Best Folding Knives with CPM-S30V Steel – Buyer’s Guide
CMP S30V is regarded as the holy grail of knife blades. Excellent wear and corrosion resistance. Extreme toughness. Superb edge retention. And it's a breeze to sharpen. These are all the cool aspects of this premium version of steel that make it a popular choice in the knife community.
Before you buy an S30V steel blade-powered pocket knife, research is key to ensure you pick the best S30V knife that fulfills your unique requirements and preferences. This guide contains our selection of the top S30V folding knives available today.
Best S30V Knife:
1. Kershaw Blur S30V Folding Pocket Knife
Kershaw commands such a big following in the knife industry. The US-based company dominates the everyday carry folding knife market with its high-quality, high-performance line of products. It shouldn't come as a surprise that one of their products sits at the top of our list.
This Kershaw Blur S30V folder is characterized by a big 3.4-inch blade made from premium S30V steel. This boosts its hardness, abrasion resistance, corrosion resistance, and great edge-holding capabilities.
The blade arrives super-sharp and is slightly recurved to deliver amazing piercing and slicing capabilities. It also holds up well for tough jobs.
Kershaw uses black anodized aluminum for the handle with Trac-Tec inserts to offer you a more secure grip for all outdoor tasks, including underwater. The anodization gives the handle extra toughness and scratch resistance.
The pocket knife also features spring assisted opening that grants you quick, one-handed opening. Besides, it's armed with a liner lock to easily and securely hold the blade open during use.
And the included reversible pocket clip offers you versatile carrying capacity. The clip is completely removable. A pre-drilled handle allows you to attach a lanyard for an alternative carrying method.
2. Zero Tolerance 0350TS Folding Pocket Knife
The customers requested a smaller version of the Zero Tolerance 0350 knife, and the manufacturer made it happen. A great EDC knife, this 0350TS is slightly smaller and lighter but just as aggressive. This folding pocket knife appears in our s30v knife reviews as a great EDC for everyday tasks—including precision cutting, tactical use, self-defense, or survival tool.
Like its big brother, the 0350, this pocket knife comes optimized with the SpeedSafe assisted opening system, allowing for smooth and fast one-handed blade deployment. Even when wearing gloves, you'll enjoy deploying the blade easily and quickly with the ambidextrous flipper.
The pocket knife's 3.25-inch blade is CPM S30V stainless steel with great durability, corrosion resistance, and superior edge holding capabilities. The blade is coated with non-reflective black tungsten, which improves its overall ruggedness and reduces friction during cutting.
As it's the case in most high-end knives, this high-performance folding knife is armed with a black textured G10 handle to offer you a secure grip and enhanced mechanical strength, even in the roughest conditions.
A liner lock integrated into this pocket knife keeps the blade open during use and prevents unwanted closure. It also features a reversible clip to promote easy, versatile carry. A pre-drilled lanyard hole on the handle lets you hassle-freely attach a lanyard.
3. Spyderco C123CFPCL Sage 5 Prestige Folding Knife
Enter the Spyderco's Sage Series of knives with this Sage 5 model. This line of products boasts an innovative lock mechanism that has completely redefined folding knife technology. And they're well capable of use as an all-purpose cutting tool.
The Prestige knife features a full flat ground, leaf-shaped blade engineered from premium S30V stainless steel for increased wear and corrosion resistance, better edge retention, and overall better durability. The blade measures a little above 5 inches, which is a pretty good size for an EDC knife.
You'll like the knife's ergonomic G10 handle, which offers you a secure and good grip in various conditions. Additionally, the knife features a textured forefinger choil and thumb ramp, which allow for safe use of the knife.
Since this Spyderco utilizes the patented compression lock, which is stronger than liner locking system, it lets you safely close your knife with one hand without risking your fingers getting injured.
The knife has an open-backed construction that minimizes its overall weight while allowing for easy cleaning. A reversible deep-pocket wire clip helps provide a convenient and easy way to carry your knife.
4. Gerber US-Assist Assisted Opening Everyday Carry Pocket Knife
Designed and built in Oregon, USA, this Gerber pocket knife also won a spot on our list. This is the knife for all the Gerber fanboys in the house. It's optimized with an S30V blade, which puts it in the elite category for EDC pocket knives
Gerber's assisted opening and plunge lock used for this pocket knife are top-notch. They ensure your blade deploys smoothly and quickly and stays locked in place for your own safety.
The knife features dual ramp thumbs. This offers you a comfortable blade opening with either right or left hand for lefties, further making the knife easy for you to use.
The knife has an extremely sharp 3-inch blade made from S30V steel to deliver high cutting performance while increasing its durability and edge retention ability.
With a textured GFN handle, this knife is sure to offer you a reliable, ergonomic grip under various conditions. This knife is also fitted with a removable deep-carry wire clip, making it a great EDC knife that you can easily carry in your pocket and take everywhere.
