Best Large Folding Knife for Hard Use

Last Updated: by Aiden Williams

By design, large and hard use folding knives represent the most hard-hitting edge tools on the market.

I am talking about overbuilt lock mechanisms that feature super strength for withstanding heavy use during chopping, carving, and cutting.

Large blade designs with reinforced tips and expertly grind edges for ultimate performance and versatility. Rugged handle structures and ergonomics for superior control when using the knife.

The choice of large folders is rather huge; however. So, ladies and gentlemen, you have to do a little research to find the best large folding knife.

I have already done the research on your behalf by taking into account all the vital features you would want your large, rugged, hard use knife to have.

The Cold Steel Voyager Series Folding Knife is the most liked and a bestseller because of the heavy-duty tactical blade design and highly ergonomic handle. This knife can and will withstand the toughest cutting applications you throw at it.

Here Are The Best Large Folding Knives:

ProductDetails
1. Cold Steel Voyager Series Folding Knife

  • 4-inch blade length
  • 5.25-inch handle length
  • 0.13-inch blade thickness
  • AUS-10A blade material
  • Griv-Ex handle
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2. Zero Tolerance 0562TI Hinderer Knife

  • 3.5-inch blade length
  • 4.8-inch handle length
  • 0.16-inch blade thickness
  • CPM-20CV blade steel
  • Titanium handle
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3. Civivi Brigand EDC Folding Knife

  • 7.92-inch overall length
  • 3.46-inch blade length
  • 0.118-inch blade thickness
  • D2 tool steel blade
  • Textured tan G-10 handle
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4. Spyderco Resilience C142GP Folding Knife

  • 9.4-inch overall length
  • 4.2-inch blade length
  • 8Cr13MoV blade steel
  • G-10 laminate handles
  • Four-position clip carry
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5. Benchmade Rift Charcoal 950 Folding Knife

  • 8.27-inch overall length
  • 3.67-inch blade length
  • 0.114-inch blade thickness
  • 154CM blade steel
  • Comfortable G-10 handles
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6. Kershaw Natrix XL Pocket Knife

  • 8.75-inch overall length
  • 3.75-inch blade length
  • 8Cr13MoV steel w/ black oxide coating
  • G-10 handle scales
  • Sub-frame lock mechanism
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7. CRKT Seismic EDC Folding Knife

  • 9.44-inch overall length
  • 3.97-inch blade length
  • German blade steel
  • G-10 handles
  • Deadbolt lock mechanism
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1. Cold Steel Voyager Series Folding Knife — Best Large Pocket Knife

Cold Steel Voyager Series Folding Knife with Tri-Ad Lock and Pocket Clip, Clip Point Plain, Large

Whether you are looking for the best large folding knife or to add to your collection, the Cold Steel Voyager Series Folding Knife fits the description.

Specs

  • 4-inch blade length
  • 25-inch handle length
  • 13-inch blade thickness
  • AUS-10A blade material
  • Griv-Ex handle

This Voyager Series knife from Cold Steel is crafted from AUS-10A stainless steel, which is great because it has high corrosion resistance and edge retention.

The tanto blade has a reinforced tip that gives you a thicker point rather than a really thin profile for puncturing and carving into tough materials without breaking.

The handle is Grivory, which is a little bit rough at first, but when you get used to the texturing you get a nice solid grip that is non-slip in wet conditions. This monster of a folder comes with a Tri-Ad lock that works more like a lock back, but with a stop pin for preventing play between the blade tang and the lock bar.

What I don’t like; however, is the rough texturing of the handle, which can possibly damage your jeans.

Pros

  • Weather resistance stainless steel blade
  • Reinforced tanto clip is great for hard-hitting applications
  • Grivory handle design is extremely strong and durable
  • Shoots open fairly fast with a push of a thumb stud
  • Tri-Ad lock is extremely strong and durable

Cons

  • Rough texturing may damage your jeans
  • Tip-up carry may not be everyone’s preference for a large folder

Conclusion

The Cold Steel Voyager Series Folding Knife is the perfect choice for hard use applications, whether its survival, rescue, or emergency.

Overall Rating – 4.8

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2. Zero Tolerance 0562TI Hinderer Knife — Best Hard Use Folding Knife

Zero Tolerance Hinderer Pocketknife; 3.5-Inch CPM 20CV Steel Blade, KVT Ball-Bearing Opening System, Flipper, Reversible Deep Carry Clip, Titanium Handle, Made in USA (0562TI)

The Zero Tolerance 0562TI is the ideal edge tool for active outdoor hard use jobs. Its premium materials and heavy-duty design will endure almost anything.

