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Best Drop-Point Knives: EDC Perfection?



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At first glance, the drop-point blade may not seem very special. In fact, it borders on the ordinary. This type of blade has a slope along the spine that runs from the handle to the tip. Because of the drop of the point, it’s aligned with the center axis of the handle and makes for a tool that’s very effective at stabbing.

A drop point is distinctive from other knife designs in that the top curve of the tip is always in a convex shape. This allows for a good hunting or camping knife in the field.

The late custom knifemaker, Bob Loveless, popularized the hollow-ground drop-point blade to a degree that these types of knives are often referred to as Loveless style. Yet, Loveless took his designs slightly further by making full-tang knives out of one entire piece of steel, as opposed to cutting it in half and gluing the knife together. He’d then taper the tang, similar to how he would taper the tip, and the finished piece was perfectly balanced.

One of the advantages of a properly made drop point is that they look fairly innocuous to non-knife people. They’re not as scary as a tanto or as wicked looking as a dagger or karambit. So, if you find yourself having to cut an apple or open a box in front of a group of people, they’re less likely to bolt in panic.

Overall, they make for a very utilitarian knife. The blade tends to have enough belly in it to make for an effective skinner, chopper, or woodworking knife. It’s an extremely versatile design.

They can be had in all sizes from 1-inch key-chain-type knives, up to what can best be described as short swords or machetes. Here, we’ll look at the types more designed for everyday carry in the pocket or on the belt.

As we’ll see in this lineup, the drop point may have a plain-Jane look, but on second glance there’s an understated beauty to the design. They’re like the midsize pickup trucks of the knife world in their utility and in their looks.

This is the type of knife you carry and will probably use every day. 

BEST DROP-POINT KNIVES

Spyderco Native 5

  • Blade length: 3 inches
  • Overall length: 6.875 inches
  • Weight: 2.4 ounces
  • Handle Material: FRN
  • Blade Steel: SPY27
  • Price: $210
  • Website: spyderco.com

Spyderco Knives has often pioneered “super steels” in order to produce top-tier working knives. Recently, the company ventured into producing their own brand of steel with Crucible Industries, and the end result is SPY27. This steel features an alloy consisting of a proprietary blend of vanadium, molybdenum, niobium, nitrogen, and cobalt.  It’s similar to S30 and S35VN. The Native 5 is the first knife to use this steel, and like all of the Native family, it’s made in Golden, Colorado. It has been seeing regular use for over a year and still performs well. This particular model is extremely well made and features a strong back lock on a very ergonomic handle.

Pros:

+ New steels can be hit or miss but in using this one for over a year, we can safely say it’s a hit with regard to cutting, slicing, retaining an edge, and corrosion resistance.

+ The Native has always been a favorite blade shape and it may be one of the best executed drop-point blades on the market.

+ The clip allows for left- or right-hand carry, tip up or tip down.

Cons:

– A slightly longer handle would make this one perfect for those who wear XL-sized gloves.

T. Kell Knives Raider

  • Blade length: 3.25 inches
  • Overall length: 7.25 inches 
  • Weight: 4.5 ounces
  • Handle Material: G10
  • Blade Steel:80CRV2
  • Price: $200
  • Website: tkellknives.com

Most knife makers can take a while to find their groove, then there are makers like T. Kell who hit the ground running and seem to crush it with each new design. The Raider is a robust, hard-use drop-point blade named for the hard-charging U.S. Marine Corps Raiders: specially trained infantrymen who deploy from small boats, helicopters, or however the Marine Corps wants to get them close to the enemy to deal real damage. It functions equally well as a hunting or field knife and can also be your standard knife for all EDC tasks. The Kydex sheath rides comfortably and discreetly on the belt, always at the ready.

Pros

+ This is a great all-purpose knife and may remind many of us how useful and versatile the drop-point blade truly is.

+ 80CRV2 offers excellent wear resistance and superb edge retention for the toughest tasks. A nickel boron coating is used for added corrosion resistance.

+ The Kydex sheath is perfect, fitting the knife and the belt like a high-quality holster.

Cons

– A half-inch more handle length is needed.

– The edge may rust if not properly maintained.

Southern Grind Spider Monkey

  • Blade width 3.25 inches
  • Overall length: 7.43 inches
  • Weight: 2.1 ounces
  • Handle Material: Carbon fiber
  • Blade Material: S35VN
  • Price: $299
  • Website: southerngrind.com

Southern Grind Knives was founded by country music singer Zac Brown and is currently a division of Diamondback Firearms. Diamondback is dedicated to carrying on Southern Grind’s quality in design and choice of materials. The Spider Monkey is a good midsized EDC knife, featuring a drop-point blade of S35VN and carbon-fiber handles. A short EDC clip allows it to ride discreetly in the pocket for comfortable everyday carry. Available in a few different handle materials, an alternate blade grind, and in Damascus steel, the Spider Monkey represents a higher-end customizable knife.

Pros:

+ The blade steel is corrosion resistant, tough, and offers great edge retention.

+ A very comfortable knife to use. This has to do with the handle’s shape and contour as well as the carbon fiber’s surface.

