Newbie needs recommendation

Hi all. I'm looking to buy an inexpensive folding knife. It is not for any real purpose--just a pocket knife for miscellaneous tasks. I was looking at the Gerber EZ-Out, as I've seen it and liked the look and feel. And it is priced right at about $22. Sure, you may say it isn't that good, but I'm currently unwilling to pay $50-$100 for a Benchmade or Spyderco. The only other inexpensive knife I came across is the Smith & Wesson SWAT SW3000B, which looks nice. So, what is my best bet? Like I say, I'm not using it for any heavy duty stuff, like fishing or camping (or killing people), so I don't know if I'm concerned about the blade-lock problem the EZOuts are reported to have.

Is there a knife I don't know about that is a better choice while still in my price range (under $40)? And if I decided to go a little bit higher in price, which knife should I look at?

A couple other questions if you don't mind. First, what is the difference between the normal EZOut blade ("425"?) and ATS-34? Is it worth the extra $12? Also, how sharp should a blade be? I remember testing out the EZOut on my thumb and palm, and it took more pressure than I thought to make a good slice and draw blood. I thought it would be sharper.

Thank you to all who take the time to respond!
Hi Talisker - of the two knives you mentioned, I would have to say that your best bet is on the Gerber. Inexpensive, yes, and a good knife for the money. I would stay away from the Smith & Wesson SWATs. Their locking liners are paper thin and that makes me doubt the lock strength (digits are too precious

To answer your question about blade steels on the two Gerbers - 425 is an average, low cost steel. Edge holding is acceptable and sharpens relatively easily. ATS-34 is a steel that is used widely in the custom knife industry and high-end production knives. It is one of the better steels out there, it holds an edge real well but can be a bit tough to sharpen (remember - there is a trade off!)

Blade sharpness - this is relative. I've had new knives right out of the box that would shave your head bald
Others I've had to give a few swipes on my steel to fine tune to edge a bit. Sharpness of new knives will vary from manufacturer to manufacturer.

Someday, if you would like to venture into knives in the $50-$100 range, I strongly suggest the Spyderco Endura or Delica. Both retail for $68.95 and $62.95 respectively, but can be found at discount from mail order retailers such as the KnifeCenter. Features of these knives include ATS-55 steel (similar in composition and performance to ATS-34), lightweight Zytel handles, reversable steel pocket clips, and choices of 3 edge formats (serrated, part serrated, and plain). These two models are perhaps Spyderco's best sellers.

Dexter Ewing
Knife Reviews Moderator

"The keystroke is mightier than the sword"

Go with Dexter's advice and get a Spyderco Delica or Endura. The prices are right, and the product is excellent. If you buy the Gerber, you'll need to invest in a sharpening kit immediately, as it comes with a mediocre edge. You may also find yourself sharpening the Gerber quite frequently. Quality is always worth a few extra bucks.
.....yeah, what Dexter said. ;^} Do yourself a favor and save a few more sheckles, and shop around a little, and get a Spydie Delica or Endura. You will not be sorry. I think you'll be surprised at how close the prices are ,if you shop around a little, between the E-Z OUT ATS-34 and a Delica. The GERBER is a good knife, but IMHO the Spyderco is better.

Stay Sharp!
Will Fennell
President-EDI Knives
Gerbers are OK but, not as nearly as good as they used to be before Fiskars bought them.

I would recommend a Spyderco Delica. You can save money by getting the older discontinued ones with the integral plastic clip, instead of the newer "Delica 98" with the metal clips. There are places around on the internet that are selling what's left of their existing stock and I've seen them several places for $28.00 (plus a few more $$ for shipping/handling). But, you have to act fast.

Also, I've never spent "a little more" on something and regretted it.

You should also check out the Cold Steel Voyager series. You can get a medium clip or tanto for under $40 from Bullman Cutlery

The steel is A8, it has an excellent lock up, good handle ergos and dual thumb studs. It would be a great utility knife as would a Spydie Endura or



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[This message has been edited by Kodiak PA (edited 21 February 1999).]
The Spyderco Native is under $40, but I don't think the steel is as good as the Delica.
The Benchmade 820 and 830 are also in the $50. and under price range, and have the ATS-34 steel.
I have a NIB Benchmade 820SBT (mini Ascent) for sale (and a NIB Spyderco Endura 2 serrated also) if you are interested I will make a great deal for you. E mail me and I will explain it to you.
If you are going to buy the Gerber EZ Out, spend the extra and get the ATS 34 blade.
You might check out some of the internet auctions. I have purchased quite a few Spydercos, and Benchmades that way and have saved a few dollars. The only problem is that you need to know a little bit about the going prices before you bid.

