Commander ™

33 customer reviews

The ultimate utility knife, designed to go anywhere, any time, and to get the job done, the Commander™ is the ultimate “all-rounder.” Whether you're on patrol, hunting that white-tailed buck or stripping wires to run electrical in the “she-shed,” The Commander™ does it all with ease.

Camping – Hunting – Tactical – Utility.

The Wave Shaped Feature is a registered trademark of Ernest Emerson and Mary Emerson ® Learn more here.

Now in the Emerson ThunderstormFinish

OD Green Flag Handles SOLD OUT – More coming soon

Earn 286 Rewards Points When You Order This Item.


Commander ™

33 customer reviews

The ultimate utility knife, designed to go anywhere, any time, and to get the job done, the Commander™ is the ultimate “all-rounder.” Whether you're on patrol, hunting that white-tailed buck or stripping wires to run electrical in the “she-shed,” The Commander™ does it all with ease.

Camping – Hunting – Tactical – Utility.

The Wave Shaped Feature is a registered trademark of Ernest Emerson and Mary Emerson ® Learn more here.

Now in the Emerson ThunderstormFinish

OD Green Flag Handles SOLD OUT – More coming soon


Earn 286 Rewards Points When You Order This Item.



It incorporates some of the most advanced ergonomics ever featured on a folding knife.  It has seen decades of use with elite armed forces, European Military strike teams and NATO Counter-Terrorist units throughout the world and was chosen by the U.S. Navy SEAL teams for issue to special units within the Naval Special Forces Units. Because of its ruggedness, it has become a favorite of hunters and adventurers the world over.


The Emerson Commander™ is a Blade Show Award Winning Knife, and for good reason. It features a beautiful recurve blade paired with our patented Emerson Wave Feature. The blade curves in a way that compliments natural arm movement and flows flawlessly along with swings and jabs of combat. With black G-10 handles and your choice of a stone washed or black blade, this is the perfect tactical knife.


Anatomy of an Emerson Knife


An important part of knowing the anatomy of an Emerson Knife is knowing how to utilize it. Using the  patented Emerson Wave Feature correctly, you can deploy the knife out of pocket rapidly. It takes some practice to master. See how it's done in the video above.


The recurve blade is most commonly associated with the Emerson Commander™. Starting from the rear of the cutting edge, it arcs upwards, then downwards. Lastly, it swoops elegantly upwards to the tip.

Fun Fact: The Emerson Commander™ was the recipient of the Knife of the Year award at the annual Blade Show in Atlanta!

Standoff Spacers have been standard on all Emerson Knife models since 2014. Any knife ordered from our site from that year will receive one of these models.

Anatomy of an Emerson Knife Lanyard

Lanyard Holes serve one purpose: attaching a paracord lanyard if you choose to get one. We get asked that question quite a lot!

The Thumb Button is there so that you may open the knife single handedly . Specifically with your thumb. Some people are naturals at it and some have to learn. Either way, it's very useful.

WARNING: Cancer and Reproductive Harm –

Material & Grind
HandlesBlack G-10
GrindConventional V-Grind w/ Chisel Edge
Overall Length8.75in.
Blade Length3.75in.
Handle Length4.65 in.
Blade Thickness.125 in.
Weight5.5 oz.

33 reviews for Commander ™

  1. kwaldron1

    This is my first Emerson knife, I have a pretty extensive collection of beautiful knives and some that I just have to collect and some to actually carry so when I saw the Commander and it’s beautiful recurve blade in the thunderstorm blade finish I had to have it and as a retired law enforcement officer I also wanted it in the “Blue Line” edition. The BL addition just sets the knife off enough to make it a bit different but pays homage to the profession. I have to say the knife is built well and you can feel the quality in the material used. It’s a good quality knife that has beautiful design qualities for an everyday carry that looks like it will last many years. I also have to comment on the customer service I received when there was an error in my order when I received it, Emerson addressed my issue immediately and couldn’t have provided any better service than they did, totally recommend Emerson.

  2. Aaron

    I’ve collected knives for years. Strider, Hinderer, Reeve, Medford, Microtech—the list goes on and on. Literally don’t carry any of those brands anymore. Always carrying my Emerson Commander. The simplicity is the beauty in it and it is so comfortable in-hand and in-pocket. I own several Emerson knives but this is my favorite. Believe me—you can spend A LOT more on a knife like the brands listed above, but I can guarantee you that you are NOT getting anything better just because they cost more. I’ve had this knife for about 6 months and if I had bought the Commander years ago, my collecting of knives would have stopped. With every purchase of other brands, I just wasn’t satisfied for one reason or another. For whatever reason you might buy this knife—you’ll be satisfied. Thanks Ernest!

