Recommendation? Opinions on first knife

Discussion in 'General Knife Discussion' started by Cliffr39, Feb 13, 2020.

  1. Cliffr39


    Feb 11, 2020
    Just starting to learn about the different types of knives, from steel type to blade form factor. Looking for some opinions from you seasoned owners. I've got my eye on a few.

    From Spyderco:

    From Cold Steel:
    Cold Steel 58PC Code 4 Clip Point Folding Knife 3.5" S35VN

    From Zero Tolerance:
    Zero Tolerance Model 0350 Assisted Flipper Knife 3.25" S30V
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 13, 2020
    Owen K. likes this.
  2. myowngod

    myowngod Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 3, 2009
    Hi! Welcome to the addiction, I mean club! It's always best to start with a bit more information.. like budget, what it's primary use will be, and are there any must-haves or deal-breakers?

    Of what you listed, I've owned a zt350 and while I did like the knife... I'd pick a few others ahead of it .. but again... More details will help in suggesting alternatives.
  3. Owen K.

    Owen K. Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 9, 2016
    Welcome! Bladeforums is a great resource for all knife related information, however if you ask for advice on a purchasing decision, you will get a lot of different recommendations. This is a journey about find what YOU like and need in a tool. I'd say the best way to start is to check out some of these recommendation/personal interest blades and try handling them a good knife shop. If you don't live near any good stores, the pass around forums on here offer the same purpose. The worst case, you could order some from amazon and if you don't like them return them in under 30 days. Get a feel for what you like and enjoy the process. Next you get to have the enjoyment of using the one(s) you choose. P.S. those options you mentioned are both good blades. I'd recommend you the zt 0562 will offer you a similar type of blade but without speedsafe (shop around in the exchange and find a used one for cheaper). Cheers!
    Prester John likes this.
  4. sharpside

    sharpside KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Jan 18, 2020
    Like myowngod said, we could use a little more info. The more detailed the info the better opinion we can give. That being said, you cant really go wrong with spyderco. I personally like the paramilitary 2 in S35VN or if you want to go a little smaller the paramilitary 3.
  5. sabre cat

    sabre cat Basic Member Basic Member

    Jul 4, 2014
    Not a big fan of Cold Steel personally but their Code 4 line is something that even I would be willing to consider. Especially the drop point version.

    If I may suggest:

    Buck 110/112
    Spyderco Delica/Endura
    CRKT M16 series
    Benchmade Griptilian
    Spyderco Para 3/PM2

    These five knives give you some of the most common lock types on the market. Might as well test them out also.
  6. Feca10ne

    Feca10ne Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 29, 2020
    buy a Sebenza 31,..leave this place,..never look back... with money still in your 401k :p:D
  7. Therom


    Nov 13, 2013
    The 0350 has been my first over $40 knife and while I have sold it and moved into other styles of knives, I can only recommend it

    it is a very good beater knife
    I liked the high of the handle but it was a bit too short for my use

    i finally moved to the PM2 which has more length in the handle and it was fine for me

    the liner lock on the 0350 is good
    I problem with that

    if you don’t like the assisted opening you can just removed the tension bar, but I never had to complain about mine

    the pocket clip is not deep carry but that makes sense for the kind of use this knife is intended for

    i don’t have the code 4 but I have a pro lite tanto. It is a cheap entry into cold steel and it is a good blade for the price
    i think the code 4 should be even better

    IMO take the one that looks better for you, use it and make your own experience

    my first knife was a 0350, I some more ZT, some BM before moving into spyderco, Hinderer, TRM, CRK and Koenig...

    some alternatives to the 0350
    Spyderco PM2
    BM super freek
    sharpside likes this.
  8. sabre cat

    sabre cat Basic Member Basic Member

    Jul 4, 2014
    The 0350 was on my list for a quite a while. So was a DPx HEST. Between the two, I think the ZT is probably the better knife. Certainly a little more practical.

    Then I started using my Griptilian more and more. I came to the conclusion that it was all the folding knife I probably would ever need. If it wasn’t enough, I needed a fixed blade.
  9. abcdef


    Oct 28, 2005
    I would try out an assisted opener before buying one.
  10. hhmoore

    hhmoore Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 7, 2014
    Hogue Ritter RSK MK1-G2
    (also available with black scales, if you don't care for orange)
    You can thank me later.

