A good knife is the most basic requirement in any survivalist’s toolkit. Since even before the dawn of civilization, knives were the means by which men hunted game, gathered food, constructed shelter, made tools, and, of course, defended themselves.
It doesn’t take more than a few minutes alone in nature to realize that, for all our amazing advancements, what we need to survive in the outdoors really hasn’t changed. Luckily, there are some amazing knife brands out there, creating high-quality tools of self-defense, survival, and utility. One such company is the Italian brand Fox cutlery, and in this article, we’ll be reviewing some of the best Fox knives on the market.
So, if you want to be one of the prepared, a reliable, versatile, and durable knife like this may be the first thing to put on your shopping list.
About Fox Knives
Fox Cutlery is an Italian knife brand that has been building an impressive reputation – as well as impressive blades – since 1977. Know for being both innovative and reliable, Fox has a staggering number of models in their line, from folders designed for EDC (every day carry) to tactical and fixed blade knives of all kinds.
While a premium brand, there are plenty of affordable Fox models to be had, especially since owner Orese Frati and his son Gabriele, a blacksmith, founded their own production plant (Euro Knives Italia Srl) in 2008. Hoping to meet increasing demand for their products without compromising quality, this new enterprise has helped the Fratis maintain control over the Fox reputation, ensuring each piece meets their high standards.
Why Fox Stands Out:
Knife enthusiasts have long relied on Fox blades for a variety of purposes, as – thanks to their extensive product portfolio – there’s no reason to own just one. From tactical machetes to karambits to daggers, hunting knives, and combat knives, this manufacturer embraces variety at every turn in order to give their pieces an almost “custom” feel. This variance includes material as well as design, and one can readily find aluminum models next to titanium or Damascus steel.
The quality of the knives, according to many consumers, has not changed since Fox’s introduction. Indeed, many will tell you they love to see the name “Maniago” emblazoned on the blade, as the Italian town has been famous for its smithing for generations. The company’s knives are particularly regarded for their edge retention, and for taking to sharpening quite well. They also embrace a more “traditional” process, which includes proper heat treatment and a focus on blade geometry, which some consider crucial to performance.
Is Fox Right for You?
In terms of utility, it would be hard for you to find a Fox blade you can’t put to work. Over the years, the company has implemented lines with both general and specific uses in mind, from short, foldable sailing knives to multi-purpose gardening and camping knives.
The Nuragus – named for an Italian grape variety – is considered Fox’s “all-purpose” line, and mostly features folding and non-folding, wooden handled models. On the other hand, the Fox sub-brand FKMD (Fox Knives Military Division) specializes in ultra-high quality tactical gear and weaponry, which would be ideally suited to personal or home defense, or as part of a service uniform.
These tactical blades have, in recent years, have helped Fox gain a foothold in the US Market, where the brand is still relatively unknown. These include items like the 10 cm “Hugin,” which Fox says is a “strong, lightweight knife for the battlefield and the tasks you most meet on your path,” and a growing selection of military daggers and various accessories.
Of course, if you’re looking to get your hands on a Fox blade, you need to first make sure that it will meet your needs as well as your budget. To help you, we’re going to take a look at some of the top Fox models currently available on the market.
Top 3 Fox Knives
1. Fox Knives FX-500 Tracker
Steel: Stainless Steel N690Co
The FX-500 Tracker is one of the largest and heaviest folders that most knife enthusiasts will come across. Boasting a stainless steel 5.31” N990Co blade with a compound grind and tanto tip, this blade is well suited to cutting and piercing, and with its weight and handle size (6.75”) it makes for an effective non-lethal compliance device.
The knife’s G-10 handle offers a firm grip for multiple hand sizes, while the stainless steel liner ensures it retails a solid feel when open. It features a standard lockback mechanism and a double lock which secures the blade in either open or closed position. Another great feature of this model is the versatile sheath, which can store the knife in a pouch when folded, but also secures it in the deployed position to maximize readiness.
The FX-500 has been described as a “serious folder,” and is a great tool to accompany you into the woods or the combat zone. Versatile enough to handle any job, it is also big enough to stop potentially dangerous encounters before they start. That being said, this is a massive, almost-cumbersome knife. It is not particularly EDC-friendly and is not well-suited to delicate tasks.
If you want a multi-purpose tool that you can carry every day, the FX-500 isn’t what you’re looking for. However, if you’re heading into a potentially hazardous situation, it could be a lifesaver.
|(+) Good heft/weight distribution||(-) High price point|
|(+) Lock back and double safety||(-) Too large for some|
|(-) Weighs nearly a pound|
2. Fox Karambit Dark Earth
Steel: N690 Co Steel
This stunning tactical karambit has been called one of the best self-defense tools on the market. With a curved 3″ N690 Co-Steel blade, retention ring, and ergonomic G-10 handle, it offers you a solid grip and excellent versatility of action. However, potentially the best feature of this knife is the patented Emerson wave, which allows for instant deployment as the knife is removed from concealment.
While the Dark Earth uses a liner lock design, the stainless steel liners maintain a solid feel, with no play at all from handle to tip. Its N690 blade is extremely strong, takes to sharpening very well, and maintains a fine and consistent edge. An adjustable pocket clip makes this karambit ideal for left-handed and right-handed users.
While almost exclusively used for self-defense and concealed carry, some users feel this knife is equally suited to everyday use as a utility knife. However, when used in this manner, the flipper deployment may seem cumbersome, as it requires a dramatic wrist flick to open and lock the blade. Furthermore, the Emerson wave feature makes this knife only suitable for “tip up” carry, as it must “catch” at an upward movement to deploy properly.
If you’re looking for a tactical self-defense knife, the Fox Karambit Dark Earth is one of the best choices you can make. However, if you want a more EDC-friendly blade for boxes, ropes, and the like, this one may be overkill.
|(+) Ergonomic handle and versatile grip||(-) Flipper deployment not ideal|
|(+) Perfect for self-defense||(-) High price point|
|(+) Instant deployment||(-) Hard to find|
3. 520 Desert Fox Linerlock
Steel: Bohler N690
The 520 Desert Fox Linerlock is a large, versatile flipper that boasts a tall blade and perfectly-contoured G-10 grip. Designed primarily with tactical use in mind, the knife is heavy enough to be used as a non-lethal weapon or impact device, even boasting a glass-breaker at the base of the handle.
The Desert Fox’s 3.5” N690 Co Stainless steel blade is ultra-durable, with excellent resistance to wear and corrosion, while the knife’s open design ensures posterity through easy cleaning and maintenance. The knife deploys utilizing a flipper and does so quite quickly despite the size of the blade. The reversible clip allows the knife to sit deeper in the pockets for total concealment, making it suitable for EDC.
If you’re looking for a larger, tactical folder for self-defense, this is certainly a viable option. It is also particularly well-suited to military or police work. However, if your needs are more utility-focused, or you just want a tool to take with you into the woods, this flipper may be too heavy for most.
|(+) Good grip, solid build||(-) High price tag|
|(+) Discreet despite size||(-) On the heavy side|
|(+) Deep carry pocket clip|
All in all, where the Fox Cutlery company truly shines as a tactical weapons maker, with a generations-old dedication to solid construction and the use of good, sturdy steel. The brand’s variety, as well, ensures that people looking for blades for a wide array of purposes can find something reliable, tested, and suited to their budget.
As Fox continues to gain a foothold outside of Europe, it is likely that even more fantastic Fox blades will make their way out of Maniago and into the hands of survivalists, self-defense specialists, and hunters alike. If you’ve come across any excellent Fox blades, be sure to comment and let us know. We’d love to hear from you.