The Best Hard Use Folder Knife

When it comes to needing a rugged and sturdy tactical knife, nothing beats the hard use folder knife. While the Swiss Army may be one of the most popular knives out there when it comes to machismo, and the hard use folder knife’s name says it all. These are knives that are made so sturdy you can even use them to baton wood.

With a hard use folder knife, you don’t have to be coy about using it to get into a car engine at the junkyard or using it to split wood, but most are built to be easy to carry on you for daily use. They are perfect for just about any outdoor activity.

best hard use folder knife

First off - it’s good to know the vocabulary for the different parts of a knife.

Here's a quick lesson:

Anatomy of a Folder Knife:

  • Blade -the blade is the most well-known part of a knife. It is the part of the knife that is made for slicing and cutting
  • Base-the base of the folding knife is where the blade joins with the handle
  • Back-the base this is the unsharpened edge of the blade
  • Edge-the edge is the thinnest part of a sharpened blade
  • Choil-the choil is the indented space on the blade where a finger is most likely to rest
  • Flipper-the flipper is usually where the switch is located to flip open the knife and also used as a guard for the finger when the blade is open
  • Deployment-the deployment is how the folding knife opens from its handle
  • Grind-the grind is the style of the beveled edge of a blade. There are different types of grinds, for example, flat and hollow
  • Front-the front of the knife is the part of the blade where the primary edge is located
  • Point-the point is the very tip of a sharpened blade. There are many types of point, two common ones are sheepsfoot and spear
  • Retention-the retention describes how long a knife will retain its edge
  • Thumb ramp-the thumb ramp acts as a guard and a place for your thumb when you need the extra leverage
  • Joint-the joint is the place where the folder knife folds
  • Lock-the lock keeps the blade in place
  • Spine-the spine on a knife is the part of the blade that runs down through the handle
  • Clip-the clip allows you to secure your knife to the inside of our pocket for easy access

Differences Between a Regular Folding Knife and a Hard Use Folder Knife

The most significant difference in that the hard use folder knife has a thicker blade and a stronger handle. Also, the thick blades tend to have a portion that is serrated.

When it comes to choosing which knife to purchase, you want to consider why you’re looking for the strongest folding knife.


If you think you might need a knife for mostly cutting but might want to use it for prying or batoning on occasion, then a hard use folder knife could be what you’re looking for. Though it still needs to be remembered that at the end of a day, a knife is a knife.

If you’re looking for something to pry or chop on a regular basis then look into the right tools for those jobs. You want to find something with the strongest blade. Overusing your knife for jobs it’s not meant to do can cut down on the life of your heavy-duty folding knife.


Pricing is also another consideration when it comes to choosing which knife you’re going to purchase. You can spend anywhere from 20 bucks to over 200 for a high-quality hard use folder knife. It depends on your budget and how you plan on using the knife.


Blade steel is something else that you want to think about. You want steel that will remain edgy but is also easy to sharpen. Each type of steal comes with its own pros and cons.

  • M4 or 3V steel is strong but stains easily.
  • D2 steel is decent but can be difficult to sharpen.
  • 154CM is an excellent choice steel as it can stand up to the hard use.

The Best Hard Use Folder Knife

There is quite a variety of different brands on the market that offer good steel choices at different prices.

The Benchmade Adamas

Made out of D2 steel, the Benchmade Adamas is a big boy coming in at 7.70 ounces. The blade has a flat grind and is 3.82” long.

The Adamas has a Rockwell rating between 60 and 62 meaning this blade will retain its sharpness for quite some time. This sleek knife is easy to open and close, and the cost is about 200 dollars.

Spyderco Manix 2XL

This blade is made out of CPM S3OV steel and is 3.33” inches long. The sweetheart weights less than 6 ounces. The perk to the Spyderco Manix 2XL is the ability to open the blade from the front or the back. This is due to Spyderco’s excellent design that features oversized thumbholes. You can buy a Spyderco Manix 2XL for about 125 dollars.

Lionsteel TM1

this knife is made in Italy with a thick blade made of Sleipner steel. The weight on this beauty is 5.1 ounces which a 3.5” blade length. These knives can be a little clumsy for daily use, but the design is perfect for batoning, and they make a great hunting knife.

Hoague X-5

this is a sexy knife, with a sleek black design. This knife is made of CP-154 steel, this knife is beast as well as beauty. This little number weighs 5.7 ounces, and the blade comes in at 4.0” inches. What makes this particular knife unique is that it comes with a patent-pending draw combines a button lock with a flipper.

You have to be willing to part with around 220 dollars for this knife, but it’s well worth it.

Of course, if you don't know which knife to buy, you can always subscribe to Crate Club to get a number of options.

Final Cut

When it comes to hard use folder knives, there are a few different things to consider. You want to make sure you’re identifying why you want this type of knife while making sure it aligns with your budget. With a little research and some insight, you will be able to find the perfect knife for your pocket and your pocketbook.

You May Also Enjoy:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *