In a pilgrimage town in northeastern India, we drove the tip of a decent knife into the thick top of an aluminum can. The stainless steel blade should have been strong enough to easily pry open the lid, yet when we applied pressure, the tip snapped, sending a razor-sharp shard rocketing through the air. Our disappointment was all the worse as this was the third blade we'd broken that year – this despite assurances when we bought it that it was a "good" blade. In that moment, we vowed not to shell out for another knife until we were absolutely, positively sure that it not only wouldn't break when we needed it most, but that it could happily take an absurd amount of abuse without issue. We are happy to report that moment has finally come to pass, after picking up the rare and beautiful Dauntless MK1: Titanium by Triple Aught Design. In fact, this may well be the last folding knife we ever buy.
The MK1's satin finish and sleek lines perfectly walk the line between pretty and powerful. But looks don't matter so much when you need a reliable tool. Forget cans – the S30V steel of the MK1 feels strong enough to pry open a bank vault were you able to get sufficient leverage. Its deep finger grooves, especially the slot on the actual blade, offer noticeably greater control than most other ergonomic handles, and jimping on the spine prevents slippage when you're really carving. And a little note of warning: This is the sharpest out-of-the-box blade we've ever seen; unwrap it and you can shave the hair off the back of your hand. (In fact, we cut our fingers trying to pry open a locked door with it.)
Now the bummer: The Dauntless MK1 is truly limited edition. In fact, Triple Aught Designs only sells one knife per household and it's only occasionally in stock, anyway. And even should you happen to get your paws on one, it's pretty pricey as well. Still, we believe in the old adage that a man is only as good as his knife. And with this thing, we're feeling pretty damn good. [$400; tripleaughtdesign.com; call 866-613-1386 for updates on availability]