It goes without saying that we are just like any other EDC guy...We love our knives! If we stop in our local sporting goods store we're most likely going to walk back out with a sweet new "gotta have it" blade. So naturally, we have a box full of knives. The majority of them are budget-friendly knives that were bought on impulse.
Some of these impulse purchased knives have been awesome, and some - eh, not so much. So, let your friends here at Recycled Firefighter do you a solid and narrow it down to our top 7 favorite "budget friendly" knives that we have picked up.
Even better, all of these knives can be had for under $100! Let's begin....
Top Classic Folding Knives:
1. Opinel No.9 Carbon Steel Folding Knife
Approximate Price: $15
This is quite possibly one of my personal favorite "non-tactical" knives to carry. The Opinel series of knives come in a variety of handy sizes. The No.9 specifically sports a 3 1/2" blade length and weighs in like a feather at 2oz! This disappears in your pocket, but is ready to work when you need it.
Keep in mind that the Opinel knives have a Carbon Steel blade. So maintenance is a necessity or these will rust on you. (I blued the blade on the one you're seeing above)
Best Use: Camping, Hiking, Whittling, Lightweight Everyday Carry
2. Victorinox SAK Cadet Alox (Silver) Folding Knife
Approximate Price: $25-30
Don't act surprised...You knew a Swiss Army Knife would make it's way into this list. The "Cadet Alox" by Victorinox is an absolute steal of a knife. This little guy comes in right at $30 from most retailers. But can sometimes be found for $25 on clearance at some big box stores.
The Cadet SAK is yet another knife that disappears in the pocket. But with this one i'm not talking just weight. It really is tiny, so I would recommend tying a little lanyard onto it for easy retrieval.
ProTip: It doesn't always make sense to drag out a "mean looking" tactical knife in public. Which is why the Cadet makes a great companion knife to a larger tactical blade. So, when that situation comes The Cadet is ready to work and has a non-threatening look.
Best Use: Camping, Outdoor Activities, Food Prep, Tinkering, Lightweight Everyday Carry
Top Non Tactical Folding Knives:
3. Benchmade Mini Griptilian Knife
Approximate Price: $80-90
This is the most expensive knife in this series, but rightfully so. The Benchmade Mini Griptilian is a fantastic little knife. It comes in a bookoo of different colors, can be configured with a straight or combo edge and has several different blade steels to choose from. If you're smart with where you shop this can be purchased for $80 or so...But you'll often times pay closer to $90+.
This is a knife that will proudly reside in your EDC, because it's so handy and easy to carry. With a blade length just under 3" and a weight of 2.8oz. you're not going to leave this at home.
Best Use: Hiking, Food Prep, General Use, Lightweight Everyday Carry
4. Kershaw 1550 Blackout Knife
Approximate Price: $50-60
This series of knives from Kershaw (1550 & 1560) have seen a whole lot of pocket time around here over the years! The standout features of this knife are: It's very lightweight for the type of knife that it is (3.5oz), it has superb steel quality (this thing stays extremely sharp) and the SpeedSafe opening system is among the smoothest in it's class.
If you're looking for a great assisted opening knife that is extremely sharp, this is the one we'd recommend. At a price tag of around $50, you won't find a better knife.
Best Use: All around useful knife, Lightweight Everyday Carry
5. Kershaw Shuffle Knife
Approximate Price: $13-18
The Kershaw Shuffle....This has to be the best value in small pocket knives. We typically see this knife at a price point of around $15 and it's widely available both online and in big-box stores.
This was one of those "impulse buy knives" that I spoke of earlier. I bought it on a whim because I needed a cheap little knock-around knife for the weekend. Well, low and behold - The knife has stayed in my carry rotation ever since. (It doesn't hurt that this little blade has a handy bottle opener and screwdriver built in as well)
Best Use: Tinkering, Around the house tasks, BBQ Blade, Lightweight Everyday Carry
Top Tactical Folding Knives:
6. Cold Steel Voyager Large Knife
Approximate Price: $50+
What can you say about the "Voyager" line of knives from Cold Steel? Well, they're huge, grippy, intimidating and a great value for a large tactical blade. Unfortunately the Voyager's are becoming a bit harder to get in the "Large" size. But if you can find one for $50 or so, I say grab it!
This knife is a perfect addition to your EDC if you're looking to have a great backup blade. The Trid-Ad locking mechanism that Cold Steel used for the Voyager lineup is amazing. The blade is incredible in every way and the handle's ergonomics are unlike any other knife you'll pick up.
Best Use: Large Tactical Blade, Emergency Blade, Heavier Everyday Carry
7. Kershaw Thermite Knife
Approximate Price: $25-35
At this point you're probably thinking we're all aboard the Kershaw train. Well, you're probably right. But we are riding that train for no other reason than they may a great quality knife at a very reasonable price. You can pretty much bank on it, that if you buy a Kershaw of any kind you're going to have a good quality knife on your hands.
So, with that said - Enter the Kershaw "Thermite" knife. This knife is a Rick Hinderer design with a beefy frame lock, has the famous Hinderer Stabilizer bar and sports a beautiful stonewashed 3 1/2" blade.
Hinderer Knives are known for their toughness, durability and great looking design. Kershaw hit a real home run with this Hinderer designed knife. And for $25-35 you won't be disappointed in this knife.
Best Use: Emergency Blade, Tactical Blade, Everyday Carry
What is your favorite EDC Folder under $100?
You have heard what our favorite EDC folders are, that come in under $100. So, now we want to hear from you!
Drop us a comment below and let us know your favorite(s). Or connect with us on Instagram with the hashtag #RecycledFirefighterEDC. Show off a picture of your favorite EDC Folding Knives and use our hashtag.