How do you feel about Emerson knives?

Discussion in 'General Knife Discussion' started by Wolverine666, Feb 26, 2020.

  1. MeritedEdge


    Jan 3, 2018
    I’m not a fan or a hater. I have one Emerson, a CQC7A and its been a solid work knife.
    The blade is centered and the grind is good but there is some lock stick on it.
    Is it a stellar knife? Nope. But its not a bad knife either.
    xeodguy and P D like this.
  2. tgtodd


    Dec 19, 2015
  3. SALTY

    SALTY Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 19, 2000
    Wow; I mean WOW ... I mean smitten with passion WOW!
    I thought I was in love forever with my ZT 620 and 630 but ...
    If you could please be so kind, what model ZT is that?
    unwisefool likes this.
  4. jeepin

    jeepin Gold Member Gold Member

    Jul 20, 2003

    It’s the 0640
  5. SALTY

    SALTY Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 19, 2000
    Thank you; seeing how much I like the 620 and 630 (both discontinued) there will likely be a 640 in my future.
    jeepin likes this.
  6. tgtodd


    Dec 19, 2015
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  7. SALTY

    SALTY Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 19, 2000
    tgtodd, that is one (forgive me) sharp looking knife.

    It would be interesting to do a detailed, optical magnification enhanced comparison of that beautiful Emerson custom and a ZT640.
    The comparison could also include price and how many ZT640 could one get for the price of that custom.
    I know that money isn't everything - even in the context of a inanimate thing like a knife - but the comparison would be interesting nonetheless.
  8. Ironbut

    Ironbut Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 1, 2016
    The ZT 0620 would be a good alternative. It's well made, has quality materials & the action is slicker than snot on a doorknob. This one stays clipped to the first aid bag in my wife's Jeep.

    There's a good mix of opinions & advice in this thread, but if someone is wondering what an Emerson is really like then they're not going to be satisfied until they actually try one. I got this Commander a few years ago & I think it's a typical Emerson. A good, hard use knife, but nothing really special about it. It stays clipped to the first aid bag in my pickup.
  9. marrenmiller

    marrenmiller Basic Member Basic Member

    Apr 6, 2017
  10. jfk1110

    jfk1110 Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 9, 2013
    It's definitely a looker!! IMG_20200128_134833.jpg IMG_20200128_134856.jpg
    Feca10ne likes this.
  11. The Whip

    The Whip

    Jan 28, 2007
    The ZT 0640 is indeed a fine-looking knife. It's actually a very old Emerson design. Despite more modern attempts to include it under the tactical period genre


    it really goes back to Emerson's art knife days.



    It was one of the designs that he used to cross over, incorporating it into his early Viper lineup.


    I think the original question has been answered pretty well in this and other threads. But I'll add my two cents. I bought these Emerson Knives, Inc., models back when they were representative of the state-of-the-art in folding knives.


    They impressed me when I got them, I continue to admire them, I wouldn't hesitate to carry them (and occasionally still do), and I would be very reluctant to part with them (we've shared some miles). They definitely spurred me to purchase other EKI knives.

    In the roughly twenty years that have elapsed since I bought them, however, they no longer reflect the state-of-the-art in folding knives. But their construction (materials and techniques) still represent EKI knives, and I think that's been a blind spot for Ernest Emerson. It's one thing to stay true to your roots, but it's entirely another to ignore industry advancements in, say, materials, fabrication methods, lock technologies, steel treatments, etc.

    You can't rest on your laurels and remain relevant. I believe that a lot of other companies have surpassed EKI in the tactical knife realm because they've been more creative and forward-leaning in adapting to changing times. The sad thing is, a number of them have done so by advancing Emerson's own ideas.

  12. SALTY

    SALTY Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 19, 2000
    The Whip touched upon many valid points. In fact, I cannot help but to draw parallels with Harley-Davidson.

    H-D was THE thing in the early 1900s and over time obtained a well deserved cult-like following.

    Many other brands spanked H-D in performance, reliability, quality and value and/or price but the faithful kept buying. H-D made record profits, relying upon their past and attempts to evolve met with mixed results. H-D then went on a mission to profit, actually profiteer itself and, well, just look at its stock (symbol: HOG) and you'll see how that's working out. I still like Harley and have three of them that I ride regularly but every Suzuki I have owned and still own spanks the Harleys but good - for less money; but I still like riding Harleys even though I know they are lesser motorcycles in many respects for more money.

    Anymore, my Emersons don't provide the "joy factor" delta compared to its peers like Harley does for me.
    The Whip and Quiet like this.
  13. Hale Storm

    Hale Storm Kydex Whisperer Gold Member

    Sep 18, 2013
    Here's my opinions on Emersons. I agree with most that they are over priced for the steel used and the fit and finish issues. The reality is the designs are pretty "meh" in my opinion and most of them are very bland in that respect. Some more color choices in G10 and upgraded steels would make me want to own one or more and keep them in my rotation. I draw my line at around the $100.00 mark for steel like 154. If I'm paying closer to the $200 mark, I expect premium steel at S30V and above and really good F & F. YMMV.
    The positive side to Emerson designs is they are one of the easiest models to mod if you're into that sort of thing. I manage to make a few paltry dollars here and there by modding them from time to time. Enough to help support my knife addiction anyway.

    EM3.jpg Emerson CQC-8 Pimped (1).jpg Emerson CQC-8 Pimped (6).jpg Emerson CQC-8 Pimped (26).jpg Emerson CQC-8 Pimped (27).jpg
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