Tec X Inceptra
Power: This tough stainless steel blade (with aluminum handle) is the rare folder that won’t crumple when you hit it with a hammer to split logs. The ratchet-tight lock didn’t buckle when torqued.
Precision: A thinner tip (due to the dramatic drop point) drilled holes better than the Gerber, but this knife shined at making feather sticks (below). The superior edge easily shaved a branch into quick-ignite ribbons.
Verdict: Simple, sharp, secure: This blade nails all three. A hollow core saves weight, the blade stayed hair-splitting through our tests, and the anodized grip looks uncomfortable but actually nestles into the palm, thanks to a perfectly placed finger notch. Bonus: It’s more compact than a straight blade, without shorting strength. Bummer: Only two extras: a pocket clip and a landfill-worthy hanger.
$25; blade: 3.5 in., 4.3 oz. (no sheath); tecx.com
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