Throughout the history of mankind, a sharp knife has been a necessary survival tool. Since the earliest man sharpened a fragment of rock into a crude blade, the knife has been arguably man’s greatest invention (aside from capturing fire, or maybe soap). So when the time came for me to select a knife I would bet my life on, I contacted The Loadout Room’s resident knife expert Scott Witner. In the past year Scott has reviewed over two dozen styles/brands of knives, he is what I consider a true outdoorsman and knife aficionado.

A few months ago I became involved with the Civil Air Patrol and began training to help assist in search and rescue operations here in Alaska. When I first began reading over the standard operation procedures and required aircrew survival equipment I saw the words “Knife, folding 6” and started to think about what brand/style of knife I wanted. The knife needed to be high quality, and durable for the unlikely event I ever was involved in an aircraft crash. I wanted to know without a doubt that the knife I selected wouldn’t fail me in my greatest hour of need.

When I sent the message about a possible knife selection to Scott, within minutes and without a second thought he suggested I look at the Emerson Knives CQC-15. Ernest Emerson’s knives have been featured on the Loadout Room several times before. They have lived up to the hype, and the price tag each time they have been reviewed. I ended up selecting the Mini CQC-15 because it was slightly smaller than the full-sized knife, and would stow more easily inside a survival vest pocket. Let’s take a look at the available options and specifications of the Emerson Knives Mini CQC-15.

Emerson Knives Mini CQC-15
CQC-15 Mini

Emerson CQC 15 Mini Specifications:

  • Style of Knife: Folding knife
  • Blade Style: Hybrid tanto/recurve design
  • Blade Length: 3.5″
  • Blade Thickness: .125″
  • Blade Material: 154 CM
  • Blade Hardness: 57-59 RC
  • Overall Length: 7.9″
  • Handle Material: Black G-10 epoxy/glass laminate
  • Available Finish: Black or Stone washed satin
  • Weight: 3.8 ounces
  • MSRP: $199.95 (Available with serrated edge for $5.00 extra)
  • Unique Features: Patented Emerson Wave opening mechanism


  • Daily carry
  • Survival bag
  • Any outdoors use


  • Well built
  • Superior materials
  • Easy opening
  • Proven track record of quality
  • American made

Cons: Price