Ernest Emerson is a pioneer in both custom and production knives. Due to the popular demand for his customs by civilians and members of the armed forces alike, the wait list for one of his handmade knives grew exponentially. In 1996 Emerson Knives, Inc. was founded. In every major theater of operation the US is deployed in — “on or off the books” — an Emerson knife has been used, and used hard.

Meet the Emerson CQC-8

Ernest Emerson prides himself on making a 100% American-made product that will serve its owner for a lifetime. The Emerson CQC-8 is an icon in the tactical knife industry.Designed to be used in both saber and reverse grip when open, the “banana” as it is affectionately known, can trace its roots to the Bob Taylor/Al Mar Warrior and the Bill Moran ST-23. The 154CM stainless steel blade features a non-reflective black tenifer coating, upper swedge and a conventional V-grind. A thumb disc makes right- or left-hand opening easy and convenient, while the patented Emerson Wave opener makes one-handed opening the fastest of any folding knife. Textured G-10 scales provide positive traction in any grip style.

The slim format lends itself well to using the knife in a closed position as an impact device and is at home in evening attire as casual wear despite being all business. The Emerson CQC-8 has been “famous in the worst places”® due to its popularity with everyone from the SAS to the SEALs. Truly a modern classic design that is combat-proven.

The Emerson CQC-8 knife was a custom knife that I first made almost 30 years ago. It was used by operators active in Bosnia and in a certain African country, where a small group of (less than 200) private contractors (Executive Outcomes) held off and defeated an entire army, in 6 weeks, which the U.N. had been unable to do with over 5,000 troops for 6 months. Its funny how they’ve just recently come back into the news.

Meet the Emerson CQC-8

Anyway, the Emerson CQC-8 was popular amongst certain groups within the SEAL community and the British SAS. It has a gentle S curve that places the knife in good hand position for use in either regular or reverse grips. It was designed to be a fighter from the very beginning and had ample use in both Eastern Europe and Africa. It is as pure a fighting knife as I had ever designed—that’s not to say that it is the “best fighting design” but that it was designed as a fighter from start to finish.


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(images courtesy of emersonknives.com)