Specs

  • 5-inch blade length
  • 8-inch handle length
  • 16-inch blade thickness
  • CPM-20CV blade steel
  • Titanium handle

This knife has a flipper design with a titanium frame lock that opens very smoothly for quick and safe deployments, thanks to its bearing based pivot.

The titanium lock bar is fitted with a hardened steel portion that integrates with the tang of the blade, and there is a disc that prevents over travel when disengaging the lock.

The blade has a unique slicer grind, which is great because it is an angled flat grind that allows for efficient slicing and a strong tip for piercing. The rugged 3.5-inch blade is forged from CPM 20CV steel, which is one of the best materials in the market for hard use thanks to its excellent edge holding ability and corrosion resistance.

Another good feature that I really appreciate about this knife compared to other 0562 models in the ZT lineup is the lightweight titanium handle design.

But the thing is, the titanium handle has no texturing for added handgrip power.

Pros

  • Lightweight design for a large folder
  • Flipper bearing based pivot design opens smoothly
  • Rugged blade steel has great edge retention and corrosion resistance
  • Slicer grind is excellent for slicing and piercing
  • Jimping on the spine adds strength and gripping power

Cons

  • Lacks texturing on the handle
  • Some models may come with a stiff flipper tab

Conclusion

If you are looking for a great hard use folder, the Zero Tolerance 0562TI is a knife that deserves to be by your side for steadfast performance and durability.

Overall Rating – 4.8

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3. Civivi Brigand EDC Folding Knife

Civivi Brigand EDC Pocket Knife, Liner Lock Everyday Carry Folding Knife 3.46” Dependable Knife Blade with Solid G-10 Handles, Secure Reversible Clip for Hunting Outdoor Carry C909DS

The Civivi Brigand is one of the best clever folding knives that is well-equipped for hard use in everyday carry applications.

Specs

  • 92-inch overall length
  • 46-inch blade length
  • 118-inch blade thickness
  • D2 tool steel blade
  • Textured tan G-10 handle

The first impressive feature of this knife is the heavy-duty liner lock mechanism, which is tight and solid with no play in any given direction. The blade is constructed from the legendary D2 steel that has been heat-treated for superior strength, wear resistance, corrosion resistance, and edge retention.

I really appreciate the various G-10 overlays in the handle design, which provide a good bit of handgrip on the knife, thanks to their thickness and chamfered edges. The tanto blade is flat ground to provide you with a subtle scoop on the leading edge for piercing and a razor-sharp main edge for slicing and cutting.

But quality control of the Civivi lineup seems to be inconsistent because you can receive a model with a stiff flipper opening tab.

Pros

  • Liner lock up is tight, solid, and durable
  • Blade has excellent wear and corrosion resistance
  • Handle overlays improve grip power and performance
  • Rugged tanto blade is great for working on hard materials
  • Ergonomic finger guard and choil add to a superior hand grip

Cons

  • Quality control seems to be inconsistent from one model to another
  • Could be better with multiple finger grooves

Conclusion

Tough and dependable, the Civivi Brigand is designed for all your EDC hard use applications. Not to mention that its premium materials are very durable.

Overall Rating – 4.7

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4. Spyderco Resilience C142GP Folding Knife

Spyderco Resilience Value Folding Knife with 4.20" Stainless Steel Blade and Durable Black G-10 Handle - PlainEdge Grind - C142GP

The Spyderco Resilience C142GP gives you a high hard use performance and extended durability at a more economical price range.

Specs

  • 4-inch overall length
  • 2-inch blade length
  • 8Cr13MoV blade steel
  • G-10 laminate handles
  • Four-position clip carry

Designed from the heavy-duty 8Cr13MoV stainless steel material, the Spyderco Resilience boasts a rugged blade with superior edge retention and corrosion resistance.

The thick 4.2-inch full flat grind blade converges to create a pointy and durable tip for poking, piercing, carving, and precision cutting in hard-hitting applications. The one hundred percent fine edge blade comes extremely sharp and ready for any cutting, chopping, carving, skinning, or slicing tasks.

The versatility of the Spyderco Resilience is improved even further with the inclusion of a four-position clip carry, which also allows for quick deployments.

My primary concern lies with the finish of the thumb hole because it’s possible to receive a model with sharp edges along the circumference.

