View Full Version : Best Folder under 3.5 inches?

11-15-2004, 10:12 PM
Broken Links

11-15-2004, 10:57 PM
Best is a relative term. One man's (or woman's) best is another's worst. Go with what works for you as long as it gets the job done.

Does it carry well, so that you can get to it quickly and positively?

Does it deploy well? Can you open it inertially, for example?

Does it have a positive grip?

Is the locking mechanism solid and can it withstand stress?

Is the blade of sufficient quality and design to prevent breakage?

These are just some of the basic things I look for. The varieties can be endless, tip up or tip down, tanto or recurve or spear, micarta or aluminum or zytel, ATS-34, S30V, D2, etc., etc., etc...

Charles Rives
11-16-2004, 02:35 AM
Dollar for dollar, it's hard to beat the value priced products from Spyderco or Cold Steel. I'd start by looking at Delicas and Voyagers then move up the price scales from there.


11-16-2004, 03:45 AM
Sounds like the Griptillion will get the job done. You know what they say, if it ain't broke, don't fix it.

Paul Sharp
11-16-2004, 05:35 AM
Spyderco Delica.

I've carried one since '93ish, always have a Delica or Endura close by. Used one to save my butt when I was jumped by two guys at 0300hrs, back in '96. I was driving home from Miami, needed gas, stopped at the Miami Gardens exit off of the Palmetto Expressway. Two of Haiti's finest imports decided to take my car.

Nasty affair but the little Delica held up very well.

I'm kind of partial to them now. :D

Gabriel Suarez
11-16-2004, 05:59 AM
Take a serious look at the Spyderco Yojimbo. Its basically a folding box cutter and cuts like its a sword. At MBC we saw a pork roast cut to the bone with this little guy. Its a man-slicer disguised as an everyday tool.

11-16-2004, 07:52 AM
Gabe, saw the same demo with Mike this last spring in Ohio.
Very good at going to bone [ dowel ] on meat hey? :D

Another suggestion would be the new compression lock para military by spyderco. I've been carrying one for a few weeks now, seems sturdy enoung and the blade is only 3 1/8" total with a cuttingsurface of 2 3/4" so it can not be confused as over a limits you are restricted to.

It's flat ground, slices as well as it's parent, the military, and made of the "good stuff" [ s30v ].

Or you could go really stout and get a Chinook 11 lockback if your preferences ran to that.

Then again, the Griptilian is also a very nice choice and you already have it. No need to buy another model unless you really want to as TxCop312 point out.

Robin Brown

11-18-2004, 07:23 AM
Sounds like the Griptillion will get the job done. You know what they say, if it ain't broke, don't fix it.
I like the Ritter Grip a lot too. Also, a few of the Emerson Mini's are great.

11-18-2004, 08:58 AM
There are many good ones available, and many are Spyderco's. I have and like the Native, Delica and Chinook. They are all excellent and some combination of these are my EDC. I like the Delica when working out in shorts or hanging out around the house because it is very light weight and unnoticealbe clipped in the appendix position. Unless laws prohibit it, I always have the Chinook. It opens easily with inertia and is as stout a blade as you will find. Your Benchmade is also an excellent knife, so it really comes down to personal preference, as long as the quality is there.

11-18-2004, 01:07 PM
Anyway, as I do not want to become a victim of some idiotic law I switched from my Cold Steel Recon 1 (4" blade) to a Benchmade Griptillian #551 (3.4" blade).

My question is:

Who makes the best folder with a blade at or under 3.5 inches?
Or should I just stick with my Benchmade Griptillian?

WV law is similar. I went looking and settled on the Griptillian. Can't imagine anything any better for the price.


11-20-2004, 02:05 AM
Try the buck/strider police model. It's 3.5" and has a smooth open and the "textured" metal on the top of the blade makes for easy teo handed opening with heavy gloves on. Mine rides left side front pocket as a companion to the Gunting on my right and the G19 in the tommygun pack.

Just my .02

Charles Rives
11-20-2004, 02:50 AM
Take a serious look at the Spyderco Yojimbo. Its basically a folding box cutter and cuts like its a sword.
It really is a cutting machine! It looks odd at first but once you've put one in your hand, You'll like it.

