World's Toughest Folding Knives

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Jun 12, 2010
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What are your guys thoughts on the ZT 0560 ?
Also to the op are we talking production folders
Or customs or everything in between ? What ever
The case I'd like to throw Daniel fairly folders in the
Mix I don't have one but want one and have not heard
Any negative feedback about them !

Frc505
 
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Jul 28, 2011
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Not if you're cutting with it...

This has not been my experience.

Most lockbacks that I've owned (from a variety of brands) develop noticeable "lock rock" if used for hard cutting.

Many liner/frame locks that I've seen and handled have developed either vertical play or poor lock up due to wear and tear on a riveted or screwed stop pin.

IMO, most discussion of lock strength badly miss the point by focusing on the lock's ability to withstand strong closing forces. The more common issue is that many locks aren't designed to withstand large cutting forces.

Nor do many discussions focus on the ability of the mechanism to safely operate when fouled with dirt or sand.

There are many reasons to dislike the Opinel lock ring design but it's amazingly strong in terms of its ability to withstand strong cutting forces and to work when fouled.
 

K.O.D.

Sanity Not Included
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Strongest lock--Cold Steel's Tri-Ad.
Steel is very, very open to interpretation. For "toughness" Crucible's CPM-M4 and CPM=3V are very good.

And its not just about the individual steel. It has to do with blade shape, grind, spine thickness, etc.

The steel choice is always going to be a balance. To gain a desirable trait, you are going to compromise another trait. For example, a steel with very high wear resistance is going to compromise ease of sharpening. A steel with high impact resistance ("toughness") is going to compromise corrosion resistance. Etc, etc.

Most of my folder usage is light to medium duty. I prefer FFG, drop or leaf blades. Spyderco's CBBL or Compression, otherwise liner locks. No frame locks.
 

hookahhabib

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Feb 24, 2011
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Lots of good suggestions so far! Rather than waste time picking apart your question and terminilogy, I'm going to assume that by toughest folder you basically are looking for a knife that will handle senseless abuse and the occasional (or frequent) non-knife task, while also not being so thickly ground that it doesn't actually cut. Here are 3 options in 3 very different price ranges, all of which i own or owned at one point...i will add that all of these knives run on washers which I personally think are way tougher than any bearings I've ever seen:

ZT0550 - one of the toughest, most bomb proof knives you can buy at its price point and also great overall quality...could benefit from a reprofiled edge but it will kind of cut well enough straight from the factory. I chopped with mine, pryed with it, and had full trust in its ability to get me through anything by the time I gifted it to a friend who actually needed a good knife. This is one of the few knives that I bought a second time and am pretty sure I will buy a third time as well. Current equivalent ZT offerings that feel and should be as tough, but also more exoensive: ZT0620 and ZT0630

In the $400 range you could go for something like the Dervish Navajo midtech (top knife in the photo):
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My Dervish Navajo midtech has taken more of a beating than any other folder I've ever owned (including batoned through hardwood with the lock engaged) and all it has ever needed is to have the pivot re-tightened. I completely trust this knife and its lock geometry...this is a forever keeper.

Lastly, in a slightly higher price range and maybe the overall toughest folding knife design I've ever seen, any integral made by Dalibor Bergam, in this case, the Sirius:
36c6cee2ee8772260aea2f6f9077ae55.jpg

b1ee8aa1f8fe7850979f206be94aa58f.jpg

cd5374add03eebfd99e605e799cd102a.jpg


The beautiful reality is that there are sooo many tough options, and in so many size and budgets: spyderco Techno, Spyderco Tuff, any Strider, to name a few more...
 
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The zt 0550 is pretty tuff. Theres a video of a Russian (?) Dude beating the snot out of one for like 20 minutes. Held up better than the other knives in his similar vids. Convinced me to get one before they sold out from dealers when discontinued. Not only tuff but buttery smooth. I can spydie flick it open with the blade stops and the blade falls with a slight shake when unlocked. Love that knife!

From Israel, He got a user name in BD "vininull"
 
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Yeah, by the nature off the beast, with the fewest moving parts and design, the balisong has the title. A well made bali will outlast any other folding knife under harsh conditions. It's sort of in a class by itself.

I don't think there is any Bali on the planet that can match Demko's 4 MAX. The hinge pins would eventually rip out of the handle.


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I don't think there is any Bali on the planet that can match Demko's 4 MAX. The hinge pins would eventually rip out of the handle.


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+1 on that. It's all about the amount of materials. Check out this video where CS throws their folders. One of the is the Paradox model, which is as strong as a balisong, but its handle broke in the middle of the test while the rest of the triad lock models were still going strong.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vVWkE3OsSqs
 
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In my tests balisongs have been very week because the pivot pins usually fail. However while the overall strength is low compared to a other locks they are very very reliable because there is no "lock" to slip out.
 

SALTY

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Would think the BM Adamas would receive (and deserve) honorable mention in this thread.
 
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In my tests balisongs have been very week because the pivot pins usually fail. However while the overall strength is low compared to a other locks they are very very reliable because there is no "lock" to slip out.

What kinds of tests Andrew?
 

hookahhabib

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In my tests balisongs have been very week because the pivot pins usually fail. However while the overall strength is low compared to a other locks they are very very reliable because there is no "lock" to slip out.
This makes sense to me. Typically small pivots, with small washers. A balisong is not the first thing that comes to my mind when I'm thinking about a tough folding knife.. kinda curious as to the logic behind people thinking they're tough. I do love a nice balisong though.... :cool:
 
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This makes sense to me. Typically small pivots, with small washers. A balisong is not the first thing that comes to my mind when I'm thinking about a tough folding knife.. kinda curious as to the logic behind people thinking they're tough. I do love a nice balisong though.... :cool:

Well, what do you mean by tough and how do you test for toughness? Hanging weight test? Spine whack? Prying?
 

hookahhabib

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Well, what do you mean by tough and how do you test for toughness? Hanging weight test? Spine whack? Prying?

At this point, with almost 4 full pages of responses, I'm pretty sure that we have already established the criteria for toughness and what we and OP mean...if you're really wanting more clear criteria and aren't just playing the internetforumquestionalllinguisticsandsemanticsgame then see my first response in this thread and you'll find my criteria.

Back on page 1 your responded with the following:

Well..balisong.

Between your response, along with the other mentions of balisongs (one of which seems like it might be more tongue-in-cheek than anything else) no reasoning or criteria are provided, so I am genuinely curious as to where you're coming from with this opinion as I have never considered a balisong when contemplating tough knives that can take a beating...
 

stabman

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kinda curious as to the logic behind people thinking they're tough.

The design has the potential to be very tough.
If you beef up the pivot pins, then all of a sudden you have something that will be strong.

Most balisong knives out there are decidedly not tough, but it would be very easy for someone to make a damn tough one. :)
 
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