Economy blades: (even made in china)

Discussion in 'Blades' started by Thaddius Bickerton, Jun 21, 2012.

  1. First allow me to say I am in many ways a knife a holic, and to get the blades I want I have learned how to make them.

    I own a few from other makers that make my work look like dog mess.

    I also really want a Becker bk9, a svord peasant , and a copy of Horace Kephart's knife. (Already have several of the style shown in nessmuk's trilogy picture in his book.)

    I also have several knives that are under $10 that I acquired in some manner.

    The ones I truly like are (in no particular order):

    Old Hickory knives, both as they come and many come and many modified to other styles. (This can be done with simple hand tools and perhaps a Dremel.)

    Several simple wally world paring knives (yes the $3 - $ 6 made in china ones) either sharpened into a convex or scandi grind. These actually if you look for ones with a 1/16 thickness make up into decent bushcraft blades that can compete with the next economy blade:

    The Mora knives. for many uses these $ 10 to $ 30 knives are as good as you need / may want.

    If you need the type, Buck still makes an awesome blade in the 119, and they have their heat treat down perfect and the lifetime warrante is excellent.

    There is now a brand of knives coming from china under the name Rough Rider that is in the $ 10 - $ 20 range that sharpen up nice , and hold a good edge, I bought one of the boy scout types that turns out to be a copy of the old 1900ish types, and after sharpening, it is pretty often in my pocket.

    Lest I forget The Swiss army knife in all its flavors is the one knife I almost always have in my pocket.

    Anyway what I'm working up to is I would like to know how many of us make do with less than the top end knives for much if not all of our everyday needs.

    It is very easy to get caught up in the I need a knife that all the pros say is the latest and greatest.

    There are many who need a solid knife that they can buy at low cost but still trust to do the job they ask of it.

    For new folk I would say that a Mora, an old hickory (sub in a Green River knife if you prefer) and perhaps a fiskars hatchet &/or cold steel trail hawk and a small folding saw will handle their cutting needs, probably for ever.

    I'm not really into fighting knives, but if I ever had to depend on a combat knife and could choose, at this point in time It would be a Becker BK9. I could make a old hickory or a green river do the job and probably would just as quick prefer a hammer or hawk to work my way back to my handgun / rifle.

    So my challenge is what gets the most bang for the buck and covers most typical knife wants and needs.

    I will point out that if one buys cheap as opposed to inexpensive one can quickly go through the price of a custom maker in buying several blades until one finds the ones that will server.

    What I would Like to do is get every one to share the low cost blades they have found that work and the uses that they fit and build a list that interested, but not rich folk could use as a starting point for researching what may suit them.

    This is a spin off of a question I saw on putting together a decent bush kit for under $100.

    IMHO a knife (and sharpener - it is like a gun and bullets, need both to work) is the First Tool.

    I guess I should add that in many cases a xacto knife ; and replaceable blade utility knives are very useful and fairly inexpensive.

    1. What use will the knife serve?
    2. How good are you at keeping them sharp?
    3. What money will get a knife that meets the wants and is able to be sharpened by the user at lowest cost?
    4. If you like what would be the best choice for the expected use / maintainability given money no object.

    Lets build a reference folks, I'm pretty sure that I will learn a lot from ya'll and we can pay it forward to those who still are deciding on what will server them.

    For those with a need, and not sure what meets that need ask the question, and I bet someone will give some good answers.

    Well I guess I have rambled on a bit, I will wait to see how this thread develops before I add anymore rambling to it.

    Thanks for reading and putting up with my poor writing abiility.

  2. Redneck Rebel

    Redneck Rebel Monkey++

    Only knife that is always on me is my Buck 192 (Vanguard).. Little big for some purposes but it's always on my hip and we all know the tool that is handy is better than the one we have to go fetch. I'm not a fan of pocket knives because between smokes, wallet, phone, etc I don't have space for much else. There are both cheaper and far more expensive blades out there but I think most of Bucks more traditional line is fairly priced and I feel I can trust their products.
  3. Brokor

    Brokor Live Free or Cry Moderator Site Supporter+++ Founding Member

  4. gunbunny

    gunbunny Never Trust A Bunny

    Cold Steel SRK or UDT. They are durable enough for everyday use. They are not as large as all the pictures show them, but they do fit well in the hands. I got an ODA for a dive knife, even though it wasn't made of stainless steel. It has survived well enough. A friend of mine has a Kobun, and has really put it through the paces. It has survived as well.

