Hard Use Folding Knives

Hard use folders represent the toughest folding knives on the market. We are talking about stout tips built for prying, over-built locks designed to handle chopping and batoning, and rugged handles to hold it all together. These knives are designed to take a beating and are often targeted to military and police applications.

Naturally, they have garnered a lot of interest from collectors of tactical knives as well. These high testosterone blades are designed to push the capabilities of a folding knife, and they only appear to be getting more and more popular. I have a growing collection of hard use folder reviews. Feel free to let me know what you think of these style of knives in the comments section – I know they can be fairly polarizing and controversial.

Hard Use Folder Reviews

  • Rick Hinderer Knives XM-18 3.5 Review Hinder XM-18 3.5 Review

    In the past I have compared knife collecting to mountain climbing. Certainly there isn't the element of physical accomplishment, as the only thing that really gets a workout is your wallet, but there is that spirit of ... continue reading

  • Chris Reeve Knives Sebenza 25 Review Chris Reeve Sebenza 25 Review

    How do you improve on perfection? That may have been a question asked by the engineers at Chris Reeve when they approached the Sebenza 25. I wasn't in the room, so I really have no idea. The Sebenza has received incre ... continue reading

  • Zero Tolerance 0566 Review Zero Tolerance 0566 Review

    I have recently been making regular appearances on the GearGeeksLive podcast with Tony and Andrew. Tony and I recently had Thomas Welk from KAI (Kershaw/Zero Tolerance) on the air for an episode about KAI. Although it ... continue reading

  • Viper Start Review Viper Start Review

    I got my first introduction to Viper at the 2013 Blade Show in Atlanta this past summer. A couple of my favorite reviewers, the EdgeObserver and Stefan Schmalhaus, have sampled Viper's offerings quite extensively. It ... continue reading

  • Strider SnG Review Strider SnG Review

    For many knife collectors the Strider SnG is a holy grail of sorts. Much like the Chris Reeve Sebenza, the Strider SnG represents the top of the line for production grade folders. Toss in a Hinderer XM, and you have w ... continue reading

  • Emerson CQC-13 Review Emerson CQC-13 Combat Bowie

    Emerson is one of the most American knife companies I can think of. Their blades are 100% made in the USA with American made materials, and when you thumb through one of their catalogs (or the pages of their website) ... continue reading

  • Zero Tolerance 0560 Review Zero Tolerance 0560 Review

    Finally! A Zero Tolerance 0560 review. It feels like forever ago since the 560 was first announced at the 2011 BLADE Show. Since then I have heard the rumors, ogled the pre-production photos, and even caught a glimpse ... continue reading

  • Benchmade 275 Adamas Review Benchmade 275 Review

    Designed as a tool for law enforcement and military personnel, the 275 Adamas could be the epitome of a hard use folder. The 275 shares the classic lines of many "normal" folding tactical knives, but is massively over ... continue reading

  • DPx HEST 2.0 Review DPx HEST 2.0 Review

    A hard use frame lock with multi-tool capabilities, the DPx HEST is a unique offering from a small company with an interesting pedigree. The HEST is designed by journalist Robert Young Pelton, who is known for traveli ... continue reading

  • Spyderco Paramilitary 2 Review Spyderco Paramilitary 2 Knife Review

    I get reader requests from time to time to take a look at a particular knife. I try to oblige, although it isn't always possible. I really appreciate the feedback and it's extremely humbling to hear that someone wants ... continue reading

  • Zero Tolerance 0350 Review Zero Tolerance 0350 Review

    My Zero Tolerance 0300 got a lot of looks when I carried it around. At over 9" long and with a weight of 8.6 ounces, it definitely raised some eyebrows. The excellent S30V blade was a force to be reckoned with, and I ... continue reading

  • Cold Steel Recon 1 Review img-cold-steel-recon-1-01-thumb

    I love it when knife companies refine their existing designs. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for new and exciting models, but I'm almost more excited when a "good" knife turns into a "great" one. Cold Steel did just that ... continue reading

  • Ontario RAT 1 Review Ontario Rat 1 Review

    These days if you want a high value EDC knife, there are plenty of options. Kershaw and Spyderco make some great knives in the $30 and under category that are easy choices for EDC. If you want something that is both h ... continue reading

  • Benchmade 915 Triage Review img-benchmade-915-triage-01-thumb

    Rescue knives often go unnoticed in the knife community. There are large groups of enthusiasts gathered around tactical, survival and edc blades, but I have yet to see the rescue knife develop such a loyal following. ... continue reading

  • Spyderco Gayle Bradley Review Spyderco Gayle Bradley Knife Review

    The Spyderco Gayle Bradley (C134CF) is one of those knives that was built for use and abuse, but is so nice I wasn't sure if I could bring myself to really scuff it up. I guess the only reasonable answer is to buy two ... continue reading

  • Zero Tolerance 0550 and 0551 Review Zero Tolerance 0550 Knife Review

    Today I am taking a look at the Zero Tolerance 0550, a special collaboration between ZT and Rick Hinderer. Rick has been making knives and self defense weapons for over 20 years. He started out specializing in Damasc ... continue reading

  • Cold Steel AK-47 Review img-cold-steel-ak47-thumb-01

    The original AK-47 rifle was designed by Russian Gunsmith Mikhail Kalashnikov in 1946. These guns were designed to be simple and rugged, and for these reasons the AK-47 design has enjoyed much popularity for over 60 ... continue reading

  • Zero Tolerance 0300 Review img-zero-tolerance-0300-01-thumb

    When Zero Tolerance first came on the scene the 0300 is one of their knives that really caught my eye. The graceful curves reminded me of some deep sea mammal while the construction reminded me of a semi truck. So I w ... continue reading

  • Cold Steel American Lawman Review img-cold-steel-american-lawman-thumb-01

    When I hear the words "hard use folder" it's often accompanied by a mental image of dollar signs. For whatever reason, we have equated hard working blades with titanium, super steel, and triple digit price tags. Those ... continue reading