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The Best Folding Knife Available Today: Hogue Deka (MagnaCut) Review

The steel arms race heats up with the Hogue Deka in MagnaCut, possibly the best folding knife you can get your hands on, as of this writing. So what makes it so incredible?

Hogue Deka in Magnacut Review(Photo/Anthony Sculimbrene)
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Only computer chips get updated faster than steels. If there were a knife equivalent to Moore’s Law (that chips double in power every two years), it would be that steel doubles in quality every 5 years.

Finding a foothold in this swirling eddy of competition is damn hard. But then Hogue drops the Deka in MagnaCut for roughly $150, and the entire knife world turns upside down.

This isn’t just the best knife on the market for the money. It’s one of the best knife values of all time, adjusted for inflation. This knife is an utter powerhouse. Just go buy one.

In short: The Deka in MagnaCut is the best readily available folding knife on the market. There are better choices, but they are either exceedingly hard to get or significantly more money. And even then, they aren’t clearly superior.

Hogue Deka in MagnaCut Knife


  • Steel MagnaCut
  • Grind Partial flat
  • Lock ABLE Lock (Hogue’s sliding bar lock)
  • Blade Length 3.25"
  • OAL 7.50"
  • Weight 2.1 oz.
  • Country of Origin USA


  • Great steel
  • Superior design from a top-tier custom maker
  • Excellent lock up
  • Exceedingly high value
  • Excellent blade-to-weight ratio (lots of edge for little weight)


  • Polymer handles aren’t super rigid

Hogue Deka in MagnaCut Review


Hogue has been making excellent folders for about a decade now, but the Deka in MagnaCut is the brand’s first instant classic. Designed by Allen Elishewitz, the knife comes in two variations — a Wharncliffe compound grind and a classic clip point.

The deployment action is snappy, and lock up is drum-tight. The blade stock is wire-thin, taking full advantage of the steel’s impressive hardness. Thumb studs are catchy without being rough, and the bar lock is similarly grippy.

For effective carry, the clip is a deep carry design that buries the Hogue Deka in your pocket while not in use. The handle scales are polymer, resulting in a featherweight knife for the blade size. Some folks complain they are too flexible — more on that later.

What I Liked

(Photo/Anthony Sculimbrene)

There is a ton to like here. The blade’s steel, thickness, and grind all sing in harmony to produce one of the sliciest blades you will ever see, especially out of the box.

The edge on my unit was sticky sharp and sent arm hair running for the hills at the slightest pressure. And the design is, of course, brilliant.

Aiming directly at something like the Benchmade Bugout, this knife has all the hallmarks of a master of the form and many tiny touches that only obsessives (such as myself) would notice.

For example, the edge can be sharpened all the way to the pivot of the knife, and the rear tang is not exposed when the knife is closed. Both Benchmade and Spyderco have a hard time doing both things on a bunch of knives.

The ABLE lock here is the best rendition of the sliding bar lock — called an “Axis lock” on Benchmade knives — I have ever seen. It provides excellent detention but cracks open with swift authority. It is easy to disengage too.

MagnaCut Steel

The real star here is the Larrin Thomas-designed MagnaCut steel. This steel is exceptionally hard, very tough, exceedingly corrosion resistant, and still relatively user serviceable.

Short of ultra-high carbon steels like 15V or REX 121, you won’t find something that will hold a better edge either. Right now, nothing beats MagnaCut.


The big complaint in the “Internet Knife Community” is polymer handles. As with the original Bugout, people complain they are too flexible. And while a great deal of force can noticeably bend them in, this is almost never an issue when the knife is used reasonably.

For the immense weight and cost savings the polymer handles represent, I’d make the trade every time. If you don’t feel the same way, there are aftermarket scales that fix the problem. Some folks claim that you can blade swap the Hogue Deka with the 20CV version, which sports G10 or carbon fiber handles.

I wouldn’t count on blade swapping, though, as tolerances are so fine on modern folders.

Hogue Deka in MagnaCut Knife: Conclusion

This is a great blade that anyone could use and immediately appreciate. The slim stock and superior steel make for a sublime cutting experience. You won’t find a better knife at three times the price.

Highly recommended.

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