Since you're looking for a Colorado-legal folder, the the Yojimbo's designer (Mike Janich) (http://www.martialbladeconcepts.com) lives in Colorado I'm pretty sure that he had CO's laws in mind when he developed it.

The blue handles are colored to blend in with denim. They also show very little above the top edge of the pocket. That knife just dissapears when clipped into a blue jean pocket.


Cold War Scout
11-22-2004, 08:01 AM
The Griptilian sure seems more than adequate for the job.

Gabe is right about the Yojimbo. Very impressive functionality. Probably looks as much like a "utility knife" as anything short of a boxcutter. With the blue handle it has, and looking so "utility" like, that could be a great plus if ever you need to apply it. Just one of those food for thought things.

11-24-2004, 02:39 PM
I like the small classic sebenza, but it is expensive.You can find them used,that are not to expensive.

11-24-2004, 02:45 PM
Take a look at the Kershaw "Blackout" - Sold at WallyWorld for $49.00 - Spring assisted and holds a nice edge.

11-24-2004, 04:46 PM
If anyone is interested, over on SDF they are taking a poll to see how much interest there is in a waved Spyderco Endura. Spyderco has agreed to make it with the wave feature, and Emerson has given his okay to use it.

11-25-2004, 09:23 PM

It's www.selfdefenseforums.com (http://www.selfdefenseforums.com), a great site with a lot of no-nonsense serious minded folk. Make sure an do an intro on the community forum there as it's considered good form. They won't be marketed to the public, to the best of my knowledge, and will only be sold through them.

Charles Rives
11-26-2004, 12:52 AM
If the knife has to be under 3.5 inches in blade length, you'll have to drop down from the Endura. It has a blade length of 3-15/16". The Delica is, more or less, the same knife but quite a bit smaller at 3-inches even.


Joe Average
11-27-2004, 11:17 AM
I bought one of these recently...


$10 at Home Depot.
It's sturdy, nice clip and best of all you can use it for anything since the blade is obviously replaceable, so you won't mind dinging it up.

04-01-2007, 11:03 AM
I found a closeout bargain on a Yojimbo.


04-01-2007, 04:13 PM
Have a look at CRKT Ryan Seven. Solid construction, quick opener. The drawback is the pattern of the handle which catches on clothing - solved by application of Gorilla tape. It is also cheap. For dress trousers it is a tad heavy. For that the Benchmade Mel Pardue works nicely. Again, the lock is superior to its predecessor but the aggressive checkering of the handle tends to rip trouser pockets - solved by, yes you guessed, Gorilla tape.

BTW I understand that there are jurisdiction that allow only 2" blades. (Atlanta, GA?). There are solutions for that, too...

Dr. Snubnose
04-07-2007, 04:36 AM
It is hard to beat the Yojimbo when talking about a small blade to get a big job done...It slices like a Light Sabre...the wharncliffe design cuts much deeper into meat than the lenght of the blade, I have found the same to be true of recurves...You can't go wrong with the Yojimbo...if you can carry a fixed blade I like the Ronin even better....Doc:D

04-07-2007, 06:19 AM
My EDC RF pocket is a Yojimbo, "waved" with a Dremel. If you add a small length of braided paracord you can open it one handed into reverse grip, edge out, very fast.

I have Benchmade Griptillions in the pockets of my jackets, as the "wave" works a lot better in looser pockets. The Yojimbo can open just slightly if it is slapping around (I learned that the hard way) and your quick draw wil quickly draw blood. Carried RF pocket is fine, though. The clip is very tight and stays pretty well put in pants or jeans.

IMO, these are the best inexpensive (relatively) quality CO legal folders I've tried.

04-07-2007, 07:03 AM
It is hard to beat the Yojimbo when talking about a small blade to get a big job done...It slices like a Light Sabre...the wharncliffe design cuts much deeper into meat than the lenght of the blade, I have found the same to be true of recurves...You can't go wrong with the Yojimbo...if you can carry a fixed blade I like the Ronin even better....Doc:D

I like the Ronin a lot--it is my favorite small fixed blade.

