Blades and Knives

New Pocket Knives and Fixed Blades

Black fixed blade knife with Tanto plain-edged blade

Knives are part of our EDC (everyday carry) gear and the choices in the knives we carry are just as personal and varied as the guns we carry. Like guns, we base our knife purchases on what function the blade is going to serve, its durability, its reliability, and what fits into our budget.

Knives serve multiple purposes. Obviously, cutting, but also serving as backup self-defense and as life-saving tools. Even when you don’t carry your gun, I bet your knife is still in your pocket. After all, knives can go places legally where your gun cannot.

If you are anything like me, your collection of knives is similar to your collection of guns—there are many different types and they all serve different functions. Pocket knives for small tasks, tactical folders to fixed blades for camping and skinning are all in my collection.

Here are six new knives that serve a wide variety of function available at Cheaper Than Dirt!

Black fixed blade knife with Tanto plain-edged blade
Made for EMS, law enforcement, EMT and firefighters, many chose the TDI knives for EDC.

Ka-Bar TDI/Hinderer Hell Fire

The Ka-Bar TDI/Hinderer Hell Fire has a 3.56-inch plain fixed blade made for emergencies and tactical situations.

Ka-Bar’s line of TDI knives are some of the top-selling knives at Cheaper Than Dirt! Its newest design, the Hinderer Hell Fire, is the collaborative result of the Tactical Defense Institute’s president and chief instructor John Benner and custom knife maker Rick Hinderer to produce a knife for those who depend on their equipment to save lives. The fixed 3.66-inch blade is plain with a recurve Tanto shape made of 1095 Cro-Van steel. The Zytel handle provides a secure grip. Overall, the Ka-Bar Hell Fire is 7.25 inches long. Made for EMS, law enforcement, EMT and fire fighters, many choose the TDI knives for EDC. Made in the USA, the TDI/Hinderer Hell Fire includes a locking sheath with TDI belt clip. The Ka-Bar TDI/Hinderer Hell Fire is $69.75.

Matte black fixed blade boot knife made by Kershaw
Designed for backup self-defense, the Kershaw Secret Agent boot knife is slim, easy to conceal and has a 4.4-inch double-edged fixed plain blade.

Kershaw Secret Agent

The Kershaw Secret Agent is a fixed 4.4-inch plain blade, double-edged boot knife made for self-defense.

Designed for backup self-defense, the Kershaw Secret Agent boot knife is slim and easy to conceal, and has a fixed 4.4-inch double-edged plain blade. The heat-treated steel blade has a protective non-reflective black-oxide finish. A 4.3-inch glass-filled nylon handle with a textured rubber over-mold grip area keeps the knife secure in your hand. The Kershaw Secret Agent comes with a lanyard hole, molded sheath with clip and slots to carry the knife in a variety of ways. Overall, the Kershaw is 8.7 inches long and weighs 3.5 ounces in the sheath. The Kershaw Secret Agent is $22.75.

Folding knife with partially serrated blade with black handle and matte black blade
The Gerber Order is a 3.1-inch partially serrated folding blade designed for law enforcement and military applications.

Gerber The Order

Gerber’s The Order is a 3.1-inch partially serrated folding blade designed for law enforcement and military applications.

As one of Gerber’s lowest-priced tactical knives, The Order has a 3.1-inch partially serrated blade with 2.6 inches of sharp cutting edge. The 420 high-carbon steel blade has a black, rust-resistant ceramic matte coating. The ergonomic handle, with finger choil is glass-filled nylon with a textured rubberized overmolding for a secure, non-slip grip. A wide thumbhole on top of the blade makes flipping open the knife easy with one thumb. Closing is safe and intuitive with the knife’s lock back design. Though made for law enforcement and military, The Order makes an excellent EDC, survival, hiking, camping and backpacking knife. When closed, it is 4.5 inches long and fits in a pocket with the integral clip. Made in the United States, Gerber’s The Order comes with a lifetime warranty. Gerber’s The Order is $33.25.

SOG Knives folding knife with plain drop point blade with matte stainless finish and black handle
The SOG Zoom has a 3.6-inch plain blade, fast spring-assisted opening and ships free!

SOG Knives and Tools Zoom

The SOG Zoom has a 3.6-inch plain blade, fast spring-assisted opening and ships free!

For a lightweight, slim and compact everyday carry tactical knife, the SOG Knive’s Zoom is nothing fancy; it is sturdy, ergonomic and still big enough to handle any task. The ergonomic, contoured black anodized handle combined with the deep and textured thumb ramp gives you a secure grip on the knife when cutting or slicing. The favored feature though, is the speed of opening. With the Zoom’s spring-assisted opening, it takes very little pressure on the thumb stud for the knife to spring all the way open. Deploying the 3.6-inch plain blade is certainly speedy. The drop-point, satin-polished blade is AUS-8 stainless steel. For safety, the blade does lock closed with the push of a small, non-obtrusive button. Overall, the SOG Zoom tactical knife is 8.3 inches open and 4.7 inches closed. The knife incorporates SOG’s new redesigned rounded pocket clip that is more durable and reversible. The SOG Zoom weighs 4.4 ounces and comes with a lifetime warranty from SOG Knives. The best news? This $89.95 knife ships free!

