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Best Folding Knives of 2016

By: Nick LeFort

Best Folding Knives of 2016

When I set out looking for folding knives to test and compare this year, I did my best to step away from past conventions and practices. To do this, I looked at brands and styles that we haven’t necessarily worked with before but garnered our attention and could possibly earn a place in your pocket or pack. This approach also allowed me to take some of the focus off of pricing. In the past, we’ve tried to compare apples to apples in terms of retail pricing, but I thought it would be interesting to see how a $20 knife faired when compared to a $300 knife and even a $500 knife. 

All in all, after testing out a pile of folding knives, these are the best of the best based on their construction, durability, ease of use, blade edge retention, and the overall experience I had in testing them long term. After all, formalized testing only gets you about 80% of the way there—you can’t truly review a knife until you rely on it in real life. Don’t let anyone try and convince you otherwise.

For more knive and tool reviews beyond this Spring 2016 test, check out all of our folding knife reviews and other fixed blade knife reviews, as well as our backpacking knife tests.

Spyderco Southard Folder

98

2016

Spyderco Southard Folder

The Spyderco Southard Folder is a curvy flipper-style knife with a thin profile and minimal pocket presence.

Chris Reeve Large Sebenza 21 w/ Insingo Blade

95

2016

Chris Reeve Large Sebenza 21 w/ Insingo Blade

The Chris Reeve Large Sebenza 21 is a premium knife made from titanium, carbon fiber, and  S35VN blade steel.

Benchmade Crooked River

94

2016

Benchmade Crooked River

The Benchmade Crooked River is a familiar looking, full-sized folder that features a 4” long CPM-S30V Clip Point blade which is ideal for hunting and long term excursions in the outdoors.

Lasky Pteryx L2

91

2016

Lasky Pteryx L2

The Lasky Pteryx L2 is hand-built off of two skeletonized stainless steel handle scales with a very sharp burly drop point blade and a unique approach to one-handed deployment and locking.

Opinel No. 8 Folding Knife

86

2016

Opinel No. 8 Folding Knife

Something of a cult-classic, the Opinel No. 8 folding knife features a wood body, patented Virobloc locking ring, and Sandvik 12C27 stainless steel blade for everyday use and ordinary adventures.

About the Author

Nick LeFort

Nick LeFort

Nick LeFort is a freelance writer and design engineer from Berlin, CT. Referred to as “Viking” by his cohorts in the outdoor industry. He is also a knife and tool maker and one part founder of Ragged Mountain Knife Works. Follow him at Google+.

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