Mar 19, 1999
hello to all my fellow knife people, i am an experianced tactical folding knife collector. i want your opinions on what you think the best folders are in the world.



RATEING YOUR FAVORITES:in terms of rating, rate these catagories, best fit+finish, lockup, lock is strong, edge, and overall BEST. Thank you. My Favorites are below.
1.Pat Crawford Kasper Fighter, 4in. blade, sand blasted, micarta grip.
2.Emerson Custom Banana 4in.blade.
best factory folder is the Microtech soccom.=the bm AFCK.
Only good tach that is really worth what I paid is .....................................................................................................Syderco Military 1 plain 1 ser...........................................LET THE FLAMES BEGIN
My all time favorite tactical folder is the Microtech Socom. The second place could in my opinion be the Chris Reeve Sebenza. I know it wasn't designed to be a tactical folder, but it has many attributes of a good tactical folder. I think it only lacks a more pronounced guard.
This thread ought to get interesting


I would think the New Folders from My good Friend Mike Fuller At TOPS knives
http://www.Tactical-ops.com will be in the running for sure when they come online...
But i also Think that the SEBENZA has to Rate right up there with excellent Quality and good delivery times......myself, i do not Like Folders, as i find it impossible to make Emergency Shelters and Totaly Rely on a Folder in an Emergency Situation,,Tactical or otherwise...i as well as other makers ..can fabricate top quality Fixed Blades in any size comparable to the Overall Length of a Folder,,, with very comforatable carrying characteristics...i know that there are many who like Folders for everyday carry and i support there right to carry what they will, but for Me a fixed blade in Legal length for
discret carry is the way to go......
Thanks Allen

Ps.....if ya want to see what i mean send me EMAIL and i will send you a PIC of the "ERMINE" that i make which fits this need i think.....ahhhhh the Joy of Knifemaking
I think that the 910BT Stryker with no pocket clip is a pretty damn good candidate myself. -AR
Whatever feels best in your hand is the most tactical folder for you. Everyone has a different opinion. As for me, pure tactical and no utility, my Hawg Milleniums and Spyderco Civilians are the most tactical for me.
Folders can be tactical???


Clay Fleischer

Knives are for usin' -- Pictures are for looking at...

My favorite for an overall tactical folder for every day use would be the MicroTech SOCOM M/A.

My favorite for overall construction, size, integral lock, feel, and looks would be the Mission MPF1-Ti.

The Spyderco Military with CPM-440V and my Emerson Commander would follow right after the above 2.

I like the Cold Steel Gunsite Folder for it's blade when doing extremely hard work on large jobs and it tactical look, it is intimidating, that's for sure!

Each one of these has it's own place with me, like them all for what they are.


" Knife Collectors Are Sharp People

What is the definition of a tactical folder? Is it a self defense knife? A utility/work knife? A combination of the two? Or is it the knife you carry all of the time? I hear the term tactical folder a lot but I must admit that I'm not 100% sure as to what it means.


Spyderco C36 Military CPM-440V
Emerson Commander
Microtech LUDT
Microtech M/A SOCOM
Emerson CQC7-B

Custom "tactical" knives are more for collecting in my opinion. I'd have a hard time using a $500 knife for "tactical" chores. Its hard enough using my Microtechs.

Actually I haven't thought really of any of my folders being tactical. More convenient really. Tactical to me has more to do with how you conduct yourself when the need arises along with your mindset than using any folding knife for tactical purposes. My 1-7 falls into the tactial category though. Not a folder I know but it is a tactial knife made to do certain things extremely well, which it seems to do. As for folders if I had to rate them I would rate my Axis lock and my Spyderco C16 as being as good as any. This includes edge sharpness and retention, fit and finish. Both extremely sharp and very well made. Keep'em sharp.
To my way of thinking, a "tactical" is a strong, reliable knife with a good grip, that can be deployed with a speed suitable to its purpose. I feel that the requirement of strength and reliability eliminates all liner-lock and leaf side-lock folders from the category. Lock backs are, as a class, less strong but more reliable in my opinion, which puts them in the same tactical category as liner-locks. Some people feel that the suitable speed requirement eliminates all folders, and that argument is well made. So the most nearly tactical folders that I know of are:

The Crawford Carnivore* - Rolling Lock
The Benchmade 710 - Axis lock
The REKAT Pioneer
Mission MPF (A-2 steel blade)*

If the list were longer, it would include the following:

REKAT Escalator*
My Benchmade Custom Elishewitz 5" Tanto Bali-Song
Sawby RCC Tactical folder
Many different button-lock autos

* Indicates that I haven't actually evaluated it, but should be good by design.


