Whats the ‘best’ knife? I have no idea. Depends on what you think you need a knife for. If you’re going to chop your way through an Amazon jungle then a Leatherman tool is probably a bad choice, much as a machete is probably a bad choice for removing a sliver from your hand.
For a general purpose sheath knife, I’ve been liking the Glock knives. They are extremely affordable, take abuse exceptionally well, are largely indestructible, and seem to hold an edge. They are a bit light so if your needs including hacking/chopping you may want something with more weight. For busting steel bands, prying ammo crates open, digging stuff out of the dirt, and other abusive tasks it seems to perform very well. These are not unrealistic tasks for a knife. To use an example from real life, take the aftermath of Katrina – you need a knife that’s fairly impervious to the wet (and especially the contaminated, chemical-laden, mold-inducing wet) and that rules out a leather sheath. You’re going to need something for breaking windows, prying at hinge pins on doors, cutting seat belts, cutting wire, prying open crates and barrels, punching holes in materials, being hammered through tough-to-cut objects, and generally abused in order to achieve your goals. So you need something durable, cheap enough to have spares (because while a $400 damascus bowie may be a thing of beauty, it’s a little too pretty to mess up) so you can destroy a knife if necessary, light enough to carry all day, and built well enough to handle the ‘voids the manufacturers warranty’ type of tasks. Plenty of good synthetic handled, kydex scabbarded knifes out there but for the money I’ve found the Glock to be very very good.
The Glocks come in two styles (with or without a sawtooth back..the sawteeth do work well but their utility is debatable) and in three flavors (OD, black, desert). If you shop around you can usually find them for $25-35~. As you would expect from Glock, theres a goodly amount of plastic involved. The scabbard is molded plastic…heavier than Kydex and rather rigid. Whereas Kydex will sometimes break/tear where its edges are riveted together, the Glock sheath appears unbreakable. Oh, you might break it if you really worked at it in some way but I cannot forsee any normal (or abnormal) usage that would ruin it. I’d have no trouble believing it would be just fine after being thrown under the wheels of a truck. Theres a unique locking device that secures the knife in the sheath but is easily released with the thumb as you draw the knife. Knife can be carried in the sheath facing either direction, thus the scabbard and knife are completely ambidextrous. The locking mechanism for the securing the knife is also completely ambidextrous. These are very much ‘left-hand friendly’ knives.
The sheath attaches to the belt by an openable belt loop. You can remove the sheath from your belt without unbelting. The mechanism is somewhat similar to the old style Bianchi fastener on the UM84 holsters. The blades are non-reflective, approx. 6” long and have a false edge on the forward top portion. They come from the factory pretty sharp and I’ve only had to have mine sharpened a couple times. The blades will etch from blood, as will most knife blades, and when the coating wears of the blade the metal is a plum color. The handle is grooved plastic. The handle fits the hand pretty well, tapering at either end and swelling in the middle. Nothing remarkable there. The handguard features a bottle opener which is always a nice touch. There is a plastic buttcap/pommel which can double as a hammer but it will mar the plastic a bit. There is an attachment point for a lanyard.
I’ve had several of these knives over the years and one of them is usually with me when I go hunting. In fact, when the girlfriend got her deer I gave her the Glock knife to use and it (and her) performed quite well. The blade is rugged and durable enough to split bone and the point doesn’t deform or break when hammering it between joints. Pounding a knife with a rock to force the tip through pelvic bone is a fairly good test for durability…the Glock passed. These knives are quite affordable and for the money it would be hard to find another knife of similar quality and, more importantly, durability. They’re cheap enough that you can abuse one with no remorse. They are also cheap enough that you can buy several without breaking the bank. I have the one in my hunting kit that gets used on most of my outdoor escapades. Down in the bunker I’ve several more in various colors waiting for the time I need to replace my current one or to be given to someone who needs it. Plus, its nice to be able to afford to keep one in each backpack, always ensuring one will be available. Although it’s a ridiculous practice with absolutely zero practical application (except amusement) they throw pretty well too.
Are they the best knife out there? No such thing, amigo. However, it may be the best within certain parameters – the best, affordable, general purpose sheath knife not made in China for example. The hidebound will no doubt proclaim that their Kabar is the only real field knife out there and that anything else is unmanly. Whatever. I’ve used them too and they are good knives, especially with a Kydex scabbard. I like the affordability of the Glock although I appreciate the heft of the Kabar. When I do want a knife with a bit of heft and weight behind it I usually go to my BK&T BK7 or TacTool. (Which, like a lot of very cool products, is no longer made although they can be found on eBay and similar venues at stupid prices.) Of course, this doesn’t say anything about pocket knives (or folding knives). Those are a whole different story.