UN­USUAL SUS­PECTS

Bud­get Knives

Recoil - - Contents - BY PA­TRICK VUONG

Last is­sue we fo­cused on pricey Damascus blades. Like a gold-dig­ger, they’re strong, sexy, and wal­let-busters. So, in this edi­tion of Un­usual Sus­pects we’re swing­ing to the other ex­treme: bud­get blades.

Own­ing an in­ex­pen­sive fold­ing knife is just pru­dent. Af­ter all, it’s painful to have a $300 model dam­aged, lost, or stolen. And thanks to ad­vanc­ing tech­nol­ogy and great de­signs, some eco­nom­i­cal knives don’t trail too far be­hind the pre­mium knives.

What qual­i­fies as a “bud­get blade?” Ev­ery­one’s def­i­ni­tion is gonna be dif­fer­ent, but most can agree that 50 bucks for a knife is doable; that’s equiv­a­lent to a din­ner for two at a good restau­rant. We chose this price max­i­mum be­cause it’s the in­ter­sec­tion where func­tional de­sign, solid ma­te­ri­als, de­cent con­struc­tion, and af­ford­abil­ity all meet.

The draw­back is that they’re al­most al­ways made in China … which isn’t nec­es­sar­ily a bad thing if the qual­ity con­trol is there. Don’t believe us? Read on to see if there’s a bud­get blade that makes the cut for you.

1 Brown­ing MAKE: MODEL: Wi­hongi Sig­na­ture Hemp - Small OAL: 6.75 inches BLADE LENGTH: 2.75 inches BLADE MA­TE­RIAL: 7Cr17MoV WEIGHT: 2.4 ounces MSRP: $20 URL: www.brown­ing.com

2 MAKE: Bear & Son Cut­lery MODEL: 61105 OAL: 7.375 inches BLADE LENGTH: 3.25 inches BLADE MA­TE­RIAL: 440 stain­less steel WEIGHT: 3.7 ounces MSRP: $50 URL: www.bearand­son­cut­lery.com

3 MAKE: Tan­gram Se­ries MODEL: Orion OAL: 7.375 inches BLADE LENGTH: 3.31 inches BLADE MA­TE­RIAL: Acuto 440 stain­less steel WEIGHT: 3.6 ounces MSRP: $35 URL: www.amazon.com

4 MAKE: Coast Prod­ucts MODEL: FDX302 OAL: 7.5 inches BLADE LENGTH: 3 inches BLADE MA­TE­RIAL: 7Cr17 stain­less steel WEIGHT: 4 ounces MSRP: $23 URL: www.coast­port­land.com

5 MAKE: Ker­shaw Knives MODEL: AM-4 OAL: 7.75 inches BLADE LENGTH: 3.5 inches BLADE MA­TE­RIAL: 8Cr13MoV stain­less steel WEIGHT: 2.8 ounces MSRP: $50 URL: ker­shawknives.com

6 MAKE: Ger­ber Gear MODEL: Haul OAL: 7.9 inches BLADE LENGTH: 3.1 inches BLADE MA­TE­RIAL: 5Cr15MoV stain­less steel WEIGHT: 4.9 ounces MSRP: $41 URL: www.ger­bergear.com

7 MAKE: Out­door Edge MODEL: 3.5” Di­vide OAL: 8.25 inches BLADE LENGTH: 3.5 inches BLADE MA­TE­RIAL: 8Cr13MoV stain­less steel WEIGHT: 4.2 ounces MSRP: $50 URL: www.out­dooredge.com

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