Best Lightweight Flatground Folding EDC Knife Of 2016
- 7.125-inch open length
- 4.25-inch closed length
- 2.875-inch VG-10 steel blade
- 2.56-inch cutting edge
- 0.5-inch blade hole
- 0.09-inch blade thickness
- 2.5-ounce weight
- FRN handle material
The Spyderco Delica 4 is my top choice for the best folding every day carry (EDC) knife of 2016. The knife itself has been on the market for a while, but it is a huge improvement from the original Spyderco Delica that came out ages ago.
The Delica 4 has a ‘leaf blade’ which is essentially just a straight edge with a slight curve in it. What this does is makes the knife have excellent slicing capabilities, especially for its size. With VG-10 as the blade steel, rust spots on your blade will become a thing of the past. VG-10 is highly rust resistant and in my own testing of Spyderco’s VG-10 steel, the knife does not rust even when exposed directly to snow for extended periods of use. It is definitely the best edc blade of 2016. I left my Delica 4 out in the snow all night and took it out in the morning to find the blade looking exactly how I left it the night before.
While the handle is made from FRN, it is quite comfortable. Even for the handles being flat, the knife handle has excellent ergonomics. The handle is nice and grippy which works great for those times your hands get sweaty. The handle allows you to put a lot of cutting force into whatever you are cutting.
The Spyderco Delica 4 uses a lock back design to hold the knife into place. This means that you need to depress the lock on the back of the blade in order to disengage the lock and fold the knife back into the handle.
The knife hair-splitting sharp out of the box. Spyderco has always been a great company when it comes to making a quality product that comes out of the box ready to use. The blade also came extremely well centered. The Spyderco Delica 4 is my pick for the best EDC folding knife of 2016.
Other Great EDC Folding Knife Options
Other Great Knives By Spyderco
Spyderco Paramilitary 2
The Paramilitary 2 is one of Spyderco’s best selling knives. In fact, the Paramilitary 2 has sold so well for Spyderco that they started manufacturing the model in multiple blade colors, handle colors, and blade steels. The Paramilitary 2 has a 3.44 inch blade and the most popular version of the knife is sold with S30V stainless steel. However, the knife is also made in S110V and S35VN for the specialized versions. The most popular version has a G10 handle. One really cool thing about the Paramilitary 2 is the locking mechanism. Spyderco calls it a Compression Lock. Essentially, it is a liner lock that is located on the top of the knife. While I personally prefer the Delica 4, many consider the Paramilitary 2 to be the best EDC folding knife ever made. Folding Knife Reviews only reviews the top knives for every day carry. The handle is 4.81 inches long, which allows for a full grip, and also allows you to choke up on the knife due to the the small quarter-circle indent near the start of the blade. Even the weight on this blade is superb for its large size, weighing in at 3.75 oz. there are plenty of reasons why the Spyderco Paramilitary 2 is popular among the knife community.
Another Spyderco best-seller that has made its way up the ranks in the knife community. It is very similar to the best edc blade of 2016. The Tenacious is now a well known, high quality, Chinese produced knife by Spyderco. Rumored to be manufactured in the same plant that makes Sanrenmu knives, the Tenacious has incredible tolerances for such a low price. This knife is readily available for under $50 and as long as it remains under that price, it is a deal. While it may not have the extreme quality standards of American produced Spyderco blades, the quality is outstanding for a Chinese produced knife. The Tenacious has a 3.75 inch blade, putting it perfectly into the medium sized folding knife category. The main downside to the Tenacious is the blade steel. The blade steel is 8Cr13MoV, which is a budget steel. The steel is soft and will need touch ups every now and then. The liner lock is close to perfect, every single Tenacious that I have had pass through my hands has never had any blade play at all. Overall, the Tenacious is quite impressive, especially for the price.