    Even more striking is that the Kobun is the less expensive (cheaper handle and steel) version of their standard Tanto. If you like that blade style, which I don't reall care for. I was supprised when he slashed an old set of tires down to the steel belts. The blade was nicked a bit from the repeated attempts, but another friend of ours was rather good at sharpening and restoring blades and got it back to it's original luster.

    At least they are not:
  5. cdnboy66

    cdnboy66 Monkey++

    I just picked up a sweet little folder, one for me, and a matching one for the oldest daughter.
    it's a(n) SOG sogzilla, price was super at $40 CAD ( which probably means my american cousins can pick it up cheaper)
    made in china, but has a nice edge and opens well, has the little catch on it that is supposed to open when you pull it out of your pants a certain way.
    super light, which makes it easier to carry.

    but switching edc blades is a bit of a learning curve, so I am spending the week "practicing"

    sorry, can't post pics from work

    edit to add
    I am having second thoughts about this as an every day carry, it is a bit tough to open fast off the pocket due to the pants I wear, it is a very good knife in all aspects, but I am struggling to get it out fast so I think it will become a camp knive and I will go back to my Kirshaw asssisted opener for now. all in all the Sogzilla is a great knife, just not fitting for me as an edc..
  6. sasquatch91

    sasquatch91 Monkey+++

    im a buck guy, always been a buck guy, after spending around 200 dollars over the past year( keep losing my dang knives) i bought a kershaw, only reason i bought it is because it was spring loaded it was 20 bucks at wally world, ckrt makes some kicka$$ knives check em out
    stg58 likes this.
  7. fedorthedog

    fedorthedog Monkey+++

    I carry a Gerber easyout clip lock as a daily use knife and love it.
  8. califdude

    califdude Monkey

    Im sure a lot of knives mad in China and ususally on the CuterlyCorner tv show are low quality. However There are lots of terrific rugged, tough and durable knive found out there for less than $50 to$60. If anybody is paying more than that for any knife it's a waste of money. Look at the mora less than $15, very hard to beat for the price.
    oldawg likes this.
  9. Chuck T

    Chuck T Monkey++

    I have 2 that i use generally, one is the knife i carry when out and about because of the ease of opening and the glass breaker (old EMT and old habbits die hard)

    -Smith & Wesson SWMP4LS M&P Linerlock Knife with 2nd Generation MAGIC Assisted Open and 40% Serrated

    the one i carry 95% of the time is a wally world special but has served me well and for under $10

    Sheffield Suron 3.5" Folding Knife
  10. Brokor

    Brokor Live Free or Cry Moderator Site Supporter+++ Founding Member

    Inexpensive knives made in China -you can get more than what you pay for if you intend to use them for barter.

    DSC00015.JPG These were about $1 each, made of 440 stainless steel, solid riveted construction. Decent size folder for barter.

    DSC00016.JPG These are salvaged used pocket knives, can be a valuable barter item or to add to any pocket survival kit.

    Opinel knives aren't Chinese made, but they are affordable and may prove to be a great barter knife.
    DSC00017.JPG DSC00018.JPG
    These little Opinel knives can also serve as a lightweight backup blade for a bugout bag.
    CATO, Sapper John and CrufflerJJ like this.
  11. Yard Dart

    Yard Dart Vigilant Monkey Moderator

    I like the idea of having barter knives... even though they may be cheap, they could prove to be of great value in a trade to gain what you need.... [winkthumb]
    Brokor and AmericanRedoubt1776 like this.
  12. AmericanRedoubt1776

