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Opinions needed on a few "user" knives please!

Jan 11, 1999
I have been looking for sometime for an occasional carry knife and a primary defensive knife (for those "uncomfortable nights out.) I have a few in mind and, unfortunately, autos are not really an option...yet.

I am currently carrying the BM Stryker 50/50 and love it, but am alittle suspect of the lock in "hard-use" scenarios. I LOVE tip-up carry. (Yeah I know, the BM doesn't have it.)

The knives that I have beenlooking at are quite a few...here are my personal options (please add or subtract [with good reason] if you must.)

Emerson Commander (love the new green blades)

Al Mere SERE 2000

MOD Trident

MT LCC (with titanium liners)

REKAT ??? (you tell which model)

I like the price of these (most under $175.00) and I like the "mainstream" acceptance of them. Any others that have good feel, good looks and won't really scare away the "sheeple" if I have to use it in a NON-confrontational use. Tall order?

Thanks for your advice...like always--you guys are great!


David P. Sproles
Eagle Scout Class of 1988
Look at bob dosiers blades he makes some great fixed blade knives and folders as well.
i like to carry a fixed blade for defence type stuff for me its much faster to get in to play. newt livesay also makes some great carry knifes.

If you are serious on self-defence use a fixed blade. No lock is as strong as "no lock".
Happy sharpening

I would also opt for fixed blades.

Ones that I recommend are:
- Bob Dozier's Agent
- Bob Dozier's Slim Outdoorsman
- Bob Dozier's Personal
- Bob Dozier's Arkansas Toothpick
- Jerry Busse's Mean Street (and Lean Mean Street)
- Jerry Busse's Badger Attack E
- Newt Livesay's Marshall
- Newt Livesay's Company Knife
- Newt Livesay's Air Assault

Any of these knives will more than fill the bill!

If folders are a must, then the choices are somewhat more limited (IMHO):
- Bob Dozier's Utility
- Chris Reeves' Sebenza
- Tom Mayo's TNT
- Kit Carson's folders

Hope this helps.

I have to 2nd (or 3rd) a Dozier blade for you. For less $$ than the MOD CQD you can have an extremely High Quality, Hand Made knife that will just keep on performing in any situation. Lots of options avail on the Dozier's and wonderful folks to deal with. Also, I would recommend a Dozier over a Livesay - better Steel, better Kydex, very little price difference.

All the on-line Custom knife sites sell Bob's work so you won't have any problems locating what you want, try BladeArt.com first they have an excellent selection.

If you also want a Folder for occasinal Self Defense carry, look at the CRKT large KFF. An absolutely great knife that won't dent your wallet.

BTW, I see that you are also from TN. There is a Custom Knife Show this coming weekend in Atlanta - the Flint River Knife Show. There will be lots of Makers there that may also be selling something that yould interest you. Contact me offline if you'd like more info.

Cold Steel makes some pretty nice folders that are strong, but won't break your bank account.

I carry either an Extra-LARGE plain-edge Clip-Point Voyager, or a 5 inch Gunsite, and I am very pleased with both.

Dann Fassnacht
Aberdeen, WA
ICQ# 53675663
I lock strength and tip up carry are big things for you, get the REKAT. It can be a bit gritty, but check some out in person if you can. They also tend to get smooth with use. The main item, however, is that the Rolling Lock is super strong and the knife is tip up. You might also consider an Axis Lock BM because they have similar features too.
I second the REKAT suggestion. The newer REKATs are not as gritty as some of the earlier knives. If size is not an issue then get the Sifu.
If you are looking for something smaller then check out the Carnivore or Carnivore Cub. Happy knife hunting!
Busse Mean Street in an IWB sheath. You don't even know it's there until you reach for it.

Or for something a little larger, a Busse Natural Outlaw riding in a Kenny Rowe SOB (small of the back) sheath. Mine rides great back there, even in the car...and if you ever have to pull it, it's bad juju for bad guys.