+ The carbon-fiber handles do a great job of keeping the weight down on this one.

Cons:  

– For the price, a flipper or other assisted opening mechanism would’ve been nice.

– Although you have a tough blade in your hands with the Spider Monkey, resharpening can take some time.

Kershaw Covalent 

  • Blade length: 3.2 inches
  • Overall length: 7.6 inches
  • Weight: 2.8 ounces
  • Handle Material: Glass filled nylon
  • Blade Material: D2
  • Price: $72
  • Website: kershaw.kaiusa.com

Kershaw is known for producing lightweight and robust pocketknives, and the Covalent is no exception. The black coated clip-point blade is made from D2 tool steel and ships razor sharp. This is one of the lightest models ever seen from Kershaw. If you’re looking for a low-cost, lightweight model that still gives you full EDC functionality, the Covalent could be the one. Equipped with Kershaw’s DuraLock mechanism, this one locks up solidly. The flipper action is unbelievable.  

Pros:

+ Extremely lightweight but very effective and usable

+ The flipper action and bearing system are amazing. This is one that you can flip and close all day long.

+ The D2 steel blade is tough and sharp. It’s coated with a black wash for added corrosion resistance.

Cons:

– Pocket clip placement is a bit odd and took some getting used to.

– The lightweight glass filled nylon handle can be a little slick. Some more checkering or an improved mold would be welcome here.

CRKT Facet/Rivet

  • Blade length: 3.5 inches
  • Overall length: 7.75 inches
  • Weight: 3 ounces
  • Handle Material: Titanium
  • Blade Steel: Bohler M390
  • Price: $325
  • Website: crkt.com

CRKT released their latest take on a classic design by custom knifemaker and BLADE magazine Hall of Fame member, Ken Onion. The Facet is made in Italy and comes in two flavors, the Viral and the Rivet. There were only 500 knives made of each version. We evaluated the Rivet. The blade is Bohler M390 stainless steel, and the handle scales are a uniquely textured titanium. Even though it’s a factory production knife, it’s very reminiscent of the custom knives that Onion was producing in his heyday, with a slim tapered blade, awesome flipper action, quality materials, and artistic detail throughout.

Pros:

+ Bohler M390 is a great steel — sharp, tough and extremely corrosion resistant. Easily one of the best we’ve used.

+ The handle treatment is superb; initially, it was mistaken for Micarta due to the texture, but it’s pure titanium.

+ One huge area of improvement is the small, deep-carry pocket clip. Some of Onion’s custom designs used very large and highly visible pocket clips.

Cons:

– There are only 500 of these knives. 

– Lacks a lanyard hole

Dervish Knives Prima

  • Blade length: 2.75 inches
  • Overall length: 7.75 inches
  • Weight: 6.4 ounces
  • Handle Material: G10
  • Blade Steel: Nitro V
  • Price: $335 
  • Website: dervishknives.com

John Gonzalez is an artist and custom knifemaker who has been honing his craft for over 25 years. While his custom designs can be hard to come by, he fills the gap by producing mid-tech versions of his custom knives. The Prima is a drop-point harpoon blade. It’s wide with a deep belly and long bevels. Blade thickness is ¼ inch. This is a fixed blade, and the Kydex sheath can ride on the belt or in the pocket. Originally intended as a skeletonized, minimalist design, he added G10 scales for a more secure hold. The knife can be used either way, but the G10 does make it better if you’re working all day with it. G10 scales are available in a few different colors.

Pros:

+ The bevels are cut so acutely that this makes for a keen slicer.

+ Nitro-V stainless steel offers a superb balance between corrosion resistance, hardness, toughness, and edge retention. 

+ Versatile; handle scales can be swapped or used without them.

Cons:

– The included clip moved the knife’s position in the pocket. A Ulti-clip proved better for consistent placement.

– May only be available during certain times of the year.

Cold Steel 4Max Scout

  • Blade length: 4 inches
  • Overall length: 10 inches
  • Weight: 10.2 ounces
  • Handle Material: Griv Ex
  • Blade Steel: AUS10A
  • Price: $104
  • Website: coldsteel.com

Cold Steel had a winning design with their original 4-Max, but due to the types of materials and manufacturing methods it was too expensive for many of their customers. So, they reevaluated and found a few cheaper alternatives that didn’t compromise performance. This became the 4-Max Scout, a huge folding knife that secures with the company’s patented Tri-Ad lock by Andrew Demko. The lock is said to be able to support 600 pounds of free hanging weight. The handles are GrivEx instead of G10, and the blade is AUS10 instead of S35VN. Although it’s only a 4-inch blade, Cold Steel packed a lot of knife into this design to keep it to that blade length. 

Pros:

+ Blade steel is AUS10. 

+ Although the original G10 on the first 4-Max knives was superb, GrivEx has a much smoother feel and contoured nicely to the liners.

+ Scary sharp edge and a properly developed drop point 

Cons:

– This is a big knife; it carries fine in blue jeans but not so well in khakis or dress slacks.

– The lock was a bit sticky at first. You may have to work on this one for a while. 

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