Knives are an essential tool to have available for everyday use. When purchasing a knife, you need to consider purchasing something that is durable, with a good cutting edge and a safe method of storage.Unfortunately, many knives on the market suitable for everyday tasks are not within the budget of the average customer. There are a few manufacturers, however, who have managed to craft quality knives at a fraction of the price without compromising the materials or the craftsmanship of the knife.
The knife selection featured in this post includes both fixed blade and folding knives, for everyday use and for survival or tactical purposes. While it is very difficult to find a quality knife for under $200, this list provides examples of economical knives for almost any budget.
Kershaw has been making knives for decades. They have a reputation for creating award-winning folding knives that are not only durable but also include their well-known SpeedSafe technology. This technology has helped them to create lightning quick street legal foldable knives. More than that, Kershaw have been able to find the perfect balance between affordability and durability without sacrificing the quality of the knife.
The Kershaw Cryo, designed by Richard Hinderer, is one of their most popular models. The stainless-steel construction adds weight to the frame, making a small knife feel like a big knife. The blade is constructed from 8Cr13MoV Steel and measures 3.25” long, and it performs well for everyday cutting tasks. The flipper allows the blade to spring out quickly with little effort. A very affordable knife that gives you value for your money.
CRKT Robert Carter Jettison
Colombia River Knife and Tool company is becoming one of the biggest knife producers in the world. They use innovative design features and new manufacturing technology to produce knives that are affordable and effective. They also have a reputation for collaborating with some of the best knife makers in the industry, such as Ken Onion, and the designer of the Jettison, Robert Carter.
The CRKT Jettison frame lock folding knife is lightweight, compact, and perfect for everyday carry. With a blade length of only 3.25”, it is legal to carry it in most states. The blade is constructed from 8Cr13MoV steel, sourced in China, which keeps its edge well, but is also easy to sharpen. The wharncliff blade shape makes it handy for most everyday utility tasks, and it also features a lanyard loop for portability.
Spyderco is renowned for their Little Big Knives, that is, small knives that perform as well as bigger knives; the Spyderco Cricket is no exception. Its diminutive size and unique shape can be misleading, but the Cricket packs a punch when it comes to its blade.
The innovative reverse S-shape blade measures only 2”, but has multiple cutting styles and excels at pull cuts. The blade is constructed from VG-10 Japanese steels, one of the highest-grade materials on the market. The handle has a hollow, ergonomic design that is surprisingly easy to grip, even for people with larger hands.
When folded, the knife carries right-handed tip-down with a pocket clip that is also useful for other purposes, such as a money clip. This makes it not only functional but fashionable.
Ontario Knives Blackbird SK-5
The Ontario Blackbird SK-5 is designed by Paul Scheiter with the express intention of being as simple as possible. The simplicity of the design is more than compensated for in the quality of the materials.
The fixed blade survival knife is constructed from 154cm tempered steel attached to an indestructible micarta handle with a full tang and three Allen screws. The blade is easy to sharpen and holds its edge perfectly even during heavy-duty survival tasks. Not only is it functional, but it is also beautiful and comes with a nylon MOLLE compatible belt sheath.
ESEE Knives Candiru
The ESEE Candiru is as vicious as the catfish for which it was named. This small, compact neck knife is close to indestructible, compact, and, above all, functional. It has a blade length of 2”, and the entire knife is constructed from 1095 high carbon non-stainless steel.
This means the steel is incredibly tough, but it does need to be kept clean and oiled to protect it from rust. The minimalist design emphasizes function over form, and the Candiru is suitable for heavy cutting and prying tasks you may encounter outdoors.
Many knife users find it difficult to justify the expensive cost of some knives available on the market, but they still want to purchase a knife that is durable and hard working. Luckily, there are numerous affordable knives available that provide value for your money without compromising on the make or the materials used.