What makes Emerson Knives so great? Well, for one, it’s 100% Made in the USA, down to the screws they use. Most other knife manufacturers try to use the latest and greatest steel or handle material as their selling points. One year it’s one super steel, and the next year it’s a different super steel. What sets Emerson Knives apart is their consistent and simplistic approach. Emerson has used the same steel from day one – 154CM – because it works and it’s a strong steel.

Emerson Knives use common hardware; phillips screws for the handle and a flat head screw for the pivot. This makes it very easy to maintain in the field if you carry a multi tool – no crazy hex or torque bits needed.

Emerson Knives: Combat Tested and Reliable
Handle scales with standard phillips screws and a flat head screw for the pivot
Emerson Knives: Combat Tested and Reliable
The Emerson pocket clip secured with standard phillips screws.


Speaking of easy to maintain, their chisel-ground blades are among the easiest to keep a serviceable edge on because there is only a single edge to maintain. This also allows for easy field sharpening by using rocks, bricks, pipe, or glass. The knives are not meant to be super-sharp surgical blades; these are tools.

Emerson Knives: Combat Tested and Reliable
The chisel ground blade of the author’s CQC-7B knife.


Emerson Knives: Combat Tested and Reliable
The chisel ground blade of the author’s Commander knife.

The “wave opening feature” was originally designed as a blade catch to prevent another knife or sharp object from sliding up the blade and cutting the operators hand or arm. It wasn’t until a unit within the SEAL Teams was testing a prototype and noticed that it also deployed the blade when pulling it from your pocket. A bonus feature of the wave is that, in a pinch, it opens beer bottles!

Ernest Emerson has a solid reputation within the SEAL Teams and SOF community. He listens to their input and puts tools in the hands of guys going down range that they can stake their lives on. I recently sent my Commander back to Emerson to have my mom’s favorite bible verse engraved on the blade as a type of personal memorial. Long story short, after hearing why I was having the blade engraved, Mr. Emerson decided to engrave the blade free of charge! Guys, what other knife maker would do that?

From the Manufacturer:

The Commander knife – battle tested and proven – incorporates some of the most advanced ergonomics ever featured on a folding knife. The knife, already in use with elite armed forces, European Military strike teams and NATO Counter-Terrorist units throughout the world was chosen by the U.S. Navy SEAL teams for issue to special units within the Naval Special Forces Units. Because of its ruggedness, it has become a favorite of hunters, outdoorsmen and adventurers the world over. It features the patented “wave shaped opening feature.”