Favorite Knives of 2020
Written by Blade HQ Staff Writer Logan Rainey on 11/24/2020
At the time of this article, Iím well into my second year working at Blade HQ and have had the privilege of handling and using many incredible knives. I started working at BHQ with limited knowledge of the knife industry, popular knives and what makes one knife better than another. Now, however, I know the ins and outs of the knife world and can generally tell when a particular knife will do well in the community. This article is a little different from our typical fare, but I wanted to give our readers a sense of what the guy who writes all these articles is into so you can see where Iím coming from when you read my other work. Hopefully youíll find some value in this and enjoy reading it as much as Iíve enjoyed writing it. Without further ado, letís get to it!
1. CIVIVI Elementum
Shortly after starting in my role at Blade HQ, I was gifted a knife. It came after a few weeks of me oooo-ing and ahhhh-ing over a ton of new knives as I was trying to absorb as much information as I could. The CIVIVI Elementum was the first knife I added to my collection after starting at Blade HQ and I quickly fell in love with its design and performance. The Elementum I was given features a handsome, convex ground blade made of D2 steel making it great for everyday tasks, and comfortable G-10 handle scales which give the knife a great feel in hand. When I first handled the knife, I was quite impressed by the action and couldnít help but flip it open and closed all day. This is one of the smoothest knives I own (I actually own five Elementums, but thatís neither here nor there) thanks to its ball bearing pivot and generous flipper tab. Overall, the CIVIVI Elementum is one of my favorite knives and Iím sure itíll be one of yours too. Check it out below.
2. Benchmade Bugout
One of the next knives I acquired shortly after starting at Blade HQ was the Benchmade ĎBlackoutí Bugout. I wasnít too keen on the other Bugout variants at the time, but when I saw it in all black, I HAD to have it. By now, youíve likely seen a million different reviews and opinion pieces on the Benchmade Bugout. Contrary to what all the haters say, this is one of the best selling platforms of all time, and is quite possibly the best everyday carry knife ever made. The simplicity of the Benchmade Bugout is what makes it so great. Itís lightweight, easy to throw in a pocket, and amazing to use. It features a versatile drop point blade made from CPM-S30V steel which is great for edge retention but not a pain to sharpen. I have zero complaints about the handle material and have found that it is quite comfortable for everything from opening letters to building a campfire. My Benchmade Bugout goes with me everywhere even if Iím carrying another knife. Kurt is absolutely right when he says #anything. Do yourself a favor and buy a Benchmade Bugout by clicking below.
3. Opinel No.8
Youíre probably asking yourself why I would put a $15 knife on my list of favorite knives when I have the ability to use literally any other knife. The answer comes in two parts. One, I believe itís important to support your friends, especially those who have your back and look out for you (you know who you are). Second, I love the simplicity of this knife. It isnít full of crazy technology, and doesnít have very many (read ďnoĒ) bells and whistles, but itís a great little knife and has offered something unique that many other knives canít give; a sense of nostalgia. I thoroughly love how the Opinel No.8 looks and feels. Its beechwood handle is comfortable in hand and has such a warm look compared to the cool metals and plastics we find on other knives. Another awesome aspect of this knife is the carbon steel blade. Itís easy to maintain and put a wicked edge on if you are into that sort of thing, but more excitingly, it can be acid washed and given a special look that only comes from high carbon steel. With traditional knives gaining popularity in recent times, the Opinel No.8 is well worth picking up. Címon! Itís super inexpensive and a great knife. Click below to get yours.
4. Victorinox Classic SD
If you drive a car with a key you probably attach that key to other keys on a key ring. Duh! What makes the Victorinox Classic SD such a great little knife is the useful addition it makes to your keys. Plain and simple, this miniature multitool belongs on every set of keys and I will fight you if you donít agree (kiddingÖ sorta). I have carried a Classic SD on my keys ever since I can remember. It has scissors, a blade, a nail file with a flat head screwdriver, tweezers (mine are missing), and a tooth pick (also missing). All these great tools in something the size of a car key. There have been countless times where I havenít been able to carry a full size pocket knife, but something came up where I needed to fix or open something and the Classic SD saved the day. I love how there are so many Classic SD variants available and I see how it has become a popular knife for people to collect and trade. If you donít have one or two yet, theyíre inexpensive and an invaluable addition to your collection. Check out the Victorinox Classic SD by clicking below.