The Spyderco Delica 4 in my personal opinion is the best EDC folding knife that you can buy for the money. I especially like the fact that Spyderco made many different handle colors. In fact, I actually like every single color of the Delica 4 that they produce. My favorite color is the brown shown in the picture below. The picture actually doesn’t do the knife much justice, it looks much better in hand then most of the photos I’ve seen of it. I also own the green version of the Delica 4, which looks very nice as well. Another great feature is the pocket clip. For this knife, it doesn’t matter if you are left or right handed, the pocket clip is a 4-way clip. This means that you can position the clip to be tip-up or tip-down on either the left or right side. Personally, I put a zip tie in the opening hole and position the clip to allow for tip-up right-hand carry. The zip tie allows me to wave-open this knife. To see a tutorial on how to do this, click here. The FRN handle has a bi-directional texture that allows for quite a decent grip. I was surprised at how well I could grip this knife, especially considering that it made out of FRN. That is definitely a reason why the Spyderco Delica 4 is the best edc blade of 2016. I am usually not a huge fan of FRN handles, but something about Spyderco’s bi-directional texturing makes it both very comfortable and very grippy even when my hands are sweaty. I’ve bought three Spyderco Delica 4’s myself and I still own all three because I like them so much. If you are on the fence about purchasing the Delica 4, I would suggest going ahead and taking the plunge.
The Kershaw Random Leek
Made in the United States of America at an amazing price?! Yes, you heard that right. The Leek designed by the legendary Ken Onion himself is one of the most competitively priced knives on the market. The Leek is one of Kershaw’s best sellers, and for good reason… because it is awesome. Kershaw sells so many of these knives each year that it has other popular knife companies such as Benchmade, Spyderco, and CRKT envious. The Leek may be the absolute best knife for the money. Kershaw does have an excellent product line that they produce in China, but the Leek is definitely a step up from their Chinese products. Kershaw was originally founded by Pete Kershaw, who was formerly from Gerber knives. Then, by 1977, Kershaw Knives was bought by the KAI Group who now manufactures Kershaw Knives. If you have never owned a Kershaw knife, then you have been missing out. Kershaw is just one of those brands that no matter what model I seem to buy, I am always amazed at the quality to price-point ratio. How Kershaw manages to continuously produce such a good looking and robust knife for such a low price and also make it in in the United States still amazes me to this day.
More Great Kershaw Folding Knives
This knife is definitely a knife for those that have sweaty hands. The grip of this knife feels like skateboard griptape. If you have no idea what that feels like, imagine really coarse sandpaper. This grip will dig into your hand and will stay put. However, after using this knife for extended periods of time, it can really tear apart your hand. But, with gloves that problem is completely fixed. For that reason, I consider this to be the ultimate folding “glove-knife.” So for those of you out there that wear gloves on the job, out at the campsite, or wherever you may be, this knife is a perfect choice. While the Leek by Kershaw may be the best knife for the money, the Blur gives you an excellent bang for your buck as well.
Kershaw Volt Stainless Steel
What really interested me in taking the plunge to buy the Kershaw Volt is how ideal its size is for every day carry. It is a medium sized folding knife that has a 3.5 inch blade. The Volt is very comfortable in hand and handles much more like a large-sized knife rather than a small knife. Unfortunately, the knife is pretty hefty at 4.3 oz. However, while the Volt may not be the best knife for the money, it is quite competitively priced. Having a 8Cr13MoV blade, the Kershaw Volt is a Chinese produced knife. You can easily purchase the knife for under $30, and for that price I would consider it to be a nice deal. The stainless steel handle looks nice, but if you get sweaty palms then you might want to avoid buying this knife. The Volt will definitely slip out of your hands when wet. However, I have dropped my Volt multiple times and it hasn’t been dented, so there are some advantages to having a stainless steel handle. The flipper on the knife works well and the blade shoots out like a charm after applying a slight pressure on it.
