As one of the premier knife makers in the world, Emerson knives has always been proud to call America home.  Despite their name being ubiquitous with handcrafted excellence, I haven’t had a chance to run with one of Ernest Emerson’s blades until recently.  In the mail arrived… the CQC-14.

emerson CQC-14

As stated on Emerson’s website, the CQC-14 “Snubby” is designed for those who live in knife control areas where a blade length of less than 3″ is required.  While it may surprise some of you, much of the country has gotten used to the idea that a pocketknife must be under a certain blade length.  Emerson has kept a full-size handle on the Snubby, which has excellent ergonomics.  Here’s a full spec rundown:

  • 2.7″ 154 CM steel blade with conventional V grind
  • Aerospace grade Titanium liner lock
  • Black G-10 epoxy / glass laminate handle
  • 7.6″ overall length

Then there’s the Wave feature to discuss.  Originally designed to keep an opponents knife from sliding up the backside of the blade during a fight,  the Wave shape was quickly recognized as having a secondary benefit.  It can easily be used to open the blade as you’re pulling it out of your pocket.  While not necessary for an EDC “tool” knife, it can be absolutely essential if it’s ever needed in a defensive situation.

Pretty snappy right?  This really enhances the CQC-14′s opening speed in an emergency.  I’ve found that while opening your blade can be blazing fast, using the Wave does take a little getting used to.  The first couple times I pulled the Snubby from my pocket, it opened unintentionally, until I modified my pull with a little “press forward” if I wanted it to stay closed and a little “press back” if I wanted it to Wave open.  Again, there’s an investment/reward principle in effect.

emerson cqc-14

The blade is sharp and durable, much as one would expect from an Emerson product.  I don’t walk around chopping broom handles with my EDC knife, but I do treat them as tools meant to be used and abused.  Thus far, the CQC-14 has held its edge very well.  Having come to me with a damn fine edge on it already, it is impressive that it is still this sharp after a good bit of cutting, sawing and a little prying.  The G-10 handles are excellent both in terms of ergonomics and “grippiness”.

emerson cqc-14

I don’t fancy myself a knife fighter out of some Van Damme movie.  I do know I can carry my blade in more locations that I can a defensive handgun, and do.  God forbid the need should ever arise, I would feel plenty confident in having the Emerson CQC-14 “Stubby” in my hands.  Retail is around $240.  Check it out!


Rex Nanorum