Which carbon fiber knife is best?
Carbon fiber knives have increased in popularity due to how beautiful they look and their hard material, which is five times harder than steel. Whether you need to cut fruit for a late-day snack or bushwack, a carbon fiber knife can be an immensely useful tool to have on hand. The Zero Tolerance 0450 Folding Pocket Knife is a well-rounded blade with fast action and is durable enough to handle many outdoor tasks.
What to know before you buy a carbon fiber knife
The blade isn’t usually carbon fiber
Carbon fiber is more often used for the handle of a knife than it is for the actual blade. There are carbon fiber blades, but many of them are considered “gentlemen’s knives.” They are more collector’s items than made for practical use because carbon fiber blades don’t keep their edge when used for cutting harder objects. When making the knives, the carbon fibers are embedded in a polymer matrix, which is much softer than the individual carbon fibers.
Carbon fiber is pricey
Carbon fiber is much more expensive than other materials on the market due to the intensive and involved manufacturing process. The long strands of carbon fiber are woven into fabric in a process that includes spinning, stabilizing, carbonizing, treating and sizing.
Folding knife vs. fixed blade
Folding blades — also known as pocket knives — are the most popular type of blade for everyday use. They are more concealable and versatile. The biggest con with folding blades is that they tend to break easier since there are more components inside the knife.
Fixed blades are more associated with outdoor work. If you are skinning an animal or splitting wood, a fixed blade will usually be a more trustworthy option. The simple design makes it easier to clean and maintain, and it is less likely to break.
What to look for in a quality carbon fiber knife
One of the biggest reasons why carbon fiber is so popular is the aesthetic. Carbon fiber knife handles often reflect light and have a mosaic or tiled look that sets them apart from other blades. Carbon fiber screams premium.
Carbon steel vs. stainless steel
Most knives are made of steel. The debate between carbon steel and stainless steel still rages on, and while there is no conclusive answer, both materials come with pros and cons.
- Carbon steel is steel that is reinforced with carbon to make the blade stronger. Knives made of carbon steel are great for outdoor use. They are also cheaper and easier to sharpen. Their one real con is that they require regular maintenance, and they’re prone to corrosion.
- Stainless steel blades contain chromium. Chromium creates an oxide layer on the knives that greatly slows down the rate of corrosion. However, this oxide layer also makes them much harder to sharpen. They are also more expensive due to the process of adding chromium — and sometimes nickel — to the blade.
Weight of the blade
One of the biggest benefits to using a carbon fiber knife is how lightweight they are. Outdoorsmen like to keep their load as light as possible, and while knives are typically small, it’s important to find a knife that has a good length-to-weight ratio.
Carbon fiber knife FAQ
What is tensile strength?
A. A lot of websites claim that carbon fiber has great tensile strength. This refers to how far an item can be stretched without fracturing. Carbon fiber has a higher tensile strength than steel and doesn’t deform before reaching its rated maximum strength.
Can carbon fiber blades be sharpened?
A. Carbon fiber blades can be sharpened by using a waterstone. It is not advisable to sharpen a carbon fiber blade via other methods as it is dangerous to inhale carbon fiber fumes. If your carbon fiber knife has a carbon fiber handle and a steel blade, it can be sharpened via whatever method you prefer.
What’s the best carbon knife to buy?
Top carbon fiber knife
What you need to know: This fast action blade is foldable with a clip and solid lock. The blade has a DLC coating that increases the hardness and keeps it ready for outdoor use.
What you’ll love: This is a beefy blade that can be easily opened and closed with one hand. The blade is 3.25 inches, and you can attach a lanyard for additional safety. There is also a flipper that acts as a finger guard when opening and closing the blade. It is also 100% Made in USA.
What you should consider: Some people received a knife with the blade off-center and closer to the lock bar.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Top carbon fiber knife for the money
What you need to know: This is a lightweight knife that weighs just 2.4 oz. with a beautiful carbon fiber handle that has great grip and fits snuggly in a pocket.
What you’ll love: The 3-inch blade is CPM-154 steel, which is stronger than other Kershaw knives and holds an edge for a longer time. The speedsafe system gives the knife fast action that is manageable with just one hand, and it comes with a safety lock. It is also 100% Made in USA.
What you should consider: The clip comes with a black paint finish with no coating that tends to wear off pretty quickly.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
What you need to know: This is a classic knife with a 3.4 inch blade that can handle outdoor tasks while fitting comfortably in your pocket.
What you’ll love: The carbon fiber handle option weighs just 2.3 oz., which weighs less than the G10 handle options. The action is quick, and the HE CPM steel is durable enough to handle many outdoor tasks.
What you should consider: People with bigger hands might find this knife to feel too small and harder to open or operate with one hand.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
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Stephen Morin writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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