Blades and Knives

The Best Knives from Blade Show 2015

Kershaw automatic folding knife with black blade and handle

The Blade Show does not garner half the attention of the annual SHOT Show, but for blade and edged weapon fans and aficionados, it’s just as awesome and as important as SHOT. The Blade Show is the world’s largest trade show for the knife industry. And, just like SHOT, it features thousands of exhibitors, seminars, awards and celebrity appearances. What it shares with SHOT is the attendees’ enthusiasm and excitement at seeing what is new. Also, just like SHOT, we can’t cover everything. There is just too much to see! Here are nine of the best knives for 2015 that Cheaper Than Dirt! carries for hunting, camping, survival, self-defense and every day carry (EDC).

Schrade Frontier SCHF36

Schrade Knives are always a crowd favorite and this one gets plenty of well-deserved attention. Not many other knives offer this much value. For just over $40, you get a quality 5.05-inch, full tang, fixed-blade knife, a Ferro fire-starting rod, sheath and sharpening stone. This knife is best suited for outdoors and survival, like chopping and bushcrafting rather than stabbing or field dressing. The Frontier has a picked black and gray Micarta handle and the 8Cr13MoV high-carbon stainless steel blade has a matching powder-coat black finish. There is jimping on the spine for a non-slip grip. Overall, it is 10.41 inches long and weighs almost a full pound. It comes with a lifetime warranty.

SOG Knives Toothlock

SOG Knives didn’t win any awards at the Blade Show this year, but the company did bring some cool new blades with it. The Toothlock series is just one example. Different from most knives on the market, SOG makes the Toothlock’s 3.1-inch partially serrated blade of VG-19 san mai stainless steel. The blade has an interesting reverse curve and stays strong at the tip. It is easily opened one-handed with SOG’s Toothlock lock assisted-opening. The handle is glass-reinforced nylon with a stainless steel liner and aggressive patterning for a sticky grip. The handle is 4.30 inches—open the Toothlock is 7.4 inches long. It carries deep in your pocket with the attached reversible low-carry pocket clip. The SOG Toothlock ships free and provides a perfect modern twist on the classic pocketknife.

Gerber Vital Pocket Folder

Gerber’s new Vital Pocket folder is designed specifically for hunting use, as characterized by its rubber safety orange handle. However, it’s super sharp, surgical precision #60 razor blade works perfectly as a utility knife, as well. This lightweight folding knife has an easy-to-use, no-tools-required, replaceable/interchangeable blade system so you are never with a dull edge. The Vital Pocket folder includes six blades. The blades are 2.8 inches long; open the Gerber Vital is 6.9 inches and weighs 1.3 ounces. It comes with a lifetime warranty. The Gerber Vital Pocket does an excellent job of skinning and field dressing game.

CRKT Tighe Rade

The Tighe Rade was one knife chosen to have a limited run special engraved model as an official Blade Show exclusive. This Columbia River Knife & Tool (CRKT) folding knife is based on a Brian Tighe custom knife design. It has a plain 3.38-inch drop point blade and features a flipper one-handed opening and a button-lock that closes the knife via gravity when you push it. The 8Cr13MoV steel blade has a compound dual grind for detailed cutting and slicing tasks such as wire stripping. The CRKT Tighe Rade (pronounced Tie-raid) has a 6061-T6 aluminum handle with custom designed pivots. The pocket clip is for tip up carry only. Overall, the Tighe Rade is 7.88 inches open and weighs 4.5 ounces.

CRKT Shizuka Noh Ken

CRKT’s Shizuka Noh Ken was chosen as a numbered official Blade Show knife exclusive with a limited run with custom engraving. This tactical and self-defense folding knife was designed by martial arts and special ops teams instructor, James William. The Shizuka Noh Ken—translation means “hidden blade”—has a modified Tanto blade based on the ancient Samurai Osaraku blade shape made for ease of penetration. Constructed of AUS8A steel with a non-reflective and corrosion-resistant black coating, the blade is 3.6 inches long. The handle has a G10 front and a 420J2 stainless steel back. The Sizuka Noh Ken is a frame lock design. It has an ambidextrous thumb stud for quick one-handed opening and CRKT LAWKS system with large lever locking mechanism to keep the blade firmly in place once opened. It sits deep in your pocket for ultimate concealment with the reversible, two-way pocket clip. When opened, the Shizuka Noh Ken is 8.25 inches long and weighs 4.2 ounces. Before coming to the commercial market, it was tested by Spec Ops forces serving is extreme environments.

Cold Steel Mini Recon 1

A classic upgraded! Cold Steel has produced the Recon series of knives for years. It is a favorite of law enforcement, fire and rescue, military and civilians alike. The blade size, G10 handle, heft and sturdiness make it perfect for camping, hunting, hiking and EDC. The clip point blade, like you see in the Bowie knife, serves as a good, all-round, all-purpose blade, which is quick to penetrate deeper, provides a smooth withdrawal, as well as works great for slicing. These 2015 knives have a new more durable finish and better steel. Cold Steel has upgraded the Recon 1 to a black DLC-coated Carpenters CTS XHP alloy. Razor sharp right out of the box, opening and closing is smooth, while the Tri-Lock and lockup is one of the most solid in the industry. The Mini Recon 1 has a 3-inch plain clip point blade, 4.0125-inch G10 handle, weighs 3.6 ounces and is 7.0125 inches overall.

Buck Knives 119 Brahma

Another popular knife gets a new look! The Buck Knives 119 is a rough use field knife made mostly for military applications. For 2015, Buck replaced the front guard, pommel, upgraded the sheath and enhanced the handle. The 2015 119 Brahma now has a stacked leather handle. The sheath is also part leather and part nylon; it is also MOLLE compatible. The fixed 420HC steel blade is six inches long. The 119 Brahma weighs 9.3 ounces.