Pros

  • Large, resilient, and durable folder at a good price point
  • Opens smoothly and safely locks into place
  • Ergonomically milled handles scales offer a comfy hand grip
  • Four-position carry adds versatility
  • Sharp full flat grind blade is capable of cutting almost anything

Cons

  • Some models may come with poorly finished thumb hole
  • Could be more versatile with ambidextrous thumb studs

Conclusion

The Spyderco Resilience will tackle almost any EDC cutting job, and you get a good performance at a very reasonable price point.

Overall Rating – 4.6

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5. Benchmade Rift Charcoal 950 Folding Knife

Benchmade Rift Charcoal G10 Reverse Tanto Folding Knife Manual Opening, Plain Edge/Satin Finish (950)

Benchmade as a company is well-known for the axis lock, which is one of the features that make the Benchmade Rift Charcoal 950 a great hard use folder.

Specs

  • 27-inch overall length
  • 67-inch blade length
  • 114-inch blade thickness
  • 154CM blade steel
  • Comfortable G-10 handles

At first glance, you will notice that the axis lock is ambidextrous because the lock bar goes through the frame on both sides, making this model ideal for left and right-handedness.

You can easily open the blade by pushing the thumb stud upwards or you can pull back on the lock bar and use your wrist to flick the blade open. The superior cutting performance of the blade comes from the 154CM stainless steel material used, which is great because it is highly rust-resistant and holds an edge pretty well.

This knife wouldn’t be complete without the premium G-10 handle scales that are unchanging under extreme temperatures and impervious to moisture.

But I feel the handle design would be much easier to wheel if it had ergonomic finger grooves.

Pros

  • Axis lock is highly ambidextrous and easy to use
  • Opening the blade is a breeze with a push of a thumb stud
  • Capable of holding an edge after heavy use
  • Ergonomic handle scales offer a strong hand grip
  • Reverse tanto blade is great for tactical use

Cons

  • Lacks finger grooves for superior ergonomics
  • Could be more tactical with a partially serrated edge

Conclusion

This is the knife to look for when you are after a lock mechanism that’s extremely easy to operate, and a heavy-duty reverse tanto blade that’s best suited to tactical applications.

Overall Rating – 4.6

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6. Kershaw Natrix XL Pocket Knife

Kershaw Natrix XL Pocketknife (7008OLBLK); 3.75-inch Drop-Point Blade with Black-Oxide Coated 8Cr13MoV Steel; Olive-Drab G10 Handle Scales; KVT Ball-Bearing Manual Open; Reversible Pocketclip; 4.1 oz

If you are looking for an edge tool that is designed for hard tactical use at a good price point, then look no further than the Kershaw Natrix XL Pocket Knife.

Specs

  • 75-inch overall length
  • 75-inch blade length
  • 8Cr13MoV steel w/ black oxide coating
  • G-10 handle scales
  • Sub-frame lock mechanism

The Kershaw Natrix XL sports a rugged drop point blade that is forged from 8Cr13MoV steel, which is great because this material has good edge retention and corrosion resistance.

This knife has 3D machined G-10 handle slabs that are ergonomically textured to provide you with a strong, non-slip, and comfortable grip.

The killer feature at the heart of this knife is the patented sub-frame lock that is not only lightweight, but also sturdy and durable.

What I don’t like; however, is the inconsistent quality control because it’s possible to receive a Natrix XL with a stiff flipper.

Pros

  • Blade is heat-treated for high cutting performance
  • Handle design is lightweight and resilient
  • Secure subframe lock prevents accidental openings
  • Flipper converts into a finger guard for added versatility
  • Jimping on the spine adds gripping power

Cons

  • May come with a very stiff flipper
  • Pocket clip carry is too shallow

Conclusion

The Kershaw Natrix XL is an EDC knife that sets itself apart with its stylish and a price tag anyone can afford.

Overall Rating – 4.4

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7. CRKT Seismic EDC Folding Knife

CRKT Seismic EDC Folding Pocket Knife: Heavy Duty Everyday Carry, Black Blade, Flipper Open, Deadbolt Button Lock, IKBS Ball Bearing Pivot, G10 Handle, Deep Carry Pocket Clip 5401K

If you are looking for an edge tool that’s best suited for hard use EDC applications, the CRKT Seismic fits the description. And it comes with the latest features in the industry, including the deadbolt button lock.

