We’ve reviewed several types of folding knives here at The Loadout Room – Emerson, Zero Tolerance, and SOG to name a few. Even with all the reviews it can still be a tough decision when looking for that new knife. This time, we’re going to take it a step further and discuss the different blade designs. We’ll cover the pros and cons, their intended uses, and my honest opinion of each design. I will also give recommendation of knives I think excel in each design category.

  • TantoEmerson Specwar, Emerson CQC7, SOG Trident
    • Popular in the world of ‘tactical’ blades. This style excels in stabbing and thrusting as a self defense tool.
    • Although it can be carried as an everyday knife the design isn’t a utilitarian blade.
  • Bowie/Clip PointEmerson Appalachian, SOG Trident, Gerber Gator
    • This blade design excels as a tool for hunters who need a blade for skinning and processing meat.
    • Although this makes a good slicer it is not your ideal choice for self defense and combatives.
  • RecurveEmerson Commander, Zero Tolerance 0350, SOG Vulcan
    • The recurve design is extremely efficient as a slicing blade and outdoor field knife.
    • This design can be challenging to sharpen due to the recurve in the blade. This usually requires a narrow sharpening stone or rod.
  • Drop PointGerber Gator (hands down the best drop point folder I’ve ever used)
    • The drop point design is probably the best utilitarian design available. This blade design is excellent for your everyday tasks and easy to maintain.
    • This design could be considered the jack of all trades and master of none. The Gerber Gator knife also is carried via a nylon belt pouch; not a pocket clip.

I’ve had the opportunity to use several different companies knives and have developed some favorites. My personal favorite are knives made by Emerson Knives, Inc. They are a proven company who has been around since the early 90’s and have rock solid designs. My personal everyday carry knife that is on me more times than not is the Emerson SPECWAR. There are plenty of other good quality knife manufacturers out there and I own some of their knives as well. Hopefully this simple breakdown of blade designs assists you in deciding what knife to get depending on your intended use.