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Best knives for a suit?

Discussion in 'General Knife Discussion' started by SlicedxBread, May 7, 2019.

  1. SlicedxBread


    Jan 27, 2019
    Hey y'all,
    Was wondering what your thoughts are regarding best knives for suits (either in the pocket or in the coat inside pocket). I'm looking to buy a "gentleman's knife" to carry for my new job. I'm looking for a flipper (thumb stud would be fine too) with sleek scales preferably with aluminum/steel/titanium scales. Prices range is anything up to about $150. Let me know what y'all would recommend or have enjoyed using. Cheers!
  2. Cosmodragoon


    Jan 1, 2019
    Get a Dividend in M390 for like half your budget here. Besides the steel upgrade, the blade shape is slightly improved over the basic version. The entire knife is wonderfully thin. The clip is reversible for tip-up or tip-down. That's actually really nice if you might be putting it in different kinds of pocket. (For instance, tip-down can be more convenient when drawing the knife from a shirt, breast, or vest pocket.) If you'd rather have it with a deep-carry loop-over clip, just call Kershaw. They sent me one for free.
    kickert likes this.
  3. sabre cat

    sabre cat Basic Member Basic Member

    Jul 4, 2014
    I have two recommendations even if they don't meet all of your requirements.

    First is a Victorinox Cadet, it's perfect for office use and works well with a suit.

    Second, a Benchmade 531. This is what I carry as a dress knife. At 2.1 oz. it is super light and works well with a suit. Add a deep carry pocket clip and the knife all but disappears. There is a very good thread here on BF about the 531 and its various models.
  4. Henry Beige

    Henry Beige Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 1, 2015
    David45, ErocSD, dirc and 1 other person like this.
  5. hhmoore

    hhmoore Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 7, 2014
    Inside breast pocket: Protech Newport, Zieba MS3, CRK Mnandi

    I also typically carry a dressy traditional in left front pants pocket.
    David45, ATJ999 and HwangJino like this.
  6. Joseph H.

    Joseph H.

    Oct 20, 2018
    Boker plus urban trapper in titanium.


    Very sleek profile, great cutter and very nice flipper action.
    Had one and sold it... still regret it.
    katanas likes this.
  7. colin.p


    Feb 4, 2017
    For me, the only "Gentleman's" knife I carry is a Case Mini trapper in a leather slip I made. Perfection.
    edit: I thought I'd add a picture. Everyone loves pictures. The Mini trapper is in the middle. I made a few slips and purloined one of them for my i3t.

    Last edited: May 7, 2019
    McFeeli, jkwithawave and Ace Rimmer like this.
  8. 115Italian


    Nov 13, 2015
    Take a leek, and remove the pocket clip. Carries well in a suit pocket.
    David45 likes this.
  9. abcdef


    Oct 28, 2005
    Save your money for a CRK Mnandi in Bog Oak. You shouldn't need the clip.
    416isToronto likes this.
  10. specgrade

    specgrade Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 21, 2009
    My suit and tie knife is a gray jigged bone Case Russlock.
  11. 4mer_FMF

    4mer_FMF Basic Member Basic Member

    Jun 9, 2016
    These are good suggestions. The Newport Tuxedo has been on my WTB list for a long time.

    I’m partial to the ZT 0460 for dress up. Maybe it’s a bit aggressive appearing, but it’s slim, light weight, and has style for days!

    Ruzster likes this.
  12. I wear a suit to work most days, and the knives I rotate through are the Massdrop Gent (flipper, G10/Carbon/Rosewood scales), Pro-Tech Sprint (automatic, aluminum frame with carbon fiber inlay), Victorinox Cadet Alox (non-locking multitool, aluminum scales), and Tangram Vector (button/plunge lock, aluminum frame). The Vector is the newest addition to the steady rotation, and it’s a sweet little knife.

    I also got a Spyderco Smock a few weeks ago, and while I like it, the clip is absurdly long, to the point where it’s so noticeable that I haven’t carried the knife at all. I’m probably going to get a shorter deep-carry clip so I can actually carry it. The Smock is a front flipper, but you can also open it with the thumb hole using either your thumb or middle finger.
  13. Yo Mama

    Yo Mama

    Sep 25, 2011
    The Protech Godson is the perfect size not only for regular everyday carry but also especially for a suit because it looks so classy to me. Black clip inside jacket pocket feels just right.

    Lateck and Ace Rimmer like this.
  14. Hackenslash

    Hackenslash Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Jul 25, 2014
    I think the ultimate suit knife is a CRK Mnandi. The pocket clip is almost mistakable for the clip of a pen. But...that's way above your price range.

