Coast BX315 Lock Back Knife

By Dr. Jim and Mary Clary

Coast BX315 Lock Back Knife.
Illustration courtesy of Coast Products, Inc.

With the development of CAD programs and robot manufacturing technology, knife making has risen to the level where almost anything the designer can imagine is possible. With that has come a race for more intricate and refined knives. We have seen the creation of incredibly smooth flippers and thumb studs that permit rapid deployment of the blades. There is a seemingly unending array of handle materials that is enough to boggle the mind.

All of the above is fine, as we are in favor of having the best blades and the most functional designs possible at our disposal. However, it seems a lot of manufacturers have forgotten there is still a need for a "plain Jane" knife, at a modest price, that will be a workhorse around camp and in the field.

Most inexpensive utility folders, even some sold under major brand names, are pure junk. Poorly fabricated of really cheap steel, they remind us of some of the Frost knives that we made the mistake of buying at a flea market a few years back. After that purchase, we felt like P.T. Barnum's suckers.

As a result, Jim has used the same old lock-back knife that his father gave him as a teenager. It is just about worn out from being re-sharpened for 50 years, but he resolved to stick with it until he found a suitable replacement.

We have a lot of high end, superb quality knives that could be used for utility purposes. However, in this context, we are talking about a knife you can drop in the bottom of your pack, a knife you can throw in the glove box of your vehicle and a knife with which you can still cut meat around the campfire. A knife that you do not mind if it gets scuffed, scraped or scarred, as long as the blade remains sharp when you need it.

We believe we have finally found such a knife. The Portland, Oregon importer Coast Products ( model BX315 lock back folder is a throw-back to simpler times. We mean that as a compliment, not criticism.

It is a well constructed knife with a hard nylon handle covered with TRP (a rubberized material). The lock keeps the blade securely in the open position and will not slip. The drop point blade is made of Chinese 9Cr18MoV stainless steel. This steel is basically a copy of American 44C and is commonly used in surgical instruments. When properly heat treated, it is a high grade blade steel that holds its edge well, yet is relatively easy to re-sharpen when needed.


  • Open overall length: 8.75 inches
  • Closed length: 5.0 inches
  • Weight: 3.6 ounces
  • Blade Length: 3.625 inches
  • Blade thickness: 0.10 inches
  • Blade material: 9Cr18MOV stainless steel
  • HRC: 56-58
  • Handle: TRP over hard nylon frame
  • Country of origin: People's Republic of China
  • 2015 MSRP: 26.99

Yes, you read the price correctly, only $26.99. When you consider that this knife from Coast Products is fabricated from decent steel and carries a lifetime guarantee against defects in material or workmanship, you have a bargain. We finally have our new camp and backpack knife.

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Copyright 2015 by Jim and Mary Clary and/or All rights reserved.