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Emerson Knives - Worth the Money?

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#1 x2humbucker



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Posted 03 April 2015 - 12:29 PM

I am interested in an Emerson Knife, but are they really worth the money? I understand spending $50-75 on a knife, but it gets harder to rationalize $200 for one. I know Kershaw and Emerson have partnered up and make budget models as well.  From your experience, is the real deal Emerson worth it? If so, what one? I've really looked at the CQC-7 and the Commander. 

#2 farcyde07gti



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Posted 03 April 2015 - 04:12 PM

Worth and value are relative to the need met (or not).


American Kershaw and ZT are good quality knives.  Emerson has some good quality knives and some unique features.  It just depends on what you're trying to accomplish.  I took a serious look at what I do with my carry items and most often the knife was used to open boxes or the spine was used as a screw driver.  I now carry a Gerber dime multi-tool for boxes and such and another blade for breaking contact.

#3 jmonaghan175



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Posted 03 April 2015 - 08:38 PM

I have the Kershaw CQC-8K.  It has many of the same features as the real deal.  Its a solid knife for the $30 price point and I have been very happy with it.  My brother has the Emerson CQC-7B so I have had an opportunity to handle both.  Here are the main differences.  The Emerson is slightly lighter than the Kershaw. It is only a little over an ounce difference in weight but I could tell the difference in weight when holding it.  The other thing that I noticed a difference with was the smoothness of the blade opening on the Emerson.  The Kershaw opens pretty smooth and has no problems utilizing the hook to open the knife coming out of the pocket, but the Emerson was noticeably smoother.  


In the end, I just couldn't justify budgeting $200+ for a knife.  At the price point of the Kershaw, it satisfied my needs.  

#4 PSDRyan


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Posted 04 April 2015 - 12:10 PM

I love my emerson, but I wouldn't say it's twice as good as a knife that's half as much

#5 B+Shooter



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Posted 04 April 2015 - 09:50 PM

I love my Emersons (CQC7B & SARK, Benchmade 970), but they were either a gift or under $100.  I've been told that the ZT Emerson version is better quality components than true Emersons, but that may be opinion only.  

They're nice knives, but the #1 reason I haven't gotten more was that the full price was more than I want to use and abuse.

#6 B3dlam


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Posted 07 April 2015 - 08:53 AM

As was stated worth is relative.  To quote the ever infamous nutn "second kind of cool"  love him or hate him the phrase has bearing.  For a lot of guys owning an Emerson knife or stryder knife is more about just the coolness factor (and there is nothing wrong with that.)  If you just need a good solid knife though I am not sure I would look to spend nearly what a decent pistol will run you on a pocket knife.  I am quite happy with the $30 CRKT I carry every day.

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#7 cjwise5



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Posted 09 April 2015 - 09:22 AM

I agree with what folks are saying about worth vs. value. I think it's worth mentioning that because of the "hook" on most Emerson knives, they are the only knife out there (one of the only) that is fully gross motor in terms of deployment. There are no fine motor levers or buttons required to open and operate the blade. I'm sure some of you are aware that during a dynamic critical incident ambush, our heart rate can spike to above 200bpm. The ability to efficiently do fine motor functions goes away at around 150bpm. This is the main reason I choose Emerson knives. It's not everything, but it is an important something.

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#8 x2humbucker



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Posted 12 April 2015 - 09:21 AM

Thanks for the input. I ended up getting a CQC 7 and so far I like it. I can definitely tell the difference between that and a sub $100 knife. 

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#9 PsychoFish


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Posted 13 April 2015 - 09:27 PM

I'm looking hard at one right now as well. I was looking at custom knives recently after a few beers and cigars with some guys who were knife guys. That afternoon had me sold on a semi-custom titanium scale knife that was pushing $350ish (upwards of $400 on some sellers) on the second hand market. I was ready to buy, buy talked myself out of it after I lost my CRKT for a week and presumed it gone forever. I'll probably be snagging the ITS version here in the coming weeks and then sending it off to be engraved, I need a nice knife.
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#10 tdbarge



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Posted 15 April 2015 - 01:45 PM

Reason beyond just the quality of the knife, Emerson has a great warranty, family owned relatively small business, USA made. All of those factors combined add up to a good buy in my mind. 

I have an mini A-100 and a beat up CQC-7B I bought used. Love them both and wouldn't hesitate to buy other Emerson blades..

#11 Diveshootroll



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Posted 29 April 2015 - 04:07 PM

My story short version I broke the blade on my emerson folder. Sent it back to emerson asking if they could replace the blade I love this knife. Then I did not here from them for about two weeks, then a package arrived my SOCFK  had been discontinued they did not have any extra blades but did have a new complete SOCFK. New IN THE BOX now thats a warranty they could not replace the blade so they gave me a new one I will carry emerson until they go out of business. No knife company has ever treated me like that, I did not use Name Rank Unit or any other hype just me and my address asking for help. Thanks Again to Emerson Knives. 