Specs

  • 44-inch overall length
  • 97-inch blade length
  • German blade steel
  • G-10 handles
  • Deadbolt lock mechanism

The first thing you will notice with the Seismic is the oversized pivot, which is the deadbolt lock that is easy to use and incredibly strong.

This large knife is easy to operate, you can open the blade either with the ambidextrous thumb studs or you can push the flipper tab.

I really appreciate the inclusion of a discreet Torx screw that allows you to adjust the detent of the knife, letting you customize the stiffness and flipping action.

Another neat feature is the German-style steel blade, which is great because it has good edge holding ability and reliable corrosion and rust resistance.

But the thing is, the pocket clip is way too short for deep pocket carry.

Pros

  • Deadbolt lock is highly ergonomic
  • Opens quickly, smoothly, and safely
  • Easy to customize stiffness and flipping action
  • German-style steel has good rust and corrosion resistance
  • Blade has a nice sweeping profile for slicing

Cons

  • Pocket clip is too short for such a large knife
  • Lacks ergonomic finger grooves

Conclusion

If you want an edge tool that has incredible strength and will keep your fingers safe when opening and closing the blade, the CRKT Seismic is what you should be looking for.

Overall Rating – 4.4

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Buying Guide: Things To Consider When Buying Large Folding Knives

If you didn’t find a model that fits your description in our listing of the best large folding knife, you can continue the search by taking into account the following factors.

Size Of The Folder

Size is probably the most important feature to take into consideration when selecting a hard use knife. Small folders are great for simple EDC applications, such as opening packages, while medium-sized folders are suitable for most EDC applications and utility.

Small knives usually have an overall length of about 4 to 6 inches, while medium ones have an overall length of about 6 to 8 inches. So, anything beyond the 8-inch mark qualifies as a large folding knife. The most ideal blade length for hard use applications should be at least 3.4 inches long.

Blade Material

In addition to having a large knife, it’s important to understand the type of steel used to craft the blade. This will help you determine whether or not the knife will survive your hard use application. You shouldn’t be surprised to come across a large folder with poor quality blade steel.

There are three most popular knife blade materials you will come across: high carbon stainless steel, stainless steel, and carbon. Carbon is the traditional knife blade material that is relatively easy to sharpen. But this material is soft, it isn’t capable of holding an edge longer, and it rusts badly.

Stainless steel is considered the hardest blade steel by knife makers, but it is also the hardest material to sharpen at home. This material will; however, hold an edge almost forever once sharpened, and it is practically impervious to rust.

High carbon stainless steel is the ultimate best blade steel for a large hard use folding knife because it provides you with the best of both worlds. It contains the right composition of carbon, vanadium, molybdenum, and chromium for superior edge retention, corrosion resistance, wear resistance, and overall strength of the knife.

Blade Shape

Choose a blade shape that is best suited for your application. For rugged, tactical hard use, I would recommend a tanto or reverse tanto shape, which is capable of puncturing into hard materials with precision because of the reinforced tip.

For EDC hard use, I would recommend a drop point or clip point shape for a resilience piercing and cutting performance. But there are other blade shapes you can consider, such as Sheepsfoot and spear point.

Lock Mechanism

A large folder is as good as its lock mechanism because it is the lock that transforms the folder into a full tang knife for hard use. The lock you choose must be able to withstand the rough chopping, carving stabbing, piercing, and puncturing you expose it to whenever you are using the knife.

You should also consider a lock mechanism that is easy to close. It shouldn’t be too stiff or loose, but optimum. The most reliable and versatile lock mechanisms I recommend are:

  • Axis lock
  • Deadbolt lock
  • Frame lock
  • Sub-frame lock
  • Tri-Ad lock
  • A.G.I.C lock
  • Liner lock

Balance and Feel

The handle has to be ergonomically designed for you to have the perfect balance and feel. Choose a high-quality knife handle material that is weatherproof, strong, and comfortable to hold in your hand.

The handle should have added ergonomics, such as texturing, finger grooves, and a finger guard.

Final Thoughts

We have a winner for this round, the Cold Steel Voyager Series Folding Knife. The undisputed folder for all your hard use and tactical applications.

The Tri-Ad lock on this knife is the real deal. It doesn’t wear out easily like the conventional lock mechanisms you have come across, and its strength is remarkable.

The AUS 10A high carbon stainless steel is the best you could have ever wished for because it has excellent edge retention and corrosion and wear resistance.

The Grivory handle scales are ergonomically textured and grooved to provide you with a great balance and feel when you wheel the knife.

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