KnifeCenter FAQ #20: EDC Knife Upgrades?
Hey everyone, David C. Andersen here coming at you from the KnifeCenter and welcome to kniFAQ number 20. It's the knife question, knife question I said that last week it's the knife series where I get to answer all of your knife questions, whether they're big small sharp or dull. You know the drill.
Let's get into it. (KnifeCenter.com) Thanks everyone for your support on this, this knife aq series I've been really happy with it I know a lot of you folks have been really enjoying it as well, but to keep it going. As always we need your questions make sure if you have a ninth question. Leave it in the comments below. For a chance to get it featured in a future installment.
But today, it's kind of a theme show today in that we're looking at EDC upgrades, kind of some next step, next level stuff for some folks who are into knives, they have something but what's the next step, they're looking for an improvement or something to to upgrade from what they're carrying. Now, and there's pretty cool stuff here on the table so let's get into it. First question is, Mr Wednesday 23 says Hi David I love the series. Thank you very much. I have a Spyderco ambitious.
I do, too. It's right here. It's been my EDC for the last five years and it's been fantastic. I love the size, shape, and handle, but I'd like to upgrade. I'm in Australia and laws are pretty strict so no autos or assisted any suggestions.
Yes, certainly. And the ambitious is a great little knife, especially to have spent you know that much time with it's one of those small knives that you know it doesn't feel like too small of a knife, you certainly have enough of the handle here to get a solid grip it's kind of a three and a half finger length for my hands on the price is about 45 bucks, nice strong liner lock and the blade itself. Feels very strong it's not super thick but it has a full flat grind as well, just a good balance between slicing capabilities and some decent strength behind, as well, but I could certainly understand why you're looking to upgrade, Maybe there's something a little bit nicer. And I've actually got what I think is kind of the perfect thing in that same size range. It's not going to be quite as as efficient of a cutter not as good of a slicer.
But for me, what comes to mind immediately is the DP x heat or heat F, technically, this one comes in at about 180 bucks, but I'm gonna show you another one as well. As you can see the size and shape match up pretty well actually, but the main difference between the Spyderco and the DPS is kind of the overbuilt nature of the DPS so you can see here it's decent bit thicker and the blade steel itself is definitely a significant amount thicker than the ambitious, and they kind of lean into that small size but rugged heavy duty extra performance baked in. It's just a solid little piece construction is going to look kind of familiar to that ambitious you've got ge 10 on the front side, but instead of a liner lock nice beefy frame lock there on the back. You can also see deep carry pocket clip. It's right side only so you you don't have the four position style of clip that you get on that Spyderco, but you also get a glass breaker there built into the end that is removable as well.
And that's what helps you take the clip off, I think this one comes with an extra flat cap I know this next one does. I actually don't remember what was in the box a second ago. But the main difference apart from others two main differences one, the feel in the hand is a little bit chunkier, and that blade is going to be just more stout. In general, you've got a Sleipner steel here it's a tool steel, kind of a D two on steroids type of thing, excellent performance overall just, yeah, two and a quarter inches of beefy steel. It's got a stonewashed finish on it which you know Sleipner is not completely stainless so that's going to kind of help it a little bit in terms of its corrosion resistance kind of polishes the surface a little bit. And the cool thing, especially on this knife is that cutout in the spine does two things one, it's a bottle opener and two, you can use it kind of like an Emerson wave and that you can catch the hem of your pocket.
And as you draw it from your pocket that will rotate the blade into the open position, or you can just use the dual thumb studs, but super solid pieces and, yeah, different characters but oh sorry pardon the hair they're different characters then that Spyderco, but kind of did. That's what came to mind immediately for me It works really well, in my mind, but my favorite version is actually the new newest one of the newest versions of the heat f Leggaro. Etruscan bronze which you don't have to get the Etruscan bronze version, they're all really cool, but you've got a full titanium frame in this case rather than g 10 on the front, a little bit of contour and a nice texture on it that's not too aggressive. It has an even better feel in the hand.