04-07-2007, 10:20 AM
Check out the relatively new Benchmade Vex. I just got one and am impressed. I'll be posting a mini-review.


04-07-2007, 12:09 PM
I take a slightly different approach to "carry" knives. I get the cheapest knife I can find that will still do the job. I always carry a knife, and it has become second nature. So sometimes I'll accidently take them to places they are not allowed (airports, city buildings, sports events, concerts, some bars...).

When I get "caught" with them I tell the person, "Sorry I use it at work all the time and forgot I had it. I don't want to take it back to the car, so you can just keep it." Sometimes they offer to throw it away for me (ie: keep it). Sometimes they say you have to throw it away outside or take it back to your car. So I'll walk outside and throw it in the trash. One time I even had a security guard tell me, "Just hide it in the bushes outside, and pick it up when you leave." But probably the most supprising response is when they say, "Don't worry about it. You can keep it. Just don't get into any trouble with it." And that's happend more than a couple times.

Anyway, the knives I use now I get from Wally World for 98cents each. I buy them by the dozen. I don't hesitate for a second to throw them away if need be. And I keep at least one extra in each of my vehicles. So when I do throw them away I can "reload" back at the car. Or in the rare situation I end up in a less than nice part of town with a friend that is unarmed, I'll hand him one and say, "Keep it, and don't let that happen again."

But the one thing I always make sure to do is when I buy knives, before they get used they must must pass "the test". First are they easy to open? Second (and most important) I open the knife and clamp it in a vise. Then I put a good amount of pressure on the handle to make sure the lock won't fail when I need it. If it passes it goes in the knife storage box or one of the cars.

I know some of you are saying you wouldn't trust a 98cent knife. But I can tell you this, I've had expensive knives that failed the lock test long before my 98 cent knives do. So if your only counting on the price to determine that your knife is safe, I would reconsider. You should always test your equipment, and knives are no exception.

If any of you do something similar, and have another "test" for your knives I'd like to hear it. I know a dozen different cutting tests. But those don't concern me as much. As long as the blade is sharp it will cut meat (of course I mean steak or ham). :D I'm mostly talking about durability or impact tests. I sometimes do the test where you lock the blade open, then wack the spine of the blade on a piece of hard wood. But after I do that to a knife, I don't trust it to be carried. Especially one with a plastic body. It could have damage you won't see until it fails. And that will probably be when you need it most. Anyhow if you have a good test please post it.

04-09-2007, 08:00 AM
I have a Columbia river M16 and I find it to be a very good. The price tag is just right in the event that I need to ditch it. I only used it once to see how sharp it was and it has been in pocket ever since. I saw some advice in here whereby I shouldn't spend $300 on a knife and I should not use it for daily chores (I think the example was the soccer mom looking to open a box of cookies). I agree with this in full. Should I need it, that would by my very last option. I wouldn't want a dull blade or the mechanism to falls apart when my life is on the line.

04-09-2007, 08:02 AM
In the lock back biz, Cold Steel and Spyderco reign supreme!

Cold Steel and Spyderco make very good knives. However, I managed to break the liner locks on a 3" Voyager and a Delica in one day.

Both knives used to be EDC knives until I bought a Benchmade mini-grip. Both the Voyager and the Delica had been used very hard (opened many times daily as I played with the knives:dope: ) and had been relegated to back-up duty. Then one day I lost my mini-grip while hunting. After realizing that, I picked the voyager, opened it with a centrifigal technique, and realized that it no longer locked open. I then repeated the procedure with the Delica and broke that lock too.

Expensive day:(

04-11-2007, 05:33 PM
I personally favor the Gunting which is just under 3" blade length with full size handle or the Emerson Commander, full or mini.


04-19-2007, 06:30 AM
I picked up a Yojimbo based on it being spoken of highly here (and that I needed a low-key folder); I can confirm it's seriously sharp and well-made. The length of the blade doesn't speak to how seriously well it seems to cut (yet falls under many locality bans); with the frame being blue, the overall appearance may very well be that of a larger tool/boxcutter rather than a serious (and scary to others) knife.

As I'm a grey man and carry knife novice, it's perfect for me; thanks for recommendation.