Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Some new and relatively inexpensive knives for holiday gift giving

Just a quickie here:
I like to buy American when I can. That being said, I also like a good value, quality knives that don't break the bank. In many instances, and like many people, I'd rather have 2 or 3 moderately priced knives than one super expensive one. On the other hand, investing in an Emerson, Benchmade, or any number of high quality American made knives is smart, these are the type of knives that are rugged enough to be used every day, and durable and special enough to pass on to a friend, or your kids someday. Seems like every other week we're seeing new and affordable knife designs made overseas, usually in Taiwan or China. These foreign made pieces are generally very good, as long as they bear the name of an established company with a good warranty and American roots. The cost of everything has gone up, from dogfood, to appliances and specialty items. This post serves to highlight some newer knives that have a sturdy pedigree, but will not thin your wallet.

I've never owned a Meyerco knife I don't think, but you'll see both their foreign patterns and American products getting solid reviews in magazines like Tactical Knives and on online webshops. Custom maker Darrel Ralph has teamed with Meyerco to produce these assisted openers in a variety of blade finishes for well under under $80 USD (MSRP). The Maxx-Q features G10 handles and a robust 3.25" recurved tanto blade. I saw them first @
I'm interested in getting ahold of one to see how they perform.

511 Tactical is known for its tactical nylon gear, and entered the factory knife game a few years back. This little boot/neck knife is the Sidekick, and will sell for about $45 USD at better retailers.

This burly little fixed blade is the 511 Surge and is 8.85” overall in length. It's designed by Mike Vellekamp of Blade-Tech fame and looks to be a competent little tool.

Timberline Knives is back with an inexpensive factory-made version of custom maker Tim Herman's Wallstreet Tactical.

The Wallstreet Tactical comes with a display case, and is said to open incredibly smoothly, it shouldn't cost much more than $55 USD at better web retailers.

I've been happy to report here in the last several months, that Buck Knives has returned most of its manufacturing back to the USA, in a new Idaho facility. These classic stockman style knives have wooden handle slabs, and are all in the $30 USD range, and best of all, they are American made.

Also on the American made front, is RAT Cutlery's awesome Izula neck knives. I have personal experince with the tan colored one which came out about a year ago. it's far and away my favorite neck knife, and comes in tan, black or pink. It's rugged 1095 carbon steel with a powder coat. If you think the pink one is only for your wife or daughter, think again...How are you going to find your black or green knife if your woods camping, or trekking somewhere with thick underbrush. The pink model was designed with this in mind from Jeff Randall/RAT Cutlery's extensive jungle training experience.

So, it's not hard to find a quality blade these days, it's just a matter of preference, education and some smart shopping. Even if you're on a budget, and dead-set against foreign manufacture, there's something out there that would make a great gift for yourself or somebody else.

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