The Best Premium Blades: EDC Knives For Gun Owners

    Earlier, TFB’s Editor In Chief Pete had a look at The Best Budget Blades: EDC Knives For Gun Carriers. There were a lot of comments and feedback which encouraged us to continue with similar articles.

    We are fully aware that the name and focus of this blog is Firearms, but we do take the liberty to widen the subject from time to time.

    I am pretty sure that within the reach of you and your firearm there is a knife or another sharp object around, and this is what it is all about.

    To help you do a bit of window shopping here at TFB, to tickle your desires. Or perhaps hint someone that it’s soon going to be Christmas.

    What we can afford and what you and I think is “cheap” or “expensive” will always differ.

    I’ve used quite a lot of cash to build a knife collection (i.e. “investment”) over the years. But I’m only a beginner and most of my knives are “cheap” or even “really cheap” as soon as I start to compare what other collectors have.

    Let the show begin, here are the selected ones in Alphabetical order:

    The Best Premium Blades: EDC Knives For Gun Carriers:

    All of these TFB EDC Knives were selected based on the following characteristics:

    • Folding or Assisted Opening with a lock.
    • Around $250 – $600 street price.
    • TFB Staff recommendations. They were just allowed a higher budget this time.


    Benchmade Knives – Benchmade Nakamura or Benchmade Osborne Carbon Fiber – 320 USD

    I have the Nakamura, with a serrated blade. I absolutely love this knife, and I think it would get on my Top 3 list if I ever had to make one. Small, stylish, yet able to get most jobs done. The AXIS lock is easy to operate with one hand if needed.

    Approved by the author.


    Benchmade Nakamura. Picture from Benchmade.

    The first Nakamura AXIS® brings the best of both worlds: detailed design and functional strength. Blade Finish: Finish Satin Blade Steel: CPM-S90V (59-61) Handle Material: Contoured Carbon Fiber (Black) Made in USA.

    The only reason why I didn’t buy the Osborne below is because I have the Nakamura. I see the Benchmade Osborne come out of a lot of shooter’s pockets at the range.


    Benchmade Osborne Carbon Fiber. Picture by Benchmade.

    Highly regarded as one of the most quintessential EDCs of all time, the 940 and 943 are slim, stylish and after over a decade have performed in just about any situation imaginable. Made in USA.

    Chris Reeve Knives – Inkosi Natural Canvas Micarta – 550 USD

    A knife from Chris Reeve will probably pair with your costume better than your 5.11 Tactical outfit, but would be an object of high value in any pocket really. A real gentleman’s knife. If your best friend is about to have an Anniversary or get married this might be the thing to get as a gift.

    Chris Reeve Knives – Inkosi Natural Canvas Micarta

    Canvas micarta is an extremely durable fibrous material designed to bloom when in contact with moisture, making the Inkosi with micarta an exceptional choice for an every day carry. Available with a drop point, tanto, or insingo blade. All models are available with a dedicated left or right-handed orientation.


    Emerson KnivesCQC-7BW Flipper – from 265 USD

    Flipper knives are like expensive spinners for grown-up men. Several people in the TFB staff recommended Emerson as a brand. If you’re looking for a (much) lower budget knife the Kershaw Emerson comes highly recommended by Nicholas C.


    The Emerson CQC-7BW Flipper knife pairs the iconic 7 design with a ball-bearing pivot system to create a smooth and rapid deployment. That’s right, with just the flick of your finger and tension from the detent, the blade slides right out and engages with a satisfying click. Just when we thought Emerson Knives’ most iconic design couldn’t get any better. Paired with our patented Emerson Wave Feature, there are now 3 ways to open this knife: Flipper, Thumb Button and Wave.

    Extrema Ratio RAO II – 395 USD (€359)

    If you’re into a really heavy folder and something unique, then the Italian RAO II might be the thing for you. This is one of the few non-Made In the USA knives in the list.

    Extrema Ratio RAO II

    RAO II is the new version of the celebrated Extrema Ratio RAO knife; it comes with a new drop-point blade and an improved handle, rounded at the upper corners for a more ergonomic grip. The extra safety lock effectively turns it into a fixed blade knife enabling great chopping performance with no risk of injury. The sheath can hold the knife in open position for frequent use, or in closed position inside the front pocket. It comes with a diamond-plate sharpener to always keep a perfect edge.

