….and that is about it.
….and that is about it.
I would also recommend the SRM 763 in G10, it’s very light, axis lock is smooth, carries low, and comes super sharp. The blade is at just the right shape to balance cutting edge length and overall blade length while still keeping a sharp point. Also has a bottle opener built in, and is an original design as far as I know. The aluminum version is much more slippery and very slightly heavier, while in contract the G10 version is so light and unobtrusive that I often forget it is clipped to my pants, only to be reminded it’s still there after putting them back on.
Can’t go wrong with the 710 though, it is built solid, simple, and elegant. It’s the gateway drug of Chinese knives, you’ll likely own one (or several) at some point and you will likely compare everything else that you buy to the 710. In terms of quality for what you pay for, it is mind blowing. It is a tad bit heavy though (since it is solid stainless steel) and tip down carry, but still an excellent edc regardless.
For larger knives, the EL-01 is definitely the best value IMO. It has an annoying pivot screw, but it can be worked around using a dremel or a drill chuck. Otherwise it is excellent, very comfortable ergonomics, plenty of gimping, drilled out steel liners to save weight, and a handy flipper that makes it wicked fast to open and also doubles as a finger guard once open. The blade has a nice swedge along the top and both the blade and liner lock are pretty substantial to the point where I would not worry about the lock failing. If Axis locks are your thing, you can’t go wrong with the Ganzo G704 or the 710. Both are excellent reproductions of excellent designs (someone on here once said you get 100% of the design, 90% of the quality, and 10% of the the price ). I have the G704 and enjoy it, black anodized clip, solid axis lock, thick blade, and great ergonomics, but it is quite heavy and the edge wasn’t too sharp out of the box.
I have a K631 and an Inron MY803 on the way, can’t speak to those yet.
As for steel and tightness, don’t worry about it. Chances are if you required the performance of better steel you would not be looking at this price range. The knives tend to ship tight, but you can loosen the pivot with common tools (usually torx or hex heads) and they also loosen up with use and a good cleaning/relubrication of the pivot.
I wouldn’t call the EL-02b crap. The axis lock is tight so it’s not as much fun to play with but if you’re going to use it it’s a pretty tough knife.
It does have an odd shape to the scales but that point can easily be sanded off (which I did). The EL-02b has a nice heavy feel to it for when that’s an asset.
One of my favorites is the SRM F1-723. It’s the sharpest knife I’ve gotten straight from the factory, it’s attractive looking and it’s a nice size for the pocket.
The SRM-604 and 605 are good for a really small keychain type of knife. I’ve been able to get mine sharp enough to shave with which is impressive for such a small knife.
For the larger knives I like EL-01D and L05-1 the best I think. The SRM 909 is nice too but is no longer being made. It’s available still but rather expensive when compared to the others.
Thank you guys for all the excellent advice. Much appreciated. Really helped me narrow down choices and add a few.
Would appreciate more feedback on the T01A and T01 versus the T21. I’ve read in some places that the aluminum handle on the T01A serrated and T01 plain blade gets beat up and scratched up fast, and that the unnecessary locks on the seat belt cutter and opener could interfere with one handed opening of the cutter in an emergency (or just makes its use cumbersome) and that the T21 is superior for the better grip of the G10 handles, lighter weight and getting rid of the unnecessary locks on the tools. Above you’re saying the T01 is better built and that the T21 feels cheap - how does it feel cheap? Could you elaborate on the differences? Asking because I’m thinking of getting this one as a gift for a bunch of colleagues.
Also, is it safe to order from Exduct now to Northern California and still receive in a reasonable time? I read in another post of major shipping delays going into the holiday season. I’d like to order ASAP.
Based on the above feedback I added the Ganzo 710, SRM 710 stainless steel and T01A to my list.
I’m considering dropping the L-05 because of the point down carry though I find it very attractive; and considering dropping the tight EL-02B - unless the EL-02B can be loosened up. I like folders that can be opened easily with one hand.
Like the blade shape of the EL-04 but wondering about how comfortable a carry it will be with the wide folded shape (though I’d only carry that one on weekends).
Again I’m simply astounded by how unbelievably helpful you all have been.