For me it just sits in there real nice, wide contact patch, I can actually get all four of my fingers on this particular knife and go to town, and then m 390 blade steel on this one as well. comes into premium certainly that extra cost in the blade material, and the, the handle material and machining this one comes in about 285 but check these out let me know what you think. All right, next question is from Scoob McElroy. Hey David I EDC a cold steel Spartan... big one... he says he never got a lot of love in the upgraded materials department is there another knife around that is similar just a little more upgraded.
This is a tough one because you know this is kind of one of those typical or signature Cold Steel style of knives that not really many folks are doing out there, decently affordable it's only 78 bucks so it's not, it's not a bargain basement price but it is very attainable, Austin steel which is going to give you some good performance they're not, you know, crazy high end performance but very very capable, nice stonewashed finish cool blade shape triad lock as well, which to me is, you know what I love about a lot of Cold Steel stuff just the strength of that lock. And actually the, the ambidextrous thumb plate here will also work as that quote unquote Emerson wave as well. In addition to standard thumb opening so it's got a lot going for it. And this is one, I'm kinda, I'm going to give you an option but I'm kind of going to throw to the comments on what what you guys think a good suggestion would be kind of the only thing I could think of that came close in my mind was the CRKT motley, which is a Ken onion design, a little bit smaller, but it's got a bit of that same swagger just yet. It certainly doesn't equal the same swagger as that Spartan. It's definitely a statement piece.
This is true but it's a little more understated. But the Crkt. It's an Italian made knife it's not from their Chinese factories comes in about 360 right now, and it's got a Sleipner steel blade.
Really cool shape going on echoes a little bit, that kind of kukri esque shape, but really it's just kind of a sneaky sexy recurve going on and that carries through into the full titanium handles as well. We've got carbon fiber inlays on the both the front and the back, and on the backside, that actually will help act as your over travel arrestor for that frame lock as well. Deep carry pocket clip reversable in this case, kind of similar in design to that dp x but you do have the reversibility here.
And no, no glass breaker on this one either. But it's a good feeling knife is definitely you know definitely makes a statement, got nice flipping action ikbs bearings in the pivot just overall really cool piece. He's having flown off the shelves, but they are limited overall out of 500, and this one is serialized, well they're all serialized. So if you do want one, you'll probably be around for a little bit, but I wouldn't wait too long because one day, they are going to be gone.
But anyway, that's a little bit there it's, I feel like that's kind of a 90% their suggestion for the Spartan relying on you guys in the comment section what are your suggestions. I mean, there's certainly other Cold Steel stuff that has the same kind of attitude but materials wise it kind of falls into the same kind of bucket as this particular knife so let me have it guys figure it out. Let me know and I'll feature.
If there's any some real good suggestions down there I'll feature them in a future episode. But for now, next question from 04 Hemi question for future video I've recently gotten bit by the fixed blade bug. I'm very happy to hear that I purchased a CRKT minimalist and love it. But I wonder what you'd recommend for something a bit bigger, that can be carried horizontally on a built in the $100 budget range. Thanks.
Sure. I've got a good one here that I've been waiting to answer for this particular knife to come back in stock. You didn't mention which blade shape you used on the minimalist but for me, my mind always goes to the wharncliffe shape it's in my mind the most iconic of the whole minimalist fan, family, and it's just a nice little utility blade that you can take with you, day to day. But just as before I could absolutely see why you're looking for the next step something a little bit or a little bigger.
In this case, with a little more performance than the, the simple stainless steel you get here I think it's a 5cr, stainless so it's fine comes in at a $26 price point. So you know you get what you pay for in this sort of case. But the knife, I think would be a great upgrade, well let me keep holding that CRKT is the artisan cutlery sea snake, just a little bit bigger. As you can see, great wharncliffe shape a little bit more handle to hold on to sort of a three and a half finger grip for my slightly larger than average hands on the main section here, but you've got that choice to choke up as well.