Kershaw Oso Sweet
The Kershaw Oso Sweet is another budget folder pushed out by Kershaw. It is another Chinese made knife and has an 8Cr13MoV steel blade. This blade is incredibly comfortable in hand. I was amazed by the ergonomics of this inexpensive folder. This might be the best knife for the money when it comes to a budget Chinese folding knife. The blade length is great for every day carry, having a length of 3.1 inches. The blade has a satin finish and a reversible pocket clip. The lock is a liner lock, which I wasn’t a huge fan of. However, the lock-up is quite good. I haven’t had a single problem with blade play in this knife, which I was very surprised by. For a Chinese folding knife, the quality is superb. In fact, this might be Kershaw’s best Chinese folder and the Amazon reviews prove it. The handle is made of glass-filled nylon, which usually I am not a huge fan of. However, the handle in this knife is extremely comfortable. It fits my hands perfectly. I wear large-sized gloves for reference. The overall length of this knife is 7.25 inches, which gives you over a 4 inch handle length. While I believe the Leek is overall the best knife for the money, if you are on a budget, the Kershaw Oso Sweet won’t disappoint.
If you are on the fence about purchasing the Kershaw Leek, then I highly recommend you pull the trigger and purchase it. I still have no idea how Kershaw can make such a great knife for such a low price, but I’m sure they won’t be able to do it for long. I personally own 3 different models of the Kershaw Leek. My favorite model is the purple handled model. While it is purely an aesthetic preference, the purple handled version looks great for business events where you need to have a classy looking knife in your pocket that won’t attract to much attention. The purple version of the Leek looks great with black and khaki pants. One of my friends liked the look of the purple version a lot, so I bought him one for his birthday and he has sent me a new knife in the mail every single Christmas for the last 4 years. The Kershaw Leek in my personal opinion is the best knife for the money. I have never purchased a knife that has had a sharper edge straight out of the box than the Kershaw Leek. Every Leek that I have bought has been hair-shaving sharp out of the box. Thanks for another great knife Kershaw.
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Why Hello There,
My name is Taylor and I’ve been a complete knife nut for over 15 years. I am originally from San Luis Obispo, California. My grandfather gave me my first knife when I was 9 years old and I have been a collector since. I mainly collect folding knives, but I have many fixed blades in my collection as well. I hope you enjoy your stay at Folding Knife Reviews!
Benchmade Mini Griptilian 556 Review
The Mini Griptilian by Benchmade is a stainless steel pocket knife that may be the most popular every day carry knife on the market. In fact, the knife is so popular that there are multiple models with different blade grinds, steels, and handle colors. The 556 with the drop point blade is my favorite model and is my most used knife. As a knife nut, I am always trying different knives, but this knife always seems to find its way back into my pocket. According to me, the Benchmade Mini Griptilian 556 is the overall best folding knife ever made. I don’t make that claim lightly. Hundreds of folding knives have passed through my hands over the years and some are better than others for certain tasks. However, when it comes to overall performance, I believe that the Benchmade Mini Griptilian is unmatched. Nothing is perfect, but this knife comes close.
The Greatest Handle Design
The name of the knife has “Mini” in it, but don’t fret, I wear large sized gloves and this knife fits in my hand perfectly. If you wear XL gloves, you may want to move up to its big brother the Griptilian. However, anyone who wears large, medium, or small sized gloves will love the feel of the handle. The handle and overall quality are the two huge factors of this knife. The Benchmade Mini Griptilian has incredible ergonomics and due to the handle texturing and jimping on both the top and bottom of the blade, this knife stays put when it is in your hands. The way the handle is shaped disperses the reaction force that you get from cutting something throughout the palm of your hand. The edges are nicely rounded so you won’t have a specific spot on the knife that digs into your palm.
Excellent Blade Steel
One great thing about the Benchmade company is that all of their USA produced knives are made with great blade steels, and the 556 is no exception. The Mini Griptilian 556 sports a 154CM steel. This steel is made to hold an edge extremely well and is stainless, making this a stainless steel pocket knife. Unfortunately, since 154CM is so rough, it can’t have a “surgical sharpness” like other blade steels can offer. However, you can get a pretty darn sharp edge on this blade and not have to constantly touch it up or worry about.
