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Best traditional folding knife ‘in hand’

Discussion in 'Traditional Folders and Fixed Blades' started by Camillus, Dec 9, 2018.

  1. rishma


    Jun 22, 2008
    I find my opinel no. 8 very comfortable.
    mnblade and Will Power like this.
  2. Duper

    Duper Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 5, 2016
    Agreed !!

    There is something about how the handles slightly flairs towards the end that enhances the grip or "feel in hand" It is a full size knife without being excessive. Smooth roseworrd handles but still grippy enough. No hot spots either. Easy open and close.

    ,,,Mike in Canada

    ,,,Mike in Canada
    Travman likes this.
  3. Modoc ED

    Modoc ED Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 28, 2010
    That's pretty much it for me too Paul. That's why I have so many of them.

    knowtracks, Aryan29, Pomsbz and 8 others like this.
  4. sXePhenomenal

    sXePhenomenal Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 8, 2018
    I agree the #82 is a very ergonomic stockman. The best I think.

    Since I done a larger knife how about a smaller one the Case Bose mini trapper is wonderful in hand. Great for 3 1/2 two blade knife.
  5. Hickory n steel

    Hickory n steel Basic Member Basic Member

    Feb 11, 2016
    Just hand the mini Russell to someone, their instant reaction will be " Wow ".
  6. JB in SC

    JB in SC Gold Member Gold Member

    May 19, 2001
    A Bose single blade trapper or swayback in 3 1/2" or 3 5/8" size. In a production knife, the Case swayback single blade is a very comfortable pattern.
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2018
    Chief and Prester John like this.
  7. JD Bear

    JD Bear Gold Member Gold Member

    Aug 4, 2015
    I'd go with a Buck 112, but this thread feels like more of a slip joint topic so I'll say a Case backpocket. I could also say a GEC 43, but I never carry it because of the soft spring. I'll throw a GEC 74 out there too....
  8. Old Engineer

    Old Engineer Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 30, 2014
    These 2 old Taylors Eye Witness ( Lambfoot & Sheepfoot ) are extremely comfortable in hand .
    And as others have said : The 43's feel very nice too
    My first Love though was the 73's . They will always be a little special to me because of Size and Fit .

  9. Railsplitter

    Railsplitter Gold Member Gold Member

    Oct 31, 2010
    I've never owned a slip joint that feels as good in my hand as this Schatt & Morgan #43 Jumbo Half Whittler does. It's the knife that changed my mind about thick Stag. Fills the palm like nobody's business.
    knowtracks, Aryan29, Filoso and 19 others like this.
  10. lambertiana

    lambertiana Gold Member Gold Member

    Jul 7, 2000
    This one is very good in hand.
    353, knowtracks, Aryan29 and 8 others like this.
  11. herisson

    herisson Knuckle dragging and mean minded Neanderthal Platinum Member

    Mar 11, 2013
    These are very pleasant in hand. They feel easy and natural.
    GEC Sunfish. Handfilling, indeed, but with no excess. Surprisingly easy in the pocket, too, given the size and weight (Ah ! the equal end pattern !) :

    The Tony Bose/Case Back Pocket. Very pleasant in hand despite the flat scales. The A.G. Russell Cowboy (top) is nice, too, but not at Back Pocket level :

    The A.G. Russell Sowbelly and the Case Sodbuster are comfortable in hand and allow to put quite some power down. True working knives (extra mention to the Sowbelly : this must be my most comfortable folder. Probably.) :
    knowtracks, Aryan29, PaulS. and 7 others like this.
  12. TLARbb

    TLARbb Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 24, 2010
    I really like this!

    My hands are fairly small, thus the best knives for me generally are mid-sized. The knife I call the "sowbelly experiment" is a good example. It is very nice in hand:


    Similarly, I tend to like mid-sized trappers like the Case mini-trapper and the GEC 48 pattern. I also tend toward single blade patterns most of the time with a few exceptions (Case mini-copperhead, GEC 66 jack, and the GEC 15 Barlows and boy's knives and the multi-blade Gerber Silver Knight series). I do not like a knife that feels like a handful of blades when you pick it up; that's why stockman knives are in a small minority in my accumulation.

