Feb 2, 2017

Could you help me choose?

Dear EDC Community
I'll keep it short.
So I think I want a knife. Specifically a Tanto folder.
I've managed to narrow it down to one of two:
The Cold Steel Recon 1 (27TLCTH),
and the CRKT M16-14T.
I understand the Recon 1 has the better steel, however, I like the ergonomics and titanium grip of the 14T.
Which one would you get or recommend?
Anyone who has both?
Also, please feel free to talk me out of it...
...please

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Just remember: those who live by the folder, die by the folder!
Recon Tanto cut and dried, there shouldn't be debate. The purpose of a tanto is durability under impact penetration, else one would select a finer, unreinforced point that penetrates with less force or has more belly for slicing. The M16 lock is too weak for impact (it's actually weakened by the safety mechanism) whereas the Triad is about as strong as you can get. Steel really matters too. CS's XHP is worth it, though can be a bit chippy under hard use if the edge is ground thin. That introduces the CS Voyager series with tougher though a bet less wear resistant steel. CS has better build quality in general, though abhorrent marketing. As for ergonomics, the Recon is clearly superior. The disadvantage is the cutting edge length to handle ratio the lock requires and inferior serrations. Now if you were considering a general (not hard) use knife, a drop point M16 could do the trick with weight efficiency if the steel is decent, but then it would have to compete with (and lose to) the CS Code 4, unless you need a narrow profile. So Voyager Tanto for hard use or a drop point Code 4 or M16 if you're really set on it.
I'd say it depends a little on your use-case.

The Recon is a larger knife and probably a bit pricier (I'm going on company reputation as I don't know the specifics on either off-hand) It will perform better in more stressful tasks as the steel is better and the grip is made for more intense things.

I'm also partial to tanto tips and my general carry consists of an urban trapper (clip point, though there's a tanto version up on bladehq) and a much larger Schrade
Recon 1
Well, a lot of this is personal preference.

If I had to pick between these two, I'd probably go with the CRKT M16-14T for the following reasons:
- I can't stand tactical coated blades (mostly due to it's lack of durability on the finish).
- It's slightly cheaper for similar materials (both AUS-8 for the blade).
- The titanium scales on the CRKT seem a bit nicer than what I assume is G10.
- The serrated section is shorter for the very rare occasion I use serrated blades.

I will say in the Recon's favor the ergos and grip-texture look better. I also like that it has a sharpening choil (although with a serrated blade it's gonna be harder to sharpen and it's rather shallow).

Outside of those two I would suggest a Benchmade 940 with a tanto blade shape (which was my EDC for 6 months). It's a bit more expensive but the steel is much higher quality (usually some CPM powdered steel variant) and the axis lock is quite nice for a plethora of reasons.

EDIT: https://www.massdrop.com/buy/ontario-rat-1-carbon-fiber That would also be a good selection in the general price range.
Recon 1,
The M16 is nice to look at but isn't a better knife. you will have less troubles with the cold steel, so go with that, since knives are tools and not primarily manjewelry.
Kosior
"...since knives are...not primarily manjewelry."

This is a dirty lie and you know it
Recon 1, I have both and the Recon is my top pic daily.
I recommend the Recon 1. I have the spear point version. It is the best edc knife I have ever had. I have been carrying various knives for about 15 years. The thin profile, the texture of the G10, the steel, the coating, the reliable locking mechanism, all the best I have had. It feels great in the hand and I love using it. The texture will be very rough when you first get it, but it will break in nicely. It stays sharp for a long time. I have cut cardboard and all sorts of stuff without having to sharpen it. The pocket clip is very strong. I tied a paracord lanyard on it to help me draw faster.
I just received this yesterday:
http://bestechknives.com/index.php/product/142
$52.00 from Blade HQ out of Lehi, UT.
Best build on any folder since I bought an original Benchmade Allen Elishewitz Ares with the original Axis lock over 15 years ago at over $100.00 at the time.
There are no sharp edges anywhere on this knife, and the G-10 scales have subtle contouring so that it is narrower in the middle where your fingers wrap around and thicker at the ends where the butt meets the heel of your palm and your forefinger and thumb guide the blade. It just feels good in the hand, regardless of grip (foil, horizontal foil, underhand ice pick, overhand ice pick).
The pivot rides on two captured ball bearing races, and it is the smoothest liner lock I have ever felt, except for my Boker Plus Brad Zinkers, that use the loose IKBS bearing system. The action is much smoother than either the Cold Steel Recon Tanto or the CRKT M16, above.
I have a shoe box full of Cold Steel folders, and another shoe box full of CRKT folders (had an OEM relationship with CRKT at one point). I prefer the fixed blades from both.
Until yesterday, my EDC was still my Benchmade Ares unless I was going suit and tie or black tie / white tie, then it was my Brad Zinkers.
Just to be clear, the fit, finish and hand polishing on the Bestech is second only to my over 30 year old original Al Mars.
And no, I don't work for Bestech. And yes, I have a shitload of knives. My first paying job was in a meat packing plant, so I know a little bit about edge retention, re-sharpening, brittleness, and ergos. If you visit a meat packing plant, you won't see any knives with sharp edges, checkering, jimping, or skateboard tape in any of the packer's multi-knife scabbards. All contact surfaces are smooth, because these tools are in your hands 8+ hours a day, and if you injure your hands, you can't work.
Just my $0.02, respectfully submitted.

Without a doubt - the Cold Steel knife is the better knife between the two.
Every company invests in marketing. Cold Steel invests in hype, exclusively.
No need to increase the size of Lynn Thompsons tiny little dick by supporting his company and his shameful habits.
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SpecialEd
Here, here!! He is a Dick--tiny though it is.
I think Lynn Thompson is actually a Lilliputian, he's only killed a Bengal cat but he's so small and impotent that it looks like a leopard.
don't underestimate the utility and comfort of a nice big handstop on a edc blade. For heavy work to protect your hand, you will be glad you have it. That little nub on the CRKT will just be an annoyance and dig into your finger. Cold Steel handles are generally more comfortable. Personally I recommend the Cold Steel Talwar series -- better ergonomics, and a better point than any "tanto" knife (these tanto shapes were created by americans, and are not in fact true to historical japanese blades FYI).
My very first 'ok' knife was recon1 tanto...long time ago when they just new and still using aus8..not even aus8a...it served me well when I was working out door. Beside the fact that I personally do not agree with Lynn Thomson's view of the knife word, cold steel has been putting some strong folders out there. CRKT is a very innovated company, has tons of good designs with nice designer. However, their steel and fit/finish has been always a hit and miss...their knife is a bit over priced as well...they would ask over 100 dollars for a aus8 sometimes...it is just not very worth the money.
beside all personal opinions, I think you should really think about what you will need the knife for. if you facing hard using often, choose the coldsteel, it will be a tank. if you just use it for cutting box or open letters, choose the CRKT so you are not support Lynn Thomson the bully of small knife makers. I donlt have a problem with him, I heart he is actually a nice guy, but I just really don't agree with a lot of thing he did to the knife community.
I have the rescue CRKT M16 older version with the safety lock and I hate that knife because of it. It takes two hands to close, I'm not a fan of it. I have been looking to add a Cold Steel to my collection and Recon 1 is on the list. Lately I have been carrying a Rat 1.
Cold Steel Recon 1 is a "sweet" looking knife and if you're a boater having serrated edge is a must for cutting ropes in an emergency.
Although I don't like serrated edges, I think the CRKT M16-14T would be good all around knife due to the less amount of serrations and the better handle shape as you said.