KNIFE BUYER’S GUIDE INFOGRAPHIC, PART 1:

Anatomy of the Different Types of Knives

We got together and decided that we wanted to make a comprehensive knife infographic. Rather than making you search for separate and specific infographics one at a time, we’re putting them all in the same place for your convenience. While we will introduce them one at a time, after the last infographic is released, we (and by “we” I mean our graphic designer) will arrange them nicely into one master infographic.

There’s a lot to consider when you’re buying a new blade, and we hope this series expands your knowledge and helps you discover the blades that fit your needs best. This first infographic includes the anatomy of all the different knife types along with their pros and cons.

Anatomy of the Different Types of KnivesClick to View Full Size Image

 

Anatomy of an Automatic Knife

Automatic knives are designed primarily for military, police and EMT duty. These knives are simple to open in an emergency by pushing a firing button or pulling a lever. Check the laws in your area before purchasing an automatic knife, as they are restricted in many areas.

Anatomy of an Automatic Knife InfographicAn infographic by the team at Blade HQ

 

Anatomy of a Manual / Spring Assisted Folding Knife

Manual knives are legal in most areas, which means they are extremely common. Often, this type of knife is also recognized as a “pocket knife.” Spring assisted knives are roughly the same as manual knives, but they have a spring inside the handle that helps deploy the blade much faster. Spring assisted knives typically have a thumb stud and/or flipper.

Anatomy of a Manual / Spring Assisted Folding KnifeAn infographic by the team at Blade HQ

 

Anatomy of a Fixed Blade Knife

Fixed blade knives don’t fold or contract like other types of knives. Fixed blades are perfect for nearly any use—they are carried by sportsmen, hunters, campers, and more.

Anatomy of a Fixed Blade KnifeAn infographic by the team at Blade HQ

 

Anatomy of an Out The Front Knife

Out The Front knives are similar to automatic knives in many ways; they are opened by pushing a thumb slide or pulling a lever, but with an OTF knife the blade always deploys out the front of the handle—not the side, like automatic knives. OTF knives are restricted in many areas so be certain to consult your local laws before purchasing these items.

Anatomy of an Out The Front KnifeAn infographic by the team at Blade HQ

 

Anatomy of a Butterfly Knife

Some people spend years trying to master the skill of flipping butterfly knives, A.K.A. balisong knives. It’s debatable whether it’s more fun to flip a butterfly knife or to watch someone flip— it looks really cool, and it’s practically mesmerizing.

Anatomy of a Butterfly KnifeAn infographic by the team at Blade HQ

 

Stay tuned for part 2: “The Ultimate Blade Breakdown.”

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Schrade Nitro MAGIC Spring Assisted Knife

The Schrade Nitro MAGIC spring assist knife is perfect for an everyday carry. Its over all length is 7.8” allowing it to fit perfectly in any pocket. The 4034 Stainless Steel gives the blade a perfect cutting edge for any tasks at work or home. The release lever makes the Nitro easy to use with little to no effort. It comes with a safety slider switch on the side to minimize accidental deployment in the pocket. This is one well constructed spring assisted knife that is able to handle most tasks. This is a durable but inexpensive everyday carry knife.

You can find it retail for $62. BladeHQ is having an unbelievable sale on Schrade Nitros Spring Assisted Knives for the month of November.

Zero Tolerance 0350

The Zero Tolerance 0350 is not your standard Zero Tolerance knife. ZT knives are usually…simply stated…large. Big in blade and in handle, these knives are not to be trifled with. Many people find their knives too large to carry as an EDC (everyday carry). The ZT 0350 spring assisted folder is a refreshing change. The knife is small enough to carry comfortably in your hand and pocket, but large enough to handle most tasks you give it. I wouldn’t suggest hacking away with the ZT 0350 and putting it through extreme & hard use, but  It is a great knife for light to medium use.