    Rick Hinderer Knives – Maximus – Digital Camo Double Edge Dagger.  450 – 550 USD.

    From what I’ve heard Rick Hinderer is a gun collector, so it’s no surprise they also make 1911 Handgun Grips. Their double-edged Maximus with Carbon Fiber would be my choice but beware of your fingers.

    Rick Hinderer Knives – Maximus – Digital Camo Double Edge Dagger with Carbon Fiber

    When you get your hands on a Maximus, you will agree immediately that he nailed it. True symmetrical design that the frame totally encapsulates the blade.

    Titanium frame with recessed smooth carbon fiber scale overlays for a multi-layer contrast and outstanding grip.  The clip can be run on either side of the knife.

    However, the more sane choice would be an XM-18 3.5″ or even the 3″ blade. Pictured is a Harpoon Spanto, but I would prefer a Wharncliffe Grind (but could not find a photo) and my own knife is a beater.

    Rick Hindered XM-18 3.5″ Harpoon Spanto with blue scales



    Some of the TFB Staff’s collected knives.

    Koenig Knives Mini-Goblin535 USD.

    Made in Boise, Idaho. Koenig’s knives seem to be made out of unobtanium, but I still want one. The chosen one here is their Mini-Goblin. If you don’t follow their Lead Designer Krista Gonsovna on Instagram yet there is no excuse hereafter.

    The Koenig Knives Mini-Goblin 3″ blade folding pocket knife is a collaboration between Edison Barajas of Sharknivco and Koenig Knives. The Mini-Goblin features a 3 inch M390 steel knife blade with a set of 4.25 inch full 3D surfaced/contoured carbon fiber & 6AL4V titanium handles.

    Medford Praetorian Scout M/P – 450 USD

    If you ever had a Praetorian in your hands you know they are heavy-duty knives. The blade thickness is .190 in., so it may survive getting shot at. Beware, there may be up to 6 months of delivery time.

    The knife design that put Medford Knife & Tool on the map has grown up…so to speak. This newest addition to the Praetorian line up is a wicked departure from our typical design approach as it is our first liner-lock style knife. The liner is 6Al4V Titanium and the G10 scales make for a much more efficient build and lighter chassis for our standard Praetorian Tanto blade. Everything about this knife should seem familiar to the MKT customer and no corner has been cut to bring this beast of a knife to you. The Praetorian Scout M/P comes either completely blacked-out or in OD Green, with a D2 Tanto Blade, Stainless Hardware, PVD Clip, PVD Breaker.

    Mick Strider Custom Knives – Strider Classic – Black SMF CC. – 575 USD

    It isn’t easy to buy a Strider, and perhaps that is why you should get one? The “Out Of Stock” signs are everywhere, yet several people in the TFB staff own and recommend them so I guess there is a way. In my opinion, the design of this knife is near perfect. I have yet to find a knife that fits my hand better. There are several versions out there, but we’re showing the black with their signature camo stripes.

    Strider Classic – Black SMF CC. Picture from Mick Strider Custom Knives

    Strider SMF CC in Black G10/ Flame Striped Titanium PSF 27 Tiger striped blade
    Made in USA

    Microtech KnivesUltratech – about 250 USD and up.

    It’s impossible to mention Microtech without their classic Out-The-Front model Ultratech. It is available in so many colors, serrations and blade shapes it’s impossible to mention them all. Below you can see a picture of the Microtech Ultratech T/E 123-12BL Serrated Blade Blue Handle. I have bought a lot of various Microtechs via PVK Vegas and can recommend them. If you don’t think these are special enough, just buy a Marfione special and the sky is the limit. If you like the button on the broader side you should consider their new Dirac model instead. (Picture courtesy of PVK Vegas)

    Microtech Ultratech T/E 123-12BL Serrated Blade Blue Handle. (Picture courtesy of PVK Vegas)


    The Ultratech is the premiere dual action out the front (OTF) knife from this industry leader in automatics. The new clean contour body design is perfect for the pocket and the hand, this knife has undergone decades of refinement to become the juggernaut go to OTF for professionals, service members and everyone else who needs a proper pocket knife.

    Microtech has fully equipped the modern Ultratech with a classic “done right the first time” pocket clip that will never let you down, this is also where you will find the knifes unique serial number and build date. A tungsten carbide ball has been pressed into the new style triangle glass breaker, a great feature of this knife that leads to the functionality as an emergency exit tool. The fire slide on the spine of the Ultratech is re-designed with great detail to provide better grip when you need it.

