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Are you looking for a folding tactical knife? Learn what to look for before you buy. Here’s how to choose the best tactical folding knife.
Nowadays, a tactical knife has become a part of our daily life of indoor or outdoor task and become an arsenal of a survivalist. Generally, the best folding tactical knives are seldom if ever designed for use as a combat knife or fighting knife. However, many military organizations and armies have often issued tactical folding knives which had no intention of use as a weapon. Rather, it had such features that appealed to civilians as well as militaries.
For the use of utility knives for general purpose, many military personnel and civilians purchase tactical folding knives privately. This includes:
- Columbia River Knife and Tool’s M16 Special Forces knives
- Benchmade Contego knives
- Zero Tolerance ZT0350 automatic SpeedSafe assisted knife
- Spyderco Paramilitary 2 knives, intended for use by fighting crews and parachute troops too
A Brief History Of The Tactical Folding Knife
A lock back folding knife, named Buck Knives’ Model 110 Folding Hunter which is generally marketed as a hunting knife, saw use with naval personnel and military as an emergency or utility knife for stripping, cutting rope, rigging, rigging, harnesses, and other tasks.
Custom makers of knifes started making similar kind of knives for the purpose of private use by civilians and military personnel. With an input of James N. Rowe, a colonel from Special Forces, Al Mar Knives was the earliest company that made a tactical knife with their special SERE model specially designed for the military in 1979.
Suddenly, the sales of tactical folding knives had risen and new and unique designs were being displayed in many knives and large gun shows by the 1990s. This trend started with some custom knife makers such as Michael Walker, BobTerzuola, Mel Pardue, Ken Onion, Ernest Emerson,Warren Thomas, Chris Reeve, Warren Osbourne, Medford knife and tool and Rick Hinderer Michael Walker, Bob Terzuola, Mel Pardue, Ken Onion, Ernest Emerson,Warren Thomas, Chris Reeve, Warren Osbourne, Medford knife and tool and Rick Hinderer.
Those knives are mostly built as liner locks, though Axis lock was introduced by McHenry & Williams which was used under license by Benchmade Knife Company. Blade lengths of those knives varied from 3 inches to 12 inches, but in most models, blade lengths never went beyond 4 inches for any legal reasons in US jurisdictions. A knife maker, Bob Terzuola, is credited with creating the phrase tactical knife.
As the demand for tactical knives increased highly, production companies increased their production in a response to high demand and offered mass-produced folding knives.
Companies like Benchmade, Buck Knives, Al Mar Knives, Kershaw Knives, Spyderco and Gerber Legendary Blades collaborated with tactical knife makers.
Some companies retained those knife makers as full-time designers. Some tactical knife makers such as Chris Reeve and Ernest Emerson opened their own production companies; Chris Reeve Knives and Emerson Knives, Inc.
What is the purpose of your best tactical folding knife?
Now, the question is, for what purpose will you be using the tactical knife? In an extreme situation, a tactical folding knife can make a difference between death and life. So it is important to make sure that you are using the tactical folding knife. So let’s take a look at some different characteristics that need to be considered before you spend your money.
Why you should choose a folding tactical knife rather than fixed blade
Now question is, what should you choose between fixed and fold.
Actually, it depends on what purpose are you going to use a knife for? Fixed blades are stronger than folding. But fixed blade cannot be carried. An aviation cop would prefer robust and big fixed blade where an ordinary police would prefer a folding knife.
For everyday carry and utility use civilians, worker, sportsmen, camper or outdoor enthusiast will prefer a tactical pocket knife.
Ideal size for tactical folding knifes
First of all, you need to know the ideal size for a tactical pocket knife. Generally, there are two types of tactical knife mostly popular among the people. They are the fixed blade knife and the folding knife. For fixed blade knife, the ideal size is 9-12 inches were 4-6 inches ergonomic handle and 6-8 inches sharp blade.
But if you want to carry it in your pocket, a fixed blade is not best for you. In that case, you need to choose a tactical folding knife.
Also, it has to be a perfect size and lightweight such you can feel comfortable while carrying or using it. A tactical EDC knife with a blade 3-4 inches long and an overall length of 7-9 inches is the perfect and ideal size for all level of users.
What is the best component for blade and handle?
The Handle: The second part you have to consider is materials. Typically, you should look for such a knife with the best quality blade, composite handle, and a sheath or clip. Let’s start with the handle. The handle is the most important feature of a knife and how it fits in your hand is important too.
It should be neither heavy nor light; rather it should be ergonomic with finger grooves, non-slip grip and comfortable while using it.
Generally, a handle is made of G10, Leather, Aluminum, Bone, Celluloid, Molded hard Plastic, Rubber, Stainless Steel, Wood. In this case, high-quality G10, Leather, Aluminum and Molded Glass-Reinforced Nylon hand are best for all type of tactical fixed and folding blade knives. Those are lightweight and easy to use.
Whatever it is made of, the fact is you always want a handle that is stable and does not absorb moisture. Handles made of wood, bone or ivory, absorb moisture and they are not stable. Nowadays, with the technology of composite and polymer, you can rely on reputable companies having good handles that could last forever.
The Blade: On the other hand, the blade is the most important and usable part of a knife. So you have to keep an in-depth knowledge about the blade core component.
When we are talking about the blade element, it is said that the best of best is Damascus Steel. It is reputable for both its durability and sharpness. But, Damascus Steel is costly and not available widely. Also, knife makers use AUS8, Cr17 High Carbon, Sandvik 14C28Nm. Those are famous for their best performance under different circumstances.
Choose a perfect blade design according to your purpose
Finally, you need to know about the best style of tactical folding knife’s blade and handle which is one of the most important things.
A good tactical pocket knife should always have a sharp and sturdy cutting point and an edge. The knife can be used to pick a hole, poke at the wood, and stab an attacker or animal.
To cut through the clothing and leather, the cutting edge should be sharp. The best folding tactical knife should always have a serrated edge for preventing it from dulling.
Choose an ergonomics handle design
In addition, handles should not be slippery, and that fits snugly. Besides, it should keep in mind that it does not crack or tear under pressure. Wooden handles, horn handles, bone handles, etc. are common in the market at present. But they absorb oil, sweat, gasoline, water, etc. The solution is Composite handles.
Composite handles are familiar to most of the tactical knives. They are ergonomically designed to feel comfortable in your hand and do not absorb any of these.
Safety features of a tactical folding knife
The last part is safety features. Folding blades have different types of lock for security. Lock back, ARC lock, bearing lock, compression lock is common locks for safety.
Never trust a cheap (Under $30) knife lock. Those locks mentioned above are good but none infallible. But good companies have a better lock as always.
Try to choose these best brands for your best tactical folding knife Ka-Bar, Kershaw, Spyderco, Cold Steel, Zero Tolerance, Buck Knives, Gerber, and SOG.
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