LE ONLY please- best knife for duty

Discussion in 'General Knife Discussion' started by Motega, Jun 2, 2020.

  1. Motega

    Motega Gold Member Gold Member Basic Member

    Jun 20, 2006
    I have a student that graduated 10 years ago and is now a cop in Miami/Dade County FLA.

    Birthday is early August, and I want to get him a good knife. I don't think I can go full Hinderer, but I am thinking about gifting him my 3.5" that I'm not using. I have had over 10,000 students in my career and he is only 1 of 3-4 I still keep in touch with.

    So what's best for you guys on the job? I don't know if it's departmental down there or if you can carry what you want, if you need seat belt cutter, etc. But I'd be interested in hearing what the best gift would be. I'm really proud of him- either he learned a lot from me or is just a really independent thinker. Squeaky clean cop that if we could clone would solve personnel issues (I'm sure the same could be said for most of you).
  2. lieferung

    lieferung Basic Member Basic Member

    May 24, 2016
    Think pure utility, from the multitude of these threads created before that is the general gist of it.
    timberweasel likes this.
  3. timberweasel

    timberweasel Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Jan 5, 2011
    A good multi-tool is pretty standard and would probably be used the most. A lot of the officers I know carry Leatherman tools.

    As for dedicated knives, most carry cheap mall ninja junk used for prying and scraping. I've gifted several Ontario RAT-1s to officers over the years and they've been well received--haven't heard of one breaking yet (it'll happen, I'm sure.) Cold Steel would be another good option.

    But if your copper understands and respects a knife as a cutting tool, I'd recommend a full SE Spyderco Endura. It is an absolute cutting machine that makes short work of seatbelts and belts/ropes/cords/plastic ties in an emergency.

    Whatever you choose, it would be wise to pick something reasonably affordable and easily replaceable. High end stuff is for off-duty, IMO.

    Good luck, OP!
  4. K.O.D.

    K.O.D. Sanity Not Included Platinum Member

    Aug 21, 2013
    I have one friend who is a deputy sheriff for my county, he and many of his colleagues carry a Microtech ultratech or utx 85 in addition to a multitool. He's not a knife guy, but said the ease of opening and closing one hand while the other hand is busy is very helpful. He carries a serrated d/e for cutting seatbelts.

    My EMT buddy carries a Spyderco autonomy with blunt tip serrated blade..

    Food for thought.
    Ippon98 likes this.
  5. Motega

    Motega Gold Member Gold Member Basic Member

    Jun 20, 2006
    Yes... and with new offerings every day I know this has been asked before but could use an update
  6. archieblue

    archieblue Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 19, 2001
    RMJ Unmei.
  7. craytab

    craytab Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 26, 2012
    Yup, a good multi-tool and a nice simple on hand open-close modern folder of their choosing.
  8. Motega

    Motega Gold Member Gold Member Basic Member

    Jun 20, 2006
    I have to be realistic with the budget too though, anyone want to chime in with best OTF under$125?
  9. ibute21

    ibute21 Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 26, 2010
    It depends on the cop - I work with quite a few. Some are knife guys - one carries a Delica, but owns Microtechs, Spyderco Lum Tantos. Another carries an Emerson Karambit. Some aren’t knife guys. One carries a basic Gerber paraframe.
    Don’t over think it imo.
  10. Centermass


    Feb 25, 2016
    15 year LEO here. I carry a Benchmade Presidio 5000 Axis Auto. Easy to operate, durable, simple drop point blade, and ‘Murica.

    There are reasons I prefer side-opening autos or good manual openers to OTF autos for duty carry. In fact, would advise against OTF for a few reasons. You're unlikely to find a reputable one at your $125 mark anyway.

    That said, and as already mentioned, many (most) of my colleagues are not “knife people”. More often than not, they carry what I would consider to be gas station specials, or even minimally acceptable by my pretentious knife snob standards. It’s usually something they received for free as swag from their last training seminar, caught their eye at the hardware store checkout, or their significant other bought them with good intentions but only as a best guess. Good for you for asking :) That said, Most expensive does not mean best, and I do have limitations when it comes to price vs. practicality.