    This and all Microtech knives are proudly made in the USA and carry a lifetime guarantee.

    If you want an automatic folder, you can try the Microtech LUDT. Below is an example with a black handle, black serrated blade. LUDT is short for Large Underwater Demolition Team, but I wouldn’t really call it a diver’s knife. It’s available from around 240 USD.

    Microtech LUDT. Picture courtesy of PVK Vegas.


    Spartan Blades – Harsey Folder – 2019 Special Edition – M4 Rifle – 525 USD.

    No description needed, as a gun owner you know this is the knife for you. Comes with a deep engraved M4 Rifle, cartridges and the 2nd Amendment in a Bronze Anodized Titanium and Black PVD Blade. A perfect gift for any of our readers. I have their CQB Tool in tan within reach at the door at home.

    Each year Spartan Blades makes four Special Edition Spartan Harsey Folders. A Special Edition for 2019, this frame is engraved with a highly detailed M4 Rifle and surrounded by cartridges. Additionally, a section of the second amendment to the US constitution is deep engraved on the lock side. Designed by prolific knife maker William W. Harsey Jr., the Spartan Harsey Folder (SHF), is the knife many of you have been waiting for! A reliable frame lock knife, that except for the pivot, blade and stop pin is totally made of 6AL-4V titanium. This quality folder has a reversible pocket clip and dual thumb studs allowing for our left-handed friends to be accommodated. It is an ideal tool for anyone that appreciates quality!

    Spyderco – Para Military 2 – 236 USD

    Spyderco comes with several recommendations from the TFB. Their Para Military comes in as just a little bit to cheap to get into our set 250 USD range, but we’re making an exception as both I and James Reeves have one.


    The Spyderco Para Military 2 was released in 2010 with several changes over the classic version. Implementation of a new Bushing Pivot System generates fluid action and more consistent manufacturing tolerances. The G-10 handle is narrowed at the end improving ergonomics. The handle and blade have been profile thinner to eliminate hard angles when in the pocket in a closed position. It features a Compression Lock and an ambidextrous-friendly four way clip which carries tip-up/tip-down, left/right-hand that rests deep in a pocket.

    The Para Military 2 has a high-performance CPM S30V full flat-ground blade but we’ve lengthened the blade’s tip and added additional surface jimping to both the spine and finger choil, then we coated it in non-reflective DLC (Diamond-Like Coating). Screw-together handle components, the pocket clip and the blade are coated in black to inhibit the folder’s reflective qualities.

    Overall construction refinements are not drastic or even visible to the eye, but from the G-10 textured handle to the CPM S30V steel full flat black blade, everything is sharper, smoother and guaranteed to provide performance and user comfort.

    Made in Golden, Colorado U.S.A.

    Zero Tolerance KnivesModel 0223 – 300 USD.

    I love the name – Zero Tolerance. The ZT 0223 model is brand new for 2019, and by the looks of it it has all the right features and materials to make a great EDC. I heard a rumor that someone in the TFB staff is going to review it, so soon we might know more.

    Designed by Tim Galyean, the 0223 takes its inspiration from a classic military knife, but ZT’s version is a folder, making it easy to EDC and ready for every task you ask it to take on.

    The blade is clip-point style with heavy jimping along the spine and a cutout to decrease weight. CPM 20CV blade steel offers exceptional hardness and wear resistance to take and hold a sharp edge, toughness to resist impact, and—with the highest level of chromium of any high-vanadium steel—excellent corrosion resistance. For an extra measure of blade protection, ZT adds black DLC (Diamond-Like Carbon) coating, ceramic bead blasted for a non-glare finish.


    Above you can see a mix of Prometheus Design Werx, Microtech Automatics, Benchmade SOCP, Brous Blades, Böker and Hinderer.

    Did you manage to find a favorite in the selection above? Or do you have your own recommendations? Please let us know in the comments and share your experiences.

    We are committed to finding, researching, and recommending the best products. We earn commissions from purchases you make using the retail links in our product reviews. Learn more about how this works.
    Eric B

    Ex-Arctic Ranger. Competitive practical shooter and hunter with a European focus. Always ready to increase my collection of modern semi-automatics, optics and sound suppressors. Owning the night would be nice too. TCCC Certified medic.