The Best New Knives of 2023 Under $100 (So Far!) - KnifeCenter
Some knife nuts will tell you that knives have gotten too expensive these days and that you got to be made of money to enjoy this hobby. But I'm here to argue that the Affordable knives you can get your hands on today have never been better. And these are the best new knives under $100. You can get your hands on right now. (KnifeCenter.com)
Hey, everyone, I'm David C. Andersen coming at you from the KnifeCenter. And part of my job here is getting to handle a lot of new knives. And honestly, these days more often than not, it's the less expensive stuff that gets me more excited more often than the more expensive stuff. I mean, you look at this table in front of me, and these are just some of the standouts of the last couple of years. There are so many good,
affordable knives out there. Add on the recent releases to some of the legacy products that are still out there offering great value like the buck 110 Slim series Ontario RAT Civivi elementum phenomenal stuff, but what are the standouts more recently. The first half of this list quite honestly is going to show a lot of great stuff that has some technologies and features that you used to have to spend a lot more money on and the fact you can get them nowadays for so little money is pretty impressive and we got to start with the button lock with this knife here the CJRB pyrite, one of the best selling knives of last year just was released the second half of last year and quickly catapulted to the top of the sales charts and for good reason. Because this is a $50 knife available with g 10. Or kind of the surprise hit for me anyway the stainless steel handle options were even more popular. You've got a knife here with a just over three inch blade with a particle metal steel for the material that right there at a $50 price point is impressive. add onto that the nice heft of the stainless steel
handles especially and the excellent button lock the action on it is great. You've got finger safe operation which folks regular folks on this channel will know is something I greatly appreciate. When you operate it your fingers stay completely out of the path of the blade. For 50 bucks it doesn't get much better than this quite honestly phenomenal everyday carry blade shape. Phenomenal materials, phenomenal action. Great price. Next up from the company that brought us the elements and we have the Civivi conspirator and other button lock here. This comes in about 80 bucks you got a three
and a half inch blade nitro V stainless steel which is great stuff. Again, great blade shape for everyday carry on the bigger side but still nice and slim. So it slices really nicely. Nice handle that will fit a lot of different handle or hand sizes I should say micarta on this particular one. Other colors are available other materials are available. Again, great button
like action flipper tab on this one rather than the thumb studs like on the pyrite even got that fuller on the back. So you can do that reverse flick, which folks definitely appreciate. Like the pyrite. We've also got a reversible deep carry pocket clip, ball bearings in the pivot. Kinda everything you want
really phenomenal knife for the money. For similar vibes at almost half the price, we can actually look at Civivi's sister company, one of their two sister companies, the more affordable Sencut brand. This is the Sachse, it is a knife that comes in at just over $45. And if you look at it compared to the
conspirator, not a lot separating the two in terms of dimensions and form factors just materials that change up a little bit. We've still got ball bearings in the pivot, we've got ge 10 natural in this case on this particular one, we've got the deep carry pocket clip, which is reversible. You've got the button lock you've got a three and a half inch drop point blade similar great characteristics for everyday use. And the steel here is still no slouch 9CR Series stainless which is roughly equivalent to an American made 440C, fantastic performance for 45 bucks and it feels just as good, just as well tuned. As that conspirator. You got a nice set of thumb studs here so you can do different flicky opening actions. With
that you've got the flipper tab, you've got the finger safe operation of the lock and the ability to do that centrifugal wrist flick open and closed. 45 bucks ladies and gentlemen fantastic. Next up on the button lock train. We've got the Kizer Original Series there's two sizes starts at just over 70 bucks. We've got the original original, original The first standard size original with a roughly three inch blade G 10 handles on this one. 154 CM steel, an American made steel, great profile, both open and closed a bit of a simpler profile, but it's kind of just a perfect little pocket knife form factor, quite honestly, you've got a deep carry pocket clip, it's not reversible, which is unfortunate because button locks are super easy to use in the left hand. But that's not a concern of yours. If you are right handed, this is a great
little size and shape. You can choke up on it onto that flat area around the pivot for a full four finger grip even if your hands are slightly larger than average like mine own. But if you want a little bit more, the XL version is still a very manageable size three and a quarter inches on the blade length here micarta for this particular handle, same great characteristics just a little bit bigger, nice full grip when you need it. Nice nimble handling and easy slicing all the time. One more Kizer button lock to look at and this
