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 La Griffe Review
The La Griffe, which apparently means ‘the claw’ in French, is designed by Fred Perrin and produced by Emerson. Fred Perrin is a French SpecOps veteran and martial arts practitioner who also designs knives on the side. Most of his designs are more or less designed to be weapons and his designs come from a ...
Emerson Mini Commander Review
The Mini-Commander is my third Emerson folder and third in the line of CQC knives. I guess I’m an Emerson collector. I initially purchased a CQC-7BW during my Marine Corps days, then I purchased a Mini CQC-15 that I thought combined a cool tanto edge and a good belly to replace the 7. Now I ...
Emerson Mini CQC-15 Review
The Emerson CQC line of folding tactical knives are downright legendary. Mr. Emerson’s knives were the first folding tactical knives and are common to see among the armed forces, with police, and of course average Joes like me. CQC stands for ‘close quarters combat,’ and these knives are designed to be used as weapons as ...
Kershaw Emerson Collaboration Review
For 2014 KAI USA and Emerson Knives have teamed up to deliver the first high volume, overseas produced Emerson designed ‘CQC’ knives. The release targets a thirsty market of consumers looking for the designer’s distinct ‘tactical’ aesthetic coupled with the wave opening feature at an affordable price point. Buy the Kershaw Emerson Collaboration at Amazon The CQC ...
Emerson PUK Review
Last Updated: August 5, 2019 Emerson is well known for producing a wide variety of knives, but they are most famous for producing a tactical folding knife known as the CQC 7. The CQC 7 is popular among spec ops troops around the world. The CQC 7 is what caused Ernest Emerson to turn the company ...
Emerson Sheepdog Review
Last Updated: July 30, 2019 Having reviewed many Emerson knives over the years, and reaching largely the same conclusions, you would think I am a glutton for punishment in selecting the Emerson Sheep Dog for review. However, the Sheepdog brings something new to the table. This is the first Emerson flipper I have reviewed, and it ...
Emerson Gentleman Jim Review
Last Updated: September 9, 2019 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 few designs over the years that have strayed off the beaten path and caught my eye. The ...
Emerson Mini CQC-7 Review
Last Updated: August 3, 2019 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 self-defense is incalculable. I had wanted an Emerson knife for a long ...
Zero Tolerance 0620CF Review
Last Updated: August 3, 2019 I have given Zero Tolerance 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 different manufacturers. Would I purchase and review this knife? I slept on it for a ...
Emerson Roadhouse Review
Last Updated: August 5, 2019 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 stop to consider my actual needs ...
Emerson Horseman Mini CQC-8 Review
Last Updated: August 4, 2019 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, “Oh yeah, I’m going to EDC the heck out of this ...
Emerson CQC-13 Review
Last Updated: August 10, 2019 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) you really get the feeling that these knives are distinctly American. ...
Emerson Super Commander Review
Last Updated: March 4, 2018 Fans of Emerson Knives are no stranger to the Commander. It’s one of Emerson’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 out with a mini version, and the Super Commander shown here. ...
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 can’t talk about classic folding tactical knives without mentioning Emerson Knives. Buy the CQC-7 ...
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.
Hello. Appreciate all the reviews. Helped me pull the trigger on my first benchmade. A 950 rift.
My my ? Is about a series of knives on sale now for $20. The Kershaw/Emerson cqc’s 2-7. Will you be reviewing one of these soon? I guess for the price I could just buy one and if it sucks, just hand it off to my nephew. I would like to hear your take on them though. Thanks.
Thanks for the kind words. I reviewed the Kershaw Emerson CQC-6k a couple years ago. You can check out the review here: CQC-6K Review
The cliff note’s version is that it’s a solid little knife for the money. Worth investigating if you like the Emerson designs but don’t care for the price tag.
Excellent. Must have missed that one!! I am intrigued by the design. Gonna try the cqc 7. Thanks again.
Gary Gleck says
I have a number of Emerson knives but found the rarest of them all the Tiger on ebay. It’ll be here in a couple days. I cannot wait!
Gary Gleck says
I have a number of Emerson knives but found the rarest of them all the Tiger on ebay. It’ll be here in a couple days. I cannot wait! Semper Fi