, but the Commander has that 'feel' and opens so quickly with the wave.