opinions of various brands of knives


Nov 1, 1998
Hi, I'm new to this hobby and have been spending quite a bit of time surfing the net to learn more about knives. From what I've seen, some of the more popular production knives seem to include Spyderco, Benchmade, Microtech, EDI, etc. This probably isn't a fair question since I'm sure each company puts out its share of both high end and moderate level knives, but is there any way to generalize the different brands based on where there market strengths or focus are? For example, I kind of gather that Microtech's tend to be more expensive but higher quality, while Spyderco tends to focus on more affordable knives.
All the companies you mention all make very good knives.It pretty much boils down to what your needs are in relation to which company you purchase from.I have knives from all the companies mentioned and are all good knives.I feel that they all have good qualities and workmanship.There prices are also run the spectrum of low to high.Everyone on these forums has there favorites so you will get all sorts of different opinions.I'm sure that looking over all the types of knives they offer you will find at least on per brand that will appeal to you and fill your cutting needs.Just when you decide to favor a particular model from a certain company another new model from a different company is introduced and it's like starting all over again.But it sure is fun buying and deciding.
but is there any way to generalize the different brands based on where there market strengths or focus are?<<

Boy, this could open up a discussion!<g>

Two areas come to mind--actual products, ie Spyderco's trademark opening and serrated blades, Benchmade's "virtual" customs like the Emerson or Elishewitz-designed products, SOG's Bowie, etc., and how they go to market--how available are they, pricing, who they are trying to reach, what sort of steel they use--this could be a forum in and of itself, and one I'd like to see the resellers and distributors chime in on.
It's like shopping for cars. Many companies make quality knives, it just depends on finding a niche among them. For a moderate investment Benchmade, Microtech, Spyderco, or Kershaw are among my first choices. For about $100 bucks you can get a great knife from any of these companies you won't be dissapointed in!
I think Bob hit it right on the head with his first two sentences. I have knives from Benchmade, Spyderco, Kershaw, Chris Reeve, MicroTech, Gerber, Case, and Cold Steel, and I love them all-they're different knives and I love them each for different reasons.

I recommend you post questions about specific models you're looking for in the Reviews section and get some opinions. You can also run a search to find old reviews. Dexter (the Reviews section moderator) has done a lot of reviews and he knows quite a lot about knives. You can try contacting him by e-mail. Hope this helps.
RT, like you I am new at this hobby but I have found that the only thing that satisfies me is to inspect and hold a knife in my hand before I decide wether or not I like it. Since most of my purchases are mail order I often rely on a picture and a review but some of these blade people are so detail oriented that us amatuers heads are spinning after some of the reviews. I just bought a Cheyenne from James Bros. That is a great starting point for your collection. I read all the books and magazines I can and spend too much time reading all the posts in the forum, this alone is agreat education about knives. There is a poor selection of retail knife outlets where I live so I buy almost exclusively from mail order or on line auctions. I have found the dealers to be extremely ethical and have never been burnt on a auction. I see you live in Hawaii, there must be alot of military knives out there. Spend time at fleas markets I am sure that you will find some nice knives. Good luck. remenmber the hunt is a large part of the fun !
cold steel sepcialies in affordable knives that are of good quality and good design
CS has gutts for making momouth folders like the vaquero and the gunsight so one must admit when you want the big blades, come here.

spyderco does the same but they add to their line semi-customs with higher grade materials
their basic knives are like CS however.

benchmade has great designs all around and uses great materials. they just dont make the CQC knives anymore and i want them back!!!
any way, benchmade keeps the knives it makes to the 4 inch or below size which is good for legality but sometimes you just want bigger.
bm has been experiencing some problens in quality control form reports on the forum, so be warned. i have 3 BM knives and have had no problem with them so it could be rumor or i may be lucky. beware also the BM 875 because i have heard of a lot of problems with it over the forums. again for the 875 i have no personal experience

i havent handeled other companies knives so anyone want to help fill in the info on the others
i forgot to mention the edi companmy. they make the genisis folder which seems to be stealing the afck's thunder.

also beware of buck plastic handle knives because i have had a buck light colapse on my hand while stabbing it through a door.

a ats34 ez out from gerber al;so colapsed on my hand while trying to smash a bottle with the back of the blade. i dont know if it was because i hit the lock of the knife is a POS but i am extremly leery about buying another ez out again. it is a good desighn though for a low cost, high yeild utility/tatical knife. i may get one for a friend for the holidays but i may just go with a CS voyager for the lock strength.
Sorry I have to ask the question, Memenoch, why were you trying to smash a bottle with the back of the blade???