Spyderco Cara Cara2

Another classic improved! Spyderco’s Byrd Cara Cara2 has proved itself an excellent utility and survival knife for many years. This improved, second generation Cara Cara2 deserves it’s 2015 award from Blade Magazine for “Best Buy of the Year” in the publication’s yearly “Knife of the Year” awards. Not only is the steel high quality stainless 8Cr13MoV with a full flat ground, the Spyderco Cara Cara2 now has a four-way carry pocket clip. For its price point, you won’t find much more value for your money. Available in a plain or partially serrated 3.75-inch blade, the Byrd Cara Cara2 is 8.53 inches overall when opened and weighs 5.7 ounces. Spyderco also makes this knife with a black, G10 handle.

Kershaw Launch 1

As knife restrictions relax around the country, more and more people are requesting automatic opening knives. One that particularly stands out is Kershaw’s Launch. The Launch series automatic tactical folding knifes from Kershaw have a sleek, but rugged and no-nonsense look. The Launch 1 has a two-piece billet aluminum 3D machined handle and 3.4-inch CPM154 steel blade with black-oxide BlackWash corrosion- and scratch-resistant finish. On the handle is a red push button that deploys the blade rapidly and fully. The lock up is solid. There is a reversible pocket clip. An American flag is printed on the blade. The Launch 1 auto knife is made in Kershaw’s Oregon factory. When closed, this tactical knife is 4.6 inches long; open it is 8 inches long. The Launch 1 weighs 4 ounces and is perfect for back up self-defense and every day carry.Click Here to Start Shopping Online at Cheaper Than Dirt

Auto knives are restricted. It may be illegal for you to own one where you live. Please check your city and state laws before ordering.

After successfully winning many states over to loosening firearm restrictions and widening gun rights, many 2A advocates are pushing the firearms community to bring knifes to the fight. is leading the charge and since 2010 have fought to repeal gun bans in 10 states. Knife Rights reminds us that the Second Amendment does not limit the right to protection to just firearms. The group says, “Prohibitions on carrying knives in general, or of particular knives are unconstitutional.”

When you pack for your hunting or camping trip or when you clip your knife in your pocket every day for EDC, knife restrictions may never cross your mind. But did you know that there are knife restrictions in place all over the country that rival the number of gun restrictions? For example, in San Antonio, Texas it is illegal to carry a locking-blade folding knife unless you are on the job. To help combat these unconstitutional and ridiculous knife restrictions in your state, visit to find out what you can do.

What is your EDC knife? Tell us what brand and what type of blade in the comment section.


The Mission of Cheaper Than Dirt!'s blog, The Shooter's Log, is to provide information—not opinions—to our customers and the shooting community. We want you, our readers, to be able to make informed decisions. The information provided here does not represent the views of Cheaper Than Dirt!

Comments (9)

  1. My EDC varies between a Benchmade mini-Griptilian and a Benchmade Barrage, both 154-CM which I love. The Axis Lock is superb.

  2. Suzanne, thanks for a nice article.

    I already said I am a CRKT fan, but I wanted to add that I am glad to see that so many of the knives you reviewed here were straight blade rather than serrated. I know serrated blades are supposed to offer more utility in survival situations for cutting wood or frozen materials, etc., but in my opinion, they are not as safe or effective as a good sharp straight blade in everyday use.

    I know some may disagree with me, and that is fine. Each to their own.

    My wife and I are both gun AND blade enthusiasts, and we both own a lot of both.

  3. Pay him no mind, Suzanne, he must just have fallen out of the wrong side of the bed.

    While I prefer the articles on firearms and ammunition I don’t mind reading about blades and other topics either.

    The articles have always been well flagged as to subject matter so if you choose to start posting pieces on Kevlar doilies, go right ahead. My ‘DELETE’ key is on the right side of the keyboard in easy reach and I’ll use it rather than whine about your choice of subjects.

    P.S. the CRKT Shizuka Noh Ken is an outstanding blade. It’s not my EDC but it’s usually close by in a bag

  4. Glock Guy,
    Thank you for reading.
    Cheaper Than Dirt! sells much more than just firearms and ammo. We have thousands of products that include hunting, fishing, archery, camping, survival and prepping, airsoft, military surplus, clothing, gifts and even water sports. We are a full outdoor retailer and like to give readers and customers as wide of a variety of articles as we have products. If you are only interested in firearms, you can skip over the Shooter’s Log home page and go straight to the “Firearms” category here:

  5. What reason do you bring up knifes on a gun site? If you are talking about cars, do you bring up cooking too? Yes as they say only a moron will bring a knife to a gun fight. Please stay on track, The Shooters log should be about Guns (Fire Arms) if you want to talk about knifes get another web site. Please stay on track. Most of us carried a knife maybe a K bar on our Alice straps. Sure using a knife to kill is quite for up close and very personal.

    1. C’mon, Glock Guy. A good knife is a critical component of any survival scenario. Each of my handguns is kept in an LA Police Gear soft case with 3 extra mags, a flashlight, and a knife as well as a box of ammo. That way, no matter what I am able to grab in an emergency, I have the basics I need to protect myself.

      As for the knives in the article, I am a serious CRKT fan and still have the CRKT I bought at the PX at Camp Victory, Iraq back in 2004. A great knife. Strong, stays sharp, and feels good in the hand. A bit beefier than the Tighe Rade in the article, but still a CRKT.

      Good article. I’ve never been to a gun show where there weren’t a lot of knives for sale.

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