And you can see I've got a little bit sticking out at that point so definitely you can get a full grip on this knife blade length is just over three inches about three and an eighth and the steel in this case is really interesting it's RPM nine which is a new steel proprietary to artisan and CJRB which is their, their budget subsidiary, although budget is kind of a misnomer because I'll tell you the price of this knife in a second, it might surprise you, but the steel itself. Very interesting is a powder metallurgy steel that they designed with budget knives in mind so they didn't go for like the most technological wizardry impacted blade steel that they could get. But they came out with something that they say gets your attention, like D two or possibly a little bit better, but fully stainless and a lot easier to sharpen.
Now I haven't tested this steel head to head with some D2s out there but I have been using one of their knives with RPM nine and I've been very happy with the performance very easy to maintain. And I don't feel like it goes dull on your right away. It's got a great profile for piercing here, thin blade stock in this case so you're going to be able to do some decent powerful slices and heavier cuts. Without it binding up too much. Keep things, you know, within reason of course is not a heavy duty knife it's a medium duty.
In general, but it's gonna work well for some self defense applications as well the, you know, make sure you keep your grip behind that, that finger guard for a little extra protection for yourself. g 10 handles there's three colors right now, I picked the green because it's just the closest to the, the minimalist but there's black and tan I think right now, as well. But you mentioned $100 price point. These guys come in at a very affordable 40 bucks.
And, you know, just because you set that upper limit I'm going to pick the right knife that I think is the right answer. And in this case, it comes in significantly less than your ceiling. But that's a good thing because it's going to give you a little extra budget to play with for the, the belt attachment hardware you'll need because the kydex sheath that this knife comes with is set up for net carry there's no belt attachment hardware, but you've got rivets here that will fit a standard Tek-Lok which you've got, you know, essentially nine holes here so you can play around with the placement you can carry horizontal very easily. You can carry vertical or, you know, or Yeah, what are the words. Help me out here, inverted inverted.
Thank you, Thomas inverted or, you know, standard regular style, whatever you want to call it. But these these are just great to have these tech locks because you can, they seem to fit a lot of aftermarket or a lot of sheets out there. That gives you good aftermarket option. And these are these are pretty affordable too I think less than 20 bucks so even all in, you're still well under that $100 price point. And you're going to have a very cool and very useful new knife.
All right, next question is from Matthias Stevens. He says I really liked my buck redpoint rescue, but those are discontinued. What should be a quality replacement for this, I liked the way it looked locked and was able to open it one handed with gloves on, thoughts. Sure. You're absolutely right.
They are discontinued so I don't have one here to show on camera so we'll make sure to drop a, an image up so the viewers know what we're looking at there. We did do a video fairly recently on rescue knives in general so we'll leave a link to that, but I'll give you kind of my, my off the cuff reaction to this, the thing that knife reminded me of pretty straight away was the Ontario xR one, which is the extreme rescue folding knife comes in about 118 right now. Still got those bright, bright yellow handles which you know you didn't mention if the color itself was important to you but that buck red point had some yellow handles. You've got about three and three eighths of an inch of blade steel, n 690 co in this case this is an Italian knife, not an American made, Ontario, but it's a nice stout blade, you've got a classic drop point profile, which is better than a clip point of course for getting under fabric and that sort of thing if you need, and you've got some serrations as well. The other thing that kind of reminds me of that red point in addition to the color is the fact that the the seatbelt cutter isn't folding it's fixed there onto the back end so you don't have to worry about it, or worry about muscle memory being able to, you know, remove that or open that you just invert the knife, and you could go to town. Now the one thing this knife has that sets it apart fairly differently from that red point is the lock itself this is a liner lock.
So you have to bring your finger over the path of the blade as you're closing it, and it might be a little trickier with gloves on, you don't have a ton of room here, but it is Jim, I think it would do fairly well. But if you're looking for something more similar to that red point in terms of the terms of the locking style, something like the benchmade triage or the hogue trauma or even the SOG Trident a tee come to mind. But I think more closely even then those would be this Gerber This is the CLS rescue coming in about 67 bucks right now in terms of the lock on this you can see right there. You've got a sliding button right there and it is essentially a liner lock on the inside, but the button itself, we'll see if we can get a good camera angle, pull it back and it moves that liner up, but it's kind of going to operate very similarly to that redpoint rescue you can pull that back sticks up a little bit so you should be able to get a pretty good purchase on it, even with gloves and close it up very easily. Speaking of gloves, you got oversized thumb studs on both sides of the blade.
