What is the best EDC knife under $50?

jux t

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For a user/edc under $50, I’d go with a Pro-Lite Sport from CS. I think it’s an under rated hard use 3.5 inch blade user.
 

Lee D

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View attachment 1493256 J justjed I had this made so I didn’t have to leave my 110 at home to carry a big fixed blade.
I’m sure it weighs a ton lol, but that is such a sweet setup.

back to the original question, for me the best sub-$50 knife is the Pioneer X...it’s so darn handy, and if I need something more there’s always a locking folder or fixed blade within reach.
 
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Buck 110 Slim Select get another vote. It's rock solid, exceedingly useable made in America and way under your budget. If you want a flipper that's just as good and right at your price point, look at the Buck Sprint Select.
 
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The Civivi Elementum starts at $50.
Yeah, I really like the Elementum, but I don't like D2 steel because I live in a very humid climate zone. It will rust too quickly for my liking. I know the Elementum is available in s35vn, but it gets up there in price then. I may get one anyway at some point.
 
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Ruike P105. Smooth as glass action, locks up tighter than a vault, great ergos, good steel (14C28N) which holds a very keen edge, great slicer. Only negative is a fugly clip, but alas, that is subjective. All this for around $37.
 

Chronovore

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Yeah, I really like the Elementum, but I don't like D2 steel because I live in a very humid climate zone. It will rust too quickly for my liking. I know the Elementum is available in s35vn, but it gets up there in price then. I may get one anyway at some point.

I'm in the same boat but the Elementum is a really nice knife. It might be worth saving up for the S35VN version. As an added bonus, it uses a thinner blade stock than the regular D2 Elementum. I got one with Micarta scales and it retired the Massdrop Gent from its slot in my EDC rotation.

Civivi is going through changes. WE recently created Sencut to handle their bottom tier. Sencut has three knives out now in 9Cr18Mov and D2. Civivi just released new models in 14C28N, N690, and S35VN. I wouldn't count on it but maybe we'll get lucky and see more special editions of the Elementum.
 
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And my 2 cents. CJRB Small (or big) Feldspar. G10 with integrated liners, Ball Bearings, well-treated D2, beautiful and functional blade shape with a nice choil, razor-sharp out of the box, deep carry clip, perfect centering, and amazing fidgety action (almost like an assisted knife). Despite the small size, the blade shape and size are comparable and just a bit smaller than my huge Spyderco PM2. And all this for only $35! I like my old trusty Rat 2 in D2 (R2D2 :)) for the same price, but cjrb is better in almost everything, and even better than most of the $100 range folders in my opinion. When I first spotted it on amazon's top sellers I thought this is some kind of Chinese CRKT knockoff, but later I found out that this is a budget-friendly brand of Artisan Cutlery with amazing build quality and functionality (still made in China though :)).
 
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I'm in the same boat but the Elementum is a really nice knife. It might be worth saving up for the S35VN version. As an added bonus, it uses a thinner blade stock than the regular D2 Elementum. I got one with Micarta scales and it retired the Massdrop Gent from its slot in my EDC rotation.

Civivi is going through changes. WE recently created Sencut to handle their bottom tier. Sencut has three knives out now in 9Cr18Mov and D2. Civivi just released new models in 14C28N, N690, and S35VN. I wouldn't count on it but maybe we'll get lucky and see more special editions of the Elementum.
This is well over 50 bucks, but what do you think of the Civivi Pintail S35VN with Micarta handles? I know it's well over 50 dollars though...
 
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And my 2 cents. CJRB Small (or big) Feldspar. G10 with integrated liners, Ball Bearings, well-treated D2, beautiful and functional blade shape with a nice choil, razor-sharp out of the box, deep carry clip, perfect centering, and amazing fidgety action (almost like an assisted knife). Despite the small size, the blade shape and size are comparable and just a bit smaller than my huge Spyderco PM2. And all this for only $35! I like my old trusty Rat 2 in D2 (R2D2 :)) for the same price, but cjrb is better in almost everything, and even better than most of the $100 range folders in my opinion. When I first spotted it on amazon's top sellers I thought this is some kind of Chinese CRKT knockoff, but later I found out that this is a budget-friendly brand of Artisan Cutlery with amazing build quality and functionality (still made in China though :)).
Very interesting!! Sounds like a slick knife. I wish they had it in another steel besides D2 though.
 
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If you don't have blade length restrictions I'd actually go with a Rat 1 in AUS 8 rather than D2. D2 is very inconsistent in mass production knives because of the inconsistent heat treat results. AUS 8 is better in mass produced knives because the heat treat is less critical. Buy D2 and it's the luck of the draw, could be better or worse than the AUS 8 version of the same model.

For a small batch knife by all means get D2.

For blade restriction of 2.5 inches, Cod Steel Tuff Lite.

If slicing is your main concern, Opinel beats them all. It often annoys me that my Opinels are better slicers than anything else I own, even the high priced knives.