  3. Joe (verified owner)

    First knife I bought when I discovered Emersons knives. Used this knife to field dress two large doe for my first time. I didn't lose grip of this thing once. Deer are fatty and slippery plus I was wearing arm length gloves. I could still hold this knife without fear I would drop it or cut my other hand in the process. Couldn't be happier with this incredible tool.

  4. Pierre Sandström

    I have got 3 of these, 1 Commander (satin with serrations), 1 Commander (black with serrations) and a Mini Commander (satin with serrations).
    Truly nice and great blades but the finish could be better from my point of view. The blades on all of my 3pcs are not evenly grinded, the edge is somewhat more to one of the sides of the center which is perhaps not too important while using them but esthetically it doesn't look like a $250+ blade…

  5. Robert

    I'm in on the road industrial equipment mechanic. I have tried you can't kill this knife. I've cut reinforced metal hoses, pride apart piping flanges, scraped gaskets, even cut the heads off bolts. Does the blade take damage? Yes. Have I always been able to fix it?yes. No lock failures, no liner failures, nothing. I did modify it by removing the finger disc so I could cut all the way on a stab to the coil. Hell I even cut a steel banded tire off the rim with this thing one time on a piece of equipment because it was the only thing I had and my sawzall died. You can bet your ass on this knife it will carry you through.

  6. dnlsprague

    I found one the these things on the side of the road it was beat to shit but with a little tlc it is the best knife in my collection

    • Admin

      Haha. That is awesome!

  7. Eric Lark

    Bought this as a gift for my son who just graduated from Parris Island while on his 10 day leave. Neither of us can say a thing negative about it. The feel and grip of handle surprised me firstly. Then the shape and toughness of the blade described on the site are insufficient until its in your hand.

  8. ggleck

    Pretty hard to add to what's been said already but this is truly a timeless design and my most carried, Prefect ergos amazing blade shape and will do anything. Thank you!

  9. Paul Mc Euen.Sr (verified owner)

    Hubba hubba. Hell of a knife. Great weight & size, fits these large paws of mine, blade centered, jimping is spot on. Not too sharp. G-10 knife handles are well designed. Hell, you could sand a Sequoia tree stump smooth with those things. Finally, on the back of the box the Commander was shipped in, Earnest printed some words that I haven't heard since my Navy times a very long time ago…” You know I've got your back.” Means a lot to me. Ya don't hear those words too much these days.

  10. samjameskelly

    Just recently picked this up and I really like it so far, it’s a great blade shape for utility and I don’t ever feel concern over abusing it! If you wanna see the blade and how I use it check out my Instagram hard_use_reviews and you will get a better idea of what it is capable of!

  11. CJ12

    The commander is a tried and true design. Hundreds of other reviews exist to make this point, of which I agree with. This review will address what I think is a considerable improvement that I have noticed for Emerson knives. Along with my 2021 commander, I also own a mini roadhouse that a purchased from an Emerson dealer in 2019. The roadhouse featured the old double-detent, with the actual detent being an independent tab from the lock bar. The commander features the more common single-detent, with the lock bar acting as the retention bar as well. The detent is noticeably stronger on my newer knife, and the pivot action is far superior as well. This is an awesome change that was made. However, I personally would like to see titanium being used for both liners again instead of a steel flat liner.

    • Admin

      Hi CJ12,
      Thanks so much for your kind comments. We changed both liners to Titanium a few years ago and now do not use a steel flat liner. 🙂

  12. Austin Alford

    I’ve carried the commander religiously for the past 6 months. It’s been all across the nation tackling anything I throw at it including cutting open large shipping boxes, cutting open pesticide bags, and even bleeding fish caught out of the Gulf of Mexico. I’m an aspiring LEO and I know this thing will not let me down shall I ever need it as a last ditch weapon to defend myself. Thank you Mr Emerson for the amazing products. God Bless.

  13. Dylan B.

    My Dad has owned a commander for years while working construction,and it has seen a lots of hard use,but is still in good working condition,so I bought a blue line commander and it is one of the best knives I have ever owned,it is definitely worth the money.

