While it is easy to argue the benefits of carrying a knife with you – if you’re not already, you really should consider it – you might find it a more difficult task to explain to someone why you would spend anymore than you absolutely have to on one. The truth is, like with most other things, the price of a knife is not necessarily an indication of its quality or utility. On the other hand, a cheap knockoff is almost always going to be a disappointment and potentially a danger to whomever is using it. Sure, you don’t necessarily need to spend top dollar to get a quality knife, but there are definitely notable quality differences between budget blades and designer folders.
While you could easily get by with something that doesn’t empty out your wallet, chances are at some point it will fail and you’ll find yourself needing to purchase a new one. High-end everyday carry knives are not a quick solution, they’re an investment (a worthwhile one, in our opinion) that will, with a little care, easily outlast even the best budget blade out there. And if you’ve already got the knife collecting bug, you’ll probably end up with a taste for the finer things sooner or later. So we’ve collected 15 of the best over $100 everyday carry pocket knives available on the market in the following list.
Böker Plus Kwaiken
Based upon old Japanese style blades, the Lucas Burnley-designed Kwaiken from Böker Plus is a beautiful folding knife that fuses historical roots with modern design. The 3.5″ straight edge blade is constructed of super high quality VG-10 steel and folds into a titanium scaled handle that offers excellent grip and durability. With an overall weight of 5.4 ounces and a total length of 8 3/8 inches, this liner lock style flipper folding knife is an excellent everyday carry blade for anyone who doesn’t want to sacrifice functionality for style. It also comes with Böker’s limited lifetime warranty.
Spyderco Paramilitary 2
One of Spyderco’s most sought after folding knives, the Paramilitary 2 has earned its reputation for being a highly functional and reliable pocket folder. Made in the USA from CPM S30V blade steel and featuring a G10 handle, this aggressive looking pocket knife deploys via an improved bushing pivot system, features a 4-way customizable pocket clip, and is fitted with Spyderco’s proprietary compression lock – which is like a fusing of a back lock and a liner lock. The blade also features a non-reflective Diamond-Like Coating for extra corrosion resistance and durability and thumb ramp and choil jimping for improved grip.
A. G. Russell Folding Gents Hunter II
While A.G. Russell and his company are well known for making high quality knives for every occasion, few stand out quite as much as their Gents Hunter II. This drop point folder features a blade made from 9Cr13CoMoV steel – with a nail nick for ease of deployment – and has a length of 3 5/8 inches. The handle is a combination of carbon fiber scales, stainless steel liners, and a back lock housed in its base. It also features a reversible tip-up pocket clip, weighs just 3.2 ounces, and has a rating of 58-60 on the Rockwell scale.
James Brand The County Knife
Rarely do we stumble upon things that boast the perfect fusion of style and substance, so when we saw the James Brand County Knife, we were understandably taken aback. Based on the styling of old-school camping folders, this slipjoint style pocket knife is comprised of a straight back Sandvik steel blade and a handle of Ebony wood and 416 stainless steel. And although it is notably smaller than your typical folding knife – a 2.5″ blade, 3.5″ handle, and a total weight of just 1.9 ounces – it is still a well-balanced, functional, and durable pocket blade.
While the Griptilian family might be Benchmade’s most iconic collection of folding knives, they are not the only blades of note in the brand’s portfolio. And the Adamas is a perfect example of Benchmade’s overall excellence across the board. With a drop point blade made of D2 tool steel, a handle made out of G10, and the brand’s proprietary AXIS locking system, this 8.7 inch knife is MOLLE compatible (so you can attach it to your favorite tactical bag) and, though it feels light, is certainly a workhorse blade. And a portion of the proceeds from every knife sold are donated to Three Rangers and to the Navy SEAL Foundation. This high-end tactical folder is an excellent option for anyone who wants to add some ruggedness to their carry.
Emerson Sheep Dog
Another example of excellence in a rugged and tactical package, Emerson knives are well known for their resilience through even the toughest use – and the Sheep Dog is no exception. This beefy knife – which measures in at a length of 8.4 inches overall – features triple options for deployment: the brand’s signature blade back wave, a flipper, and dual ambidextrous thumb studs. It’s also equipped with Emerson’s first ball-bearing system, making the deployment incredibly smooth regardless of the method chosen. This G10 and 154CM blade steel knife has a Rockwell rating of 57-59 and is nearly unmatched in overall toughness.
Zero Tolerance ZT 0095BW Titanium Flipper
This manual-open flipper-style folding knife from Zero Tolerance is easily one of the brand’s best designed knives in regards to uniqueness and recognizability. And it’s composed of some very high-quality materials to match. The harpoon-style blade is built from S35VN steel and features a tungsten DLC coating, adding to its overall quality and resilience. The handle is made from titanium and houses a frame lock with a hardened lock bar and a reversible clip. With an overall length of 8.4 inches, this tactical pocket knife is a seriously tough knife that can stand up to whatever you can throw at it.