Large, fixed blade knife with wide Tanto blade made for close quarters
The Real Avid Hogzilla has a 9-inch extreme Tanto fixed blade made for close quarters sticking.

Real Avid Hogzilla

The Real Avid Hogzilla has a 9-inch extreme Tanto fixed blade made for close quarters sticking.

With a 9-inch extreme Tanto fixed blade, the Real Avid Hogzilla hunting knife is made for when you must get up close and personal with a wild boar. Made to stick and kill quickly with its razor-sharp edges, Hogzilla has a non-slip handle with a steel protective handguard. When wet, you will retain a secure grip on the knife. Included is a ballistic nylon sheath. The Real Avid Hogzilla is $25.52.

16-inch steel blade machete with walnut wood handle
Ontario Knife Company’s Bushcraft machete has a 16-inch plain blade and walnut handle designed for wilderness survival.

Ontario Knife Company Bushcraft Machete

Ontario Knife Company’s Bushcraft machete has a 16-inch plain blade and walnut handle designed for wilderness survival.

For camping, hiking, hunting or wilderness survival, chopping wood or clearing a path, you need the strong, large blade of a machete to get the job done right. Ontario Knife Company’s Bushcraft machete has a 16-inch 5160 steel blade. The traditional American walnut hardwood handle makes this machete look like a classic. Made in the USA, this simple but sharp machete comes with a DeSantis sheath. The Ontario Knife, Co. Bushcraft machete is $87.76.

For more knife reviews, click here.

What knife do you carry every day? Tell us 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 (10)

  1. I’m not saying that it replaces a good quality blade, but a couple yrs ago I bought a combination pack of knives from menhards that contained a folding knife with just under a 3″ blade, a folding utility knife that takes regular stanley utility blades, and another utility knife, all for I think it was about $11. The utility knives are handy, but the folding pocket knife I really like.. It has a locking blade and a pocket clip, and I carry it and use it all the time. It’s been quite durable and very handy. At the price I paid if I do break it or lose it. I’m not out much. I would really hate to lose it though. I would like to find more of them. I’d buy a dozen and store them everywhere, but I have never found anymore like it. I may have to check out some other cheapo’s to see if I can find something else as good.

    I do have a few decent knives also,. Just saying.

  2. I have several knifes I carry depending on my clothing. But, in addition I most always carry an ice pick You can pick one up for about four bucks at your local hardware store. With a few soda straws, duck tape, thin card board, a large paper clip and a little imagination you can make a great scabbard.

    I love my Buck knifes but, can anyone give an idea of the best sharpener or the best way to put and edge back on one.

  3. Maybe this is a generation gap showing, but while Hank’s comment about kids’ pocket knives always being verboten in school may have been true in his day, it wasn’t in the AZ schools I attended in the ’50s and early ’60s. (We even had riflery teams and participating teens crossed campus with cased .22s on the way to practice with nobody batting an eye.) In elementary school, we (at least 4th grade and above) used small pocket folders when needed for craft projects or just for utility when a teacher needed help cutting a string or cord or tightening a screw.

    What was verboten was using a blade or any potential weapon to threaten or harm someone, etc., or to use them in a reckless way, but that was forbidden for baseball bats, too, along with plenty of other sports equipment and office/classroom objects (running with scissors anyone?) that can inflict damage, including fists on the playground. In those days, the crime was the crime, not the object, and I’m hard pressed to remember anyone abusing our customary privileges, on campus or off, although I’m sure it happened. We learned responsibility and respect for others at home, then took that to school, too–but as I say, it was a different time…