    AmericanRedoubt1776 American Redoubt: Idaho-Montana-Wyoming Site Supporter+

    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 26, 2015
  13. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

    Those Opinel are French made, and very well made, I have two myself. They were a gift from a French native.
  14. vonslob

    vonslob Monkey++

    I used to sell knives at the flea market and still have a good inventory that i give away to friends or am keeping for barter. One of the places i was buying from is They have a good selection of really cheap knives that are compatible with rough rider, you get the best deals buying by the dozen. All are either made in china or pakistan. I also have kept some name brand made in china that i have found to be good solid knives. kbar, kershaw, crkt, spyderco all make knives in china that i have stashed. I also walked around the flea market and bought used knives on the cheap, i really like the older imperial high carbon steel fixed blades. I heard many comments on made in china knives, and i would respond by telling them show me a knife of this quality that you buy for under twenty dollars and i will bet you it was made in china. I used to fight the made in china thing but finally had to surrender. I would feel better if it said made in mexico rather than made in china but i am not a rich globalist who controls those sort of things. Btw when you are out looking for used knives at the flea market keep you eye out for the seki city stamped into the blade at the bottom. If you find one buy it, they are some of the best blades around.
  15. fmhuff

    fmhuff Monkey+++

    You know the Mora's are excellent knives for the price. You won't be able to fell and split a redwood but they are scary sharp out of the box and extremely practical. IMHO you get a bit more than you pay for and are cheap enough to abuse them if need be.

    I bought a handful at a gun show last year and couldn't be more pleased. It won't replace your two hundred dollar wonder blade but is great for a BOB or barter. This is the one I picked although there are quite a few selections.
    Brokor likes this.
  16. Homer Simpson

    Homer Simpson Monkey+++

    I have many made in China folders of somewhat decent quality. Honestly my biggest complaint is the ones that are held together with torx or allen head screws is the screws come loose. I learned to take the screws out one by one and put just a tiny dab of lock-tite in them with a toothpick or similar device. Loose and lost screws solved. Some of the knives are Bear, Snap-On by Kershaw, Tomahawk, and several no name knives.
  17. Brokor

    Brokor Live Free or Cry Moderator Site Supporter+++ Founding Member

    Yup, and lots of folks still prefer a Mora blade over most expensive knives, even the $200 ones. The only downside to any Mora has long been their lack of making heavier duty blades (they kind of fixed that with the Bushcraft Black) and of course the rat tail tang construction with plastic handle design. No matter what, even this design holds up very well, especially at its sub $25 price range for most varieties. Mora knives are a definite addition to any barter storage or bushcraft and carving task. To be perfectly honest, the only knives I would place above them that I have found recently are the Bark River knives, and that's saying a lot. I could go into the Pukko direction and list some Scandavik blades, but they really are over priced for what they are, and I would rather buy American if I am gonna drop $100 or more on a blade, which is why I choose Bark River. But, for barter and general bushcraft, I honestly think Mora is king for the cost vs. use.
  18. wastelander

    wastelander Bad English, bare with me

    I got some chinese folder I put up here a year and a half back. It still holds together and I use it daily for different stuff. Today slicing pizza in the truck. I got it free. Moras are less than $10 and is what you find in every toolbox/belt/garage in this country and I have never had an expensive knife really.
    oldawg likes this.
  19. vonslob

    vonslob Monkey++


    All of these knives are made in china, kershaw, k-bar, crkt , coldsteel are some of the better known. But there are no names mixed into. These are all trade or barter knives.
    stg58 and Brokor like this.
  20. stg58

    stg58 Monkey+++ Founding Member

    This got me thinking and I went through the knives I have picked up through the years no names, vendors free imitation Swiss Army knives and small Buck knockoffs with some small multitools.

    A few looked like they may be OK and I held for trading fodder but most were junk Chicom, Indian and Pakistani folders.
    There were 30+ in total and I took them to a gun show last weekend and sold the all to one of those guys with a table full of cheap knives for $30.
    Cheap knives will fail and are not worth messing around with when there are quality knives out there.
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