WTB my first real knife. Benchmade, SOG, Gerber?

Feb 23, 2000
Hi all,

I'm brand new here.
Just a couple of weeks ago my 7-month old Ontario Talk II tanto style blade by Blackie Collins broke. The locking mechanism was cheaply made out of plastic, and it snapped somehow. I spent $50 on that knife - I thought it was a lot at the time.

Well now I am itching to get a new knife - a real knife - that won't break on me. I don't know much about metal types and other characteristics. I just know I want a good knife. And hopefully for not more than $100. Although the Talk II is out for repair, I can't see myself going back to a knife that broke. I want a knife that I can depend on - so I want to know, what should I get? I'm looking for a folder, ~3" blade, I like ambi-thumb studs, a pocket clip, and I'd take a partial serration if I have to. It's just a general use knife, and possibly defensive if neccessary. (Although I'd rather see my legislature pass a CCW bill

I started looking a few days ago. The first thing I found was the Gerber Applegate-Fairbairn Covert folder, and it appeals to me. Is this a quality knife? I had a $15 Gerber pocket knife once when I was about 14. I can still remember being surprised by the quality of it.
Another blade that caught my eye was the SOG PE14 Pentagon Elete. How does this knife compare?
Finally, I've heard many reccomendations on Benchmade knives. The Zytel Mel350 seems like the type of knife I am looking for also.

Again, I'm relatively new to the world of quality knives, so I hope I didn't mention something that sounds stupid.
Any and all input is appreciated! Thanks.
Welcome to the forums. If you want opinions you have come to the right place
. The Gerber Covert is a quality knife. And the Benchmade 710 and 705, as suggested above are an excellent choice also. I would have to throw Spyderco in their as well. The Spyderco Wegner is, IMO, one of the best designs going. Rock solid lockup and feels great. A real worker, that would also excel in a defensive situation. REKAT also makes a tough knife. The rolling lock is super strong. Does it have to be 3" or can it be 4"?

"Those who trade essential liberty for a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."
- Benjamin Franklin
My first "real" knife was a BM 705. It is proving to be a great knife. Very well put together and easy to open with either hand.
Wow! Such quick replies. Thanks for the excellent input so far.
I was also wondering, once I choose my knife, what is the best place online to buy from? I don't really know of any knife sites. Thanks!
You have many good options. Spyderco covers all price ranges. The Delica is cheap (in price only) and very good quality. Or you can get thier upper end Starmate, Military or Police, although they are bigger than what you mention. As stated above, the Wegner is also a solid choice. As for online dealers, there are many with great reputations. James Mattis of www.chaicutlery.com is very well thought of. www.knifecenter.com is another. There are really to many good ones to list, but you should have no problems finding one. Good luck on your search.

I've been browsing around and I've noticed reports of the Gerber AF Combat having locking problems if "the spine is whacked." Also, it sounds like Gerber was supposed to fix this issue. Does anybody know if the Gerber AF Covert also suffers(ed) from this problem? I noticed the Covert has a safety lock mechanism, and is ATS-34 steel instead of 425 so perhaps it has other differences as well? (The covert is the one I've been considering buying)
If you are stuck on spearpoints the BM 730 Axis would work for you, or try and find a Spyderco Wenger Jr. for a 3" bladed model before they are all gone. I wouldn't recommend the BM 350 or the Gerber.

James Segura
San Francisco, CA
I know a little about the Axis 710 and the Covert. Over the hollidays I got an axis and my friend got the covert double edged version. Personally I like the axis more after handling both, since the lock is stronger and the handle material is G-10 rather than the covert's zytel. But a few good things about the covert: it does not suffer from the spine whack blade closing problem because it has a second lock that prevents the liner from closing, and this feature is not on the Combat. The thumb stud is placed closer to the pivot on the covert, so opening is faster, and it is tip down carry in the pocket. All screws are drilled through the liners and the clip is reversable as well. knife rides very low due to the clip design. And the blade and handle are nice looking because of the symetry. The only thing I didn't like about the covert was that the blade's edge hit the zytel inside the handle when the knife was closed. This is a design problem since there is nothing that stops the blade from traveling past the closed point except the back of the handle. It doesn't dull the blade though.
The axis feels sturdier, and I like the lock design and handle material more than that of the covert. I think the axis has enough praise, so I won't elaborate. www.knifeoutlet.com www.discountknives.com www.knifeworks.com (in a week) and basically every other dealer online have these knives. The covert is around 15-20 dollars less than the axis. I wouldn't get the SOG Elite since they are comming out with a better lock for that knife and a larger model soon. But for $120 you could get a monster REKAT Sifu which is what I would do if I had to choose over again.
The general is right about SOG's new lock. I hear it should be our in a couple of months on the Pentagon. SOG is my knife of choice (BM and MT come close). I've never had problems with a quality linerlock.

