The Emerson CQC-6 (also known as the Viper 6) was a custom blade originally developed for SEAL Team 6; Now known as DEVGRU. Wanting to keep the CQC-6 a custom blade, Ernie Emerson decided to produce the CQC-7 as the production version of that blade. In May of 2011, an Emerson CQC-7 was carried by a Navy SEAL during Operation Neptune Spear—the mission to capture or kill Osama Bin Laden. For those of you wanting to own a piece of knife and military history, pick up an Emerson Knives CQC-7.
The Emerson CQC-7 is by far the most sought-after folding knife of all time. It is the razor-sharp, chisel-ground knife that has become the standard by which all hard-use folding knives are now judged. This is the knife that revolutionized the entire cutlery industry. Every knife company has their version of this knife, but they fall far short when compared to the “real deal.” I personally carry the CQC-7 with me whether I’m in an urban setting or wilderness setting, and can attest to its invulnerability.
The Emerson CQC-7-BTS features a tanto-style blade, which gives you three different cutting edges on one blade. The swept-up tip area is immensely strong and provides the first cutting edge. The longer straight edge provides the second, separate, cutting surface, and the dragon-tooth serrations near the pivot area of the blade provide the third edge, allowing you to choose which one to cut with for any heavy- or light-duty chore. The unique chisel grind provides the ultimate in cross-sectional mass, making it one of the strongest blade styles ever developed. And because it is ground on one side only, just like a chisel, that means you only have one side to sharpen—making it the ultimate in ease of sharpening.
In terms of modern survival, no matter what the disaster, you must have a knife in your kit of essential items. The knife you have must be able to act in a number of capacities and fill a number of roles. The blade should be made of stainless steel, and it should be seated in a permanent handle made of a material that doesn’t degrade or break down. Its blade must hold an edge, yet not be so hard that it’s brittle and prone to chipping. You should be able to use the knife hard without fear of breaking it. It’s a major bonus if the blade, like this one, is easy to sharpen in the field.
- Blade steel – 154CM – This is an excellent steel, especially for the money. It also makes an especially good choice for a hard-use folder—hard and tough with adequate rust resistance.
- Blade shape – The tanto shape is powerfully reinforced, with a lot of steel brought right up to the tip, which makes it ideal for hard-use stabbing and prying.
- Retention – The Emerson clip is dead simple and the knife is all the better for it. The tension is amazing and the clip shape, perfected over time, is not a snag magnet. Even with the grippy G10 handles, the clip still works well.
- Lockup – This is a strong, simple lock—just like the knife! There is enough stick to keep the lock in place when open, but not so sticky that I can’t get it closed.
As a dependable, hard-use survival knife, the Emerson CQC-7-BTS model has few equals, and it carries the Emerson name and reputation well. After all, if it’s good enough for the U.S. Navy SEALs, it’s probably good enough for you.
*Featured photo courtesy of Tony Kuhn (Emerson Operators Group)