One more thing; be a knife collector rather than a knife accumulator. Try to keep your collection fluid and on the small side and aim for quality over quantity. Try to avoid redundancy when possible so that each knife fills a roll that the others don't.
 
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If you don't have blade length restrictions I'd actually go with a Rat 1 in AUS 8 rather than D2. D2 is very inconsistent in mass production knives because of the inconsistent heat treat results. AUS 8 is better in mass produced knives because the heat treat is less critical. Buy D2 and it's the luck of the draw, could be better or worse than the AUS 8 version of the same model.

For a small batch knife by all means get D2.

For blade restriction of 2.5 inches, Cod Steel Tuff Lite.

If slicing is your main concern, Opinel beats them all. It often annoys me that my Opinels are better slicers than anything else I own, even the high priced knives.

One more thing; be a knife collector rather than a knife accumulator. Try to keep your collection fluid and on the small side and aim for quality over quantity. Try to avoid redundancy when possible so that each knife fills a roll that the others don't.
I must be the only one that doesn't think very highly of the Opinel. Oh well, one man's burger is another man's steak. I agree with you on the fact that Ontario does a fantastic job with their AUS-8 steel.
 
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I must be the only one that doesn't think very highly of the Opinel. Oh well, one man's burger is another man's steak. I agree with you on the fact that Ontario does a fantastic job with their AUS-8 steel.

Are the blades made at Ontario over here or in Taiwan along with the rest of the knife?
 
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Opinel is good, ESPECIALLY for the price. No doubt about that. But it's just good, in my opinion, let down by the handle treatment. The Cold Steel TwistMaster is a better knife by far. I've had three. Gave two to friends who needed a knife at the time, still keep the XL on my computer desk. A nicely slicey tool.
 

Chronovore

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This is well over 50 bucks, but what do you think of the Civivi Pintail S35VN with Micarta handles? I know it's well over 50 dollars though...

I don't know because I haven't tried it. Flipper tabs are my favorite and thumb studs are fine but I don't like having both.

If you don't have blade length restrictions I'd actually go with a Rat 1 in AUS 8 rather than D2. D2 is very inconsistent in mass production knives because of the inconsistent heat treat results. AUS 8 is better in mass produced knives because the heat treat is less critical. Buy D2 and it's the luck of the draw, could be better or worse than the AUS 8 version of the same model.

For a small batch knife by all means get D2.

For blade restriction of 2.5 inches, Cod Steel Tuff Lite.

If slicing is your main concern, Opinel beats them all. It often annoys me that my Opinels are better slicers than anything else I own, even the high priced knives.

One more thing; be a knife collector rather than a knife accumulator. Try to keep your collection fluid and on the small side and aim for quality over quantity. Try to avoid redundancy when possible so that each knife fills a roll that the others don't.

I agree on choosing AUS-8 over budget D2. You are right about the variations and sensitivities to heat treatment. We've also seen big swings in vanadium content from XRF testing on Chinese D2. While the Rat is made in Taiwan, I don't know where they source their steel. Based on controlled cut testing I've seen, Ontario's D2 seems okay but the AUS-8 did just as well under some test conditions. I said if before but I'll say it again, D2 would only a good deal versus similarly priced stainless steels if the deficit in corrosion resistance is consistently and thoroughly offset by an increase in edge retention.

As far as Opinel, the last one I got was a huge disappointment. It had been well over a decade since I had one and I might have romanticized the notion. I picked up a Walnut version last year. Fit and finish were disappointing. They changed the locking mechanism since the last one I had. It was a little awkward to use and left some play in the blade. The edge was rolled right out of the box too. I don't know how that happens but I also forgot how soft they run the steel.

After looking it up, I see that it's not even regular 12C27. It's a modified 12C27 with less carbon. I get that the "working man's knife" might need to be sharpened on the bottom of a coffee cup or whatever but that hasn't held back the rest of the industry. Seriously, this steel might be comparable to the 3Cr13 used on sub-$10 knives at Walmart.
 

Metal Rat

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my delica in vg10 steel was under $50, at retail ; )

... but yeah, I got it almost 20 years ago ...


outside of that, kershaw leek and most of the ones listed in the op are great
since you mention collecting, you should get some of the ones with old history,

the mercator kat55 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mercator_K55K

the french douk douk

...
+1 for the douk douk (lightweight, non-locking) and mercator (indestructible; have it in both steel options). The classic Buck 55 and 500 are also available just under and just over $50. For lightweight EDC tasks, the eccentric Spyderco roadie is surprisingly functional. And if you are willing to move a bit out of your price bracket, the Spyderco UKPK is fairly versatile, and legal to carry nearly everywhere (apart from a few countries like Denmark).
 
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Both of my main EDC knives were more than that...A Benchmade Griptillion($117) 550 and a Kershaw Large Copper Natrix($89) any other knives I may or May not have on my person are more associated with a Particular piece of outerwear (I have knives that "Live" in a particular Coat or Jacket, So I don't necissarily think of them as part of my "EDC", though they effectively are...
 
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