The 8 best emerson knives that can save your behind hp gas online complaint


Ernest Emerson founded his knife company in 1996. Based in Torrance, CA, the business prides itself on Made in the USA products and the quality materials it puts into its folders, karambits, and fixed blade knives. All of these models are designed with primarily tactical purposes in mind.

Emerson does not do a whole lot in terms of mechanical innovations from knife to knife. You will notice that most feature the same Titanium Walker linerlock mechanism, as well as Emerson’s patented “wave shaped” opening mechanism. This deployment system is a protrusion at the base of the blade’s spine that can be used for one-handed opening as the knife is being drawn from the pocket. It is a design that Emerson has licensed out to a number of knife manufacturers and also features on most of its folders.

Of the knives that we will be reviewing today, only the A-100 does not have the wave shaped opening mechanism. The only other slight exception is the Sheepdog, which utilizes a flipper deployment that works off of a ball bearing system—but this is in addition to the wave shaped opening mechanism.

Along those same lines, Emerson does not vary things up too much in terms of materials either. For example, Emerson stays exclusively with G-10 for the handle material on all of the knives reviewed here. And other than a few specialty runs over the years, Emerson has stuck doggedly with Crucible’s 154CM stainless steel for their blades. This in spite of calls from some in the knife community that an upgrade is necessary for the price point that Emerson hits. Regardless, all of the knives featured in this article (except for the Kershaw collaborations that use 8Cr14MoV) have blades made of 154CM.

So as you read through, you will notice a lot of similarities among these tactical folders. Emerson does not feel the need to jump on trends that come and go in the knife industry. Ernest Emerson is a traditionalist in most respects and typically waits to see what represents true innovation—versus what is merely a fad—before committing to a design feature for one of his knives.

The result is consistency throughout the model lineup. This is good in the sense that the quality elements that people love about Emerson knives appear again and again. For example, Emerson is known for having terrific handle ergonomics, and this trait remains basically consistent across its entire lineup.

The drawback, however, is that if there is something you don’t like about a particular Emerson model, there is a chance that that particular feature is also going to reappear again and again. In this way, Emerson knives, while of very high quality, can be a little bit polarizing to knife buyers. The company tends to have either super fans or those who respect the brand but consistently go in a different direction when buying.

On a final note, over its history, Emerson has been involved in a number of collaborative efforts with other companies. In some cases, this has been with other knife manufacturers, such as with Gerber in the creation the Gerber-Emerson Alliance—the first automatic knife for both companies. They have also partnered with SureFire Flashlights, making a CQC-8 that featured the SureFire logo. And in this article, we will be taking a look at two collaborative efforts with Kershaw knives, the CQC-7K, and the CQC-8K.

This knife’s handle is made of G-10. It has an “aerospace grade” Titanium linerlock. The length of the handle is 4.65” (11.8cm), and it features jimping at the thumb rail. It also has a lanyard hole at its base and Emerson’s patented wave shaped opening mechanism.

These knives are heavy when judged against comparable folders that you will find on the market. For some buyers that weight is not an issue, as it gives them the secure feeling that they are carrying a tank of a knife—which they are. However, those who prefer a lighter carry usually end up going for something with similar features, but maybe with a skeletonized handle to lower the weight.

For those looking for more value in a folder, however, the Kershaw 6034T is a budget version of the Emerson CQC-7. It also features the wave-shaped opening mechanism that allows for one-handed deployment when drawing from the pocket. The blade is slightly shorter and thinner than the Emerson version, with a length of 3.25” (8.3cm) and a thickness of .11” (2.8mm). It is also made of the lower grade 8Cr14MoV steel.

The handle on the A-100 is G-10 and it features Emerson’s Titanium lock mechanism. It has a length of 4.75” (12.1cm) and has a right-hand carry only, tip-up clip. (Emerson does offer a $25 drill and tap kit to convert the clip to a left-hand carry. Otherwise, lefties are out of luck.)

The blade is 154CM. It has a conventional V grind and is treated to 57-59 HRC. The length of the blade is 3.6” (9.1cm) and the opened length of the knife is 8.4” (21.3cm). Blade thickness is .125” (3.2mm). It features a thumb disc as its lone one-handed deployment mechanism.

One other criticism is that the jimping on the handle is not the most functional, which is somewhat out of character for an Emerson. However, since the A-100 does not have a wave mechanism that also acts as a thumb ramp, it makes this jimping stand out for being a bit on the wimpy side. Overall, though, this handle is very comfortable to grip and feels intuitive in your hand. It is a simple, highly effective design, and its simplicity ensures that it will feel comfortable for almost any hand size.

The Super Commander blade has a pronounced re-curve, which gives the knife a cutting edge that is slightly longer than the blade itself. There are a couple of other advantages to this blade shape. You will notice that it has very good leverage when cutting materials like cord, webbing, clothing, and doing other similar jobs. Also, the dynamics of the edge focus the cutting force on the front end so that slicing and slashing require a minimal effort. The Super Commander’s blade features a V grind. It is 4” (10.2cm) long and the spine .125” (3.2mm) thick.

The G-10 on this knife is again very grippy and also might want to grab your pocket when you are drawing the knife. You might also notice that the texturing seems to act like a magnet for dirt and grime. While this does not affect functionality to any great degree, it may be an inconvenience to those who try to keep their knives looking spic and span.

The blade design on this knife also does very well for close cutting. It is versatile and makes this knife more attractive to those who are looking for something that is more than just purely a tactical knife—although it definitely works well in that capacity too.

The Roadhouse is a rugged and simple design that is meant for everyday carry—assuming your job is the bouncer at your local biker hangout. But in all seriousness, this knife is a personal favorite in terms of design for company founder Ernest Emerson and does have a bit of a nasty streak to it.

This knife has a great intuitive feel for your tactical purposes. The handle is extremely comfortable. The strong Tanto tip and overall design will make sure that you are prepared for any unforeseen mayhem where self-defense is a top priority.

Aside from functional capabilities, the Roadhouse is marketed as a kind of outlaw biker’s special. This is meant to be a bad looking knife and it pulls off this intention quite well. The Tanto profile plus the stonewash and satin blade finish give it an “all business” appearance. This is a knife that will certainly raise some eyebrows if you whip it out to open boxes at your office job.

On another side note, one thing that we have failed to mention is that Emerson also offers a skull adorned black lanyard with its folders, available for an extra $15. And while this accessory is definitely in keeping with the overall tactical concept of Emerson’s knives, it seems to be an especially good pairing for the Roadhouse.