Who makes the best knife? That’s probably a question you’ll want answered before you even think of investing in a great knife! The best knives deliver a smooth rocking motion when cutting; they’re also perfectly balanced and feel great to hold. They are made from high carbon materials, and they hold their edge, even in the most used fields of application.
The best knives are made from anything BUT stainless steel and do not get washed in the dishwasher. At the end of the day, the best knife makes the user one happy camper.
Knives are deceptively simple. To most of us, they’re little more than a hunk of metal with a handle. That doesn’t begin to tell the tale of the subtle differences that each blade carries, from its tip type to blade grind, there’s deep thought and years of engineering that go into the most disposable dollar-store blade. Not all of that thought and care is necessarily good, since cutting corners is part of any business. The good news is that those who tend to churn out cheap often won’t survive in the blademaking industry, though they can cause innumerable problems while they’re still around.
Most brands have hits and misses when it comes to their lineup, which is to be expected. Not every at bat can be a homerun, and not every EDC knife can be a Chris Reeves Sebenza. In most cases, you take the good, you take the bad, you take it all and there you have a knifemaker. Then there’s those who prefer to swing for the fences each and every time. They don’t have a truly bad blade in their lineup. These exceptional knife-smiths are the first and last stop for anyone seeking a pocket shank.
Despite being called the “Ontario Knife Company” OKC is actually based at the tippy top of New York state, and much of their work has been done making blades for the United States military. So they’re all-American in everything but name. Their Rat knife is a common bargain EDC choice, but they have a far deeper bench than that, and looking to move out of the world of kitchen cutlery and into pocket carry.
A knife by any other name is just a knife. When it’s a Benchmade, it’s something else entirely. Benchmade began in the 80’s with a solitary goal: To make the best knives in the world. Since then, they’ve been doing everything in their power to make that a reality. Certainly one of the most expensive makers out there, they aim for lifetime pieces across the board, so if you can avoid losing it, you only need to buy a Benchmade once.
It’s easy to discount Cold Steel because they start with a pretentious name, get an overbearing website, and then make some swords and stuff, which invites being made into a laughingstock. Strangely enough, despite the sometimes preposterous array of things they manufacture, Cold Steel always uses top-grade materials for EDC pocket knives that have distinctive flair to go with their sturdy construction.
Gerber’s low cost and subsequent rudimentary materials almost kept them out of the running for quality knife brands. The problem is they’re so consistently good, if not always great, that it’s a mistake to ignore them. You won’t find the best in the business here, but you’ll get a budget blade you can lose, which is good enough that you won’t want to.
Zero Tolerance is owned by the KAI Group, which also happens to have Kershaw in their pocket. Easily the broadest range of choices, Kershaw knives are tools, weapons, appliances, and most anything else you could want.
The only true Swiss Army knife maker in the world, without this Nordic brand, there would likely be no Leatherman or other multi-tool maker. Supreme engineering from the people who know multi-purpose knives, if you see the brand’s cross, you’re getting something truly special.
Schrade has changed hands several times in its 100+ year history, which has led to some lean times and difficult launches. Currently they’re pumping out exceptional quality, though who knows how long that shall last. Their hits are amazing, but when they miss, it’s horrifying. Hopefully the recent calm will allow Schrade to do what it does best for a long time to come.