Other Great Folding Knives From Benchmade
Benchmade Griptilian 551
Exactly the same design as the Mini Griptilian, only bigger. I like my full size Griptilian 551, however, I find myself using my Mini Griptilian much more. The full size Griptilian is nice for those who wear glove sizes of XL and above. It is quite a big knife with a very large handle. However, with that large knife and handle comes a drawback that is crucial to consider, weight. This knife weighs 3.88 oz, while the Mini Griptilian weighs in at only 2.81 oz. The difference may not seem like much, but consider the fact that you will most likely be carrying this in your pocket day in and day out. Now, don’t get me wrong. The full size Griptilian is an excellent stainless steel pocket knife, but weight is a big concern for the average knife nut. Luckily, if you don’t mind the weight, then owning a Benchmade Griptilian 551 is like dating a fat girl, more to love.
Benchmade 940 Osborne Stainless Steel Pocket Knife
Another great knife from Benchmade is the 940 Osborne. The really interesting thing about this blade to me is the blade shape. This is one of the only folding knives that I know of with a modified reverse tanto blade shape. To go with this awesome blade shape Benchmade decided to pick one of their top of the line steels, S30V. I believe this is a great combination. The main issue I have with this knife is the expense. You can easily find a full sized Griptilian for under $100, however, you probably will never find the 940 at that price range. Fortunately, the steel quality makes up for it. Also, if you don’t think that S30V is good enough for yourself, you can get the upgraded version of the knife with CPM-S30V premium stainless steel. Many other knife reviewers hate the pocket clip of this knife, I love it. Now, the pocket clip is a little ugly, but the positioning of it makes it slide easily into your pocket and ride on the side so that it won’t fall out as easily as you put it in. If you like the size of the Mini Griptilian, then you will love the 940 Osborne, as it is almost exactly the same size with just a tad more handle room. If I had to pick between the 940 Osborne and the Mini Griptilian, I would still go with the Mini Griptilian as it feels much better in my hand and I like the blade profile better for every day carry tasks.
The Benchmade Mini Griptilian 556 is my favorite every day carry knife to date. If I ever find a better overall knife then I will completely revise this review. However, as it stands today, the Benchmade Mini Griptilian 556 is leagues above any other folding knife for overall usage in my opinion. While others may think that the Mini Griptilian isn’t the best folding knife, there is no denying that Benchmade makes an extremely high quality and highly demanded product. Otherwise, these blades wouldn’t be selling like hotcakes. Benchmade really knows their market and their customers. The fact that they made the Mini Griptilian stainless steel pocket knife in so many different variations really shows that. Another great thing about Benchmade is their warranty. I usually send my knife in once a year back to Benchmade and they will replace the pocket clip and sharpen the blade without asking any questions. They are a great company, and because of it I will continue buying their pocket knives for years to come.
How To Find Your Perfect Folding Knife
Ever since I can remember I have been a knife nut. I would always go into gas stations as a little kid and ask my dad if I could buy whatever pocket knives were there. At the age of 5 he said yes and I was well on my journey to becoming a knife collector. Now, I am in my early thirties and have had hundreds of knives pass through my hands used for various tasks. Well, having been around a few knives, below are a few factors you should consider when buying a folding knife.
I personally live in California. California surprisingly has decent knife laws, especially concerning folding knives. I am not a lawyer and I will not pretend to be, but make sure that you check your state and local laws before you purchase a folding knife. Some knives may be assisted opening or even automatic. I know that it is illegal to carry an automatic folding knife concealed here in California and therefore there will not be any recommendations on automatic folding knives on this site. However, a good way to tell for sure if a knife is legal or not is just to go down to your local sporting goods or knife store and see whether or not it is being sold in your state. Also, sites like Amazon usually say whether or not they can ship a specific knife to a certain state.
Folding Knife Sizes
So, let’s set some boundaries here on what I would consider to be different knife sizes. There are small, medium, large folding knives.
