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A folding knife makes a great choice for everyday tasks and applications. Whether you need it for small repairs or all kinds of activities during a camping or hunting trip, the folding knife is easy to hold and carry, but also convenient, which is a problem with fixed blade knives. However, there are situations that a basic folding knife cannot handle. While a three-inch blade is usually enough for the basics, you will need more than that for more sophisticated operations, such as dealing with a large game or perhaps cutting some small branches for a fire.
Choosing the best large folding knife could be a bit tricky because the lack of research could lead you in the wrong direction. A large blade requires proper support. It is supposed to take more than just basic operations or applications, so you are likely to push its limits a little.
Here are some of the best-rated products on the market based on customers’ reviews and recommendations, as well as the features that make them stand out in the crowd.
2021’s 5 Best Large Folding Knives
Benchmade Adamas 275 – Best large folding knife
Varieties and style – Benchmade’s best large folding knife won’t disappoint. When investing in a large knife, you want to make sure you get the right thing for your needs. For this reason, you have a few different options when buying this knife. The plain edge is the better selling option, but you can also get it with a partially serrated blade – about half of it.
Blade quality – The blade can make a knife stand out and Benchmade knows it. This knife features a D2 stainless steel blade. Edge retention is the primary reason wherefore this metal is so popular. At the same time, it can resist rust and corrosion, which makes it even better in the long run. The blade measures 3.75 inches. It is not the largest on the market, but it is way above average.
Handle – The handle is less likely to disappoint you. It carries the G10 quality standards. In other words, it is super durable and comes with some extra stability. It can resist all kinds of temperatures, so the knife makes a good tactical option. It is textured, so it will never slip out of your hand.
Extras – The knife features a reversible pocket clip, so you can hang it anywhere. It is fully ambidextrous, so it makes no difference if you are left or right-handed. You can open or close it with one hand only. To make it even better, Benchmade has included a professional Cordura sheath in the package for accessibility, storage, and transportation.
Maintenance – Edge retention is impressive in this knife. Clean it only if you soil it. You should do it with tap water and a bit of soap. Do not fold it right away. Let it dry before folding and storing it. Make sure you do not throw it into a dishwasher.
- Rugged and textured handle for a comfortable experience
- Durable materials used in its design
- Suitable for both left and right-handed users
- Can be opened and closed with one hand only
- The pocket clip might get a bit loose with time
Grand Way 4172 K – Cheap large folding knife
Versatility and uses – You could never go wrong with a Grand Way knife. Not only is it built to last, but it will also take your hunting and outdoor adventures to another level. It can be used for anything, from camping and backpacking to hunting and fishing. It is suitable for military uses as well, not to mention survival, emergencies, and DIY stuff.
Safety and power – The knife is built to take everything to another level. Although it folds, you will need two hands to open it securely. The same rule applies to closing it. The pressure is simply too high and you risk injuring yourself. Plus, the blade is longer than the handle, meaning it will put even more pressure on your hands.
Blade – The blade is based on matte 420 stainless steel. The material says everything about it. It is extremely hard, but it also resists corrosion and rust. You can sharpen it if it goes dull without worrying too much about it. It does come with a razor-sharp edge though, not to mention how long it can maintain this edge for.
Handle – The handle is just as important in a knife and it looks like Grand Way knows that. You have a metallic handle that features wooden plates on each side. The plates add to its looks, as well as the comfort. It is quite stiff when you grip it, so it will never slip out of your hands. The handle is solid and can take the blade in with no risks whatsoever.
Sizing and maintenance – The blade measures 5.79 inches in length. When opened, the knife will be close to 11 inches in length, so it becomes a large and dangerous weapon. When closed, the handle is 5.04 inches. The knife weighs just over eight ounces, so it feels stable as well. When it comes to maintenance and cleaning, do it manually and never in a dishwasher.
- Made from quality materials that will last
- Great balance in weight and sizing
- Feels sturdy and ensures a good grip in your hand
- Suitable for a wide variety of activities
- Does not come with a pocket clip, but a relatively simple nylon sheath
Cold Steel Recon 1 Series
Style and design – Cold Steel’s best large folding knife is a bit different from what you might expect to see. The unit features a relatively bulky appearance. The blade is quite wide and the pointy tip is oriented upwards, rather than downwards. However, this unusual design works and it seems Cold Steel’s reputation has gone up since the release of this model.
Lots of variety – Not happy with the overall design? Nothing to worry about. There are more options out there. You can get a clip point, micro spare point, spear point, micro tanto, and so on. There are a few options out there. However, it turns out the tanto half-serrated option is the preferred choice among buyers – you get a bit of diversity and a slightly unusual shape.
Blade – The blade measures around four inches in length. It is incredibly strong, but also razor-sharp out of the box. Make sure you pay attention when you take it out. Edge retention will surprise you. The knife is dependable and reliable, so you can count on the edge no matter how problematic the situation seems.
Handle – There is nothing special about the handle, but you can count on it. It is simple and features a textured surface. In other words, even if your hands are sweaty or wet, the knife will not slip out. At the same time, the handle features a pretty strong pocket or belt clip, it is ambidextrous.