    For thin, lightweight dress knives I have several in addition to the Mnandi. The following are mostly around your price range...
    1. Spyderco Chaparral. I prefer the LWT version but the CF or Raffir Noble versions might be a little "dressier".
    2. Isham Bladeworks Blackstar. Probably the closest you can come to a "poor man's Mnandi".
    3. Benchmade 707 Sequel. Hard to find sometimes. I'm not sure if this model is discontinued or not. Axis lock goodness in about as thin a package as you can find without the awkward shaped handle of the 530/531 series.
    4. ZT 0450. This knife is a flipper only. I usually like a suit knife that I can open quietly without too much flashing steel and lockbar clunking into place. Get the CF version or add a CF aftermarket scale for a more upscale look.
    5. Benchmade Mini Griptillian. For this I have a specific custom Grip. It's a 555 model with the hole opener, mounted in some custom, dimpled aluminum scales with all blue hardware. It sits much slimmer than a standard Grip scales and it makes a great suit knife.
    6. Any kind of GEC traditional with a leather slip sheath. You'll want to stay fairly small and lightweight so it doesn't hang like you've got a banana in your pocket.
    7. J.E. Made Zulu. This is available with or without pocket clips and sports a traditional lock with modern materials.
    8. Hiroaki Ohta OFF FK7 in your choice of handle material. A modern take on the classic Higonokami design. Carry it in a lightweight leather sleeve.
    9. Berg Blades Iron Pup. This is about as heavy and clunky as I get with a suit knife but it's such a well made little knife.
    10. Three Rivers Manufacturing Neutron. This is not last because it's least. I put this last because TRM knives are just so hard to get right now. The Neutron is perfect size and weight for a suit knife and they come in a variety of handle materials to suit your personal taste.

    A couple of generic considerations to consider...

    Weight is critical. I try to stay at or below 3 ounces. With winter weight suits you can probably push the weight up but with summer suits the weight will really affect the hang of your trousers or jacket.

    Size is also very important. You don't want to print that you're carrying an Espada XL. I really try to stay below three inches blade length and I'm actually fine with just a bit over 2". The thickness/height of the handle is as important as the length.

    Try to pick a more discreet, civilized look. Avoid black knives and try for lighter colors with satin finished blades. You don't want your tactical, zip-tied knife of doom to become the topic of discussion at a wedding reception when you "whip it out" to open a package. This is where traditional knives are often a great choice. Nothing screams wholesome America like an old-fashioned "jack knife" with stag handles.

    Try to find a knife with a silent opening mechanism. Thumbstuds, holes, disc, nicks all allow the knife to be opened slowly and quietly.

    Be mindful of the pocket clip. Often, that's all that someone will see of your suit knife. If they mistake it for a fountain pen, perfect! And you certainly don't want it decorated with grinning skulls ala DPx.

    I have to carry a "suit knife" every work day, so I tend to compensate and go BIG when the weekend rolls around :D.
    Last edited: May 7, 2019
    DB_Cruiser and orangejoe35 like this.
  15. kvaughn

    kvaughn Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 28, 2005
    Bigfattyt and katanas like this.
  16. Cosmodragoon


    Jan 1, 2019
    It looks like there is still a lot of love for the Leek here. I got a fancy version of the Leek for exactly this purpose back in 2004. I didn't like the little safety switch, the tip seemed fragile, and the clip wasn't great. I know I'm not alone in seeing the Dividend as a functional Leek replacement. It gets what right the Leek gets wrong in my opinion. While you can get the Dividend in fancy steel for a good price, there have been all sorts of special editions of the Leek with all sorts of fancy scales if that matters to you.

    I looked at this and a lot of others a while back. I passed on a ton of models, including the Mnandi, because they were not compatible with tip-down. As I said in the second post, tip-down works very well in upper-body pockets. More specifically, it works in the kinds of pockets where I carry a pen. I wanted a knife that could ride alongside a pen with moderate discretion and class. The Dividend with deep-carry loop-over fits the bill beautifully, whether in a suit or just in the pocket of a canvas work shirt.

    How the knife gets carried is a big factor for me. Pants pockets are the most popular and a big reason that tip-up is so popular. Pants pockets allow for larger knives with more diverse shapes as well. I sometimes carry a Civivi Courser with slacks. Despite only being $68, that knife is very attractive and grabs a lot of compliments when I use it to open a letter.
  17. hhmoore

    hhmoore Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 7, 2014
    Yeah - I missed the price limit when I typed my initial suggestions...:oops:
    You can get the Newport for just a little over, though.
    Also, I'll add the Spyderco Positron in CF - not as slim as the others, but lightweight
  18. Ron Sabbagh

    Ron Sabbagh Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 15, 1999
    Any traditional (Case, GEC) will do.

    Mnandi fir a bit more money.

    But there is nothing that feels more BADASS than having a Microtech HALO in your jacket breast pocket.

    I live the delusion that I'm Jack Bauer all day!
    Shorttime likes this.
  19. orangejoe35

    orangejoe35 Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 23, 2016
    It doesn't check all of your boxes, but I'm partial to the Spyderco Chaparral in Raffir Noble.
    bflying likes this.
  20. GermanyChris

    GermanyChris Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 18, 2015
    If I'm going to carry in my pants pocket I carry my Pro Tech Sprint, if I'm going to carry in my coat I'll carry the Crossbones

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