Like most of you, I wear crappy blue jeans and boots when I wander around town. If I have a grocery list in my pocket and a couple of bucks for overpriced, substandard coffee, I have your average style of folder for the trip. Right now, it's a polished Barge in my left front pocket and a polished Spline in right front pocket.
But life isn't just about slitting open UPS boxes. Here are some of my favorites for when the going gets tough.
When it comes to precision fitting, I buy a Kizer. I have three of them, you cannot tell one from another, they're made that well.
If I have to take a folder into harsh conditions, like a record rainstorm, or two feet of snow, I take a TOPS Mil-Spie for it's cobalt steel blade. If I'm going to be living outside, I take a TOPS C.A.T., because it's premium carbon steel, sparks a fire and holds a razor edge.
However, if I ever have to slice through a bulletproof, titanium door, I grab for one of my Bradford knives. I just bought a new one, it's a rough and tough Guardian 4.5 with a blade of N690. Yeah, I do have one in 3V, but this new Guardian is a tad more resistant to foul weather. (And I love their black-wash finish).
I've talked to Brad on the telephone, even polished a knife for him. He also believes that the edge should be perfect and uniform, and this Guardian shows his care. It's spooky sharp, and even pretty to look at.
Oh, I'll have to sharpen it, I figure in December--of 2027...
No Kydex for Brad. His sheaths are real-deal leather, with double stitch edges and a tight, high set belt loop. Clearly he's taken a few walks outside.
It's a tad pricey--not as much as a gold watch, but that's another story!
Buy a Bradford, they quit building building knives like this 30 years ago. You will not be sorry.