Quality Folding EDC Knife under $40?

Discussion in 'General Knife Discussion' started by TripleB67, Jan 28, 2016.

  1. TripleB67


    Jan 28, 2016
    I’m looking for an Every Day Carry knife that is better quality and a little larger than the small Case knives I’ve been carrying for the past 30 years or so. Even though it’s first priority is for EDC tasks, I would still like for it to be good enough to use in a self defense situation if one arises and I don’t have my CCH.

    I’ve narrowed down my options to the following based on reviews I've read and they fall under my $40 budget:

    - Kershaw Cryo…love the looks of the Blackwash Speedsafe as well the standard Speedsafe; like the smaller size compared to the others

    - Kershaw Cryo II…again like the looks of the Blackwash Speedsafe and standard Speedsafe but am afraid that the 4.4” folded length may be a little larger than I want to go for an EDC

    - Kershaw 1990 Brawler…love the looks of this, the size is nice because it’s between the Cryo and Cryo II but it has a Tanto blade; from what I’ve read it’s a bit tougher to sharpen (and I’m not really great at sharpening knives) and a little less versatile than the standard blades

    - Kershaw 1605 Clash...sized in between the Cryo and Cryo II (4.25" closed); might still like just a bit smaller but it's a nice fit between those two knives

    - Spyderco Tenacious G10…don’t like the looks of it quite as good as the Cryos but still a great looking knife…however it’s even larger than the Cryo II

    All of those seem a little large (at least to me) for EDC except for the Cryo which is 3.75 inches closed...all the rest are over 4 1/3 inches.

    So, which of the above do you feel is the best knife for EDC (with self defense if needed)?

    Or can you recommend a better option out there for under $40 that may be around that 4 inch closed length?

    Also, is there an inexpensive, but good quality, and simple sharpener you would recommend? (similar to the Smith’s PP1 Pocket Pal or Lansky PS-MED01 Blade Medic)

    Thanks for any help and advice you can send my way.

    Last edited: Jan 28, 2016
  2. oxman198


    Jun 17, 2013
    I would be nervous about using any of those for self defense, although you gotta do what you gotta do. The Tenacious and cryo are excellent EDC knives, with my pick going to the Tenacious. I would recommend the Recon 1 clip point in Aus 8, you can get them on Amzon for around $40 right now. And once theyre gone, you will never be able to get a Recon at that price again. Cryos etc. will be around for a long time I think.
  3. 115Italian


    Nov 13, 2015
    For an edc, Buck vantage in 420hc
  4. chchin2


    Sep 1, 2015
    ontario rat ii (4.13" closed) $30, you might also be able to get an old model cold steel mini recon in aus 8 (4.25" closed) for $40
  5. knifeandgun


    Aug 10, 2013
    Tenacious is a great start for edc tasks.
    I've always liked the ones I've owned in the past.
    Also check out the Ontario Rat 2. It's pretty small, but very versatile for its price
  6. MaximIsayev


    Dec 17, 2014
    Yep, seconding the RAT suggestion, either the 1 or 2 would be a good option. There's also the Ka-bar Dozier Folding Hunter, and the Kershaw CQC-4KXL if you're a fan of the wave feature.
  7. ElBee


    Dec 2, 2013
    Hi Triple B,

    Welcome to BF.

    I think given your price point, you are headed in a good direction with the Kershaws. I don't know if you'd consider something other than Speedsafe, but if you would, I'd recommend taking a look at the Kershaw Skyline. It's right at your price point--maybe a couple bucks more-- and it's an iconic EDC knife. It carries very well in pocket, it's sturdy enough for EDC use, it's USA made and has better steel than the Cryos. I know you're concerned about length vs carry, but weight is just as important a factory for me.

    The Spyderco Persistance is more in line with your requirements than the Tenacious as far as size goes. My go-to EDC these days is the Spyderco Delica, so I haven't tried the Persistence yet. I know there are plenty of Tenacious fans out there, and the Spyderco China knives have gotten many good reviews.

    As far as sharpeners, I have the Smiths for quick touch ups, but I don't have a better recommendation than that.

    Good Luck
  8. utaharcher


    Dec 20, 2010
    Kershaw cryo with the g10 handle and black wash finish. Lighter than the all metal cryo . Sweet knife for $27 bucks.
  9. rje58

    rje58 Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 21, 2013
    Personally, I would avoid both the Cryo and the Cryo II, just because in my experience the scales are too slippery and have a tendency to want to slide out of my hand. The Cryo G10 would probably go a long way toward alleviating that concern.

    IMO, the Tenacious is the best choice on your list, but I also the recommendation of the Ontario Rat I and Rat II. Great knives, all three, especially for the money.
  10. crufflers


    Apr 28, 2015
    I like a lot of the models people posted, but why not pick something made in the USA with no blade play? For those reasons, I'll usually pick the Sandvik BLUR tanto in this price range. $40 street price or online auction, etc... $10 more could get you a nice BDZ1 tanto BLUR. Hard to beat a USA Kershaw like the BLUR for under $40. I do own and enjoy the Cryo G10 and the Thermites, RJ's, Tenacious, Resilience, etc... they just are not as good IMHO.
  11. strategy9

    strategy9 Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 27, 2015
    I personally think the Kershaw Scrambler is a better edc option then the Cryo II (slightly more blade and less handle at 3.5"/4.25" respectively vs 3.25"/4.375").
    And the attention to smal details makes it a handsome knife

    If you prefer a smaller blade size of the Cryo, give the Buck Quickfire a look; 2.75" blade with 4.25" handle; in the event you would have to use it for self defense, back locks are notably more reliable then framelocks, especially with an additional safety lock.
    (It's also a full 1/4 oz. lighter then the g10 Cryo). http://www.bladehq.com/item--Buck-Black-Quickfire--1589

    Buck Talus is another option worth looking at if you don't mind or prefer partial serrations... 2.5" blade and 3.5" handle.