5. Microtech Ultratech Bounty Hunter
YeahÖ I couldnít put together a list of my favorite knives without including the Microtech Ultratech. Everyone has one of those knives that makes them feel like a kid again. For me itís my Microtech Ultratech Bounty Hunter. Iím typically a pretty low key and laid back person and the knives I choose tend to reflect that, but the Ultratech Bounty Hunter caught my eye and I had to have it (yes, I am a Star Wars fan and Boba Fett has always been my favorite). From the way the blade fires to the unique details of the chassis, the Bounty Hunter is one of those knives that brings a smile or smirk to my face every time I use it. Itís a knife that I donít use often, but itís quite capable and a joy to use when I do. The Ultratech features a double-action OTF mechanism, a CTS-204P blade and a high-grade aluminum handle. These premium components make this one of the best OTF knives money can buy. Learn more about the Microtech Ultratech by clicking below.
6. Benchmade 'Super' Freek
Though I donít own the Benchmade Super Freek, I have purchased/used one and was absolutely amazed by its look and feel when I handled it. This knife is on this list because it is one of my favorites in terms of overall looks, performance and value. Benchmade hit it out of the park when they developed the M4 version of the Freek. They could have easily put the upgraded blade steel on the regular Freek handle, but they chose to give this knife an upgraded G-10 handle and red anodized barrel spacers for improved grip, durability and flash. The M4 blade is a treat to use and makes quick work of even the toughest jobs. Being that it is tool steel, it does require a little extra attention if you live in humid places, but it isnít a big deal if youíre typically good to your tools. If youíre looking for a big and burly knife to last you a lifetime, I strongly suggest checking out the Benchmade Super Freek.
7. CRKT Pilar
If you canít tell by now, I have the tendency to choose knives that either tell a story or are extremely useful. The CRKT is another one of those useful knives that I have really come to know and love. Its a beautiful design with great ergonomics and the right size for everyday carry. I donít typically gravitate to knives with low-end steel because Iíve been bitten by the super-steel bug, but the 8Cr13MoV steel found on the Pilar is amazing for the cost. Itís a breeze to sharpen and re-sharpen, it doesnít corrode, and it does a great job during both small and large tasks. The one thing about the Pilar that really made me fall in love with it is the huge selection of custom parts that can be found online. We have a few at Blade HQ thanks to our friends at Flytanium, but there are also many small makers who love knives and are producing handle scales and other parts for the Pilar that can take the small knife to a whole other level of cool. For a knife that will set you back roughly $50, the CRKT Pilar is truly a must-have knife. Get yours today by clicking below.
Like I said, this isnít our typical sort of knife article. I hope you learned something new and got a feel for the kinds of knives someone who works at Blade HQ likes. I have grown to love knives of all shapes and sizes. This list is likely to change over time as my needs change and as my tastes change. The biggest things that matter when it comes to knives is to buy the knives that fit your needs and to buy the knives that make you happiest. It can be difficult to know which knives to choose when there are so many to choose from, but rest assured knowing we have a great selection and a ton of resources to help you find the best knife for you. Thanks for reading! Weíll see you next time!
Blade HQ has way more knives than those featured here! There's bound to be another knife you need for your growing collection. Give our wares a browse, and find the perfect knife to suit your needs!
If I had to pick one of my favorite Knife Banter videos of 2020, this would be it. Kurt crushed this Blade HQ Employee Pocket Check! Check it out!
Other Best Knife Guides
Still in that information gathering phase? We've got a whole bunch more lists of all the best knives! Happy hunting and may you find the knives of your dreams!
*As our inventory fluctuates regularly, the availability of some products may change. Sign up for our wishlists and check back regularly for current pricing and availability.