  4. I carry a folder, generally a liner lock with good blade steel, often partially serrated and I prefer a tanto blade due to the stronger, reinforced tip. I am informed that the SEALs, or at least some of them, prefer the tanto tip to the usual spear point. Allegedly the SEALs have discovered that the tanto tip is a more efficient cutting tool than the conventional tips that tend to push aside tissue instead of cutting it as efficiently as a tanto tip.
    I like a blade with a strong locking mechanism, thick enough blade steel to have backbone for heavy cutting and a heavy bolster for strength.
    I am also a fan of the one handed opening folders with a pocket clip. I find I can extract the knife from my pocket and open it with one hand, leaving the other hand free to hold whatever I wish to cut. Assisted opening knives are fairly common and not terribly expensive. I own several Kershaws and have generally been pleased with their performance, but there are others.
    I have an issue with Buck knives. They are somewhat like Glock pistols to me. Ubiquitous and dependable. But, once a Buck knife is dulled, it is very difficult to resharpen. Just as Glock pistols work every time until the shooter is overly excited and shoots himself/herself in the leg. No questions Glocks are accurate, dependable and easy to use. But, accidents happen when a dangerous appliance is too easy to use and the operator is excited. Buck knives have very good steel in the blade and retain an edge for a very long time, but heaven help you once they are really dull. They are the only knife I have ever had trouble sharpening, time after time.
    For me, a knife is principally a tool and not a weapon. I know that a knife can be a weapon but I generally place greater value on a knife as a tool and less as a weapon — except one fixed long bladed “pig sticker” made by Cold Steel. That is a weapon, pure and simple and really not my first choice as a tool. It has an 8 inch blade, tanto tip, wide backbone for strength and an over molded rubber/Kraton hand grip. I have yet to carry it whereas my pocket one hand openers go every where, every time. Along with my Combat Commander sized .45 ACP and three extra magazines.
    Right now, that is a Smith & Wesson scandium framed pistol. Love the pistol, great sights, comfortable grip with the rounded butt, excellent trigger and very good accuracy. Almost up to my Wilson’s standards in the accuracy department. I replaced the pretty wood grips with Hogue overmolded rubber grips. I like the control that they Hogue grips give me and they have a metal insert inside the grip in case of blowback from a pierced primer or explosive cartridge. I once saw a government model that had a cartridge blow up inside the magazine when an armorer was test firing it. He saved his hand but could not really use if to quite a while.
    I am not a particular fan of “pretty guns” or knives. I do not intend to frequent any place where the beauty of my handgun or knife is going to be a very important issue.
    But, the Smith bucks just a bit more than my all steel Colt Commander due to its aluminum frame and lighter weight.
    The biggest problem I have with a practical sized folder as a weapon is that the FBI seems to think that 14 inches of penetration, through various impedimentary materials and a fairly large wound channel is necessary to achieve effective pistol round. Assuming that they know what they are talking about, I wonder at a knife with a 4 inch or shorter blade traveling about 10 mph or whatever. Of course, as a last resort, I will use whatever is at hand for personal defense of defense of my family. However, I intend that to be my .45 ACP and not a folding pocket knife.
    One has to wonder how pocket knives would have protected the French and Jewish citizens recently murdered in France. It is my belief that my .45 would have done a better job than any pocket knife available.

  5. Unfortunately, Wagon Master, is right about how our lives have changed, but it never was kosher for kids to have a knife at school. The difference is that when we were kids if you got caught with it they took it away from you and had your parent pick it up. Now they’ll suspend or expel you if they don’t press criminal charges. They went over board and we have safety scissors now that don’t cut and no one is supposed to have a knife.

    I taught Automotive technology for 19 1/2 years and I always wore a Buck on my belt because it was a tool. I didn’t stop wearing it when they started this crap and when my principal called me on it I handed it to him and told him the three of four times a day I had to use it he could stop what he was doing and hustle his butt down to my shop. He handed it back to me and told me just don’t wear it outside where people could see it.

    For years my field knife was a locking Buck with about a four inch blade. It got broken by an idiot friend trying to chip ice on a camping trip but Buck replaced it without question even after I told them how it happened. Now you’re not likely to find me without my 3″ locking blade Gibson. It takes and keeps a nice edge.

    My wife gave me a Buck locking blade filleting knife with about a six inch blade about twenty years ago. It’s still in my tackle box and I’ve never used anything better.

  6. I agree, a suitable carry knife is essential. I grew in an era when kids carried small pocket knives to school and men carried slim “gentleman’s folders” in slacks and jeans. In an era of TSA and Orwellian school policies, those days are gone for most people. “Tactical folders” with a clip to hang inside your pocket are great options, with or without a companion gun–but many states place limits on the length of such pocket knives (in CA, 2-1/2 to 3″ is fine, but 3-1/4 makes you a criminal and a double-edged blade of any length is forbidden).

    Also, even in “shall issue” or constitutional-carry states like AZ, proprietors can post signs forbidding not only guns, but ANY WEAPON, including a pocket knife, which is sometimes depicted on the prohibiting sign, so even that short clip knife needs to go into your car’s lock box or glove compartment.

    The point is, long- and fixed-bladed collectibles and camping gear are fine, but you now need to give as much thought about what goes with you when you leave the house, knife-wise, as you do for a firearm. The times we live in…

    1. We got knives in Cub Scouts. Had an awl, screwdriver, cutting blade, can and bottle opener (pre pop top cans). No food police (we brought what Mom put in the brown bag), cafeteria only SOLD half pints of milk. Taxpayers didn’t buy food for nontaxpayers. Walked about a mile to school, there were no buses. Parents had one car that Dad drove to work. When done with enlistment in Army I was hired on as a cop. Kids who worked on the farm after school grew up an drove pickups into town for a cold one. Usually a rifle and shotgun in rack in pickup. Nobody got excited. Trucks not locked. Ah, preredistribution–you worked for what you got. No freebies. US was top dog and bowed to no one. Drill baby drill. Thor

  7. Benchmade mini-griptilian. It has the clip on the right side and unique lock/release that makes it’s natural to pull from your pocket and open or close and put it back. It is small enough that you carry it without feleling it in your pocket. I have mine on me 24/7 and use it multiple times daily. When I lost my 1st one , I was not content until I had a replacement. If you need something bigger the full size griptilian would do the trick – it’s just not as comfortable for all situations.

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