    Smith's 3-in-1 is a nice little cheap sharpening system... A poor man's sharp maker...
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2016
  12. GooberBoober


    Dec 30, 2012
    I just cringed when looking up those sharpeners you mentioned. Please stay away from any kind of pull-through sharpener, they do more harm than good.

    The Spyderco Sharpmaker is probably the best fool-proof sharpening system. Easy to use and fairly inexpensive if you're in the USA.

    Rats, Cryo and Tenacious are all great knives. I agree with Elbee on the weight part, don't rule that out when you're looking for something comfortable to carry.
  13. TripleB67


    Jan 28, 2016

    Thanks for the information...I like the looks of the Rat II...do you know if it has a "flipper" (easy open) like the Cryo? Looked for the Mini Recon Aus8 and am having a tough time finding it in my price range.

    Some of the other ones that people have mentioned look awesome...a lot of them are around 4.4 or 4.5 inches; which for a EDC may be a little larger than I want to go. I think around the 3.75 to 4.0 inch size would be perfect.

    Thanks to everyone for your help!

  14. Hackenslash

    Hackenslash Don't feed the Trolls Platinum Member

    Jul 25, 2014
    Welcome to Blade Forums!

    I think the Cryo in any iteration might feel a little pocket heavy after carrying a Case traditional folder. Kershaw really has so many great offerings in the sub-$40 range it's hard to go wrong...just be wary of taking on more weight and bulk than you're used to. Among the Kershaws, I second the idea of a Skyline. New, they might break your $40 budget, but you can regularly get blems from Kershawguy for around $30. Some other Kershaws to consider are the RJ Tactical 3, the OSO Sweet, the Volt 2, Injection 3, Strobe and especially the plastic handle Link.

    Spydercos may not look as pretty and tactical, but in use they have wonderful ergos. As someone already suggested, the Tenacious probably isn't the best choice from that line, the Persistence has a shorter blade with a total length just over 4". The Delica is a great EDC knife but above your price range. If you're into knives with holes, consider the Spyderco Byrd line. The Meadowlark or Crow might serve you well.

    As you can probably tell, the Ontario RAT 2 is a very popular knife and a great choice for your needs.

    Check out also the RealSteel H6-S1. Similar in design to the RAT, but better fit, finish and materials. Just a tad bigger than the RAT 2 also.

    Take a look at the Cold Steel Tuff Lite. It's an odd design but many people swear by it.

    The ESEE Avispa or Zancudo are solid, inexpensive EDC choices.

    Lots of people will recommend the Buck Vantage series, but I really can't. The quality of construction and fit/finish on the Vantage is really unacceptable when contrasted with the knives above.

    Just be prepared to accept one fact...once bitten, the virus never goes away. Indeed, it usually mutates and demands more knives to feed the fever. You're about to open a box that you likely will never again close. :p
  15. abbazaba

    abbazaba Gold Member Gold Member

    Oct 30, 2015
    +1 for the Tenacious from whats on your list. Amazing knife for the money. The Persistence is great too, but feels just as big as the Tenacious in my pocket.

    +1 for the Skyline from what's not on your list. Carries much better than the Tenacious because of the weight and slimness, and its Sandvick steel is probably the best you can do for your price range IMO.

    A possibly relevant discussion for a first time Tenacious buyer http://www.bladeforums.com/forums/showthread.php/1362462-Spyderco-Tenacious
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2016
  16. TheOutdoorNerd


    Oct 30, 2015
    Skyline or Link--both made in USA and under $40.
  17. TripleB67


    Jan 28, 2016
    Thanks for all the input you've given so far!

    After hearing all your responses I'm learning that there are a huge number of great knives out there and it's easy to become addicted to collecting them once you start :D

    One question: do the websites of the manufacturers (ie: Spyderco, Kershaw, etc.) have a way for you to find out which of their knives are a certain size? ie: so I can see which knives are 4 inches or less closed?

    Even though I may never need it for self defense (carry my Ruger LCP Gen 2 where ever I can), I really like the "flipper" feature like the one found on the Kershaw Cryo.

    Thanks again for taking the time to respond!

    Last edited: Jan 28, 2016
  18. knifedude802


    Jul 18, 2014
    There are a couple websites where you can narrow down the knives by selecting a price/length range.
    Ontario Rat 2 is right up you alley.
    The Cryo 1 and 2 from my experience have been okay, though they're heavy and the steel isn't great.
    The Clash is a fun little knife, though again the steel is it's weak point.
    Spyderco seems to do a little better with 8Cr in my opinion, I notice a definite different between their 8Cr and Kershaw's, but YMMV.

    For EDC and light use, the Ontario Rat 2 is really a great start.
  19. crufflers


    Apr 28, 2015
    I didn't know the links could be had under $40 now, but yep $33 and $36 shipped online auction... I have both tantos and they are good and made in the USA. I prefer the aulminum version.
  20. TripleB67


    Jan 28, 2016

    That does look like it fits my needs...I was mistakenly looking at the specs for the Rat I so I was thinking the Rat II was 4.5" closed/8.5" open...but the Rat II does seem to be the perfect size 4.1 inches closed and a 3 inch blade...nice!!! The tough call on it would be the Black black or the Silver blade!

    It doesn't have the "flipper" feature for quick opening but hopefully I'll never have the need to use it in a quick self defense situation.

    Is the Aus8 blade a better blade than the 8Cr13MoV (Titanium carbo-nitrade coated) blade?

    Right now it seems to be between the Rat II, the Cryo, and the Persistence based on the size I'm hoping for, 4" or right there at it.

    Thanks for all the help!

    Last edited: Jan 28, 2016

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