My vote...SOG.
First, let me feel sorry for your experience with current knife. But don't worry, for $100 you can find a lot of knives which will serve you much better and longer! I couldn't break my KATZ Black Kat lightweight within 3 years

Second, let me say I'm pretty surprised with knives you mentioned as your probable choice.
Gerber Covert, SOG Pentagon Elite and BM Mel Pardue model 350 are designed with dagger style blades which is by far not the best for general utility knife. First two are out of blade length 3" which you pointed as a limit for concealed carry in your area. Additionally, Gerber Covert in my opinion is pretty overpriced knife, I'm not sure you could obtain it for $100...
Here is the list of knives I could honestly recommend to think about:
* CRKT - Kit Carson's M16-02 (or M16-12 if you like partially serrated blade) - you will have true workhorse for very reasonable price.
* CRKT - Jim Hammond's Gray Ghost with 3" blade if you like spear point blade. Very elegant knife, very strong handle, the blade is penetrative enough to be a good self-defense weapon and wide enough for comfortable and precise work.
* Benchmade model 705 with Axis Lock - exceptionally strong and safe locking mechanism, very comfortable handle shape, versatile blade.
* Think about BM model 905 Mini-Stryker if you like tanto-style blades.
* KATZ Special Forces with 3" plain blade (or S.W.A.T. if you like fully serrated one) is a very sensible utility knife. In my opinion it's a bit overweighed but as result - very powerful and can serve as an occasional self defense weapon as well.
* SPYDERCO Calypso Jr. with stainless steel handle - very strong construction and comfortable to hold.
* SOG JetEdge-1 could be a very sensible choice if you need your knife in maximally flat package. Unfortunately it isn't ambidextrous.
If you like lightweights think about:
* SPYDERCO Calypso Jr. Lightweight - fits hand like a glove, fully ambidextrous, excellent steel.
* SPYDERCO Delica if you like tip-up carry mode - also fully ambidextrous, very versatile blade, scary sharp.
*KATZ Black Kat Lightweight with 3" blade - very strong knife among lightweights.

It's also a lot of another good knives within limits you are pointed, I listed my favorites only.

Sergiusz Mitin
Lodz, Poland

[This message has been edited by Sergiusz Mitin (edited 02-25-2000).]
That thre inch limit really sucks! It seems the most popular folders are about four inches. In that case i would have to recommend the Benchmade 705, Any of the REKAT Pioneers or the Spyderco rookie. All are excellent knives and would serve you well. Take a look at www.mjsknives.com and www.toptexknives.com also check www.discountknives.com for some good prices on the REKAT's. I'll also throw in www.confederatecutlery.com they sell REKAT as well.

"Those who trade essential liberty for a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."
- Benjamin Franklin
I like the Covert, but Benchmade and others have some nice blades as well. Unlike the combat folder, the covert doesn't have the blade whack problem thank to the incredibly simple (when you look at it) innerlock. The symmetry of the design is incredible, yet I have never had a problem with blade orientation and knowing which side was sharp. As for price, most places overcharge quite a bit on it. I got mine for 95 bucks, and I have seen them as cheap as 85 (don't remember where) or as expensive as 130 dollars or more.


"Is it easier to fight them or to kill them?"
I'd like to give a BIG thanks to everybody who replied to this topic. You guys have given me some excellent input. And, consequently, it's only made my decision harder - they are so many good knives to choose from! I'm going to actually print this list up and go to my local gunstore and go down the list to see which knives he has in his selection and check them out.
Thanks again. I'm very impressed with this forum and the people here.
Flip a coin if you have to. As you've realized, there's a bunch of excellent choices there. Just remember, this is your choice for the first of many edges, not your only.
Welcome to the Society of Knife Knuts!

Stay Sharp!
AKTI Member A000987

[This message has been edited by christopher (edited 02-24-2000).]
You see Genso - this is not a regular forum -this is actually a support group for people who can't resist a good blade when they see one.

You seem to be suffering from early signs of the epidemic. I would go see a physician if I were you.

On the other hand, just handling some of the fine knives listed above should help for a while...

this is a very simple question to answer.....the man wants a 3" blade and ambi thumb studs right? definately get the benchmade 705, you will love that axis lock, very strong and fun to play with to boot!
Genso, you realize that if you hang around here, you're going to have to get them all!! And that's really the fun of it. If you get something you don't like as much as you thought, go to the "Exchange" board and "Exchange" it for something else. So many knives and so little time.

It's always darkest before the dawn. So if you plan to steal your neighbor's newspaper, that's the time to do it.