#12 Firerescue183



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Posted 26 September 2015 - 10:50 PM

I purchased a CQC in 2003 while deployed to Qatar.  I LOVED the hook feature, however the pivot screw kept coming loose thus the knife would be very loose within the handle.  I tried locktite, screwing it down tighter, and that pivot screw would keep coming loose.  I ended up selling the knife and I now carry a Chris Reeve Umnumzaan.  Maybe Emmerson has improved their pivot screw in their knives since 2003, I was just wanting to let everyone know about my experience.  To be fair to Emmerson, I never contacted them or sent the knife to them for repair.  I am sure that their customer service is excellent from reading other posts on this thread.

#13 redsol1


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Posted 28 September 2015 - 09:05 AM

I'm going to echo what everyone else here is saying based on "use" and "Need". I've got a Benchmade that i paid over $200 for. I'm not a hard user like some of the guys on the board, but my knife does go some crazy places and do some nutty stuff. I picked this one up last year after ~10 years of buying $30-$50 knives trying to replace my first Benchmade that i lost and never being satisfied. As a couple of people here said the price differences when going from a $50 knife to a $200 knife comes down to warranty, build quality, and materials/Fit/Finish. Those things are all worth paying for.



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#14 Bladeboy1998



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Posted 29 September 2015 - 06:04 PM

If you want an emerson, but are scared of the quality issues, look for a zero tolerance emerson. I have had both the 0620 and now the 0630. I feel they did emerson better than emerson, the quality is just amazing. You can find a like new 0630 for about 160. I love the wave feature, to the point where I can't own a folder without it. I love the ergos of the 0630, and it is just so smooth, it just flicks open so nicely.

#15 Blackshirt



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Posted 16 October 2015 - 10:41 AM

I received my Emerson Commander as a gift from my kids. That makes it special enough, but it also is the best pocket folder I have ever used. One-handed opening options are excellent, it grips well and is designed to keep your hand off of the edge. The lock is really solid and the single beveled edge is easy to sharpen. Great knife...

#16 IvanLSmith



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Posted 28 January 2016 - 03:08 AM

hello x2humbucker,

I love to do collection of knives as well as knife sharpeners.I like to have knowledge about Knives and knife sharpeners and to discuss with others for sharing information.I am using Emerson commander knife.Emerson knives is the world -renowned for their hard-use knives.Emerson Knives is one of those companies who provide gear giving you the confidence needed in dangerous places, and to look cool in the process- otherwise known as the swagger. When I’m carrying my Emerson commander blade and wearing the Commander ballistic shades I can walk with confidence knowing these two items can increase my survivability.

The Emerson Commander knife is a battle-tested blade and approved by the Navy SEAL Teams as an edged weapon. The wave opening feature allows you to deploy the blade as its pulled from your pocket making it quicker than auto knives, and in some cases quicker than a concealed fixed blade. If the handle traction is too aggressive, you can remove the pocket clip and use a high grit sandpaper to smooth out the texture of the G10.

The blade and handle design is what you would expect from Emerson Knives. Once again the ergonomics of the handle are a perfect fit to my hand. I’m not sure what they do during the design phase of these handles, but they always seem to fit my hand like they were custom-made for me.

When it comes to the design of the Commander blade itself, there are several factors that I really like about it. First, the recurve design provides a continuous cutting surface making the use of the knife more efficient for the operator. Second, the chisel ground edge allows for ease of maintenance out in the field. when you need to bring back a serviceable edge after hard continuous use. Third, the combination of the blade steel (154cM) and heat-treat of the blade steel give you a highly wear resistant blade, easily maintainable edge, and lateral strength.I am pleased with its performance.


Thank you




#17 charliefox



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Posted 02 February 2016 - 04:51 PM

I can't justify a $200+ knife because I know me; I'll either break it or lose it. I'd rather spend $50 on a knife I don't care about school much than having to pony up a lot of hard earned cash to replace it. YMMV.

#18 Mitchell Armbruster

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Posted 09 June 2016 - 06:21 PM

My Dad gave me an Emerson for Christmas and I was disappointed that the blade wasn't centered and the knife didn't seem worth the extra money. I have a Medford Praetorian I use almost daily and love, but I knew if I was going to spend the money on a knife I wanted it to be a tank. 

#19 Psybain


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Posted 10 June 2016 - 12:46 AM

The nicest knife I have is a ZT0350, so I'm no knife snob or anything, but I wouldnt mind picking up the next emerson/ITS collaboration whenever it's released. Thats more for the ITS factor than anything else, though

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#20 Shifty



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Posted 26 September 2016 - 09:15 AM

I had a handmade in the early 90's, but it was just too nice to use like a tool.  I later re-sold it, and bought a AR with the proceeds.


I've had a few of the production knives, and they are really nice, but I find myself abusing my Spyderco's a lot more for the money. 

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