So again, very easy to find and open the blade quite easily blade material is simple, it's 440 a not a huge edge retention champ but it's going to be very serviceable, you've got the serrations there. But in this case, the seatbelt cutter is a folding design, it's not, you know, you will have to open that to get to it. But this type of design is nice and effective glass breaker here on the end as well.
It's actually a glass breaker on that Ontario as well on the front side, and you've also got an oxygen wrench there on the back as well so a lot of capability a lot of functionality packed in to a pretty decent price, and you may not get the, the bright colors, but I think this would definitely be worth a look. To replace your buck. All right, next is from gorilla 447, it says I have many, many Victorian knocks, but is there any knife, similar to the Swiss Army knives with upgraded materials and maybe a locking mechanism.
Absolutely. We actually did a Swiss Army Knife alternatives video very recently, we'll leave a link to that one as well. But I'll pull a couple of things here. Obviously there are some Swiss Army knives with locks my everyday carry is this Evo grip s 18, you've got a lock tab right here, it kind of functions like a lock back, except instead of the lock release being on the back, they made this little lever to kind of push the back spring out of the way.
I like this little knife for sure but you don't get upgraded materials. Another locking competitor, would be the suiza knives, there's a whole range of them. And these come with a button actuated liner lock as well you simply press right here. I still think it's a two hand close it's a little hard to do it one handed. But again, not necessarily upgraded materials going on on those.
And that's kind of the rub like you can't, I've not really seen locking with upgraded materials in the way that would make sense to me as a Swiss Army competitor. You got like the Leatherman t twos and T fours but again that's just a 420 Hc steel. If you want better steel right now you got to look at the mKm Malga series this is the Malga six, which currently is the the only knife in this series but we are expecting more. They come in about just under 110 bucks, and you get an M 390 blade steel finished pretty nicely they've got a stonewashed finish going on. This particular one is actually one that I picked up I've been carrying it for the last few weeks. It doesn't exactly have all the tools I'm particularly interested in, but I wanted to give this this series a shot and see what I liked about it and what I didn't like, and overall it's coming up pretty solid still got some more testing to do for my own edification, but mainly that fork I think that's kind of a.
I don't really know what I'm going to use that for day to day but it is kind of fun and micarta handle scales on these as well which is really cool. And they're removable as well so you can actually take the, the scales themselves off, maybe do a custom project do a little modification if you want. It's pretty fun so those are. That's kind of the upgrade option I can think of when it comes to Swiss Army knives and we're definitely looking forward mKm Hope you're watching to some even cooler variants in the future. All right, here's where I'm gonna get into trouble our last question is not really a question it's a comment from Lurifax. He says Hey Dave Norge person here.
The phrase in question would be, Litt storre hender enn gjennomsnittlig. Yeah. clearly I don't actually speak Norwegian despite my heritage.
But that's supposed to say, slightly larger than average hands in Norwegian. We've actually had a few of you comments in and everyone's translation is a little bit different. But thank you to talk to you sir. So thanks for continuing to give us great easily digestible knife content, you're great and so are the guy, the guys behind the scenes that's Thomas over there.
What a big round of applause for him. If it weren't for him I just be sitting here talking in a room with no cameras rolling and, you know, people would just think I'm crazy so thank you guys for your comments keep them coming in. Yeah, if you want a chance to have one of your questions answered in the future, make sure to leave them in the comments and if you want to get your hands on any of these knives we'll leave links in the description to take you over to knifecenter.com. While you're over there Do make sure to sign up for our knife rewards program because if you're gonna buy one of these knives might as well learn some free money to spend on your next one (KnifeRewards).
I'm David C Andersen from the KnifeCenter signing off. See you next time.