It is equipped with the Zero Tolerance SpeedSafe for one-handed opening. This knife features a liner lock;  ambidextrous thumb studs; matte G-10 scales allowing a great grip and easy clean up; and a quad mounting system for tip-up or tip-down and right or left handed clip carry. The blade is S30V stainless steel and can come plain or partially serrated with a few different finishes.

If you’re looking for a durable comfortable knife for under $175, I recommend the ZT 0350 wholeheartedly.

Get a Zero Tolerance 0350 spring assisted knife at BladeHQ.com today.

Boker Epicenter Folding Knife

 

Todd Rexford, a young and talented knife maker from Colorado, designed the Boker Epicenter for Boker’s successful Boker Plus line.  Being the first titanium frame lock, this piece reaches a special status within Boker’s knife range. The titanium plates have a thickness of 5 mm, and are contoured three-dimensionally, offering outstanding performance and stability. Equally impressive is the blasted titanium surface and the finish of the handle (without protruding edges), which make the knife not only a sturdy usable knife, but also a beautiful collector’s piece. The Epicenter, while in hand, is sturdy and durable – you feel like this knife could accomplish any task you give it – and lightweight.

The modified satin drop point blade is made of VG-10 steel; a good steel that performs extraordinarily well. The Epicenter features a removable double-sided thumb stud. The titanium pocket clip is reversible, allowing tip-up or tip-down carry, and the lanyard hole adds convenience. An impressive synthesis of technology and design!

You can buy this sleek knife (an ode to the Sebenzas) at BladeHQ.com.

ESEE Izula

ESEE Knives Izula Black Survival Concealed Carry Neck Knife Cord Wrapped Handle

If you are looking for a great fixed blade knife you should consider going with the ESEE Izula. The Izula is the perfect concealed survival blade because it is small, lightweight and has an extremely durable blade. It is named after the bullet ant of Peru which locals call the Isula. This is considered the meanest and toughest ant in all of South America. ESEE chose this name because this small creature embodies the independent, aggressive and tough characteristics of the Izula knife. This powerful little knife will hold an edge for a very long time no matter how hard you are using it. Because it is an ESEE knife it comes with a lifetime warranty that is simple and hassle free. This is a brand that stands behind their products: They are happy to fix or replace anything that may happen to you knife.

Another popular feature of the ESEE Izula is the unique design and variety of vibrant blade colors. This sleek knife comes in black, pink, grey, fire ant red, venom green, olive green and desert tan. These knives are all unique and quickly sell out wherever they are sold.

ESEE Izula Knife Fire Ant Red Survival Neck Knife          ESEE Knives Izula Pink Survival Concealed Carry Neck Knife w/ Sheath

You can get the knife with a few different handle designs including a skeletonized steel handle (pictured above), a survival cord wrapped handle (pictured at top) or a solid micarta canvas handle. If you get the skeletonized Izula and decide later that you would rather have a solid handle, you can buy canvas micarta scales to covert the knife handle.

ESEE Knives Izula-II OD Green Survival Concealed Carry Neck Knife w/ Sheath

All of the Izula knives also come with a custom black injection molded carrying sheath for a comfortable concealed carry. The knife includes a length of survival cord that can be used as a lanyard or to wrap the skeletonized handle on your own.

ESEE Knives Izula Black Survival Concealed Carry Neck Knife Cord Wrapped Handle

This is the perfect size for an all-purpose survival knife that you can use as an every day carry. If you want durability, lasting sharpness and just an overall feel-good knife, the ESEE Izula is the knife for you.

Specifications:
Overall Length: 6.25″
Blade Length: 2.88″
Cutting Edge: 2.63″
Blade Width: 1.0″
Thickness: .156″
Steel: 1095 Carbon
Grind: Flat
Weight: 2 oz (3.2 oz with sheath)
Each knife is engraved with name, logo and unique serial number.

