Kizer

Kizer Aileon

If you're looking for an EDC knife but you're on a budget, all too often that means having to accept some compromises. That's why budget knives tend to skimp on blade steel and materials. Premium materials and thoughtful design cost a pretty penny, after all. Kizer's a knife manufacturer known for overdelivering performance at competitive pricepoints, but their Aileon is especially impressive. It's a full-sized folding knife with quality blade steel and a titanium handle for under 50 dollars.

It's frankly amazing that this budget knife features a 3.5" hollow-ground CPM-S35VN blade. It has a modified clip point with a pronounced curve that makes it great for both slicing and piercing. Deployment of the blade is easy with prominent ambidextrous thumbstuds. The blade also has an attractive stonewash finish that matches the gorgeous titanium handle. That titanium composition makes for a solid and reliable frame lock. The clip on the knife is titanium, and it's set up for right-handed tip-up or down carry.

You rarely see such a capable and beautiful everyday carry knife with materials like this at this price. If you're in the market for a new EDC knife, or are looking to gift one this holiday season, the Kizer Aileon is perfect. Pick one up now at the link below.

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* Price and availability referenced are accurate from the time of publication and may have changed since.

Kizer Feist

As much as we love gear that's jam-packed with features, sometimes less is more. Especially when all it takes for a good EDC knife is a combination of the right materials and a unique, functional design. Case in point: the Kizer Feist, a collaboration with knife designer Justin Lundquist. Equipped with some of the finest materials around on its handles and blade, it's an elegant expression of utility-driven simplicity at a great value.

The Kizer Feist definitely does more with less: it's a compact knife at only 3.625” when closed with a blade length of 2.875”. That sub-3” blade not only helps pass even the more stringent local knife restrictions, but it also cuts like a bigger knife thanks to its sharp edge spanning the entirety of its modified wharncliffe geometry. The Feist also uses an excellent blade steel in CPM-S35VN, commonly found in high-end knives for its toughness, sharpness, and edge retention.

While the Feist might look like a two-handed gent's knife, it's actually a bona fide flipper. Instead of a rear flipper tab, the Feist deploys as a front flipper by way of slight jimping on the spine of its blade. By rolling your thumb from the top of the blade around the pivot to the back of the handle, you can either quickly flick the knife out or slow-open for a more discreet deployment. It's a uniquely functional design choice by Lundquist that keeps the streamlined silhouette of the knife without sacrificing access.

As another welcome addition to a smaller knife, the Feist locks with a frame lock between its matte 6AL4V titanium handles. The backspacer and included pocket clip are also made in matching titanium to bring a clean aesthetic overall backed by durability and light weight. For a high performance, minimalist gent's knife that comes in at well under $200, check out the Kizer Feist at the link below.

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8 Custom-Designed Knives You Can Actually Afford

The “holy grail”—it's the elusive, be-all and end-all item at the top of your wishlist that's just outside the realm of obtainable. As EDCers, we've all got that one knife we aspire to own. And more often than not, it's custom made, bordering on “if money wasn’t an option” territory.

You've seen every picture of that knife on Instagram pining for it, you've read every review, and you've even re-calculated your budget over and over again. And after all that, you still can't see yourself dropping two grand on a knife.

But don't worry, there is hope. More and more custom knife makers are teaming up with manufacturers you know and trust to bring their designs much more within reach in the form of collaboration production knives.

We've rounded up our favorite (relatively) affordable grails from 2016 in this guide. With any of these picks, you’re getting as close to all the design, functionality, and looks of a custom, on a blade you can use without worrying about its cost.

Kizer Textured Titanium Flipper

"An absolutely stunning flip-blade knife from designer Matt Cucchiara. While its 3.6-inch stonewashed stainless steel blade will get the job done, it’s the grippy gunmetal titanium handle scales which make this a real standout…" (via TheAwesomer)

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Kizer Ki403A1

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