A good folding knife, first and foremost, needs to be functional. It needs to handle what you throw at it, day in and day out, unscathed. But beyond functionality, a truly great folding knife has the looks to back up its function. Sure, a bright-blue $10 box cutter gets the job done, but you’re a gentleman. If you’re going to invest in a knife, it should be one that you’re proud to show off — whether you’re opening boxes or slicing pieces of artisanal cheese. It doesn’t need to cost four figures (though it can), and great knives can be had at just about any budget.

Additional contribution by Amos Kwon.

Editor’s Note: This list has been updated with new picks for 2016. Our previous picks can still be found on page 2.

Opinel Slim No. 8


Each Opinel has been crafted in France since 1890. In fact, the word Opinel was added to the French dictionary and is synonymous with “folding knife.” The Slim No. 8 is more ergonomic than the standard No. 8, though the blade is also more flexible. It’s great for light duty, everyday tasks like opening boxes.

Blade Length: 3.25 inches
Blade Material: Stainless steel
Handle Material: Olive wood
Weight: ~1 ounce

Gerber Edict


Based in Portland, Oregon, Gerber is known for crafting high-quality knives at affordable price points. The Edict is new for 2016 and is made in the USA. Thumb studs on either side of the blade make it easy to open with one hand and the lock-back locking system keeps the blade sturdy for heavy-duty jobs.

Blade Length: 3.6 inches
Blade Material: 154CM
Blade Type: tanto
Handle Material: rubber over-molded glass-filled nylon
Weight: 3.6 ounces

CRKT M16-03S Classic


The M16 is a classic CRKT knife designed by none other than Kit Carson. Carson was a legendary CRKT knife designer who recently passed away. To commemorate him, CRKT brought back the iconic M16. The knife has a liner lock design with an added pin lock that can be engaged by your index finger. This keeps the knife in a locked position for safety and security.

Blade Length: 3.46 inches
Blade Material: AUS-8
Blade Type: spear point
Handle Material: 6061 Aluminum
Weight: 3.3 ounces
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SOG Aegis Mini


If you’re looking for a reliable, durable, high-performance everyday carry knife, the SOG Aegis Mini is tough to beat. The clip point is a great all-around design, and the belly on the blade makes it great for everyday use. The deployment is fast and smooth thanks to the high-tension coil springs — a useful trait in any situation.

Blade Length: 3 inches
Blade Material: AUS-8
Blade Type: clip point
Handle Material: Glass Reinforced Nylon
Weight: 2 ounces

Kershaw Launch 3


The Launch 3 features a fully automatic plunge lock design for fast deployment. A bit of jimping on the spine of the blade provides plenty of grip regardless of conditions. The aesthetic of the knife is also a huge plus; the handle is sleek and minimalist, with just enough of a tactical appearance to keep things serious.

Blade Length: 3.4 inches
Blade Material: CPM154, DLC coating
Blade Type: drop point
Handle Material: Anodized aluminum
Weight: 3.4 ounces

Benchmade APB Assist Family


The Benchmade APB Assist is a locking system that debuted last year. It is an assisted opening system (though it also comes in an unassisted version) that has two buttons on either side of the handle. When pressed simultaneously, the blade can be folded back into the closed position. It also has one of the best locking mechanisms out of any knife we’ve used. It’s solid and doesn’t budge at all.

Blade Length: 3.6 inches
Blade Material: 154CM
Blade Type: drop point
Handle Material: G10
Weight: 5.46 ounces

Zero Tolerance 0456


The 0456 is a collaboration between ZT and Dmitry Sinkevich. Sinkevich is a Russian knife maker who makes everything from knives with bone handles to balisong knives. This example is a titanium-handled, steel-blade knife that has a unique blade shape. It also has a KVT ball-bearing opening system that’s ultra smooth and fairly low maintenance.

Blade Length: 3.25 inches
Blade Material: CTS-204P, two-tone finish
Blade Type: sheep’s foot
Handle Material: Titanium, stonewashed & satin finish
Weight: 6.6 ounces

Spyderco Military Titanium C36TI


The Spyderco Military Titanium follows the same design as the regular Spyderco Military, but trades the G10 handle for a titanium version. The titanium is lightweight and durable, and gives the knife a cohesive and seamless look. It features Syperco’s characteristic thumb or finger hole in the blade for easy opening with either your index finger or thumb.

Blade Length: 4 inches
Blade Material: CPM S30V
Handle Material: Titanium
Weight: 5.8 ounces

Rockstead Higo X


The Higo X is the type of knife that you pass on to the next generation. It should be used judiciously, for tasks where your standard EDC feels second rate. The ironwood handle is beautifully finished, and is paired with a polished stainless steel blade.

Blade Length: 3.5 inches
Blade Material: ZDP-189 Stainless Steel
Blade Type: drop point
Handle Material: Ironwood
Weight: 4.6 ounces

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