Extras and maintenance – Every model associated with this series will bring in Cold Steel’s famous Tri-Ad lock. Other than that, you should know that the blade is DLC coated. It is made of premium CPM-S35VN steel and it will probably never rust or corrode. When it comes to the overall maintenance, just make sure you do not clean it in a dishwasher and never fold and store it while still wet.
- Comes with the manufacturer’s famous Tri-Ad lock
- Premium steel used for the blade
- Comfortable and nonslip surface for the handle
- Available in more shapes and styles
- The pocket clip could have been a bit stronger and sturdier
Spyderco Endura 4 Signature C10PS
Reputation and reliability – Spyderco does not need too many presentations and its best large folding knives is one of the best folders ever made based on reviews and recommendations. The knife can be used in camping, backpacking, hunting, and survival adventures with no issues at all. Besides, it makes no difference if you want to keep it with the tip up or down, on the left or the right side – it can adapt to whatever suits you.
Extras – Not sure what made this knife so popular? Three of its features make it stand out in the crowd and they add to its reliability. It has a four-position clip to make your life easier. Moreover, the high strength back lock mechanism adds to its stability and safety. Finally, you just cannot miss the trademark round hole, which is way bigger than average.
Blade – The blade is made of superior steel. Based on VG 10, it is less likely to ever rust or corrode. It comes with Spyderco’s PlainEdge and SpyderEdge grinds. The blade is partially serrated close to the handle. It can tackle fibrous materials, not to mention precision and control. Edge retention will pleasantly surprise you too.
Handle – Unlike other large folding knives in this range, Spyderco features a stainless steel handle. This option is a bit unusual because different materials provide better nonslip capabilities. At the same time, the handle is smooth and not textured. With all these, its size makes it safe to grip, even if your hands are a bit sweaty.
Sizing and maintenance – The blade measures 3.85 inches. As for the handle, it is almost five inches in length. It is not the longest knife on the market, but it can easily go in the large category. When it comes to caring for it, just make sure you never clean it in a dishwasher. Besides, you should let it dry thoroughly before folding and storing it.
- Comes with a solid blade and great edge retention
- Sturdy and durable back lock mechanism
- Adaptable and adjustable based on your needs
- Lighter than other alternatives
- The handle might feel a bit slippery if you use the knife in greasy circumstances
Oerla TAC Transformers Decepticon
Dimensions – Whether you are after a superior tactical knife or a solid blade for your camping adventures, Oerla’s best large folding knife will not let you down. The knife measures nine inches in length when opened, while the blade itself measures four inches. It is just over an inch in width. When closed, the knife is five inches long. Other than that, it weighs under nine ounces, so it is well balanced.
Blade design – The blade is solid and thick. It is made of 9Cr18Mov stainless steel. The material is also cold treated. It has a smooth and straight blade. It is razor sharp out of the box, so be careful. The cold treatment ensures it will maintain its sharpness for a long time. A handguard will also prevent unfortunate accidents.
Handle – Just like the blade, the handle is made of stainless steel. It has a funky shape and design, which draws lots of positive attention. But then, it is not textured, so it could get a bit slippery at times. Luckily, the handguard will ensure some extra stability. The skeleton appearance is what keeps the unit lightweight for its size.
Opening and closing – The opening and closing mechanism can be the difference between life and death. This unit comes with a ball bearing fast open assist knife. It is convenient and easy to use – you will be able to open or close it with one hand only.
Extras and maintenance – The unit has a liner lock style. One of its sides features a pocket clip. It is quite sturdy and will ensure you cannot lose the knife. As for cleaning and maintenance, do it manually. Use some water and soap – no dishwasher cleaning or the edge could go a bit dull. It should be dry before folding and storing it.
- Easy to open or close with one hand only
- Solid materials in its composition – both the blade and handle
- Great stability and balance due to the sizing proportions
- Cold treated stainless steel for edge retention
- You might hear a slight scraping sound when opening and closing the blade
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the strongest lock in a folding knife?
The frame lock is one of the best options out there. It is sturdier than a liner lock, but not by far. When set correctly, it keeps the blade in the right place. It is not as solid as the proprietary AXIS mechanism developed by Benchmade though. But then, it is not that far from it. You may read more on folding knives locks here.
Where can you use a large folding knife?
A large folding knife can be used just like a regular folding knife, but for heavier tasks. It can be used in camping, hiking, backpacking, hunting, or fishing. It is also great in tactical operations or military purposes, not to mention survival adventures. The idea is to have the convenience of a folding knife and performance close to fixed blade knives.
If you’re looking for knife sharpeners for your folding knives, check what our friends at knifemetrics.com have covered.
Deciding on which large folding knife to buy could be a bit challenging. The good news is you do have many options with unique features. Make sure you know what you want this knife for, so assess your personal needs upfront and find a knife that matches it. Remember the best large folding knife for someone may not necessarily be the best option for you, hence we encourage you to go through customer reviews in online marketplaces as well.
Hi, I am Jay. I am the creator of Knife Guides, your one-stop site for everything related to knives. I am a computer engineer by profession, knife aficionado by passion. Here I work with a group of people who’ve always had a passion for knives and blades. Over the years we’ve kind of become experts and decided to share our knowledge and ideas. I am also an avid hiker and enjoy offshore gamefishing.