Small Folding Knives (Blade Length < 2.75 Inches)
SOG Twitch 2 (Amazon)
Small Folding Knives are knives with a blade length of 2.75 inches or smaller. While it may seem as though a small knife is useless, the fact that small knives can be extremely lightweight is a huge factor in choosing what to carry. If you have ever carried a large or XL folding knife every day, you may have noticed how annoying it can sometimes be to have a big heavy object in your pocket. Small knives mitigate that problem. In fact, many small folding knives are so lightweight, you forget that you are carrying them. However, the huge drawbacks to many small folding knives is that they have tiny handles and short blades. The tiny handles can make it difficult to cut through denser materials such as wood or plastic, while the small blade length limits you as to what you can cut. Fortunately, small folding knives make great EDC (Every Day Carry) knives and are excellent for cutting food, opening packages, and other daily tasks.
Medium Folding Knives (Blade Length of 2.75 4 inches)
Spyderco Tenacious (Amazon)
Medium Folding Knives have a blade length of at least 2.75 inches all the way to 4 inches. These blades tend to be the most popular as they can be very versatile. Being a good median between a large folding knife and a small folding knife allows for the best of both categories in some cases. While you may not get a massive blade, you can still have a fully functional knife while also having it be lightweight. Of course, all of this depends on the actual knife, but for the most part medium sized folding knives are going to be lighter than large folding knives. Medium folding knives are the sweet spot of folding knives for those who just want a blade that can do everything. Many believe medium sized folding knives are the best folding knife type that you can buy.
Large Folding Knives (Blade Length > 4 inches)
Cold Steel Ti-Lite XL (Amazon)
Large Folding Knives have a blade length of 4 inches or above. They usually are pretty robust and made of stronger materials with beefy locks. This is because large folding knives are typically designed to complete heavy cutting tasks. Also, many manufacturers design large folding knives as self-defense knives. Now, I personally would NEVER advocate anyone to use a knife for self-defense, but I understand that it is a huge market. If you are looking to buy a knife for self-defense, I recommend you look at other options such as pepper spray or firearms. However, there are many large folding knives that work great for camping uses such as splitting firewood.
Folding Knife Care
The first priority of knife care should be making sure that you have a sharp blade. A sharp blade is much safer than a dull one. This may seem counter intuitive, but a sharp blade can easily slice through things, while a dull blade is much more likely to accidentally slip and cut you while attempting to cut something. There are many ways of sharpening a knife, but a common pocket sharpener like this one should suffice for most people. However, for the knife enthusiast, investing in a leather strop and a high quality sharpening system like the Spyderco Sharpmaker is well worth the investment.
Since this website is about folding knives, cleaning your knife is essential. You can clean a knife easily with items that you already might have lying around your home. Here are some things that you will need to clean a knife:
- A Soft Cloth or Kitchen Towel
- Rubber or Latex Gloves
- A Sponge Or Toothbrush
- Dish Detergent (Mild preferred, but most will work)
- Household Oil (3-in-1)
- Nylon Pad
Step One: Clean. First put on some rubber or latex gloves, then wash your knife with a soft cloth/kitchen towel and warm water. Make sure that you wipe down both sides of the blade.
Step Two: Scrub. Scrub your blade with a soapy sponge. If your knife is serrated, then use a toothbrush instead of a sponge in order not to tear up the sponge with the serrations. If there is stuff stuck on the blade, use some dish detergent to clean it off. After you have thoroughly scrubbed the blade, rinse it with with warm water and clean it off with a kitchen towel.
Step Three: Remove Rust. Take a lubricant, such as WD-40, and spray both sides of the blade with it. Then, leave the blade to sit and soak in the lubricant for a few minutes. After letting the blade soak in the lubricant, take a nylon pad and scrub both sides of the blade. If there is any rust left, repeat step three until you have a moderately clean blade.
Step Four: Wash and Oil. Once you have a blade that you are satisfied with, wash the blade once again with warm water and soap. Then, dry both sides of the blade. Finally, add a few drops of household oil (3-in-1) to both sides of the blade. Congratulations, you now should have the best folding knife that you could make.