Don’t let the artistic look of this knife fool you – though it may look good enough to want to put it in a display case, this knife is built to be used just the same as any other everyday carry blade. The 3.5 inch clip point blade is made from San Mai steel with a satin non-reflective finish. The handle, which houses the brand’s proprietary ARC Lock technology, is made from titanium and red-finished jigged bone. It also features a reversible deep-carry pocket clip, is just over 8 inches overall, and weighs just 4.5 ounces. And, as a display of their pride in their work, SOG offers a limited lifetime warranty against manufacturing defects.
Strider Knives Model PT
A small company out of Escondido, California, Strider Knives is nonetheless an impressive brand with exceptional offerings. One such offering is this, their Model PT. With simple minimalist styling that’s far from simplistic, this knife is comprised of either a G10 or titanium handle with a frame lock and tip-up pocket clip and a superb CPM-S30V steel drop point or tanto style blade. With a thumbhole for deployment, an extended choil and finger grip, and jimping along both the back of the blade and the handle, this 2.5 ounce knife is built as tough as nails and is guaranteed to last through extensive use. And with an overall length of just 6.5 inches, this knife is the perfect sized addition to your everyday carry gear set.
DPx Gear HEST/F
With it’s strikingly appealing yet disjointed styling, the HEST/F is something of an anomaly in the knife world – equal parts modern sleekness and good ol’ fashioned tactical brawn. The blade is made from stonewashed TiCN PVD coated Sleipner steel and features a built-in bottle opener, for those times in-between the cuts. The handle, which is made from layered shredded carbon fiber, features a 7/64″ hex socket and a tungsten carbide glass breaker on its base, lending some multitool utility to this knife. It also houses a grade 5 6AL-4V titanium alloy frame lock and has an overall length of 7.63 inches.
GiantMouse GM 1
We get pretty excited about the products of capable knife designers, so when we found out that two of our favorites paired up and started their own brand, you can imagine our elation. GiantMouse is a collaboration between Jens Anso and Jesper Voxnaes, both excellent craftsman in their own right, and so their GM 1 is everything you might hope for and more. The 3.3″ blade is made from N690 Cobalt high-performance powder steel and it can deploy from the handle via a ball-bearing system with either the thumb hole or the large flipper. The 6AL4V titanium bead blasted handle houses a beefy frame lock and a tip-up pocket clip. All in all this knife is as understated as it is functional.
Cold Steel 62RM 4-Max
Designed with the intention of maximizing the performance and strength of a folding knife with a blade limit of 4 inches, this Andrew Demko-designed knife might just be the toughest one Cold Steel has ever offered. 100% made in the USA, this knife’s extra-wide drop point blade is made from CPM20cv steel that boasts a near perfect balance of both edge retention and durability. Contrasting in length to the blade, the 6 inch ergonomically curved handle is made from super durable, yet lightweight G-10 and houses titanium liners and spacers and the knife’s reliable back lock.
Reate Knives Wave
Reate is a relatively young brand that we have grown quite fond of, thanks both to the brand’s excellent cost-to-quality ratio and their unabashed pursuit of big bold knives. Designed by Solo Jack, the Wave isn’t the brand’s largest folder, but it might be their most unique one. The 3.375″ blade is crafted from Bohler M390 steel, has a rating of 60-62 on the Rockwell scale, and extends from a 6AL-4V titanium handle – with titanium hardware – that is triple-shade anodized and stonewashed. It might seem that no knife could be both this beautiful and this tough, but Reate has managed to pull it off.
Chris Reeve Large Sebenza 21
The cream of the crop, Chris Reeve’s line of Sebenza knives are widely believed to be the ultimate in the everyday carry world. While a first glance might lead one to assume that there’s not much to this knife, a closer look reveals that this is the result of the masterful paring down of a blade to its basest essentials. The slim 3.625″ blade is crafted from Crucible S35VN steel – one of the absolute best blade steels available – and it extends from the 4.793″ 6Al4V titanium handle via a blue anodized thumb stud. It also features the original Integral Lock – an extended frame lock slotted deep in the handle. Get your hands on one and you’ll see why it’s at the top of every knife fanatic’s list.
Hinderer Knives Half-Track
Rick Hinderer is renowned in the knife world for his award winning designs and signature style. Though this knife, the Half-Track, isn’t the most imposing blade available on the market, it boasts a number of merits that make it far more worthy than many other larger blades. The tumble-finished titanium handle features a hefty frame lock and a removable pocket clip. It also has no-slip jimping at its base, which matches with the thumb ramp jimping at the base of the back of the blade. The 2.75″ subtle clip point blade is made from CPM-S35VN steel, features a flat grind, and is satin finished. Overall and despite its stoutness, this flipper was built to impress.