    Ed J
    knowtracks, Aryan29, PaulS. and 7 others like this.
  13. spyderg


    Sep 28, 2014
    I’m going to have to call a tie between my forum GEC 35 and my early run Enigma, (my earlier one has a fair bit thicker covers than my newer one).
  14. Pinemoon

    Pinemoon Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 25, 2005
    Nice comments on the A.G. Sowbelly. I've had that model on my wish list for some time. All that remains on their website however is yellow delrin. :( Maybe I'll get one and re haft it.
    A.G. Knives have great ergonomics.
    RIP A.G.
    Prester John likes this.
  15. herisson

    herisson Knuckle dragging and mean minded Neanderthal Platinum Member

    Mar 11, 2013
    A.G. Russell was in many aspects (design, production, customer service, attitude) a top player in the knife world. I have a sad everytime I realize he's no longer with us. If you're really in love with this Sowbelly (one clip blade, 8Cr13Mov, cocobolo scales), shoot me a PM. Given the current state of international affairs, however, rehafting a Delrin one could be less risky...
    Pinemoon and Prester John like this.
  16. Will Power

    Will Power

    Jan 18, 2007
    Although quite a long knife at 4" The Slimline Trapper is light and very effective in the hand. Fine picnic knife too.

    knowtracks, Aryan29, PaulS. and 5 others like this.
  17. Roamad


    Feb 1, 2016
    One of my favorites for a comfortable in-hand feel is this Schrade 194OT. It's a slim handle but that's Ok, as it's meant for light-duty cutting. ...


    If lockbacks count, this Kershaw 1050 (upper left in pic) is fantastic. The shape & finger grooves do hinder some types of grip, but otherwise it's super comfortable. ...

    knowtracks, Aryan29, PaulS. and 2 others like this.
  18. garddogg56


    Jan 9, 2012
    If I have to work hard use all day there is nothing better for me than a Buck 112 in hand ,easy to get a FIRM grip and the edge WILL last all day.
    JD Bear and Pinemoon like this.
  19. Signalprick

    Signalprick Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 3, 2009
    I saw a lot of traditional knives come in 2018 with a good majority I let go. Ergo's is a huge criteria for me when considering if a knife is ultimately a keeper. Sometime the ergo's look great but then just don't hit that spot for me. Sometimes I let a knife go even though it feels great but due to other circumstances. Off the top of my head the Tim Robertson Pacheco, Case Bose Ebony Eureka Jack and the GEC single blade #78 top that list. As it currently stands these six knives all found a place in my keeper drawer for one reason or another but certainly ergonomics was a key attribute.

    Up until my latest acquisition I would have chosen the Manny Saldana Dog Bone. This knife really surprised me and is very useful in hand with a very organic feel. A true tool made to cut it's like an extension of your hand. Behind that I would then rank them Pena Barlow, Case Bose Cattle Knife, Saldana mini Zulu and finally the Pena mini Zulu. That leaves the Charlie Bell Trapper as my #1 favorite knife as far as ergonomics are concerned. It is surprisingly light compared to its peers. Extremely balanced in hand. Just the right amount of curve to the frame and perfect swell in the butt for my palm. Blade geometry is exceptional on this knife. Coming in at 3 3/4" closed length it is right in that perfect sweet spot for size for me. Not pertinent but it's interesting to note I have far less invested in the Bell than I do the others but I think it's worth mentioning because when I look at Mr. Bells patterns clearly functionality for the end user is a top priority in his build. Which should appeal to the budget minded custom knife connoisseur. So there you have it, the Charlie Bell small trapper is my top knife for ergonomics. Truly a delightful knife to hold and use!



  20. herisson

    herisson Knuckle dragging and mean minded Neanderthal Platinum Member

    Mar 11, 2013
    Awesome, just awesome (can I say : they speak to my hand ?). And they are beautiful, too !

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