The EL-02b can be opened with one hand easily. It’s the axis lock that is stiff (for closing). It still has thumb studs for opening.
If you’re buying that many knives anyway I think you would appreciate the L05-1 regardless of carry.
By the way, if the EL-02b happened to come with a stiff pivot you can loosen it (odd type of pivot) by using the chuck from a power drill.
There are no guarantees on shipping from China. If you order now hopefully you would receive it by Christmas but it’s quite possible you would not. Especially with China Post (slower) as opposed to Hong Kong Post.
I have the T01A but not the T21. I don’t like the locks but I primarily bought that particular knife for the partially serrated blade. I keep it in my backpack rather than in the car so I’m not really worried about how fast I can get to the “tools”.
Just from pictures I think the T21 looks better but as I said…I don’t actually have that one.
One very good point about budget knives is they’re just like budget lights. If you buy one and you’re not satisfied you can just give it away to a friend, they’ll be thrilled w/ a nice gift and you can feel generous. Plus you can buy more knives!
Do you have a choice between China or Hong Kong post at Exduct? Is one much more expensive and reliable than the other? Or when you order they have to use China Post from mainland China to Hong Kong, then Hong Kong post to wherever you are overseas?
I see DHL, though more expensive, is a viable option to the US as well.
This exactly. Even if you show these things to friends or family, they may become instant gifts. When given as a gift, average people tend to think you paid alot more for these knives than you actually did, everybody wins
Yep, the quality of SRM, Navy, Enlan/BEE is so good [overall] it makes budget knives sold at brick & Mortar stores look shoddy. I’m planning to order some EM-01s as xmas gifts. I’m certain that the recipients will think I spent a LOT of $$$$.
Can anyone offer any feedback/thoughts on these folders which I’ve also found and am considering (I’m trying to order only well-regarded models with tip up carry):
Enlan EM-01 - little brother of the highly rated Enlan EL-01
Enlan EL-06 - Scott Cook Lochsa homage
Navy K-508 - looks like a smaller version of K622, the Al Mar SERE 2000 homage
Navy K-606 - Spyderco homage, not sure which
Navy K-610 - Spyderco Tenacious homage
Navy K-611 - Kershaw Gentleman folder homage - nice folder, but have read that you can’t open this knife one handed - true?
Navy K-622 - Al Mar SERE 2000 homage
Leen 1203-1 - similar to well-regarded SRM 710 Sebenza homage, but with G-10 scales - looks even nicer than the 710 in photos
Thanks a lot, you guys have provided awesome advice, much appreciated.
In my observation, the Enlan EL-01 is paying homage to the Kershaw Chill. Am I correct in this assumption?
Anyone have any experience with these?
Tactical Oatmeal, not sure about the EM-01, not familiar with the Kershaw Chill, but will have a look
Thanks Isti, great job on your reviews, super helpful. The K611 is a beautiful gentleman’s folder - wish it could be opened with one hand. Do you like the Leen 1203-1 better than the SRM 710 and 704? I believe the 704 just had a longer handle than the 710. The Leen 1203-1 looks nicer to me in photos than the SRM 710.
Still looking for any kind of review/feedback on these models - haven’t been able to turn up much in search:
Navy K-508 – looks like a smaller version of K622, the Al Mar SERE 2000 homage
Navy K-622 – Al Mar SERE 2000 homage
Navy K-606 – Spyderco homage, not sure which
Navy K-610 – Spyderco Tenacious homage
You’re welcome! The Leen 1203-1 is a spanking little folder but I think it’s more appropriate to compare its frame lock brother the Leen 1203-2 with the SRM710. I prefer the Leen to the SRM710 because of its cooler design, bigger thumbstud and tip-up carry. Booth of the Leens are pretty folders and come with an excellent F&F.
I don’t have experience with the SRM704 but if you’re interested in smaller folders you shouldn’t miss the Enlan M025. It’s a good example for that a few mm longer handle can make a difference.
There is a new Ganzo G713 model out - anyone try it? Is it an homage to any folder you’re familiar with?
I looked at that one , Lightranger .
The G713 has some uncomfortable looking metal on the handle , doesn't it ?