February 19, 2005

The best knife in the world

Spyderco DelicaThere's a small set of things I always have in my pockets. My cellphone. A pen. An LED flashlight. These are all useful to me almost every day. But the thing I've carried most consistently over the past few years is a Spyderco Delica, aka the "Clip It"

The Delica is small, lockback folding knife. There are lots of these kinds of knives, but the Delica stands out in a few ways.

First, it has a clip on the side that allows me to hang it on the corner of my pocket; the clip is reversable so I can carry on either side of my body (and I do). This has a few benefits. First, it's just way more comfortable to carry this way; it's not turning sideways in the bottom of my pocket like the Swiss army knife I used to carry. Second, I always know exactly where it is and in what orientation.

This leads to the next benefit. I can open and close the knife with one hand, quickly if necessary. Invariably, when I need to cut something, I'm already holding it.

Next, the knife is super comfortable to hold and use. It's small and light (and short enough to legally carry virtually everywhere). The bump on the back of the blade is a perfect place to rest my thumb. Together with the slight curve on bottom, I feel secure that I can push a bit on the blade with less risk of sliding forward. This alone makes it preferable to me than most of the straight handled folding knives.

Finally, it's got a good blade. It's sharp and holds an edge. The blade comes in three configurations -- serrated, smooth, and combination (half serrated, half smooth). I prefer the smooth or combination blades. Spyderco also makes a trainer version with a dull blade.

While the knife looks purposeful and a bit scary to some (and I'm sure it would be useful in a fight), I find myself relying on it almost every day for some mundane task -- cutting down a box for recycling, peeling an orange, cutting out a newspaper clipping. I use the knives so often that I am acutely aware now when I don't have one (like on flights after 9/11.) These are useful tools, well-designed and well-made, and relatively affordable. What more could you ask for?

Posted by Tony at February 19, 2005 9:39 AM | TrackBack

18 Comments

I own this knife and all though it is all the things you say it is far from a cold steel knife

I found this article by googling "best knife in the world" and was delighted by it. As it happens, I have a 50/50 Delica clipped to my pocket as I type this. I use it every day. Nice to encounter a kindred soul.

It is the best knife, as opposed to the most expensive or most deadly, because as you say, it is always there. That makes it much more useful in the real world than my CQC7 or my Applegate folder, the very presence of which in your pocket indicates you are expecting to kill something. I encounter far more cardboard boxes than street gangs, personally.

Though I have, sad to say, used my Delica once or twice for self defense. Once was against a big dog with no leash that tried several times to bite me. He departed after the first touch. Another time I found myself outnumbered by mischief-minded punk-ass kids in a public transit situation. Clicking my little friend open was enough to get the morons to stand down and go in search of an easier target. Yes, it looks a bit scary. Thank god.


It's a handy, friendly little tool that is built like a tank. You may not need to ram it through a car door but it's nice to know you could.

One note of caution: My Delica's blade measures 3.3 inches from base to tip. That's 0.3 inches beyond the legal limit for a pocket knife in most states -- including this one, sadly. I am not deterred. I figure if a cop is measuring my knife, whatever I'm in for is probably not as bad as whatever I've just been through, and the knife probably saved my butt again.

hmm.. these knives do well for small to mid size tasks, but i prefer to carry a Busse knife with a 5" and a delica!

the busse knives are built with tool steel and heat treated for forty hours.

you never know when they might have a bigger knife than you

until you have had the strider, delica, coldsteel, leatherman knives and the busse knives then you can not say that the delica is the best, in my experience i have found that a busse fixed blade have been the best.

Who can carry a fixed blade commando knife at all times?? The Delica is best simply because it is a fine knife AND you can take it anywhere

Hi all,

I'm writing a story and need to know something about how great knife blades are made. I read here about cold steel... and heat treatments and things. Does anyone know of a great site that talks about the best processes to use when forming a blade? Thanks for any help!

I´m a folding knives collector 16 years ago,& ex- spec.ops.oprtr.,so I agree in regard to SPYDERCO are the "CADILLAC" of the folding knives they are well manufactured with the best materials & steels/ rc hardness(58 up)better edge retainers,with the best designers colaborations in the world of blades!
But... in my personal experience ...
the Native III plain edge VG10 (last generation),Native II all stainless combo edge VG10,Endura all stainless plain edge AUS10,Delica frn plain edge ATS 55,Delica4 last generation VG10,Volpe plain edge austrian steel,...etc,etc. are the best as:
self defense weapons,or any task(hunting,spec.ops. every day carry,& simple jobs!!).
they are some others like: Benchmade, sog,kershaw,cold steel,(all commercial brands)
the best in the market today!!
but stil the best to carry every day with you is SPYDERCO! in the model whom fits your needs!!
I´m sure many knives"conoceurs"/experts will agree with me.