I have had a Gerber EZ Out for a couple of years and it has never failed me. But, I used to sharpen it almost daily. It has been a good little knife for me.

You can pick up several models of Spydercos off Ebay for $20-30. I got a nice little Snap-It for $22-new in box.
have you taken a look at the CRKT Mirage line of knives? i'm not sure about the prices, but i've heard they are excellent for the money - cheap! got to and check them out.

Question from another newbie: Generally speaking, I don't hear many good comments about the SWAT, why is that? For $25, it seems decent enough. The one I had had a good lockup and the edge retention was also decent. Is it considered on the same level as a knockoff because it's made from overseas?

My advise to you Talisker is to beware. I made the mistake of telling my old boss that I didn't want to spend too much money on a knife, but I wanted a good cheap one. He said, "the words 'good' and 'cheap' do not go together." He also said that knives from Taiwan should not be bought - but that seems to be changing.

But going back to my point: you're only at the tip of the iceberg. Once you get one of these knives, if you're like me, you'll become obsessed with getting a better one, or a different one to compliment your carry. This is only the beginning... in other words, welcome to the club!!!!


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Talister, Do yourself a favor.GET A SYDERCO ! they have several under $50.00 Email,he'll hook you up with atleast a "Q" for $20.buckaroos..but be careful, knives are habit forming! just ask any of us..theres alittle bug that comes with every boxed Spyderco!!

Sincerly, BARTMAN
I would recommend the mid-sized Spydercos as well. The CRKT Mini-Mirage may also work well...manufactured in Taiwan, but I think top-notch quality! Kershaw's 2415 Liner Action is good; it flies open like a switchblade, but takes a bit of practice to open right, and can work your thumb (mine does). You can find virtually any knife for well below original cost. Jim
If you are not going to do heavy cutting with it...I would say that the Meyerco Strut N' Cut Rascal is sort of a neet inexpensive knife. The blade is AUS8A so it is not as hard as ATS-34. The only real drawback to it is that the clip is not the greatest that I have ever seen. But the coolness factor of its opening mechanism makes up for the clip.
Of the knives I have under $40, I would go with one of the Spydercos (the native), the mirage and small Ascent, in that order. The Native first because I like the the overall quality and design, though the steel is not ats34 like the ascent. Spyderco has also proven to be good with their customer service.

Yes. This knife thing can grow on you once you find out how much you end up using one through the day. Then, you'll want another, and another...



Isn't the Ascent a Benchmade ?
And didn't it fail the first BF test ?

Brian W E
ICQ #21525343
Money : spend it before it is all gone.

the benchmade knife that failed the bladeforums test was the 840, large ascent. the other size ascents did well on the tests, i believe.

Spend a few extra dollars and get a Syderco.
In the long run it's worth it.

Ron Knight

Yeah I'm crazy, but what do you want me to do about it
I still swear by my "cheap" CRKT Commander "Blitz"! It's been in the mud and gunk a lot, and a quick rinse off to clean. Would like a better steel (ATS34) but the AUS6M just keeps on cutting. I also ponied up a few more clams (100) to get a BM 710BT Axis lock. A VERY cool blade.

The knives I have under $40 are used purely for general utility. Cut open letters/boxes, peel and orange, cut an occaisonal string/rope/plastic binder, etc. I don't expect to put exceptional stress on them.

Having said that, I think the native has a "multi purpose" possibilities..
(don't want Sal to frown.) That's why it's first on my list and Ascent is last. The small Mirage is comfortable to use for general utility with a handle that is slightly wider than the Ascent. It needs more sharpening but I have a small pocket hone. Two or three passes on each side and it's ready to go again. Ditto for the Native. (Of course, this will change once I get my hands on a BF blue G10 Native with 440v and blue clip...


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