Top 10 noteworthy knife companies

By Ian Carroll
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We need to start by saying that it is extremely hard to generalize about an entire brand, especially in the world of knives. There are a lot of great companies, all constantly innovating to produce the next best camping knife. Every one of the brands I am about to mention produces a wide variety of knives that vary in price, quality, and style. All I can do without writing a whole other article is give you a quick mention of several of the top contenders in the knife game today.

Benchmade

camping knife
The famous Benchmade Griptilian.

From Oregon and at the top of the knife game, Benchmade is both well respected and innovative. High quality, American made knives that range from average to high prices. The Griptilian is certainly their most famous knife.

Buck

An American classic, Buck has been making knives for over a century and has produced some of the most famous and full-value knives ever made. Many bucks look like classic gentleman’s knives from an age gone by, but they offer modern masterpieces as well. Guaranteed quality if you buy a Buck.

Cold Steel

camping knife
Cold Steel has some unique and beautiful knives in their catalog.

Unknown to many knife industry newbies, Cold Steel produces everything from broadswords to pocket knives and more – yes, that seems strange to us too. However, their blades are of incredible quality. Consequently, they won’t come cheap. Check them out if you’re looking for premium materials and quality.

CRKT

Columbia River Knife and Tool Company has been a hot contender in the knife game for a long time. Newly partnered with the renowned Ken Onion, consider them even more of a force to reckon with. Best of all, they offer a wide range of price points from the very-affordable to the ultra-quality.

Gerber

camping knife
Most Gerber knives are simple and effective, keeping the price low.

Many people haven’t heard of any knife company other than Gerber. There’s a good reason too. Gerber offers one of the largest catalogs of any brand, filled with quality blades and tools. Many stores exclusively carry Gerber knives. Most Gerbers aren’t the top of the food chain, but they will all certainly hold their own.

Ontario Knife Company

Worth mentioning just for their affordable and famous Rat 2, Ontario’s products are all proudly made in the USA. They’ve been in business for over 125 years making knives for clients like the US army. Needless to say, their blades are good.

Kershaw

camping knife
A well worn Kershaw.

Kershaw spawned in 1974 when Pete Kershaw split from Gerber Gear and founded his own brand. Kershaw knives feature their patented SpeedSafe assisted opening technology, and special designs by famous knife makers such as Ken Onion or Ernest Emmerson. High quality and reasonable prices are the norms for this brand.

Opinel

All you need to know about Opinel is that the Opinel No. 8 costs about as much as two beers at your local bar and is likely the lightest and most reliable camping knife ever made. It’s stylistically very different than other knives on the market. Check it out, buy one, you’ll see why right away.

Spyderco

camping knife
Spyderco knives are easy to spot due to their signature thumb hole.

Famous for their flashy folding designs and signature thumb-hole opening mechanism, Spyderco is undoubtedly one of the top contenders in the world of EDC knives. For decades they have been making innovative steels, styles, and designs. Out of the box, these are some of the sharpest blades you’ll find.

Zero Tolerance

Although their name may seem like a bit of a gimmick at first, Zero Tolerance undoubtedly makes some of the best blades on the market. And they come with price tags to match. If you want the best steel, sturdiest design, and highest quality components, then drop the cash on a Zero Tolerance blade. Hot contenders for the best camping knife and best EDC knives around.

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