particular one is an exclusive to the KnifeCenter here that really shows off the value. This is the Swaggs swayback. The standard versions of this knife start around 60 bucks, but for just 75 bucks, you can get this upgraded version here with a CPM 4V powder, metal blade steel, awesome, awesome performance in this price range for sure. Linen micarta handles look rather nice against the stonewashed finish of the blade, which of course is going to help hide scratches as you actually use the knife which will keep your blade looking better, longer. Same great
action, super, super snappy flipping, very precise blade shape for everyday use, you can use that tip very effectively. And thanks to that long straight edge, you can really push through some heavier cuts when needed. Even though you're still just dealing with a three inch blade here. I think these button locks really show off kind of the new value you can get your hands on these days it wasn't. But a couple of years ago, when
Pro-Tech came out with their Malibu flipper $200 American made knife and kind of reignited the love affair with the button lock. People were scrambling for the Malibu couldn't get their hands on it because they were so in demand. And there wasn't a lot to fill the void. Now there's a lot of budget stuff that can that has really stepped up to fill that as you can see at some phenomenal prices. Other locking mechanism that's kind of new to the budget realm is the crossbar lock. Benchmade has had
their patents on their AXIS Lock for a long time, they still have a trademark on the name AXIS Lock, but now other companies can use that lock type. And Kershaw actually released to actually released four new crossbar locking knives this year, they call it the dura lock. And these are, I think the two standouts. For me, I think the Iridium this knife right here has really gotten the lion's share of attention and sales, because there's a lot going on for the money right here. 65 bucks is the price. You've got a 3.4 inch D2 blade,
so very good edge retention for the price range. You've also got an aluminum handle material here also very good for this price range. You've got a reversible deep carry clip. I'm glad they kept the reversibility on the clip there because the crossbar lock is of course a very ambidextrous system. And the dual thumb studs also allow ambidextrous use. Unlike a lot of previously existing crossbar locks, this knife has ball bearings in the pivot. Most crossbar locks tend to come with
washers, although that is kind of changing these last couple of years. As such, you've got very easy swinging action, the feel of this knife is super solid, especially considering the price again but even if you doubled the price of this knife, it would still feel appropriately solid. Great blade shape, great steel, great materials. Great value for 64, 65 bucks. As good as that knife is though I actually think the heist 10 bucks cheaper. This is a $55 knife is my personal favorite. In fact, I've purchased this very one right here to use for a little while. In terms of value for money materials wise I can
see why the Iridium has taken it because for just 10 bucks more you get a little bit more blade and you get that aluminum handle material versus the injection molded material on the heist but I like the shape and the form factor of the heist a little bit better. And the price is awesome to 3.2 inch blade D2 steel, great everyday carry blade shape a bit of a theme here stonewashed finish on this one, which in addition to hiding your scratches when you have it on something like D2 or 4V of that Kizer swayback for that matter, can help a little bit with corrosion resistance because these are not fully stainless steels. The handle is nice and slim and overall lightweight. This whole knife comes in at just 2.7 nine ounces. Not the lightest knife in this range is not necessarily a bugout killer, which is kind of the same size and size as this. But still, you're not going to notice this in your pocket. deep carry pocket clip reversible, unlike the radium we have washers in the pivot here gives it a little bit of a different feel might require a little bit more break in, especially on the lighter knife here, but less worry about dust and grip getting in there that a bearing based pivot can be subject to the highest is an awesome knife, I think the price and everything the shape, the performance comes together really, really nicely. Jumping
back to a more premium feeling crossbar lock knife, we have the real steel Sacra, which has just come out, just over $70 for these. The cool kind of standout feature here is it features a folded steel frame with in this case micarta line micarta inlays or onlays on each side, but there are a few different materials you can get. So yes, single piece frame got a lot of strength in that type of construction. It's got a great
looking shape, everyday capable while not looking plane 3.3 inch blade at K 110 steel, which is Bohler, a very well known European steel manufacturer, it is their version of the two molecularly the same, but the precision that they offer is pretty darn well guaranteed. It's one of the pretty much the most trustworthy version of D2 you could imagine getting. You've got it right here. The blade on this one has a stonewashed finish, but you can get black coated currently as well. You've got a deep carry pocket clip reversible. So again, a fully ambidextrous righty or lefty friendly design, the action is great folds up nice and easy for your pocket.
