I used to say I never met a factory edge that couldn’t use a little work. Factory edges would usually be sharp, sometimes even sharp enough to shave hair, but they are often fairly rough and not very refined. This type of edge will quickly degrade unless you fix it up yourself.
As I’ve seen more examples from different manufacturers, I’ve found that is not always the case.
When I won the Hogue EX-03 pictured above, the edge on it was nearasdangit perfect. Just feeling it gave me that electric sensation that only a very keen blade can do. It was (literally) razor sharp with a nearly mirror finish and a perfect point. I’ve encountered handmade knives that weren’t honed this well.
Close second, Cold Steel. I bought their Pendleton Mini Hunter on a whim and it certainly has the best edge I’ve seen on a knife under $50. Not as polished as the Hogue, but very refined and my previous benchmark for a factory edge.
Worst I’ve ever encountered? Excluding no-name flea market knock-offs, definitely Ka-Bar. I found the edge on my Becker BK-9 to be lacking and a set of Ka-Bar Snody knives that I acquired last fall were just as bad. Across the board they were all shaving sharp, but toothier than Hilary Swank working a red carpet. Close examination revealed tiny aberrations across the edge, visible to the naked eye. I love my Becker, but its initial sharpness was inexcusable.
So what have your experiences been? I am not talking about customs or handmade knives, but factory made. What is the best or worst factory edge you have seen?