    As far as Buck, I find the 501 far more appealing, and pocketable, than the 110/112.
  11. Ben Dover

    Ben Dover Gold Member Gold Member

    Aug 2, 2006
    ZT 0562
    Spyderco Manix 2, Maxamet
    Benchmade 710-D2
    Spyderco Military S90V or CPM M-4
  12. MarkN86


    Sep 3, 2012
    Of the two you listed you can't go wrong. Just starting out I would probably go for the Code 4. It's not USA made like the ZT but it is half the price for practically the same steel. The lock is stronger than a framelock and it is more beginner friendly than an assisted opening flipper. You can spend the extra money on an M390 Kershaw Link or Dividend and you'll have a USA made assisted knife in M390 steel and a Tri-Ad lock folder in S35vn for the same price you'd be in a single ZT 0350.
    Psy223 and sabre cat like this.
  13. Korean Hog

    Korean Hog Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 12, 2017
    Spyderco Delica best all around EDC
    From your list I like the 0350 better but I didn't like the one I had at all.
    The handle was too short and the blade was overly chunky.
    Spyderco PM2 is another good one
  14. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 20, 2005
    The ZT 0350 is one of the less expensive ZT's and the one I first looked at in a store to decide if I wanted to try a ZT. There was lots of talk here about how great they are and I wanted to see for myself. I ended up getting the 0770 Carbon Fiber which is also assisted (AO). It was my first and only ZT. I have nothing against ZT's and I think they make a good knife. I like the knife better than the 0350 because it's slimmer. It rides in my pocket comfortably, but I believe it costs a bit more. I don't think you can go wrong with a ZT if the knife is comfortable to carry. I suggest you look at one in a store before you buy and make a judgement about AO's. Things moved to flippers from AO's and most people seem to like them better overall.

    I have been moving to more manual knives and the most recent modern knife was the Benchmade Mini Presidio II which I like quite a lot. It is still a one hand opener with Benchmade's most excellent axis lock. I generally carry a small Vic SAK most of the time to give you perspective and the modern is a second knife if I choose to carry one. I have been carrying a small fixed blade lately as a second knife most of the time. But if I grab a second folder now, it's usually the Mini Presidio II.

    Spyderco makes very good knives overall. The Native is one of my favorites and about the same size you are looking at. For a less expensive Spydie, the Delica is a great knife and very easy to carry.
  15. Steely_Gunz

    Steely_Gunz Got the Khukuri fevah Moderator

    May 9, 2002
    The ZT350 is my work knife of choice, most days. Solid every day knife for sure.
  16. afishhunter


    Oct 21, 2014
    Primary Use?
    Any restrictions on what you can carry at/on the job?

    Hard to go wrong with a SAK such as the Recruit (has a pen blade) or Cadet (has a finger nail file in place of the pen blade) or Farmer or Pioneer.
    comis likes this.
  17. kingston73

    kingston73 Gold Member Gold Member

    Oct 14, 2013
    I would honestly not buy new at all, look at the selling section and get a bargain deal. If you have to go new, the Doug ritter mentioned above is possibly one of the best deals going, I love mine.

    Im biased but don’t like assisted knives. Opening is great but needing two hands to close is a deal breaker.

    Word of warning, be ready to spend a lot of money. When I first started I thought “I’ll maybe get two”. I’m at well over 100 bought, sold, traded, rebought, etc.
  18. gazz98

    gazz98 Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 3, 2008
    I have both of the knives listed.

    Instead of the Code 4, I'd suggest either the CS Ultimate Hunter or Recon 1. The Code 4 scales are metal, thin, and slick. I don't like them. I prefer a thicker handle + G10 like the Ultimate Hunter or Recon 1.

    The 350 was my first (and only) ZT. Great knife.

    Either way, you can't go wrong. I know CS knives aren't for everyone but they make a great knife for the money imo.
  19. Cliffr39


    Feb 11, 2020
    Sorry for the delay. I had several more listed in the original post, not sure why a Mod removed the Spydercos. Those were Manix2, Para3, Native 5, Chaparral.

    I have no real purpose for them (at the moment). Budget under $150. For reference my hand size is 5 1/2" x 7 1/2"
    EDIT Typo: measurement 3 1/2" (breadth) x 7 1/2" (tip of middle finger) -- Average size hand.
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2020
  20. Black Oak Bladeworks

    Black Oak Bladeworks Gold Member Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Gold Member

    Jun 5, 2019
    I have a manix 2XL, I really like it. I also really like the cold steel broken skull. You won't go wrong with anything on your list though!

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