 

 

Benchmade Griptilian

The knife that caught my eye:

If there was ever a knife that I could pinpoint as my “gateway”, it is this knife. The Benchmade Griptilian (aka my Griptaur) makes an every-day-carry knife worth having. In fact, in the same true form and for its more comfortable and convenient fit in my pocket, I carry the Mini Griptilian. As a matter of fact, I am a huge advocate for the design that Mel Pardue (and Benchmade) put into this knife.

Overview of the Griptilian’s features:

Overall Length: 8.07”

Blade length: 3.45”

Blade Thickness: 0.115”

Blade Material 154CM Stainless Steel, 58-60HRC

Pocket clip: Black, Reversible, Tip-up

Closed Length: 4.62”

Handle Thickness: 0.640”

Weight: 3.82oz.

At first glance, I thought the Griptilian was a straight wilderness knife. One that could be carried to any outdoor adventure, and tried and tested, it would perform beautifully. I was pretty much right. Watch the awesome field test video below to prove just how far you can push it with this great knife. However, the Griptilian does not only give you the confidence in a knife that you want in the extremes, but also in an every day knife.

The axis locking mechanism:

Benchmade has produced some awesome folding knives in a huge variety of styles that incorporate their axis lock technology. The Griptilian does not fall short of that list. I feel that the axis lock, along with the great design and jimping in the handle, allows for easy and quick one-handed opening and closing of the blade. There is also the optional thumb stud or thumb-hole on the blade for opening and closing. Benchmade has placed phosphor bronze washers on both sides of the blade at the pivot joint to allow for easy gliding every time you open and close the knife. The axis lock button can be pinched from both sides, and has that great ambidextrous feel if you just want to use your thumb on either side, left or right handed. I love the feel and weight of the knife. With a 154CM steel blade and a handle made of a material called valox with 420J stainless steel liners reinforcing it, the Griptilian is a great lightweight and very durable folding EDC.

Overall impressions:

The Griptilian in action produces fantastic results. When it comes down to preparing for an outdoor adventure I like knowing that I am taking something that will be lightweight, durable, and will complete the task.

My personal preference is to have the serrated drop-point blade style, but this knife comes in so many variations, that you could find your own fit. The Griptilian is also very pleasing to the “Made in America” enthusiasts.

The 154CM steel is American made and developed premium grade steel. Known for its best all-around qualities, it offers great corrosion resistance with good toughness and edge quality. Benchmade manufactures their knives fit for the warning right on the box, “Benchmade knives are packaged extremely sharp.” I am more confident knowing that my knife can be razor sharp and maintain that sharpness for a long period of time. The knife has a great hold with the right texture and jimping on all the right spots. That makes holding the knife comfortable and practical in almost all positions. It fits comfortably in my palm mostly, I think, because it is so rounded on the handle. With gloves on or off, flipping and using the knife comes with incredible ease and joy.

The Griptilian has really earned its reputation to become a modern day classic. It is a simple folding knife with nearly the same firing capability of a spring assisted or even automatic knife, all respect due to the AXIS lock mechanism. The resilience of the blade paired with the light and durable build of the handle makes the Griptilian my go-to knife.

Spyderco Chaparral Review

In December of 2011 I gave myself the gift of a Spyderco Chaparral knife. I was drawn in by its relatively compact size, good looks and Spyderco’s reputation for top-notch product quality.

I’m a snob about the knives I carry, not in a stuck up— I’m better than you way, but I feel that the knife one carries is a reflection of the individual. That being said, I don’t feel that my taste in knives will necessarily reflect your taste in knives, nor do I think my taste is the only thing resembling “good” taste.

The Spyderco Chaparral has a modern design that is reminiscent of both the Sage 1 and Caly folders, which are among my favorite knives. The Chaparral really got my attention because it has all the class of the Sage and Caly folders in a super slim, compact platform. The handle on the Chaparral is a mere 1/3” thick and just over 3-1/2” long. For those with large hands this might be a little small, but for me this knife is the perfect size.

