Is there a more classic tactical knife than the Emerson CQC-7 (And the CQC 6 by relation)? The CQC 7 was the first real tactical folding knife. Today I could go on any website that sells knives and buy a tactical folder, and that’s because of Ernest Emerson. The CQC-7 serves with some of the United State’s most elite forces. In the book No Easy Day, it was revealed the point man on the bin Laden raid carried a CQC-7. The CQC-7 and 6 both have had a long relationship with the SEAL teams, as well as police and military forces worldwide. There is a reason it made its way into Crate Club.
Design Details - What Sets it ApartThe Emerson CQC-7 was not made for an EDC knife. It was made to be a weapon. CQC stands for close quarters combat. This knife is for putting holes inside people. This is a weapon. Normally a knife is a tool that can double as a weapon. This is a weapon that can double as a tool. While not necessarily designed as a normal EDC knife it will fill that role brilliantly. This model is the CQC-7BW. It’s a slightly modernized version of the CQC-7B. It features Emerson’s patented wave feature, and we’ll talk more on that later. This model features the Tanto blade. Why a tanto? Well, the men who commonly use these knives may have to stab through thick clothing, web gear, and more. The tanto style blade is perfect for deep penetration and the tip of a tanto is extremely tough. Of course, a tanto blade makes sharpening a bit more challenging. It’s ideal for stabbing and making some deep and nasty slashes.
Inside The CQC-7The CQC-7 features a 3.3-inch blade, with an overall length of 8 inches. The knife weighs a light 4 ounces. The blade uses a chisel grind. This means only one side of the blade is sharpened, the other side is flat and simple. This design reportedly makes the knife easier to sharpen, and it holds an edge longer. The downside is that long precise cuts over tend to be a little difficult. The knife pulls towards the chisel grind side. This isn’t a knife made for those kinds of cuts though. The blade is made from standard 154CM steel. To me, this is an excellent steel. It’s not some exotic wonder steel promising that 1% more carbon will make it the best thing ever. It’s a strong tooling steel that’s durable, and easy enough to sharpen.
In the HandThe knife handle feels amazing in the hand. It doesn’t force a curvature you don’t want, and the grip is long enough for my man-sized hands. The grip really fills the hand and gives you a solid purchase on it. Add in the heavily textured G10 grips and this thing is easy to hold onto regardless of your hand being wet, bloody, or if you are wearing gloves. The G10 scales are fitted over tough and light titanium liners. Titanium is an amazing choice for building something durable and strong. The blade makes short work of anything I put in front of it. Seriously short work. Handle with caution if you are new to high-quality knives. I’ve been lucky enough to stay out of knife fights, but I keep busy in the kitchen. This thing is made to technically cut through the long pig, but it makes short work of regular pig. As well as chicken, venison backstrap, and cheap steaks.
It’s the Little Things that CountAll the screws in the knife are Phillips or flatheads. That’s not too common, but the design is made for easy disassembly in the field. The blade is coated black for reducing glare and fighting against corrosion. The handle and the knife both feature serrations for a good thumb grip as well.
The WaveThat little hook at the rear of the blade, the one facing forward. That’s called a wave. Ernest Emerson created this by accident when tweaking a knife design. These days the feature is patented and designed to allow you to open your knife as you pull it from the pocket. In one fluid motion, you can draw and open your knife. It requires some practice to master, and the knife must be carried via a pocket clip. When used correctly this method is faster than even an automatic opening knife. It goes from pocket to opened and ready in the blink of an eye.
The CQC-7 and YouThe CQC-7 is a great little knife. It’s one of my go tos in environments where I can’t carry a firearm. As a purpose-built weapon, I don't feel like I’m compromising with something made for a tool. The knife is a tank and I don't doubt it will serve you well.