thumb studs work great. Flicking works great overall, just the entire package at this price point is spot on, I would say. All right after this, we're looking at some lock types that have long been available in this price range. But that doesn't
mean there isn't some exciting stuff going on. And the perfect example of that is the Knafs lander designed by Ben Peterson. This is a $58 knife for the standard version, you've got a two and three quarter inch drop point blade D2 steel stonewashed finish, really winning combination in this, you know $50 And up price range, I would say blue g 10. handle scales,
reversible, deep carry pocket clip, very deep carry in fact, and the inset liner lock there. On its face, a basic pocket knife that hits all the utility marks very well. But I did say there were some exciting things happening. That is with the scales here. People have been modifying swapping scales on knives for a long time. This is the first knife that I know of
that has a quote unquote fast swap a scale system where you only have to remove the two screws holding the scale to the liner, you don't have to mess with the pivot at all. And you can lift this scale off and swap it for something else. There are other scale options available for purchase nafs even provides are and allows you to download the 3d print CAD files for the scale so you can make your own or have your own made. How cool is that? That dedication to the customizability is something that I hope we see more of in the coming years because a isn't a new avenue a new bit of coolness to explore. Aren't
these next two knives, I think absolutely went out on just the sheer, unadulterated unfiltered value that they offer. In fact, if you're looking for the most good knife you can get for the least money. These next two knives are I think impossible to beat right now. truly fantastic options. The first is the Churp designed by the folks at ESEE This is a $20 knife for it, you get g 10. For the handles, you get a two position pocket clip, you get an old school protruding tab style liner lock and you get a 2.7 inch D2 blade with a full flat grind. The ingredients here are absolutely phenomenal, especially when you consider it as a $20 knife. Now the looks of it may seem a little plain on
first glance, but when you get it in hand, you turn it over, you start actually using it. A lot of thought actually went into the exact shape the dimensions going on here. It truly is a bit more refined than the look would have you believe it's just a great pocket knife. I've hit on this in some recent
videos here on this channel. Sometimes a pocket knife doesn't need to be anything except a pocket knife. Sometimes when it's tries to be more, you'll lose something in the quest for more, when sometimes less is indeed more 20 bucks D2 levels of edge retention, the stability of a lock and the convenience of a pocket clip. Awesome. And perhaps an even greater value than the trip is the Ontario camp plus EDC because this is a $10 knife. Now, the steel may not be the same level of
performance as the D2, you've just got a simple 420 on the Ontario. So I would argue that you know the trip is twice the money but you're definitely getting I'd say more than twice the edge retention with the D2. But this is a $10 knife and it is built like at least a $50 knife. This feels great in the hand, you've got nice clip point blade shape here, just under three and a quarter inches long, hollow ground black coated in this case not really to help with corrosion resistance because 420 is a nice stainless steel. But the finishing on the blade itself is probably not as nice as the ESEE Churp even at twice the price. So the the black coating hides that. And that finishing and a black coating isn't really an Android Performance at all. It's just an aesthetic thing at this point.
The handles are injection molded, there's a few different colors. This is the most surprising part to me at this price point, you've actually got torques screwed construction not simple and cheaper to produce pin construction. So you've got adjustability helps maintain the longevity of the knife, you've got a reversible wire pocket clip holds it pretty deep in there. So you've got the convenience of that you've got that locked back you've got full length inset liners, the build is astonishingly good for 10 bucks, you can even open it one handed using that thumb cut out there even though it's not really a one hand design. Great size. Great, great price. Next
up while not quite the same insane value of these previous two knives still, I think a very good bad good value, you've got the Boker plus Atlas series, a long running slipjoint series has now been kind of are added to the series with these locking versions with the lock back here. They run about 36 bucks 37 bucks, got a three inch blade with the sheepsfoot profile on this one full flat ground D2 blade steel. Excellent excellent choice here. You can also get a clip point or a drop point on this knife. The handles are single piece folded steel, as
you can see, and then the lock back there is housed inside we have a pretty deep carry pocket clip not reversible in this case, kind of keeping it a little more simple. And speaking of simplicity. I love how thin this knife is for carry for folks who really want something that is unobtrusive in the pocket. This offers a really, really nice option built great the lockup feels super solid, they look fantastic, I think again priced very very well. Alright, last but not least, I'm
going to get into some stuff that is a little bit more a little bit beefier, a little bit more kind of robust feeling than some of these smaller knives if you are looking for a more heavy use or hard use pocket knife in this price range. There have been some really great new releases as well. First one, I think is probably the most underappreciated new knife in CRKT's lineup for 2023 which is a shame because I think it is honestly their best new folder of the year. And that's the dextro and really that's because everything here, the materials, the price, the design comes together in a really compelling way. For me, we're dealing with about a $58 knife, you've got a D2 blade 3.2 inches long black coated to help with the corrosion there. The handles themselves are very strong
feeling aluminum with a very nice black anodized finish. You got a pop of color in the pivot ring and the backspacer with the green right there. You've got a deep carry clip, you've got a liner lock and you've got a ball bearing pivot with both a flipper tab and thumb studs to actuate the blade. It feels super solid The size is a little bit more you're not dealing with a huge blade length but you're dealing with something that really inspires confidence when you put it in the hand. And it's got the versatility to cover pretty much any application. I can imagine for this size of pocket knife.
