Recommendation? What's your favorite ~3" folder?

Discussion in 'General Knife Discussion' started by Smaug, Sep 25, 2020.

  1. Smaug

    Smaug Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 30, 2003
    I'm finding that 3" is a good size for me. It's almost always* big enough to cut up fruit when out and about. (which I do a lot of) but small enough to have good control of the tip, when needed.
    * cutting the cheeks off of a mango takes more than a 3" blade...

    Here's what I have so far in that realm and why I'm still looking after acquiring them:
    • Spyderco Delica - Leaves the index and middle fingers crowded. Feels like this is one I should always keep, since I had one before, sold it, then bought another one two years ago. ...or I might give this to my girlfriend
    • Spyderco Native - Although it is ergonomically great and the blade is about 3", it doesn't have a lot of cutting edge, due to the finger choil.
    • Steel Will Modus (3.3") - The pocket-pecker irritates
    • Steel Will Mini Cutjack (3") - Pocket-pecker + lost 1/2" of cutting edge due to choil
    • Cold Steel Grik (2.8") - Thumb stud is really in the way for all slicing; can't find a small enough allen wrench to remove it
    • CRKT Mah Jouneyer (2.7") - A bit too small, lost cutting edge due to choil
    • Spydiechef (3.3") - A bit on the large side; nearly perfect otherwise.
    • Spyderco Alastair Phillips (3.6") - Large, but nearly perfect otherwise.
    • Victorinox Trekker OHO (3.4") - Bulky to carry; soft blade steel; love the tools though!
    I just ordered a Spyderco UKPK; looks like this might be perfect.

    Almost ordered a Benchmade 550-1 Mini Grip with the Spydie hole, but didn't want to drop the $178 for it. There's one other Mini Grip with a the Spydie Hole, but I'm not convinced it's worth $100+ either. Plus, the checkering on the FRN versions is a pocket-ripper. (maybe get one and sand down some of the checkering under the pocket clip?)

    What have you got in a 3" blade that might do the trick for me?
  2. jmgruber

    jmgruber Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 27, 2018
    I ordered the new Spyderco RockJumper - it looks to solve the Delica issue and have a full length blade.

    Are you opposed to thumbstuds?
  3. K.O.D.

    K.O.D. Sanity Not Included Platinum Member

    Aug 21, 2013
    It's my favorite size too. Not sure your price range.

    Here's what I have between 2.75" and 3.25."

    Brian Tighe Twist Tighe OTF $290
    WE Deacon $250
    WE/Ferrum Forge Massdrop Gent Select $120
    Brous Bionic (discontinued, don't recommend)
    Matt Bailey Model 2 Geek edition $350
    Spyderco Para 3 Spy27
    Spyderco Domino ~$200
    Heretic Manticore E $280

    I actually don't own anything over 3.6"
  4. jlauffer

    jlauffer Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 11, 2016
    Carry the Grik and just happened to have a hex wrench small enough, so I tried it without the thumb ramp and used the hole...worked fine, but did end up putting it back on. But with or without the thumb ramp, the location is a bit off IMO...they should have put it closer to the handle end of the blade.

    Couple other CS you could look at are the Code 4 and Air Lite, but they are a bit larger at 3.5"
    Smaug likes this.
  5. jmgruber

    jmgruber Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 27, 2018
    @Smaug - left a message on your profile
  6. Lee D

    Lee D Basic Member Basic Member

    May 27, 2013
    3”-ish is my sweet spot as well and the Wasp (2.88”) has gotten me to the point that I almost have to force myself to carry anything else in my modest collection.

  7. Smaug

    Smaug Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 30, 2003
    I like a bit of belly; it's better for food, but it looks great otherwise!

    Only because the stud usually gets in the way of slicing. (Benchmade does a fair job at minimizing this; I have an Osbourne)

    I'd say $125 and under, but would go a bit higher for something that's perfect.

    Thanks for the experience on the Grik. I'll save my efforts then, instead of looking for a tiny allen wrench.
    I have a Code 4; love it! (but the thumb stud gets in the way of slicing, so that the extra blade length doesn't end up helping much)
    jlauffer likes this.
  8. Tx308

    Tx308 Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 30, 2014
    Hogue Deka - I love the 0.09" blade, fantastic slicer

    Kershaw Dividend - Thin blade good blade shape and the D2 version can still be had. Pick one up quick though I hear they're discontinued. Wish I would have picked up an M390 version when they were available.

    Ontario Rat 2 - Go for the D2 version. I have given a few away to non knife guys to replace junk knives.
    woodysone, gazz98 and Smaug like this.
  9. jaseman


    Jul 28, 2016
    Was gonna mention the Modus, but you already have one. Flipper tab doesn’t bother me at all, but if it does you, maybe try grinding it down to work for you.