Of course these 2 knives violate your price guideline, but Busse knives WILL NOT fail you in ANY way.
Make sure and find out what is LEGAL to carry in TN. If a fixed blade is allowed, Bob Dozier is the man.
For a folder with a 3.25" blade, I recommend the BM720, Spyderco Delica, and the BM mini AFCK.
For a folder with a 4" blade, there are alot of excellent choices. BM AFCK, the Stryker you mentioned, Cold Steel Voyager, Spyderco Endura, CRK&T CKF, Outdoor Edge Magna, etc...
If what you want is a folder, those you mentioned all look good. For a REKAT, the ultimate defensive knife is the Sifu, but it will definitely scare the sheeple, and might be too big to be legal in your area. The pocket hobbit is smaller (i.e., more likely to be legal), and will also scare the sheeple, but it's a nasty piece of work. And the carnivore (sp?) is sorta sheeple friendly and is also a good REKAT.

Also look at the BM Axis locks. I carry a 710hs and am very happy with it. No lock problems with Axis locks, ever.

Jason aka medusaoblongata
"To give is a need, to receive is mercy." - Thus Spoke Zarathustra
I just got an Outdoor Edge Magna for less than $40 delivered.

This is a tip-down design with a 4" AUS-8 clip-point blade that is just as 'tactical' as the person using it.

This is the least expensive of all my folders, but combines strength, utility and value unmatched by any of my Spydercos or Benchmaaades.
I just finished this knife. It is a tanto style, high carbon, chisel ground blade with a black linen micarta hand. Blade length 3 7/8". Sheath can be worn as a horizontal SOB or front cross draw. Very light to carry. I opted for a chisel grind since it will tend to dig in with slashing type movements.

Sproles --

You're looking for better lock reliability, and your list consists of ... a bunch of liner locks (that's right, it's me, the broken record)? I usually hate when people ignore the list that was inquired about and give their own lists instead, so I'll have to hate myself for this post

From your list, I'd consider REKAT. The Carnivore is the best match for the type of knife you seem to be looking for (fairly large utility-defense knives, it seems like), but like all REKATs, it's a little scary looking. The Rolling Lock is a good sound lock, strong, and it's been reliable for me.

The Benchmade 710 Axis is reasonably sheeple-friendly, tip-up carry, recurve blade has the potential for outstanding performance, most comfortable folder handle for extended hard use I've ever felt ... and, the axis lock, reliable and strong, and ambidextrous. In case you couldn't tell, this is probably my favorite 4"-bladed hard-use folder going.

I just reviewed the SOG Night Vision, with its ArcLock, and liked it. It's got an scary tanto blade, so there's two strikes against it -- it's scary, and it's a tanto. But the overall quality is quite good, and the Arc Lock seems sound based on my one sample. I'm hoping they'll come out with an ArcLock knife that has an actual working blade on it.


You're right about the Axis 710. I have one, carry it every day (along with my tanto) and luv it. Very positive lock and will not open accidently due to spring on lock. Very comfortable to carry.
I can only speak about the two of your candidates that I have used: MicroTech LCC and REKAT Sifu. Both are very impressive knives, in somewhat different ways.

I prefer the Sifu to the LCC. Despite the much longer blade (5.45" vs 3.6") the Sifu is slimmer and less visible in the pocket. It also has a better balance, more positive grip, larger finger guard, and a tougher lock. The only drawback to the Sifu is if you live in an area where 5.5" folders aren't legal.

I can't speak for the other REKAT models, but my impression is that the Carnivore shares most of the nicer aspects of the Sifu.

Having said all of that, I can't find many faults with the LCC. The thick grip gives it a solid feel in the hand. The blade is thick too; it feels like you could use it for a crowbar, but it's razor sharp. Nicely shaped for both piercing and cutting. The lock is very solid. Finally, the LCC is a very attractive and conservative design. I think it looks like an oversized gentlemen's folder and I have carried it primarily because of that.

If you are concerned about having a knife that is less likely to worry people you should go for the LCC. Otherwise I would recommend a REKAT.

--Bob Q
Out of what you listed as options, I would go with the LCC.

Personally, my favorite carry knives are my Nealy Kinzhal II, Martin Kozuka, and Reeve Sebenza. The Nealy would be about in your price range, and I would reccommend it. The Kinzhal is very thin and versatile.

You might have noticed you got a lot of suggestions to look at Dozier - Do it! His knives are fantastic! I like the Agent with a slightly modified blade - it runs about $150-175 last I checked.