Favorite folders from American companies under $35

mwhich50

Basic Member
Joined
Jan 18, 2011
Messages
3,024
Here is a few that weren't mentioned
Byrd Cara Cara
Cold Steel Tufflite, blue handle :)
Kershaw Thermite
Kbar hunter, blue handle:)
Ontario Utilitac

Cold Steel Eland. I like a big knife that is thin and light.

These knife prices are hard to believe for what you get.
Kershaw Speed Bump- $24 at KC
Kershaw Spoiler- $19 at KC
 
Last edited:
Joined
Sep 20, 2015
Messages
6,975
$35 . . . how about $25 . . . and for a seriously good / useful EDC
I love using this thing (Case Sod Buster with blue handle) shown with a Benchmade Ritter Grip (for a little more) just for size.



And for arguably a little more than $35 (with shipping) but who's counting
you get a little more elegance AND that second blade for spreading peanut butter ! ! ! !
In the Case full size Trapper . . . Chrome Vanadium (in a few models) or Stainless Steel that is decent in all models.
One of my favorite user knife shapes (blade AND handle) bar none
 
Last edited:
Joined
Sep 15, 2013
Messages
5,648
Some already mentioned, some not. That I've had my hands on, and can recommend:

Kershaw OSO Sweet. As the name says, sweet in the opening action, smooth, and nice and light in the pocket. Steel came screaming sharp, and is easy to get back to that. Flips and locks excellently every time, clip is nicely designed, handle ergonomic and non-slippy even when wet, good blade shape for most tasks

Ontario Utilitac. Heavy duty even if it's a liner-lock. Steel is tough and again very serviceable, opens and locks with confidence and ease, even with gloves. Different blade profiles to try, mine is tanto, and it's one of the sturdiest folders at low price nowadays

Byrd Cara Cara 2. One of the sliciest and meanest cutters you'll find in a budget, it's super thing and the g10 linerless version weighs nothing. The hole gives lots of purchase for a secure opening, the lock is strong and easy to manipulate with both hands. The grind and steel make it very quick to strop back or touch up, and isn't prone to corrosion or suffering chipping/damage. Ergonomically superior to most knives in this price range

KaBar Piggyback folder. Similar to the most excellent Dozier folder, similar low weight, plastic but strong handles and grind that lends itself to handle most EDC tasks with ease. Very nice recurve allows for bigger than expected cutting ability, the coating is nicely done and the action on mine is smooth as glass. Scales have attractive color, nice purchase and good curves.

Cold Steel Eland/Kudu. Excellent reproduction of classic knives, very thin and so very mean cutters, perfect for food and as backup, because of their long blades, super slim profile and unnoticeable weight. Not made for abuse or OHO opening but can stand heavy use and will be confident companions in most hikes, urban chores or day to day living at an absurdly low price
 

Hickory n steel

Gold Member
Joined
Feb 11, 2016
Messages
14,905
Some more I forgot to mention

The Buck 425 miniBuck - great little $15-$20 USA made folder, and I still carry it on occasion thought not every single day for years like I did as a teenager.
And the Leatherman Micra - it's like the Victorinox classic of multitools and is Leathermans longest continuously USA produced tool ( mine is a first year from '96 btw ) and is well worth $20.

Then there's the Buck Bucklite max 482, it's an excellent lightweight general use USA made EDC blade for only $20.
It doesn't seem to get a lot of love here because it has no liners, but knives don't always need to be heavy duty for boring EDC stuff.
And the Buck 283. It's a great little 11$ USA made lockback that I actually find a little better than the 425 because it's essentially the same know but looks a little better imo and costs less.
 
Joined
Sep 20, 2015
Messages
6,975
When I was a kid we all just wanted a "Buck knife" which meant a 110. I don't ever carry one but it's still a great knife for the money.
Ha, ha, ha
I have carried a 110 for thirty five years (some times)
but for a person who's body is still forming ? ? ?
my toes bend in from wearing cowboy boots from way early . . . why I can even remember walking around with a transistor radio playing country music and saying "dambed hippy".
Remember hand held transistor radios ? Whoa . . . high tech ! ! ! Up town ! ! !

Of course I eventually grew my hair to my waist, started doing yoga (certified instructor now) and got me some custom made moccasins.
In the words of Richard Alpert, PHD,"You got to play at all levels".

Short hair now.
Filthy, vulgar, people with long hair . . . NOW . . . just seem to be filthy vulgar people . . .

. . . what I am getting at is : any poor little kid that carries a 110 in his pocket will probably be deformed for life from the shear weight of the thing. Some things are best left for adult hood.
I think.
:)

IMG_3307.JPG
 
Last edited:
Joined
Mar 3, 2015
Messages
1,606
Geez, we have some similar tastes in inexpensive folders. :D I have 5 of the knives in your list, all but the OSO.

