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Best folding blade options in the $100-125 price range ?

I have a friend I'd like to grab a pocket knife for. It's planned for a milestone achievement gift so I wanted to look at something better than you'd find in a blister pack on the shelf.
I haven't kept up with all the different steels being offered, or warranty/quality/field reports for any of the latest offerings.

I'm hoping some of the enthusiasts & owners of modern EDC & utility knifes can chime in with suggestions.
Benchmade & Spyderco are two prominent brands I see all the time... Kershaw, SOG, & Gerber are brands I know but seem to have fallen off a bit.
I'm open to all suggestions - sales, coupons, rebates if they exist wouldn't be an issue.


Folding blade with lock (no fixed or out-the-front styles)
Plain or traditional blade edge - no blade serrations or tanto tips
High durability (will be used regularly - rope, cloth, plastic, cardboard, paper, insulation, small gauge wire - not a hunting game knife)
Not a multi-function tool
Good ergo grip - user wears large gloves
$100-$125 price point

Hoping this is enough information to solicit your opinions, feedback, & suggestions.


  • Fight For Your Right
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Starting with steel as the medium and first criteria point:
154CM or S30V are good spots to start. S30V is slightly harder than the 154CM.
Both of these steels are a powder based so they are even, smooth and consistent. Advised to use diamond stones to sharpen.

I hate to say it but Benchmade (cough, puke, cough) and their Griptilian line are comfortable for those of us who have large hands. The new variants use the S30V steel.
Gerber has a Gator Premium in folding style that you can get in S30V. You'll have to order that one, the ones in the stores are only 420HC.

I still carry the Grip because it's comfortable with my hands and I don't want to buy another knife that is $100+. it has treated me well and holds an edge for about 6 months with good usage.

S30V steel options: knives with s30v steel blades - 1 to 30 of 359 results - Knife Center
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The Buck 110 & Gator Premium are two I hadn't looked at - appreciate the info on both. Thickness here may call for a belt sheath or carrier vs pocket carry... Not an issue, just another variable.


  • Air Force
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I gotta go with a CRKT or Gerber for a daily carry pocket "Clip Knife" and they have not ever failed me, prices are reasonable and quality is good to very good!
My favorite folder, the CRKT M-16 is available in several configurations, this being the best for my needs!
It's so easy to find a lot of nice knives. Budget, reviews, and warranty all came into play.
I ended up with a new BenchMade Bug Out, custom G10 scales, and plan to have the blade laser engraved.
$135 - This felt like a great deal and it will be more personal & personalized vs off-the-shelf.

Almost makes me want to grab 1-2 for myself... I saw so many that are really nice.


A custom shop Buck 110 or 112 might be a way to go here.
What Andy said.

I do know about the BUCK 110 and the BUCK 55 - I owned them and used them. I no longer use folding knives due to my arthritis so I gave them to my MT husband. MADE IN IDAHO. Great warranty if you ever need it. I did not need it and my late husband owned some older Buck knives and he did not need it either.

I know that the 112 is a good knife but I have never owned that specific model.

CASE makes beautiful knives and they are good quality knives. They are MADE IN PA. My MT husband bought a couple of them last year. Classic knives!

Get it in the D2 steel and it's one of the best knives out there, particularly for the price.
I just got a Ganzo Firebird in D2 and the difference between that and lesser steels is clear. D2 isn't a "super-steel" but it beats the hell out of 440c, 8Cr13MoV, etc.
I've picked up 3 in the last month and been really happy with all 3. Snapped the tip on one which was entirely down to my abuse and will happily recommend them at any price. Cheap enough to really use and nice enough to really use.


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