A good folding knife is an essential tool that every rural man or woman needs. Whether working around the homestead or spending time in the backwoods, a good knife is simply a necessity. Now for the most part knives are like anything else, you get what you pay for. But every so often, you find a really good quality knife for a very reasonable price. Both of these knives fit that description. Both of these knives have been used every day on our farm for over a year, used extensively on camping trips, and proven themselves.
Here are a few things that both of these knives have in common. Both have belt clips, which my sons prefer to carrying knives in their pockets. Their reasoning is not having to reach inside your pocket when your hands are covered in diesel fuel, mud, or grease. Both have blades under 4 inches (you don’t need a folding machete!). Both have thumb pegs for quick one handed opening, which is again something practical working people appreciate. Both of these knives are very affordable and cost much less than you would expect for the quality they possess.
The Smith & Wesson Extreme Ops SWA25 is probably my favorite of the two. This is one of those knives that is ridiculously inexpensive yet extremely handy and useful. It has a black high carbon stainless steel drop point blade that really holds a good edge. Blade length is 3.3 inches and overall length is 7.8 inches. It has an aluminum handle with very nice rubberized coating that is very easy to grip. As mentioned above, it has a clip and ambidextrous thumb knobs for one handed opening. The knife is really sturdy. I’ll be honest, at a price point this low I was not expecting much in the way of quality; but I was happily surprised. After a year of everyday farm use it is still holding up well.
The Gerber Paraframe II cost about twice as much the Smith and Wesson at the time I’m writing this, but it is still very affordable. This is the knife my oldest son carries and really likes it. Its a bit larger, the high carbon stainless steel blade is 3.35 inches and the overall length is 8.27 inches. The smooth stainless steel handle is what Gerber calls the “minimal frame-lock design”. Like the other knife, it has a belt/pocket clip and thumb knobs. This is really a solid knife with a quality blade. The smooth handle is little harder to grip without slippage than the Smith and Wesson but not terrible. It has been used and abused for over a year and is still in great working order.