5. Benchmade - Griptilian 551 Knife
Benchmade has joined Spyderco and Gerber's ranks as some of the top brands producing top-notch S30V knife reviews. Their premium products have earned them a loyal fan base, and you can always count on the quality of any Benchmade.
Talking about the Benchmade Griptilian knife, it's a perfect EDC that has been a mainstay in the company for many years. They have offered knives with different blade styles and handle colors. The knife's design is characterized by a lightweight handle with jimping to give you a good grip.
It boasts Benchmade's exceptionally strong, 100% ambidextrous AXIS lock that enables you to smoothly open and close the knife single-handedly.
Apart from being light, the glass-filled nylon handle feels incredibly tough, making it highly suitable for everyday carry and tough jobs. The S30V steel blade features a drop-point utility-style plus all-around functionality, qualifying it for everyday use, whether outdoors or in tactical applications.
With the included reversible carry, this knife is not only a breeze to carry but also fast to access. Integrated into the knife design is a lanyard hole, which offers you an alternative carrying option while ensuring you don't drop your knife and lose it.
6. Buck Knives 726 Mini Spitfire Blue BOS S30V Steel Folding Knife
Want a great value EDC pocket knife? This is the best S30V folding knife for you! Manufactured in the USA by Buck Knives, this is a solid, well-made knife that feels sharper and stronger than any knife you've used before.
The Mini spitfire comes optimized for everyday carry. Its design was inspired by the success of its larger version, the Buck 722 Spitfire. It shares the same features as its bigger brother but in a smaller and lighter package.
It is powered by a 2¾-inch long blade engineered from the unbeatable S30V steel. This blade comes sharp out of the box, and you can open it with just one hand.
This knife's locking mechanism is solid and quite awesome and keeps the blade securely open for as long as you like. It has got a perfect alignment and shows no side to side plays, unlike the cheaply designed knives out there.
You'll get a comfortable handle with a good grip if you get this knife today. Its aluminum-made blue handle gives it a sleek look and makes it lightweight and comfortable for your hands.
7. Buck Knives 722 Spitfire Locking Folding Knife
As you can easily guess, this is the larger version of the mini Spitfire we discussed above. This folding pocket knife offers you all the same features as its small brother, including the fact that it's a true workhorse made for everyday carry.
The pocket-friendly Spitfire features a slightly longer blade than its mini model, measuring up to 3 ¼-inch, with a plain edge. Needless to say, this blade is machined from S30V steel for superior corrosion resistance and arrives sharp. You'll be moved by how it holds up its sharp edge for longer to get you through your jobs without worrying about sharpening.
Like its small brother, the knife is easy to open with one hand thanks to its smooth ball bearings. It has a lock back locking mechanism, which holds up well to keep your blade securely open.
Its aluminum handle feels superlight that fits even large hands well. The handle's red color has another plus in that it makes your knife highly visible, and you can find it even if you drop it in the dirt, grass, etc. The thumb tab on the blade's back edge is pretty ergonomic and keeps your fingers from getting near the sharp blade, making you feel safe while using this knife.
Above all, the folder comes with a solid and convenient pocket clip, which allows for easy carry and fast access. Since this clip is reversible, you can easily configure it if you're lefty for comfortable carry.
8. Zero Tolerance 0350 Folding Pocket Knife
Remember the Zero Tolerance 0350TS pocket knife we talked about earlier in this list of top S30V pocket knives? This Zero Tolerance 0350 is its larger version of the model. Both knives share a host of desirable features for great EDCs for any user for use anywhere, anytime, and for any job.
This big brother presents you with a recurve, super-sharp blade sporting a high-performance, premium-quality S30VV stainless steel blade. This makes it extremely durable, corrosion-proof, and wear-resistant. The blade is then covered by a non-reflective black tungsten coating to improve its overall durability while minimizing friction when the blade is cutting.
A black textured G10 handle comes with this knife to give you a secure grip and, at the same time, make it strong enough to hold up to the toughest working conditions.
Because this knife also comes with SpeedSafe assisted opening, you'll enjoy smoothly deploying the blade with a single hand like its small brother. Plus, its ambidextrous thumb stud or flipper lets you deploy the blade using either hand.
The liner locking mechanism keeps the blade from closing accidentally during use and offers you a safer and secure way to hold your knife. The included quad-mount pocket clip allows for up to 4 carrying positions for your pocket knife.
9. Spyderco C81GP2 Para Military 2 Signature Folding Knife
The Spyderco is an improved classic. The manufacturer took their legendary military model and redesigned it to into a more compact and pocket-friendly knife—the Para Military 2. Thanks to its world-class performance, this knife has grown to become one of their most popular and in-demand products.
One of the new changes to the military version to bore this folder model is the G10 handle. This has been narrowed at the end to enhances its ergonomics. Both the handle and blade have been profiled thinner, removing the uncomfortable angles when you close your knife.
This knife also features a compression lock along with Spyderco's ambidextrous-friendly 4-way pocket clip system that allows for versatile carrying options. And unlike most clip systems out there, this one rests deeper into your pocket to let you fully conceal your pocket knife.