The aesthetics of a knife are in many ways as important as any other characteristic. I am a big fan of the Chaparral’s leaf-shaped blade with its full flat-ground edge and ambidextrous thumb hole. This is a slicer blade with a thin 2 mm thickness and razor sharp edge, which is great for a multitude of tasks. The blade has a clean design that flows perfectly through the handle when the blade is open or closed. The handle and blade transition is seamless thanks in part to the index choil below and thumb ramp on the spine. The overall feel of the Chaparral is comfortable and allows me (or any user) to choke up on the blade for the most precise of cuts. I recently cut thick strips of vinyl with ease using my Chaparral and felt an extra degree of confidence with my hand close but safely separated from the blade’s edge.  The twill carbon fiber scales on the Chaparral have a light textured as opposed to being polished. I enjoy the grip-ability of the light texture because it doesn’t tear up my jeans and it is gentle on my hands.  The Chaparral utilizes a back lock, which has its pros and cons. I like being able to open and close my folders easily with one hand, but the back lock is more easily released with two hands. On a positive note, the back lock is an ideal mechanism for ambidextrous users and quite strong. The Chaparral also features Spyderco’s wire clip for deep tip-up carry and it is reversible. The wire clip is a minimalist design that puts the knife safely and comfortably in my pocket, something that I simply demand of any EDC I carry.

I’ve known quite a few people with Spyderco knives and they swear by them. My experience over the past few months with the Chaparral reinforces what I’ve heard. The Chaparral is manufactured in Taiwan with high tolerances and it has performed flawlessly for me. My high expectations for Spyderco have been exceeded with the Chaparral.

When I purchased my Spyderco Chaparral last December I was drawn in by its good looks and size. Since then I have used it for the usual everyday cutting tasks and find it to be a highly proficient knife in every way. It’s a knife I can wear with jeans, shorts and even a suit. It’s the perfect accessory: functional and classy without being cumbersome. This is a versatile everyday carry knife that hasn’t disappointed me and continues to be my go-to EDC and knowing it’s a Spyderco I feel confident it will provide years of reliable use.

Kershaw Rake Review

Lately, I have not been able to find or buy enough Kershaw knives. My most recent obsession, specifically, is a Tim Galyean designed knife, the Kershaw Rake:

I don’t have very large hands and this knife fits nice and snug in my hand. If you have larger hands, you might not be able to fit all of your fingers on this one. The G10 scales promise a firm grip on the handle. It also features a very subtle bead blast pocket clip design with “Kershaw” running up it. The pocket clip is tight but not to the point where you are struggling to remove from your pocket. Also, the pocket clip is ambidextrous and reversible for a tip up or tip down carry.

The next thing that is sure to catch your eye is the blade. It has a very thick and rugged look to it. The composite blade edge of the knife consists of a wear-resistant Crucible CPM-D2 steel. As for the spine of the blade, it has a high-performance Sandvik 14C28N steel with jimping to increase traction. With this type of blade, it makes it excellent for carving or slicing.

With such a large blade, you normally might be concerned with how well the blade locks up. Another worry might be how the well SpeedSafe design works on it. The blade always locks up flawlessly with the matte finished steel liner lock frame which perfectly aligns in the center of the blade. The SpeedSafe flips that size of a blade right. It isn’t a fast spring assisted knife, but the size is enough to make up for it. The whole knife weighs in at 4.8 ounces.

Lets sum up the pros and cons:

Pros:

  • Comfortable G10 scales
  • Composite; Crucible CPM-D2 / Sandvik 14C28N blade
  • SpeedSafe with flipper
  • Comfortable carry
  • Overall solid knife
  • Ambidextrous / reversible pocket clip

Cons:

  • Not as comfortable if you have larger hands
  • Takes up a lot of space in your pocket

As you can see for yourself, in my opinion, the pros outweigh the cons by a long shot. Quite simply, I find it safe to say that this knife is a good choice if you are considering for purchase.