Do yourself a favor and get an OSO ASAP, haha. Out of all Kershaws I listed it's probably my favorite. The KC exclusive orange/black for ~$19 is a deal too!
 
Joined
Jan 24, 2005
Messages
2,773
Some more I forgot to mention

The Buck 425 miniBuck - great little $15-$20 USA made folder, and I still carry it on occasion thought not every single day for years like I did as a teenager.
And the Leatherman Micra - it's like the Victorinox classic of multitools and is Leathermans longest continuously USA produced tool ( mine is a first year from '96 btw ) and is well worth $20.

I like the Bucklite, but carry it seldom, not for a few years, in fact. I'm pretty well hooked on OHO dedicated blades. But the Micra is still in use, and a frequent companion for the last 20+ years, 9 of which were paired with a Leatherman Super Tool exclusively. They complemented each other perfectly. Now it has to share pocket time with a SAK Manager, as well as whatever other M-Ts in my rotation. Different times, different requirements.
 

Hickory n steel

Gold Member
Joined
Feb 11, 2016
Messages
14,905
I like the Bucklite, but carry it seldom, not for a few years, in fact. I'm pretty well hooked on OHO dedicated blades. But the Micra is still in use, and a frequent companion for the last 20+ years, 9 of which were paired with a Leatherman Super Tool exclusively. They complemented each other perfectly. Now it has to share pocket time with a SAK Manager, as well as whatever other M-Ts in my rotation. Different times, different requirements.

I carried mine every single day for 2 years, but don't carry it often anymore because if made a big traditional shift.
 

KingMC

The Pun-isher
Super Mod
Moderator
Joined
Jul 25, 2014
Messages
11,484
But , wait ... ain't Kai a Japanese owned co. ? Maybe should be" off limits" like Ganzo ?

KAI is Japanese, but the KAI USA ltd subsidiary is based out of Oregon, and that's the company that owns Kershaw and ZT (and Shun), so still an American company.
 

jbmonkey

Platinum Member
Joined
Jun 9, 2011
Messages
11,740
im sticking to american made as american companies we could type for hours and and not cover them all......yep agree with buck 110 and vantage, also 722 is a pretty darn good knife for under 30 bucks.

also american made gerber gator folder in clip point. this is a great knife for the money as well.
 

HappyDaddy

Gold Member
Joined
Dec 21, 2013
Messages
1,985
Kershaw Strobe. I think it's been disco'd and is selling for under $20. You will not find a better value.
 
Joined
Feb 3, 2007
Messages
1,248
Kershaw 4035TIKVT Nura 3.5 Folding Knife

Sweet knife, ball bearing flipper for around $23
 
Joined
Jan 3, 2007
Messages
325
I like the Ontario Knife Company's Utilitac II. I have a tanto-pointed one. I like the blade shape and think it looks cool. Yeah, the handle is goofy looking, but it's surprisingly comfortable, and the thing is simply fun to cut up stuff with and, when not cutting up stuff, flick open and closed.
 

maximus83

Basic Member
Joined
Nov 7, 2011
Messages
2,092
But , wait ... ain't Kai a Japanese owned co. ? Maybe should be" off limits" like Ganzo ?

You are right. I do really like the inexpensive Kershaw designs, but they are technically a Japanese owned company and I didn't even realize that. I suppose somebody could quibble, lawyer-like, about the technicalities of whether the KAI USA subsidiary is a USA company, blah blah, but I'm not a lawyer, and your point is well taken. The parent company is Japanese. Here's what it says on their website:

https://kaiusaltd.com/about

"Kai USA Ltd. is part of the Kai Group, a more than 100-year-old company eheadquartered in Tokyo, Japan."


So, if we're going to exclude Kershaw as "USA owned", then my list in the OP reduces to the Buck and the Ontario options. Those are definitely still American-owned companies, last time I checked. Or have they sold out too? :)

Not to go on a political rant, but I can't resist saying one thing: We DESPERATELY need Congress to pass bipartisan tax reform that reduces the tax burden on families AND on business, to enable our business to be more competitive and brings jobs and manufacturing back to the US. Our business tax rates are among the highest in the first world, if not THE highest, and it costs us jobs and manufacturing going overseas. Knife and steel industries are a case in point. I would love to see it where great US companies could afford to manufacture great knives at EVERY price point from low to high, and be competitive.
 
Joined
Feb 18, 1999
Messages
5,917
So does this mean that a knife contracted to be made in China by an American company is preferable to an American-made knife made by a U.S.-based company owned by a Japanese parent company?

It would seem to me to be that the latter is actually more "American".

Jim
 
Joined
Apr 2, 2011
Messages
955
My wife gave me this one 25 years ago. It holds its own among my other knives, which cost way more. She sure picked good for me. One more reason I'm glad we're married.
giGO1RF.jpg
 
Top