For the blade material, they kept the same concept of high-performance S30V steel construction and a full flat-ground bevel. However, they added the blade tip's length and added extra surface jimping to the spine as well as finger choil for more secure and safer handling.
Other notable features include a user-friendly locking mechanism and a larger lanyard hole, which offers you more carrying options.
10. Spyderco C101GPBBK2 Manix 2 Signature Folding Knife
Proudly made by USA's Spyderco, this is the last S30V pocket knife on our list. Designed as an all-purpose folder, this knife is known for its incredible strength and high performance. It is armed with a blade that delivers exceptional cutting power for various cutting tasks.
Like the other knives in this list, the Manix 2 features a blade machine from CMP-S30V stainless steel metal for unparalleled wear and corrosion resistance. Not to forget, superior edge properties. The plain edge blade has flat bevels extending from spine all the way to the cutting edge to reduce drag during cutting—for smoother cuts while decreasing the overall weight.
It presents you with a black G10 handle with full stainless steel liners and a black spacer. The scales you feel on this handle work well to give you a secure grip, even when working in wet conditions. The index finger choil and thumb ramp complement the handle's ergonomics for a secure and comfortable grip.
The manufacturer uses one of their smoothest operating ball bearing locks on this folding knife to give you a simplified one-handed opening and closing of your knife without placing your fingers anywhere near the razor-sharp blade.
Included in this Spyderco knife is a reversible clip that offers you easy carry (right or left side tip-up carrying options) and instant access. Moreover, the clip is fully removable if the need be.
What To Look For Before Buying?
There are hundreds of S30V folding knives out there. But not all of them will live up to your expectations. Before you buy a knife made with S30V steel, check that it meets the following crucial aspects.
The blade size is a crucial consideration when looking for the perfect knife for everyday carry. Most experts recommend roughly 3 inches as the ideal EDC blade. This length is highly functional and will offer you plenty of cutting edge for any job.
We found out that most experienced knife users prefer the drop-point style for their pocket knives. The reason behind this is that this shape offers a good cutting edge for easily slicing into things, while its fine tip allows for detail work. This shape of the blade is also easier to maintain. A clip point is also popular for EDC knife but has a more threatening look, especially in a longer blade. Recurve and tanto blade styles are also popular but are usually associated with difficult sharpening and maintenance.
The weight aspect is also important for a pocket knife. Anything that weighs your pockets down isn't good for an EDC knife. You want something that you can put in your pocket and forget it's there until you need to use it.
A handle forms an important part of a great folding EDC knife. Before you get that knife, you want to make sure it has a durable handle that feels pretty comfortable and grippy. G10 is a good handle material for its lightweight design and good grip. You might prefer other materials such as wood, anodized aluminum, micarta canvas, which are also great for the handle.
Single hand opening
Since we're dealing with folding pocket knives for EDC carry, the aspect of S30V fixed blade knives is definitely out of the question here. And that means the knife must have a blade opening mechanism. Look for a pocket knife whose blades deploy smoothly and quickly with only one hand. The key features that should come into play here include a thumb stud, thumb hole, and flipper to allow for deployment with either hand.
Liner locks are popular because they lock the blade securely when open. They also let you easily close your blade with just one hand. This lock system also allows you to do it with either hand, making it comfortable for lefties. Frame locks are also acceptable for everyday use.
A great pocket knife is a crucial feature for your pocket knife. It not only makes it easy and comfortable to carry your knife in your pocket but also allows you to access it quickly. We suggest that you get reversible pocket clips as opposed to single-position clips. The reasoning is simple; the former offers you versatile carrying positions to suit your preferences.
Frequently asked questions
Q: Is S30V the best knife steel?
The S30V blade is definitely the best blade steel for exhibiting desirable properties in knife blades, such as good edge retention, corrosion resistance, wear resistance, extra toughness, and easy sharpening. In many eyes, this steel is considered the ultimate choice for EDC knives.
Q: Is s35vn better than S30V?
Both types of steel are from Crucible Industries. The CPM-S35VN comes as the upgraded brother of the S30V. It's quite tough to lay out the differences between the two types of steels than head to head. When examined carefully, however, you'll notice the improved sharpness and toughness offered by S35VN. Nonetheless, both types of steel are great.
Q: What is S30V steel?
CPM S30V is premium-grade steel used to make knife blades. Develop by USA's Crucible Industries, this metal comprises 1.45% Carbon, 14% Chromium, and 4% Vanadium, and 2% Molybdenum. This composition gives it its premium properties not found in other types of steels. Given the high cost of this steel, knives made using it sit higher in the price spectrum.
Choosing the perfect pocket knife with S30V blade might not be easy as you think. What works for your buddies won't always work for you as different users have unique needs. You'll need to take your time to choose the perfect knife that fulfills your requirements and personal preferences. The top knife models we have featured in this guide and the key factors to consider when making a selection will place you on the right path to getting the best S30V knife for you.
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