Inevitably, it happens. Your friends, family, coworkers, etc. know that you are a knife person. One day, one of those people (lets call them NK for “needs knife”) asks for a knife suggestion. “I need a good pocketknife, what should I get?” So I need keep a go-to knife recommendation in my back pocket as it were.
So what would make “a good knife” for the non-enthusiast NK? Lets assume he/she is looking for an every day carry or utility blade. The amount of money some of us like to spend on a blade can be daunting to a beginner, so something reasonably priced would be best, but we don’t want to recommend something of low quality either. Let’s steer NK in the right direction.
There are a lot of great options on the market today, but I like to recommend the full flat ground Spyderco Delica4. My reasons are below, and in the meantime, tell us what you would suggest in the comments.
Price: Available at online retailers around the $60 mark, the Delica may not be cheap, but it is certainly affordable.
Ideal Size: The blade is a perfect size for EDC. It is unassisted and less than 3” long, making it legal to carry almost anywhere (caveat: I am not a lawyer, and this is not legal advice. Know your local regulations).
Safety Lock: The safety provided by a strong lock is essential. The Delica uses the proven lockback mechanism. The Boye-dent that they include only improves upon this classic design. As a bonus, the lock makes the blade biased toward closure, making it less likely to come open if carried in a backpack or a purse.
Blade Shape and Grind: The blade of the Delica is a slicing machine! Whether breaking down boxes, opening blister packs, or doing a bit of food prep, the full flat grind of this blade is ideally suited for EDC tasks. The overall shape of the blade is unconventional, but the leading edge behaves much like a modified wharncliffe design, with only a slight amount of belly. Another win for EDC.
Handle Colors: While the overall shape might look aggressive to some, Spyderco offers the knife in a range of brightly colored handle options (Yes, you can still have it in black if you want) which can make the knife more palatable. Where black might scream weapon, friendlier colors such as blue or green soften that impression, making the knife more more likely to be seen as what it is, a tool.
Ambidextrous: Righties or lefties will have no problem opening the blade with one hand, and the four-position clip allows for any carry preference, whether you like tip-up or down, and right or left side carry.
Easy To Carry: The Delica is lightweight and slim, making it easy to slip into a pocket, and more likely to be carried.
VG10 Steel: This is the ingredient that really puts the Delica over the top. The dollar to performance ratio is excellent. Importantly, it is easier to sharpen than most of the supersteels out there. I love S30V as much as the next guy, but NK is probably not a sharpening guru. VG10 is a steel that performs very well, and is still easy to maintain.
There are a few other niceties that elevate the Delica’s design as well. The light jimping on the thumb ramp provides just enough traction with bare hands without feeling aggressive. The adjustable pivot will allow you to correct any blade play that develops over time, and the screw construction allows the knife to be fully disassembled for cleaning should the need arise.
So there is my suggestion. The Delica is a solid choice, whether you are a knife enthusiast or not (and it may just turn NK into an enthusiast!). It is priced attainably and can perform well even under heavy use. The Spyderco Delica is as close as it comes to the perfect recommendation for nearly anyone.
– If NK needs a knife with a 2.5” blade due to legal reasons, another knife from Spyderco, the Cat G10 makes a great choice. It is a little bit cheaper as well.
– If NK is looking to spend even less money, I like the ESEE Zancudo with its 3” blade, available right around $30.
Now it is your turn! What is your go-to recommendation?