Perhaps the original form of the knife, the folding knife is an essential tool that has never gone out of style. Folding knives are stronger and more durable than automatic knives, making them a preferred choice for those often in rugged environments. Whether it’s camping, hunting, operating, or everyday carrying, a good folding knife can do it all. But not all folding knives are the same. Here are five qualities you should look for to ensure you are getting the best folding knife for your needs:
1. Blade Material
The blade material is one of the most important qualities to consider when buying a folding knife. Common materials include stainless steel, carbon steel, and high-carbon stainless steel. Stainless steel is known for its corrosion resistance, but it may not hold an edge as well as other materials. Carbon steel is known for its ability to hold an edge and is easy to sharpen, but it may rust if not properly cared for. These days, many of the best folding knives will combine the best of both worlds by having blades of high-carbon stainless steel. This material resists corrosion while still managing to hold an edge over long periods. One example of this is the F3 Charlie which boasts a D2 steel blade that will take care of you as long as you take care of it.
2. Blade Edge
The blade edge is another important factor to consider when buying a folding knife. There are three main types of blade edges: straight, serrated, and combination. Straight edges are great for clean, precise cuts and are easy to sharpen. Serrated edges are better for cutting through tough materials, such as rope or thick branches. Combination edges have both a straight and serrated section, giving you the benefits of both types of edges.
3. Blade Shape
Blade shape is the first thing most people notice when deciding what folding knife to buy. Familiarizing yourself with some of the basics will help you find the best folding knife for your needs. Common blade shapes include drop point, clip point, and spear point. Drop point blades are versatile and good for general-purpose use. Clip-point blades are great for piercing and slicing, making them a good choice for hunting knives. Spear point blades are symmetrical and good for piercing, making them a good choice for self-defense knives. F1 Alpha features a black matte, modified straight back D2 steel blade. At just 7.78” when fully opened, it’s one of the best folding knives we have on offer.
A knife needs to feel comfortable in your hand and be easy to grip. That’s where handle material comes in. Common folding knife handle materials include wood, plastic, and rubber. Wood handles offer a classic look and can be comfortable to grip, but they may not be as durable as other materials. Plastic handles are lightweight and inexpensive, but they may not be as comfortable or as durable as other materials. Rubber handles offer a secure, comfortable grip and are resistant to slipping, making them a good choice for wet or slippery conditions. However, while the most common, those aren’t the only materials available. For example, the F2 Bravo knife features a G10 and carbon fiber handle, making it a great option if you want a knife handle that’s durable but lightweight.
Last, but not least, we have the sheath. A sheath is a protective cover for the blade of your folding knife. It is important to consider the quality and durability of the sheath when shopping for a folding knife. Some sheaths are made from leather, while others are made from synthetic materials such as nylon. Look for a sheath that is sturdy and can protect your knife from the elements.
When shopping for a folding knife, it is important to consider a variety of factors. By looking for these qualities, you can ensure you are getting a high-quality, reliable tool that will serve you well for years to come.