You need something a little bit tactical this will do it. You need something to take camping. This will do it to you just need a great everyday carry folder that you're not afraid is going to fall apart on you. This absolutely nails that as well. I
should mention TJ Schwartz design on This particular knife credit where credit is due for sure. Next up, coming in right under our price ceiling, just over $98 We have the newly released ArtisanCutlery Xcellerator a Mike Snody design. This truly is a nice big knife in the price range is 3.8 inch
3.86 inches on the blade itself. RPM nine powder metallurgy steel that is the same steel we saw on that pyrite artisan and CJRB are the same company just different brands within essentially really awesome harpooned drop point blade shape going on. Plenty of beef behind that blade stonewash finish for hard working durability. That harpoon point gives you a place to choke up with your index finger if you want to use it like so, little bit far for your thumb to reach out, but I suppose you could if you want, especially if taking this handle design into account you choke up a little bit in the area around the pivot that does bring the thumb position they're a little more in line, flat grind on this blade about Sabre height. truly robust feeling. The handles on this one are micarta they've got a little bit of contour, which is very nice. You've got a liner lock, you have a milled titanium pocket clip in this case and other more premium touch a lot of premium feeling stuff for a sub $100 price point right here. As far as opening action, you've got
the blade cut out right here does the reverse flick we all know and love so well. Does an easy thumb open also truly an awesome feeling knife. Next up, let's say you need a bigger, beefier blade, but you want to spend half as much as that accelerator will check out the SOG TELLUS FLK, one of my favorite knives from last year. This at a $50 price point is really, really sweet. We're dealing with a 3.6 inch blade 440C stainless steel a little bit on the thicker side, because again, they're going for hard use on this, but it's not super thick, and you still have an almost full flat grind. So it's not going to impede the slicing too much, it's still going to do your daily cutting stuff with a level of efficiency that you will notice, we have a flipper tab we have ball bearings in the pivot, the action is quite nice, you can use the thumb stud or the flipper tab right there thumb studs, I should say we have a reversible clip, it's folded over but not really deep carry in this case, there's a fair amount that would stick up.
And this is where I think the knife really shines. In addition to having a great blade shape and a great geometry and great materials at the price. We have what is essentially a liner lock. But we have kind of a split handle designed the liner has a bit of a handle attached to it. So it kind of flexes with the liner does a couple of things. One makes it a little
bit more comfortable perhaps But primarily, when you're using a knife, it's going to prevent dirt and stuff from getting stuck in between the liner and the handle of your knife, which could impact your ability to unlock and fold the knife when you're done using it. That's a pretty cool touch. It adds a unique feature at this price point for sure. And whether you consider that a gimmick or not. Ultimately, the handle has to feel good and this handle feels very good. You got a little extra girth to it. injection molded, it's going to feel
really good fill your hand when you really need to work hard. And last but not least, for the same price about 50 bucks. We've got another KnifeCenter exclusive the D2 steel version of the Becker BK 40 The standard version was released just a couple of years ago kind of just outside the range that I was thinking of for this video, but I may be a little biased but I think this is the version to get and this did come out a little bit later inside the window I was looking at for this video.
For 50 bucks, you've got a three and a half inch blade just over three and a half inches. The shape is kind of a blend between like a tactical aesthetic and old school sod Buster hard working blade style. think it works really well the D2 steel is going to help your edge last a long time. You've got a liner
lock, you've got thumb studs, you've got washers in the pivot. So again, less worry about dust and grit getting into a set of ball bearings. The action works well and truly the shining star of this knife though is the handle when we're talking about handle comfort. As a lot of times if you're really putting a
knife to use a folder is going to be a bit uncomfortable. And when I'm talking use I'm talking hours of hard use movement, not even hours but just longer sessions of heavy use where you're really pushing on the blade and that's where a nice contoured and comfortable handle like this is going to help the folder come out a little better. Me I'm normally a fixed blade guy for those sort of things but not everyone is which is why I absolutely appreciate knives like this in marketplace. Well, that's all I've got to show you right now. But if you've watched our shot show coverage from January this year where a lot of companies unveiled the stuff they're going to be releasing this year, there's even more good, affordable stuff to come.
Maybe do a part two later, I don't know. We'll see what happens a lot of great stuff, not just for utility sake. But if you are a knife enthusiast on a budget, you can still take part you can still get pretty much everything the premium knife market has to offer. Maybe not in ultimately in materials, but in terms of designs, locking mechanisms, actions, and availability of options. It's all still there. We truly are living in a golden age of cutlery, and that definitely extends to the budget side of things as well. Let me know what you thought of these picks down in the comments. If you've got
some other favorite budget knives out there. Whether there are new releases or long surviving stalwarts in the genre, let us know as well. If you want to get your hands on any of these knives, check out the links in the description that'll take you to KnifeCenter.com. While you're there, don't forget we've got our knife rewards program in place, which means the more of these knives you buy today, the more free money that you get to spend on a future one. I'm David C. Andersen from the KnifeCenter signing off. See you next time.