I have 3 knives that I want to get but can only afford one of them in Feb as my splurge of the month and I want to know what you fine folks think I should do...

The 3 knives are...

The Lion Steel SR1-A (Red)

The Zero Tolerance 0801 (Ti)

The Cold Steel Espada (Large, the XL is a bit too much IMHO)

If it was your choice which knife would you get, all three of them appeal to me for different reasons, all of them have something special that makes me go "Ooooooh, me want!" but I can only afford to get one. Right now, mostly because I just watched some videos of it, the Espada is yelling to me to get it, I love the lines, the blade shape, the polished bolsters, but I'm not a fan of lockback knives too much. I know they're sturdy but I prefer a one handed closing capability but in this blade it doesn't seem like that would matter a whole lot. So long as it isn't too tight. I just love the looks of the knife, it's so sexy. The Lion Steel just has that polished, custom look and feel to it. I considered the Titanium one but I don't really NEED that and I like the better color options of the Alu models and esp. the red one. The ZT 0801 has gotten some awesome reviews and seems like it's lightning fast and smooth but it's not a very pretty knife, but I'm not ALL about looks. Though aesthetics often do play a role in what I buy, I'm an artist and if something catches my eye it will go a long way towards drawing me in (hence the appeal of the Espada right now). HELP! I'm completely at a loss as to what to do come the first of the month. What do you guys think? Please, leave me lots of detailed comments as to what you would buy and why you would buy it.

Also, any custom knife makers on the site who have blades for sale, please link me to your wares and tell me your prices, I'd like to patronize our local group and would love to get some custom knives in my collection sometime. I'm partial to locking folders but not totally adverse to fixed blades. I also have my eye on a beautiful Silver Stag fixed blade bowie knife that's just outstanding looking and has gotten some very favorable reviews from some of the YT'ers I watch. So that's on my list of eventual buys. Saw a nice Damascus one on Amazon tonight that I threw into my wish list.

Also, do you folks ever do trades on here? I haven't yet hit the point where I have enough knives that I'm ready to trade any of them, yet, but I imagine I will in time. Or maybe someone would want a dagger or sword. Though most of the ones I have are NOT combat ready, they're wall hangers I've collected because of my love of a film or just liked the design, they're mostly 440c steel, nothing you would use in real practical applications. The ones I do have that are quality blades I would never part with, they stay wrapped in an oiled cloth in a chest in my basement office and I take them out once in a while to clean them and fondle them. :)

I know you guys are big into picture taking, but like I've said, I'm stuck in a chair, it's hard for me to take decent pics from my position, but some day I'll try to do it. Or get someone to go around the house and take pics or a video or something. I have a lot of LOTR swords, several Kit Rae swords, some UC stuff and so on and so forth, but I digress here. I'm really interested in your opinions on these three folding knives, please let me know. Also if I'm using the blogs wrong tell me. On most of the Ning sites I've been a member of we used the blogs sort of like forums because the forum portion of Ning was never very well done IMHO. Blogs were always just easier to work with. So just let me know if I'm ever doing things that are against the usual method around here, I'm still a noob to your community and need to learn the ropes.

Warmest Regards,


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Comment by Steve Barnett on February 2, 2015 at 6:21
Well, assuming because you're a big guy you'd prefer larger blades, I advise you to look at an aftermarket Benchmade 710 or Zero tolerance or Spyderco Military. Those can be had at around $100 in the aftermarket and are top notch (usually) in terms of quality. For less thank $100 new, you kinda of start getting into "hit and miss" territory . I have seen a few decent knives in that category though - the Ontario RAT 1, Cold Steel Recon and American lawman, Buck Vantaga series, and Spyderco Tenacious to name a few.
Comment by Alexander Noot on February 2, 2015 at 4:06

Well....I didn't know the easy closing was a requirement. Sorry otherwise I would've mentioned that. They lock up like a vault but they are indeed difficult to close as well.

Sub $100 folders.....hmm....any other requirements other than price?

Comment by Michael A. Smith on February 1, 2015 at 23:10

Well I got the Espada XL and it was as I feared, the lock back was so tight I couldn't close it, I needed to use pliers to get it closed, so I'm returning it. I can't imagine anyone could close this with their hands, it's insane! As a folding knife it's useless. So I ordered a Silver Stag fixed blade instead. Pics when it gets here. Here's a stock photo of the knife...

I think it's beautiful and I don't need to worry about if it's going to have a lock problem. And it adds one more to my fixed blade collection. Won't be able to afford either of the other two folders this month, any suggestion for sub $100 folders?

Comment by Michael A. Smith on January 29, 2015 at 16:28


Comment by Steve Scheuerman (Manx) on January 29, 2015 at 5:13

eBay. :-) 

Comment by Michael A. Smith on January 29, 2015 at 2:15
Price is too much for me there. I don't plan to ever spend more than $250ish on a knife, if I have more than that to spend I'll buy a gun. :) But it is nice.
Comment by Steve Scheuerman (Manx) on January 28, 2015 at 17:13

Since yer such a big guy, I would seriously eye the 0300-0303 line of Zero Tolerance. Bigger knife, super solid, and S30V steel. 8oz and about 9in OAL. And the titanium frame is nothing to sneeze at either. You might find they fit your hand better.  http://zt.kaiusaltd.com/knives/knife/zt0301

Comment by Michael A. Smith on January 28, 2015 at 15:55

Oh no, more knives to add to my Amazon wish list. :) hehehe.

I'll get them all EVENTUALLY (I hope) it's just a matter of time.

Comment by Steve Barnett on January 28, 2015 at 13:21

I see that you've settled on the Cold Steel Espada, but for my money Zero Tolerance can not be beat at their price points.  I think that the 0801 would be a bit small for you, but the 0560 and 0561's with their 4" blades and titanium frame locks are really nice.  They are very close to CRK level of quality IMO, and seem to be in the price range you're looking at.

Good luck to you.

Comment by Steve Scheuerman (Manx) on January 26, 2015 at 15:29

I would go with the ZT myself. However, that Elmax steel has had some mixed reviews. Some like it, others hate it. I haven't used a knife with the Elmax yet, so I have little to offer there. I know my 0300 and my 0303 are absolute beasts and built like brick outhouses.

I have quite a few Cold Steels and love them. Don't have the Espada yet, but it's on the list. Good low-medium priced knives.

As for the Lion Steel...well, never had one, most likely never will. Not a huge fan of the looks of those. From what I have read, they are supposed to be good knives.

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