11-28-2016

Emerson Knives

I don't own an Emerson knife, but someday that might change.

These knives are well known for being rough around the edges, intended to be hard duty knives. They are not about fit and finish like Spyderco or Benchmade. People advise not to buy one until you have handled one first.

These knives are not made for EDC and general daily use, these are hard duty combat knives. They have spectacular warranty service and a fine reputation for customer service.

100 percent made in America.

Most people prefer the CQC-8 to the Commander, but the recommendation is to hold each one first and decide.

"Emersons are made to be used and lack the finer aesthetic details found on other knives like Spyderco, Benchmade."
"They are rugged as a barn cat and they all come very sharp. If you are looking for a tool that you can abuse, these make good knives."

"Every knife has a personality; every knife has a following."

"The proof is when you pick that knife up in your hand."

"Every year there is a new super steel and we don't jump on the bandwagon."

"My customers are not concerned about edge holding, they are concerned about breakage."
(he uses 154CM heat treated to 57-69 Rockwell).

Be sure and watch this video:

About 26 minutes into the video he discusses the "wave". It was originally designed to prevent objects from sliding up the blade to the operators hand.

Interestingly, his knives are all sharpened with chisel edges. He explains why in the video.

He is loyal to Crucible, who hooked him up with 154CM at a time when he was using ATS-34. (154CM is simply American made ATS-34; ATS-34 is made by Hitachi in Japan).

Kershaw Emerson knives

The idea here is to sell "clones" of the Emerson Knives made by Kershaw in China. These are legitimate clones (this is a cooperation between Emerson and Kershaw). The key point is that these are 1/5 the price (or less) and "decent".

The steel is 8cr14mov, which is a Chinese stainless. The blades have a normal double grind, not a chisel grind like an authentic Emerson. The G10 on mine is a somewhat slick G10. I hear both angles on the G10. Some wish it had more tooth (like me) and others are glad that it won't be tearing up their pants.

I bought a CQC-6K and a CQC-7K (Tanto). As near as I can tell, these knives are absolutely identical except for the blade shape. Both knives arrived quite sharp. Nicely sharpened. Better than most Bencmade knives I have received (which is not saying all that much).

The CQC-6K as it arrived in my hands was actually dangerous with the liner lock barely locking. The knife will need to be disassembled and the liner lock "blade" carefully filed or ground a bit. But instead, I am going to send it back and get a refund.

It is interesting to compare these knives with the Ontario RAT-1. In a nutshell, for about the same price the RAT-1 is a much better knife. It doesn't have the "cool factor", but it is crafted to a much higher standard.


Feedback? Questions? Drop me a line!

Tom's Knife Info / tom@mmto.org