    In all honesty, the need to cut things on a regular basis as a LEO is on par with most people’s EDC needs. The usual stuff, zip ties, packaging, etc. The cutting seatbelts all the damn time and defending one’s gun with your pocketknife are truly infrequent, downright unlikely, but that doesn’t mean completely impossible. So, one might as well carry a decent tool capable of doing all those things, standing up to the elements, but that you’re also willing to lose without too much heartache. Climbing fences, traipsing through the woods, running, wrestling, and even getting in and out of the car all have a tendency to make clip-on pocketknives magically disappear.

    IMO, several choices come to mind at the ~$125 mark:
    Benchmade Presidio 2 CF Elite (this would probably be mine), Spyderco Endura, Spyderco Manix 2, Benchmade Griptilian, Cold Steel American Lawman, Cold Steel Code 4, Cold Steel Recon 1, Etc.
    timberweasel likes this.
  11. Ron Sabbagh

    Ron Sabbagh Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Sep 15, 1999
    I don’t know if this is what you’te looking for but I’ll throw out the offer

    I have an older SPYDERCO Police Model with stainless slab sides and Spyderedge I am the original owner. Used a few times with a few marks on it but in overall excellent condition. Original edge. Solid as a bank vault. This is a SEKI Japan model so its good steel

    I will happily send this along to your student (no charge). God knows our police can use all the support they can get right now.

    if you’re interested drop me a PM I’d be happy to “pay it forward” to another officer if you’re looking for something else.

    Godbless to all our LEO’s

    Last edited: Jun 3, 2020
  12. sgt1372

    sgt1372 Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Oct 16, 2018
    12 yr retired LEO here.

    I always carried a Gerber MP600 Multi-tool on my duty belt. Lots of useful tools (many of which I used) and it only costs about $51.


    Never carried a single bladed folder or fixed blade knife on duty. However, if that's what you think he'd prefer, I would recommend a serrated Spyderco Tenacious (or any similar knife that you think that he'd like better) because it's cheap and effective. MAP also only $51.


    The last thing you want to carry when you're on duty is an expensive knife that you could easily lose or damage.
    Pomsbz, timberweasel and craytab like this.
  13. CSG


    Dec 15, 2007
    Back in the day (1970's), most of the guys in my agency carried Buck Folding Hunters. I have no idea what guys currently carry, what department guidelines they may have, or what their needs are. I would guess something automatic and with a partially serrated blade for cutting a seatbelt. We used ours mostly at mealtime...
  14. LightningG

    LightningG Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 19, 2014
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2020
    Pomsbz and allenC like this.
  15. sgt244

    sgt244 Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 15, 2010
    The Benchmade triage comes to mind. - it’s around your budget and offers a nice big usable blade, with a seatbelt cutter and glass breaker built in. It’s a 3 in 1 tool which is nice in 1 smallish package.

    Glass breaking could really come in handy for him on the job... to gain access to vehicles or to get out of his.
    rpn likes this.
  16. scottyj


    Jan 29, 2009
    Something slim, light weight, easy to open, and quality, but not too expensive. Spyderco Endura, or Delica. If I had to do it all over again that's what I'd carry.
  17. whp


    Apr 26, 2009
    Not a LEO. But.
    All the knives mentioned in the last paragraph above are in my work knife rotation, except the Presidio and the Code 4. And the Code 4 could be. Great all purpose knives. Durable and strong.

    For not too much money would consider the Ontario Rat 1 with D2 steel. Very useful one hander and not too much money if lost. I know your former student would appreciate this as a gift
  18. glockfire

    glockfire Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 7, 2008
    I carry a knife for cutting things, and a knife for cutting people. Buy accordingly.

    benchwarmer380 likes this.
  19. rackness

    rackness Gold Member Gold Member

    Oct 31, 2004
    American lawman. Outstanding knife. Works well with or without gloves. Solid lock and good size for most cutting tasks. And reasonably price if it gets lost or damaged.
    benchwarmer380 likes this.
  20. KKellogg

    KKellogg Gold Member Gold Member Basic Member

    Jul 21, 2017
    I’m a Police Officer and I prefer the PM2 with full Serrations. It’s by my side every day. Normally I always prefer plain edge hands down. But in the field nothing cuts through a seat belt or cuts a deployed air bag so you can help people get out of a mangled car like a fully serrated spyderco PM2. In the field it doesn’t really matter how clean cuts are and how smooth the cuts are. What matters is how fast it will cut with one swipe, IMO. Hope this helps.
    rpn likes this.

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