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August 2010 Gear - Folder Knives: A Versatile Camping Tool

Posted in Product Reviews on August 1, 2010
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A wrench spins bolts and a screwdriver turns screws, but a folder knife can do more than look sharp.

It's one of the most versatile tools you can carry in your pocket. Whether you're pushing in Schrader valve pins to air down, slicing and replacing a burst heater core hose, or skinning some fish or game, a folding blade is quintessential camping gear.

So, here's a look at some folder knives...

5.11 Tactical Scout Folder
Blade Length: 3.5 in
Weight: 4.8 oz
Retail Price: $44.99

The Scout Folder is designed for law enforcement and first responders, so you know it's tough and ideal for high performance. The 3.5-inch blade (available in spear point or tanto shapes) is made from AUS-8 stainless steel — which offers a good mix of sharpness, toughness, and corrosion resistance. Meanwhile, the ergonomic handle is made from durable G10 scales, providing a non-slip grip. Plus, the pocket clip can be repositioned for lefties or righties and tip up or tip down.

5.11 Tactical
(866) 451-1726
www.511tactical.com

Benchmade 583-1 Warn
Blade Length: 3.66 in
Weight: 5.4 oz
Retail Price: $150

Benchmade is one of the top U.S. knife manufacturers. Warn Industries is an American institution in the off-road world. Now, they've teamed up to craft a blade that both knife nuts and four-wheelers will enjoy. The Warn folder features D2 blade steel, a G10 handle, a red backspacer, and a reversible carry clip for customization. Best of all, the knife features Axis-Assist, which combines a coil spring-assisted opening with Benchmade's patented locking mechanism for a speedy draw and a secured close.

Benchmade Knife Co.
(800) 800-7427
www.benchmade.com

CRKT Centofante Tribute
Blade Length: 3.125 in
Weight: 1.5 oz
Retail Price: $44.99

Produced by Columbia River Knife & Tool, this folder couldn't be more aptly named, as it's definitely a throwback to old-school designs in an industry filled with flashy gimmicks and complex locks. The Centofante Tribute features a classic outdoorsman aesthetic with a light, elegant handle made of chestnut brown and black Micarta. There isn't even a pocket clip. But, there is a stainless-steel lockback lever and a 3.125-inch blade made of premium 7Cr17MoV steel. Plus, it's affordable to boot.

Columbia River Knife & Tool
(800) 891-3100
www.crkt.com

Spyderco Chokwe
Blade Length: 3.75 in
Weight: 3.7 oz
Retail Price: $219.95

The Chokwe combines advanced technology with centuries-old design. The 3.75-inch blade, made of CPM-S30V steel, is super sharp. The sleek handle is fashioned from G10 scales and has bored-out holes to reduce weight. Plus, opening and closing the blade is easy with Spyderco's trademark thumb hole and a Chris Reeve-style integral lock.

Named in honor of the ethnic group residing in central Africa, the Chokwe has a triangular blade and a coffin-shaped handle as a tribute to the fixed blades used by its namesake for hundreds, if not thousands, of years. Plus, about 5 percent of sales of the Chokwe benefit the Keep a Child Alive Organization.

Spydero
(800) 525-7770
www.spyderco.com

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