Apology to OP for exceeding thread parameters ! But IMO Cold Steel truly deserves top billing for any list of "modern hard use folders " . Especially if cost / value is a factor .
Ultimate Hunter for sure and the AD-10 even more so . The 4-Max probably deserves the best of class for extreme hard use folder . The "Scout" version being much cheaper and very high value , but less premium materials .
I don't claim that Spyderco , ZT , and even Benchmade have nothin' to offer for hard use , but they tend to be very pricey for what you get compared to Cold Steel .
For what you pay for most other brands (or less) you can get the best extreme hard use folders from Cold Steel that will far out perform them . IMHO , YMMV !
I agree. Cold Steel arguably provides the most value for your money in the premium knife market. If one factors in “hard use” the most value proposition isn t even arguable.