Exclusive Web Extra: Budget Blades For Cops
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By Michael Janich
Knives by Spyderco offer a full selection of high-quality knives using Spyderco’s state-of-the-art designs at extremely affordable prices. This Cara Cara Rescue costs a mere $39.95.
Emerson Hard Wear
Over the years, I’ve represented knife companies at many law enforcement trade shows. If I had a cartridge for every time I heard the phrase, “You want how much for that knife?” I’d never have to buy ammo again.
Knives are like guns — you get what you pay for. If you want something reliable and functional, you’re going to have to spend a few bucks. However, if you’re willing to stretch your definition of “a few” to $50 or maybe even $100, you can get a great knife without breaking the bank.
In the realm of tactical knives Ernest Emerson is a legend. One of the pioneers of handmade tactical folders, Emerson realized years ago he would never be able to meet the needs of the LE and military communities by only making custom knives. So he adapted his proven designs to large-scale manufacturing to create his own brand of tactical knives. For budget-conscious LE buyers, Emerson created his Hard Wear line. Manufactured by one of Japan’s finest knife companies to Emerson’s exacting standards, Hard Wear knives include three different folding knife designs that provide outstanding quality and performance at very affordable prices. And like all Emerson’s designs, they’re suitable for both utilitarian and defensive use.
Emerson Hard Wear folders are built on a platform of stainless steel liners and injection-molded Zytel handle scales. They boast stout back lock mechanisms that securely lock the AUS8A stainless steel blades in place during hard use. Reversible pocket clips support left and right-side tip-up carry, making them completely ambidextrous and ideal for left-handers and support-side carry. Best of all, Emerson Hard Wear knives retail for $72 to $79 (depending upon blade style), well within the budget of most cops. If you’re looking for a premium brand and extreme performance in a highly affordable knife, these are an ideal choice.
Emerson Knives’ Hard Wear line combines the proven tactical designs of founder Ernest Emerson with streamlined production methods to yield affordable, high-performance knives ideal for cops.
If you’ve been around a while (meaning you have memories before 1980), you may remember a time when clip-carry, one-hand-opening folders didn’t exist. Folding knives were carried in the pocket or in a belt pouch, they opened with two hands, and they weren’t serrated. Spyderco changed all that, introducing the concept of a pocket clip, a purposed-designed one-hand opening feature, and serrations all on the same folding knife — literally inventing the tactical folder.
Spyderco’s line of folding knives includes a wide range of sizes, shapes, materials and locking mechanisms, all manufactured to the highest standards in the industry. Many of their knives ideal for law enforcement use retail for less than $100. Their Endura and Delica designs are the best-selling tactical folders ever and are in wide use among savvy officers. Both of these knives are available with a variety of handle, blade, and coating options and are also available in dedicated, red-handled training versions with blunt blades
If $100 is still too rich for your blood, how about $40? Realizing the need for even more affordable knives, Spyderco has adapted many of its most popular designs to its byrd brand. Still manufactured to Spyderco’s uncompromising standards, these knives feature 8Cr13Mov stainless steel blades and numerous handle and blade-finish options. For officers who are really hard on their knives and refuse to spend too much, knives like the byrd Cara Cara and Meadowlark offer the same functional performance as Spyderco’s best-selling tactical folders, but at a lower price point.
Quality knives don’t come cheap, but they’re a lot more affordable than you think.