Founded by custom knifemaker Ernest Emerson, Emerson Knives has been making hard use tactical folders since 1996. Often considered to be the father of folding tactical knives, Ernest Emerson began his knifemaking career at the age of 23. Since then he has a deep involvement in the knifemaking industry, as a maker, designer and mass producer of knives.
Emerson Knife Reviews:
- Emerson Gentleman Jim Review
When I think of Emerson Knives, I think of purpose built tactical knives. Models like the CQC-7, the Commander, and the CQC-15. These stout utility/"tactical" knives epitomize the company. But Emerson has released a f ... continue reading
- Emerson Mini CQC-7 Review
As Dan wrote in his review of the full-size model, the CQC-7 is one of the very first and most influential tactical knives in the world. Ernie Emerson’s influence on the perception and use of folding knives for sel ... continue reading
- Zero Tolerance 0620CF Review
I have given Zero Tolerance a lot of air time - especially over the past year. So I actually had to pause and think when my pre-order for the 0620CF popped into my inbox. I try to feature a variety of knives from diff ... continue reading
- Emerson Roadhouse Review
I've mentioned a couple times before that every now and then I get the urge to pick up an Emerson, and make it my EDC. I know the knife is going to be too large for me to comfortably carry, and way overboard when I st ... continue reading
- Emerson Horseman Mini CQC-8 Review
I have bought a number of Emerson knives under the guise that they were going to be my next EDC. Ernest's blades have an American bravado to them that I really enjoy, and on several occasions I've found myself say, "O ... continue reading
- Emerson CQC-13 Review
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
- Emerson Super Commander Review
Emerson fans are no stranger to the Commander. It's one of Emerson's (EKI's) original designs and is among their most popular models to this day. So it would seem like a no-brainer to take this classic knife and come ... continue reading
- Emerson CQC-7 Review
Last Updated: October 3, 2016 Tactical knives are trendy, and it's easy to get swept up in the latest trends. While I have seen a lot of great new knives come out recently, I'm still drawn to the classics... and you ... continue reading
More on Emerson Knives
While Ernest Emerson wasn’t the first to make a folding tactical knife, he helped greatly popularizing it in the mid 90s. His custom knives became so highly sought after he decided to mass produce them to satisfy the incredibly high demand.
Early production model Emersons were part of a collaboration with Benchmade Knives. Ernest licensed the Oregon knife factory his CQC 7 design in 1994. The knives were a hit so 1996 Ernest and his wife founded Emerson Knives, Inc (EKI). EKI has collaborated with the likes of Gerber, Surefire and American Tomahawk Company producing various special edition blades. EKI has also done work for the NASA and the NAVY (including the elite Navy SEALs) and his blades are coveted by soldiers, law enforcement and collectors alike.
Emerson knives are typically made in 154cm and feature walker linerlocks. Many come chisel ground (where only one side is sharpened). This is a highly polarizing feature and the company has subsequently began offering their knives in a more standard “V” grind as well. EKI knives are meant to be hard use tools. Their beefy hardware, large flathead bolts and rugged blade shapes are meant to take abuse and be easily serviced in the field.
More on Ernest Emerson
Ernest Emerson announced his semi-retirement from making custom knives full time in 2000. These days he makes customs in small batches and sells them by a lottery system at knife shows. Emerson also makes a small number of custom guitars. Ernest is a life long martial artist and has trained and studied for over 35 years. He has developed his own combat system called “Emerson Combat Systems” that has been taught all over the world.