Tactical Folding Knife Defined
(cont. from Tactical Folder category page)
The criteria I came up with for the tactical folder category of the custom knife judging for the Blade Show is as follows:
The blade should have a non-reflective finish that can be bead blasted, acid washed, some kind of coating. Even a machine satin finish so the blade will not reflect light.
Bolster (if used) could be stainless steel, Titanium, Aluminum (yes, that used to be used for bolsters on tactical folders) or Zirconium. Again, your choice, but, as with the blade it should have a finish that does not reflect light.
Handle material will be of a synthetic nature. These would include G-10, Micarta or Carbon fiber, as examples.
If stainless steel, Aluminum or titanium are used for the handle and frame, then as with the blade, it will have to have a non-reflective finish.
At the time, no mention was made of opener’s, clips or locks. In 2018, the majority of tactical folders had a flipper opener, a liner or frame lock. Most have a clip that are now predominately set to the blade and is carried tip up inside the frame.
Well-known tactical folder maker, Bob Terzuola, wrote what is considered by many to be the definitive work on the subject: The Tactical Folding Knife: A Study of the Anatomy and Construction of the liner Locked Folder
If you have a chance to look on page 4 of this book, Bob gives thanks to all those who helped him with this book. Quote: “I would like to thank Les Robertson and Bob Neal for helping me define what a tactical folder is.”
Robertson’s Custom Cutlery is your source for custom knives from today’s leading custom knife makers. We only feature the highest quality knives at value prices. Our custom fixed and folding knife selection includes tactical fixed and folding knives, presentation fixed and folding knives, bowies, hunters and skinners, and a large selection of forged blades. Les Robertson, author and owner of Robertson’s Custom Cutlery, is also a Field Editor for Blade Magazine and an instructor at Blade University. If you have questions about the content in this article or about any knife or maker on our website, you can contact Les directly at or (706) 650-0252.