    Kershaw Leek could be a good alternative. A bit on the short side at just barely 3”, but it’s a hell of a slicer. Thumb stud is well out of the way when in use, and the flipper tab is pretty unobtrusive. It’s super thin in pocket, and very discreet. If you haven’t tried one at some point, I personally think everyone should at least once.

    Lots of Spydie’s on your list, but have you tried a Manix 2? It’s become my personal favorite. Full flat grind, 3.375” edge, beefy but easily capable of delicate cuts, and probably one of the strongest locks out there. It’s a bit wide in the pocket, but not thick like the your Trekker, if you know what I mean.

    Or if you’re willing, there’s always fixed blades....
  10. Shorttime


    Oct 16, 2011
    I'm going to go off the rails with my suggestions, because free advice is worth what you paid for it (and my "favorites" are way different from yours)!

    QSP Worker


    Camillus Electrician


    I've had my eye on the A. G. Russell Medium Barlow. Maybe for Christmas.

  11. Dadpool

    Dadpool Gold Member Gold Member

    May 18, 2015
    This is where I land, too. Should come in under your budget and offers both a conventional drop point and a rather unconventional compound wharnie blade.

    The Bugout is also a good slicer in this size and price range, albeit a bit longer.

    woodysone, Smaug and Lee D like this.
  12. FLMacKnife

    FLMacKnife Basic Member Basic Member

    Sep 24, 2020
    Gerber LST. Still US made, super light, great slicer, lanyard hole, and won't break the bank. They used to make sprint runs with different handles, haven't seen that in a long time, but if you look around might find some.
    woodysone and Smaug like this.
  13. lieferung


    May 24, 2016
    The PM2 and Manix 2 are both around 3" of actual cutting edge. Great sized knives for a myriad of purposes.
    woodysone, jumpstat and Smaug like this.
  14. gazz98

    gazz98 Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 3, 2008
    My first thought was the Ontario Rat 2 in D2 as well.

    If the Delica is a little crowded for your fingers, you could try the Endela. The blade length is a little misleading due to the finger choil.

    Buck 112 Ranger Pro in S30V for $90?
    woodysone likes this.
  15. marchone

    marchone Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 13, 2013
    My favorite <3-inch folder is a custom Laconico EZC. MBK offers a very reasonable full flat grind version of it.
    woodysone likes this.
  16. Smaug

    Smaug Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 30, 2003
    Not sure I like the angular look of the Dividend, but the Rat 2 in D2 is on my list, thanks!

    I had a special edition blue one, years back. Never had a problem with it, but I was always afraid I'd round off the needle point during sharpening. How has that worked out for you? I also didn't like that the assisted opening has a lock, and if it's not locked, I'd be afraid to castrate myself through my pocket liner.

    Got one, love it! I carry it sometimes and I haven't got a knife that feels better in the hand. It's big enough and light enough, but it is very wide in the pocket. I'm hanging onto this one for sure!

    Don't like that sheepsfoot blade; no tip at all. Beautiful knife though, esp. the G10 handle!

    I've got a vintage one of these. It's been rode hard and put away wet, the blade is stained brown/dark gray. God knows what stories it has to tell. I like this because my grandpa had a generic one that was his favorite EDC when I was a lad. He beat the hell out of his too. I wouldn't dare use mine to cut fruit; I'd probably get poisoned.

    That's a beauty! I like the added lock.

    A bit small. I had one, years ago. Good little knife, as you say. Doesn't look like it would be good in the hand, but it is, with that sharp checkering up near the blade. That is a modern classic, I think I'm going to get one.
    woodysone and Shorttime like this.
  17. dirc


    Jan 31, 2018
    for me, hands down the 3" blade on kershaw leek - it's 14c28n goodness in a tiny lightweight package

    thin blade, excellent for slicing, and the very fine tip, wharn blade is imho unsurpassed for food prep

    (they even have a high end copper scale version with cpm-154 steel)

    (if you want a manual folder, then opinel is amazing - the blade is thinner than the kershaw leek)
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2020
    woodysone likes this.
  18. Smaug

    Smaug Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 30, 2003
    Endela - thought about it. Decided it's too much $$ for what it is. (90 bucks!?) Maybe I'll see one in person and change my mind...
    Buck 112 Ranger Pro - I don't trust Buck quality any more, after my last couple purchases from them.

    Not made any more, it seems.
  19. Smaug

    Smaug Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 30, 2003
    I've got an Opinel, and you're right about it; it's unsurpassed as a slicer. Might get another Leek soon; I kinda miss mine that I sold. I don't remember the blade being 3" long though...
  20. Shorttime


    Oct 16, 2011
    A little dirt never hurt ya' Smaug!

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