NOTE: I´m NOT asociated with spyderco or a paid person it´s just "speaking on my experences of job!" FRANK V.

I'm 14 and I have a browning that sounds somewhat similar to the Delica and it also works well in self defence.

i would have to say spyderco is a good knife but i love my kershaws. strong reliable and easy to carry and they are designed by ken onion easily the greatest knife creator out there.

The best knife in the world is whatever knife serves your purpose at the moment, and whichever knife you have formed a special bond with. Bottom line is, a knife must be useful and serve its purpose, be reliable, easy to carry, and easily accessible. MANY models and brands of knives do this to varying degrees for different people, depending on the task at hand. So to say that brand "x" or model "such and such" is the best knife in the world is futile. Every person is going to have a different opinion on what is the best based on their own personal preferences and personal experiences and uses. Just my humble opinion. Oh yeah, and I personally carry a Buck Red Dot, partially serrated, with a pocket clip, and a bottle opener, everywhere I go. But I also appreciate many other knives that I own, and many more that I don't.

Yes while that is true, the hands down best knife blade i have ever handled ( i have handled Busse, scrap yard, various k-bars, and this delica) the mission knives are made of titanium. yes they are very pricey but there is no need to ever ... EVER purchase another knife again because they do not rust corrode in any way, they look bad ass, and they keep their edge better than any knife ive ever encountered

Great article, I am seriously considering getting this knife to try, but yesterday I got a CRKT M16 and have to say, it is an amazing knife. It has a very tactical feel and a safety on the side that ensures it will never fold while in use. A super sharp high carbon spear blade design that flips out with the slightest motion. the tab on the back that enables you to flip it out so quickly snaps to the front in the locked position to hinder you from sliding up the blade by accident. I have used a nice little leatherman prior, and then the lighter updated model, and now, I don't think I will stray too far from CRKT's. I used to work on great lakes shipping frieghters, where a knife is second only to your muscle, now I am oil rigs, and find a blade just as handy, actually I never leave the house without one.

I just got a kershaw skyline. It wouldn't be my first choice on an oil rig but for everyday purposes its perfect. Very large/thin 3"blade, great grip, forget its there. Comes tight and sharp. I work at a fire dept but decided instead of getting the bigger and +$$$ model with all the rescue toys etc. I'd just go for comfort, and for around 30 bucks I won't kick myself as hard when I lose it in a year or so. Its a flipper too, fun to mess around with.

For those who are really strapped, walmart sells astainless steel 3" folder w/ spine lock for .99 cents. Guess where thats from.

Im sure its very comfy and stuff, but the main problem with it is that it is very, very ugly. Really it is fugly, at the same level as those grotesque croq sandals.

I have no intention of carrying a knife that i detest every time i need to use it.

Boy, you won't hear me say this about California when it comes to guns, but in California, there is no length restrictions on unassisted knives. That is why for lightweight, I go for a Cold Steel Voyager X2 (6.5 oz), and for a more heavy duty folder I carry the Rajah 1 (13 oz). Nothing like 6" of quality steel in a top of the line frame to do whatever purpose is needed. 3" is not a large blade. 6" or more is a large blade. And when you need them, they work. But don't ever say never, because even the finest folder in the world won't match a solid blade for the outdoors. Something to remember. Carbon V straight blade for true outdoors work, but short of living outdoors or being on an extended hunting trip, those two knives are the best that I know of. Once I really had to use my Rajah 1 in a survival situation. That Kukri folder came up to the task, chopping wood, cutting branches, and building a shelter fast. Will it do it every day for a year? Nope. It all depends what you want your knife to do. Do your research before saying a 3" ANYTHING folder is the best knife in the world-unless you want one to clean your nails or shave your face.

The knife that is actually agreed to be the best knife in the world is the KA-BAR. I currently have possession of one and have a second coming in the mail in a little less than a week. The one that's coming in is a tanto style 8 inch blade. Carbon steel, Hollow ground, Thick, Sharp, Armor piercing, and Deadly. KA-BAR makes a number of high-quality foldable knives as well. KA-BAR is definitely the best knife maker though. I am a huge fan.

@TV - of course, "the best knife the world" varies depending on your need, like @Nate mentions. I admit the title of this post is meant to be provocative; it certainly has generated a good discussion. I will assert, however, that the best knife is the one you're willing to carry, since it doesn't matter how good the knife is if you don't have it with you when you need it.

I wouldn't say the delicate is the best knife in the world! It's cheaper than alot of other knives. So maybe for the price it's the best value. I'm willing to bet chris Reeves sebenza is alot better made folder than the spyderco.

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