This is maybe a little off topic, but why do people continually insist that a fixed-blade is faster than a folder? I know that I can present either my Spyderco Police model, or REKAT Pioneer *as fast* or maybe even *faster* than a fixed blade. Note that most fixed blades w/ non-custom (i.e., Kydex or Concealex) sheaths require the user to have an additonal restraining device (i.e., stud or strap) which substantially slows blade presentation. Additionally, when I have my Spydie Police clipped in my right front pocket, it rides at just the right height for my right hand to reach down, pull it out by the hole, and snap the handle down and into my palm. I have seen very few fixed-blade sheaths which place the handle low enough for a "natural" draw like this. With most, you have to either reach across your body (a weak tactical position), or else pull your hand up unnaturally high. Additionally, as you draw, you must bring your hand higher yet, a difficulty with a long blade. Finally, if you are wearing a longish shirt untucked, it is one more thing to reach up under, and possibly get your blade stuck in. It seems like the only fixed blades which would be quicker to present than folders would be those in Kydex sheaths, which are somehow designed so as to obviate the necessity of drawing up, before presenting the blade. Sorry if this is off topic, but I don't understand why people insist that "folders can't be tactical because they are too slow."
I'm in strong agreement with Steve Harvey. For me, one thing is for sure: the "best" tactical folder is not a liner lock and not a lockback. Lock security is absolutely a top priority! This leaves on a few mechanisms, like the Sebenza-style integral lock, the Rolling Lock, and the Axis lock.

I think the Carnivore with rolling lock might be my top choice, primarily because it combines lock reliability and a good blade with a handle that is astoundingly secure in the grip.

The Benchmade Axis has all the same features. The Axis's handle is more comfortable for prolonged use, making this the top choice for the "sports utility" category, but 2nd for tactical folder because the Carnivore's "security-first" handle philosophy is more important for a pure fighter than the Axis's "comfort-first" philosophy.

The Sebenza is of course an outstanding choice, but from what I've handled of it, doesn't quite have the security or comfort in the handle the way the Carnivore or Axis do.

The Pinnacle *does* have great security and comfort, and it's another top choice for me.

As soon as the Military gets a rolling lock, it belongs on the short list. So does the AFCK when it gets an axis lock.

I also find myself in agreement with Burke. It is absolutely not true that a fixed-blade is necessarily faster than a folder. I totally depends on the situations you'll be in.

Hopefully, through good awareness, I know when I'm in danger. With a folder, that means I can palm and partially-open my folder well in advance. Or I can partially begin opening it in my pocket. There's no speed advantage to having a fixed-blade in this situation; in fact, depending on where the fixed-blade is, you could be alerting someone to its presence just by reaching for it. The folder's presence isn't known unless I want it to be.

Granted, there are other situations where the fixed-blade can have draw-speed advantages, for sure. For example, if you're jumped before being aware of the danger, and only have a split second to create some space and draw, the fixed-blade has a big advantage over having to draw and unfold a folder while in the midst of an adrenaline rush.


Let's first come to an agreement as to what tactical means to this group/thread. Webster's definition of:

tactic - n., a particular expedient.
tactical, the adjective form of tactic.
expedient - n., a means to an end.

Therefore, tactical means "a particular means to an end". I'm assuming, from Rage's original post and his preferences, that he is asking which folder is the best for defensive/offensive situations where the knife would be deployed as a weapon. This topic has been explored tirelessly, all because it's fun. What we need to keep in mind when asking the question "What is the best...", is what 'end' we are seeking.

Sorry if I bored you.

Having owned every knife mentioned so far I can honestly say the best custon tactical folder has yet to be mentioned. Probably because only a few have been made so far. R J Martin's Q30 is AWESOME! Perfect size 3.25" blade is recurved and 5/32" thick. The handle has not one sharp edge as does every knife mentioned so far, and the swells fit the hand perfectly. It is the toughest liner lock I have ever owned- on par with any lightfoot. It is a TANK! Based on this first attempt I will buy every new model he puts out. R J did his homework and if I could have only one this is the one. Sorry to go on but I feel he has been severely overlooked on this knife.
Anyway here are my rankings for custom folders:
1. R J Martin Q 30
2. Lightfoot 560 Magnum, Spearpoint
3. Terzuola Starfighter
4. Carson Model 18 Flipper, Spearpoint
5. Chaffee Nautilus Heavy Duty Model
Factory Folders:
1. Spyderco Military (better than many customs)
2. Sebenza (ditto)
3. Axis lock
4. Carnivore
5. Emerson cqc7(I feel this knife is an amazing value, better quality than the benchmade and cheaper-under $90 at most shows.)

The argument that the term "tactical folder" is an oxymoron is certainly a hotly debated one. Thats why I sort of tried to make my point in terms of degrees of tacticalness. I tend to think that a folder can be tactical, as long as it stays locked open once you open it. But, I can also envision an attack that might make it very difficult to grab and open a folder, while grasping and drawing a fixed-blade would be possible. That quarter of a second could mean the difference between surviving and the alternative. I think a folder is somewhat more tactical than no knife at all, at least by my definition. But if you really are going to carry a knife for defense, you should carry the most tactical one.