Definition of an Apex Predator: A predator at the top of a food chain that is not preyed upon by another animal.

The Emerson Tiger knife is just like a real tiger- an apex predator. It is a purebred fighting knife featuring a razor sharp trailing point wed to a serious self-defense handle style culminating in legendary Emerson Ergonomics. The Tiger tactical knife is a knife that anyone, soldier or civilian could count on in a life threatening or emergency situation. – Emerson Knives

For the detailed specs of this knife please visit the Emerson Knives website. For this review, I want to focus on the application of this specific knife design and what makes it superior over others.

Generally, when I’m selecting a folding knife to carry, I want that knife to be able to transition from an urban environment to a more austere environment and still be functional. To accomplish that, I look for a few key features.


Just about every Emerson knife I own has a handle that feels like it was custom made for my hand, they just feel that good when holding them and working with them. Even over extended periods of use, developt develop any hot spots on my hands. The Tiger is no different. Not only does it feel great in the hand, but because it is a fighting knife, the contour of the handle locks your hand in, in order to prevent riding up on the blade. The G10 scales do come a bit on the rough side, so as I do with every Emerson I get, I remove the pocket clip, get a small piece of fine grit sandpaper and make two or three passes over the G10, replace the pocket clip and I’m good to go. Whether I’m using this knife to defend my life with, gutting a deer, starting a fire or opening boxes, my grip will remain secure and uncompromised.

Blade design & profile

Out of the gate, a requirement I have on all my carry knives is a partially serrated edge. In a recent article we published, covering the 3 things needed to survive any disaster, we go over the importance of this feature. In an urban environment, a partially serrated blade is king when needing to cut through materials quickly, especially if it’s to rescue someone from a vehicle or rescue yourself from your own vehicle, seconds count, and I need to be able to work safely and quickly. For that reason, I ordered my Emerson Knives Tiger with a partially serrated blade.

Ease of Maintenance

Whether that’s in a city environment or more rural environment, I want to be able to maintain my knife with minimal tools. One of the biggest selling points, in my opinion, on all Emerson knives are the hardware. They use standard phillips and straight screws for the pivot and handle scales. That allows me to use commonly found tools to take the knife apart and clean/lubricate as needed. No more searching for that damn Torx bit.

The other aspect of maintenance is maintaining the edge. Most knives have a conventional v-grind which means there is an equal amount ground away on both sides of the blade. To a seasoned knife guy, keeping this type of edge maintained is no big deal. To the guy who’s just looking for a tool to use, either they don’t sharpen the blade, screw up the geometry of the bevel when trying or have to invest in a more expensive sharpening system to get the ‘degree’ of the edge dialed in. Not everybody is confident to do this freehand or has the money to drop on an expensive sharpening system. Emerson Knives has more or less taken the guesswork out of maintaining the edge. From day 1, Emerson has used the chisel grind, which means the blade is only ground on one side, so there is no guessing on the angle. This allows civilians and warfighters alike to be able to hone the edge back using a simple inexpensive sharpening stone, cinderblocks, ceramic coffee mugs or the edge of a car window. It’s literally that easy to do with an Emerson knife.


With all that said, I believe the Emerson Knives Tiger is a force to be reconned with when placed in the hands of a capable person. Everything from the blade profile, to the wave opening feature and ergonomics, make this, in my opinion, an apex predator of folding knives. Yes, it is a little bigger overall than let’s say the CQC-7, but it rides in the pocket nicely and affords you a no-bullshit weapon for personal defense and a tool to be used in the wilderness to keep you alive. If you’re looking for a ‘one-tool’ option for a folding knife, then I highly recommend the Emerson Tiger. Spend once, cry once and you’re set for life.