Folding Knife Blade Types
There are two main things to consider when deciding to buy a specific type of folding knife. The first of those things is blade shape. Knife blades come with various blade and tip designs, but most follow a pattern to the image below. The second thing to consider is lock type. There are various different lock designs, but some are stronger than others, while the others maybe more ergonomic but less rugged.
Common Lock Types
Since collecting knives has been a hobby that has been around for hundreds of years, many accessories have been developed for these amazing tools. Below is a list of different types of accessories that you use to compliment the best folding knife that you can find.
While most sheaths are made for fixed blade knives, some individuals prefer to carry their folding knives in a sheath. Sheaths arent only useful for easy carry and deployment of a knife, they also allow for protection of the blade. Sheaths are made of different materials and some materials have better properties that others. Below is a list of different sheath materials and their advantages and disadvantages.
- Leather Sheath – Leather is a very traditional material to make knife sheaths out of. Leather has been proven to stand the test of time. It is tough, strong, and rugged.
Unlike plastic, most leather sheaths can be easily fixed up with a few stitches. One neat thing about a leather sheath is that as it becomes more aged, it tends to look even better than it does new. Leather is quite versatile and can be custom fit to almost any knife once it is broken in.
- Kydex Sheath – Kydex is an acrylic-polyvinyl chloride thermoplastic material that is widely used for knife sheaths. Kydex is a relatively modern material. It wont shrink over time, it is waterproof, and it is also resistant to scratches. Kydex is also very resistant to many chemicals including the acid that your skin produces.
Kydex is very durable and holds up extremely well in various environments. The big drawback to Kydex is that it is loud. Since Kydex is a thermoplastic, it tends to make a large snapping noise when you draw the blade out of the sheath.
- Plastic Sheath – Plastic sheaths that arent Kydex tend to be very cheaply made, however they are some of the most readily available sheaths on the market.
They tend to be lower cost, but at that low cost comes many disadvantages. Like Kydex, plastic sheaths usually make a large snapping noise when you draw the blade out of the sheath. However, plastic is resistant to water and most acids.
- Nylon Sheath – Nylon is very commonly used for knife sheaths. The advantages of nylon is that it is light, tough, and strong.
The big drawback to nylon sheaths is that they usually fray and get stretched out over time eventually needing to be replaced. However, nylon is not very vulnerable to water and is resistant to mildew and rotting.
There are many different and unique sharpening systems that have been developed, but most fall into certain categories. A list of different categories of knife sharpeners is shown below.
Electric Sharpeners – This type of sharpener usually has a 2-4 step process for creating, sharpening, honing, and maintaining a sharp edge on your knife blade. The first step of this type of sharpener usually involves a very coarse grit used to create a certain angle on your blade before it further hones the blade into a sharper, neater edge you step through the different portions of the sharpener. Electric sharpeners are popular because they are easy to use and can give your knife a decent edge. However, they limit your blade to a certain angle which is their ultimate downside.
Handheld Sharpeners – These are just like electric sharpeners, except instead of having the blade automatically ground, you physically have to pull the knife through the sharpener. These are usually the cheapest types of sharpeners to purchase, but once again, they limit the angle that you can put on your blade.
Honing/Sharpening Steels – While it is called a sharpening steel, it actually doesnt do much sharpening. In fact, sharpening steels actually work by bending and scraping off pieces of steel on your knife that are bent out of place or small fragments of your knife that are chipped and about to fall off. A sharpening steel should be used as a compliment to another sharpening system.
Sharpening Stone – This is the classic way to sharpen a knife. Usually, a sharpening stone has a coarse side and a smooth side. The coarse side is used to form an angle on your blade, while the smooth side is used to hone the knife to a sharp edge. Sharpening stones allow for versatility of blade angles, however, they are not exactly beginner friendly. For a beginner, an electric or handheld sharpener is recommended.
Picking The Best Folding Knife
Ultimately, picking the folding knife that is best for you is purely personal taste. Some like small curved knives, while others like large straight knives. Hopefully you found this guide useful, and I wish you the best in your knife hunt.