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Looking for budget EDC. <$30

Discussion in 'General Knife Discussion' started by jason41987, Jan 8, 2019.

  1. jason41987


    May 9, 2012
    I am looking for a new budget EDC knife. Budget because I do not like to put a big investment into something that is fairly easily lost or stolen. So I am setting the budget to $30. I would prefer a blade over 3" and under 4". No assist (legality reasons). And preferably something that could be customized. My idea of customization is probably different from most peoples. Most wouldn't consider the 112 slim customizable, but as long as i could drill out the rivets, replace the scales, and replace the rivets with screws, I'd consider it customizable. And being easy to clean and maintain is a plus.

    My preferred lock type (if going with a locking knife) are lockbacks.

    Primary uses would be cutting open packages, maybe some food prep, and outdoor activities.

    Here is the list of options I am looking at so far.

    Opinel No 9
    Kabar Dozier
    Buck Bantam
    Buck 112 slim
    Cold Steel Working Man
    Case Sodbuster

    You get the idea.
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2019
  2. marcinek


    Jan 9, 2007
    You like lockbacks?

    Get the Kabar Dozier Folding Hunter.
    115Italian, Bad Ninja and 19-3ben like this.
  3. 19-3ben

    19-3ben Gold Member Gold Member

    Jul 27, 2015
    Any of those work well. Another common recommendation is the Ontario Rat 1 or Rat 2, but you prefer lockback and those are liner locks.

    I'd also look at the Buck 722 Spitfire.
    Mo2 likes this.
  4. kvaughn

    kvaughn Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 28, 2005
    Kabar Dozier. One of the best buys for the money.--KV
    Bad Ninja likes this.
  5. 19-3ben

    19-3ben Gold Member Gold Member

    Jul 27, 2015
    I recently got one. It's not going to win any awards for being beautifully crafted but it locks up dead solid, and feels like it would last a lifetime of regular use. I really like it for a budget blade. I would definitely recommend and at around $20, it's a very solid value.
    marcinek and Bad Ninja like this.
  6. marcinek


    Jan 9, 2007
    I own the Large version...not sure if they still make it. I love it. Great lock (cut a hole in drywall with it once); decent-edge-holding/easy to sharpen AUS8, near full flat grind, classic/functional Loveless/Dozier drop point, comfy handle.

    It's an inexpensive knife designed by someone who knows how to make a cutting tool.

    You want to cut stuff? Can't beat it.
    115Italian, JoHnYKwSt and 19-3ben like this.
  7. Bad Ninja

    Bad Ninja

    Dec 19, 2018
    The Kabar Dozier is probably the best value of the list, but the CS working man and Case Sodbuster are solid knives as well.
    I had a Buck Bantam and hated it.
    I gifted it to a friend.
    Felt unbalanced and cheaply constructed to me.
    Opinels are fantastic knives too but a different animal from the others listed.
  8. Angus McGunnigle

    Angus McGunnigle

    Jan 1, 2013
    Skyline XL on bladehq.
  9. cbrstar

    cbrstar Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 7, 2015
    Byrd makes some decent stuff in that price range.
    clearkevin likes this.
  10. jason41987


    May 9, 2012
    What about the plastic grip bucks as a US made alternative to the Doziers?
  11. Roamad


    Feb 1, 2016
    My vote: Ontario Rat 2 with a D2 blade, about $35. Liner lock. But it's customizable and tremendous value for money.
    prepsheriff and rje58 like this.
  12. lickback


    Oct 9, 2018
    If I had to buy a 30 dollar knife then it would be the rat 1.
    prepsheriff, rje58 and clearkevin like this.
  13. jason41987


    May 9, 2012
    Is there anything on my list anyone would eliminate for any reason?
  14. sabre cat

    sabre cat Basic Member Basic Member

    Jul 4, 2014
    Another vote for the KaBar Dozier. Look at the 4065 model. No thumb stud.
  15. marchone

    marchone Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 13, 2013
    Kershaw Injection
    teudy likes this.
  16. NoF


    Oct 15, 2018
    The Opinel is touchy when it comes to moisture (both rust on the blade and swelling of the handle), can't really recommend it for outdoors use where you might get it wet or not have the means to thoroughly clean it after food prep.

    I'd also avoid Byrd, they have cheaper versions of Spyderco's Delica/Endura line but their quality is underwhelming even at their low price point.
  17. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 20, 2005
    I don't believe the Kabar Dozier Folding Hunter has more than a 3" blade. But it is the one I would choose and have chosen it in the past. I buy them, fondle them a while and give away to kids I know that need a knife.
    JudasGoat likes this.
  18. clearkevin

    clearkevin Gold Member Gold Member

    Oct 7, 2014
    I think the Byrd Raven is around that price and the new version with BD1 is a huge win,
    Earl1 likes this.
  19. pinnah


    Jul 28, 2011
    I've owned several Bucklite Max and a Bantam. All of them developed blade play in less than a year's use. In talking with Buck's warranty department, hard cutting can put significant pressure on the blade pivot pin and lock bar pin and, over time, this pressure can deform the relatively soft plastic material. Given what I do with my knives, they advised me to stick to their metal framed lock backs.

    I've found their metal framed lock backs to be much more durable and on par with other lock backs in terms of durability. IMO, they are at their best as hunting knives, as they were designed, or as EDC knives (if you like their looks). But, any metal frame lock back will fail a "drop test" by cops eager to show that you're carrying an assisted knife.
  20. jason41987


    May 9, 2012
    Aah. Assisted and automatic knife laws. Making benign knives illegal in places where I legally carry guns. If only laws made sense.

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