  14. Cube121

    I got turned on to the Emerson Commander way back in 1997 by Chief James “Patches” Watson and I've carried it every day since, both on duty and off. Sadly it's time to retire my trusted workhorse as the decades of duty use have taken their toll on the blade. And now I get to replace it with a new Commander with blue liners!!! I'll never carry any other folding knife.

  15. pointman73111

    As a military veteran and career LEO and instructor, I choose nothing else but the Commander series in both front pockets to take care of any cutting needs during my shifts. Out of all the knives I've carried, from Spyderco to Benchmade, they all were sold or sit in my safe since I switched over to Emerson Knives. Ernest Emerson puts his heart and soul into these instruments and it shows in his commitment to excellence on every project. The Commander is a classy and highly useful design, as a recurve gets everything done that I need. The Wave feature allows me to deploy the blade faster than any other system or design, except of course a fixed blade.

  16. Derek

    I have one of these in my pocket right now. A BT with a Krein Re-Grind and between this and my Super Commander, I find myself going back to the Commander-line of knives morning after morning as my EDC. Smooth, flawless, effective, brutally ready to work. These knives have never failed me (no Emerson has) in that each and every time I have a Commander with me, I know that I am ready for whatever task I am presented with. Ridiculously sharp and stunningly beautiful, these are by far my favorite of the Emerson line-up. Cannot recommend enough, and would venture to say that a serious knife user, carrier, and or collector would be lacking if he or she did not count one of these among their inventory.

  17. Douglas

    One of my first Emerson's, a 99 Commander. Carried daily while in uniform and it is still one of my favorite designs! The Commander is one Emerson knife that everyone should own.

  18. Christian

    I owned Emersons for years before I handled a Commander, I was always curious about the hype. It is all true – one of the best overall designs, fantastic blade and superb handle. To me, it is very obvious why this is one of the very best knives ever made.

  19. Alan VanMarter

    Each of my sons have revived a Commander on their 18th birthday, and they quickly become a daily carry. Again thank you for making such a great product!

  20. Me. Xv3


    I have had the same Commander since 2012 and have carried every day across the world. This knife, like every EKI knife, Is the epitome of durability and ergonomics wrapped into one tough as hell blade.

    I own many EKI knives – this one is the one that started it for me.

  21. James DiBella

    I've owned a Blue Line Commander in the past in BTS configuration. Oh boy let me tell you. I've been dreaming of owning another Commander. The way that blade looks in your hand is something out of this world. It's so aggressive you know all it wants to do is cut. There's a reason why the Commander is so highly regarded as a great tactical folding knife. If you get your hands on one you won't want to let go.

  22. Matt F. (verified owner)

    This model is about a classic as classic gets. If you like curves and can appreciate the effectiveness of a ton of belly in a blade, then this knife is a great choice. I've been fortunate to own quite a few Commanders–including a custom and a few 1998 Commanders (first year of production). I love the blade shape. I love the handle. Easy to carry, a joy to use. Can't go wrong with a Commander purchase. Long live the Commander.

    PS– the warranty Emerson Knives Inc. offers is second to none. I've had great experiences sending knives in for minor tweaks and full-out warranty issues. Knives have come back perfectly tuned. Thanks to the lovely and talented Rachael. The knives are great, but the warranty and people are what instills confidence that we can use our knives and know that they can be fixed/repaired should we need that. I don't want a safe queen. I want a knife I can use and know that should something break/wear prematurely that I can send my knife in and have it fixed. Rachael FTW!

  23. Hein Garbers

    My love for EKI knives started 10 years ago with the Commander model. With a blade shaped like non other and wicked fast deployment with the wave, it drew my attention with its unique design and its reputation of being used by serious Operators, but it earned its place as my all-time favourite by having proven itself over and over again as an incredibly competent cutting tool. The combination of drop-point and recurve blade, with quite a bit of belly to the front of the cutting edge, makes it extremely effective at slicing, slashing, push-cutting and draw-cutting. If you have the right sharpening tools, then it is easy to get back to shaving sharp across the recurve edge – I find the KME JewelStick to be perfect for the task. Today I have about 14 Commanders in sizes ranging from the compact Micro Commander to the incredibly imposing UBR Commander, but with a knife this unique and capable, you just never get enough!

  24. K.J.T.

    A Commander BTS was the first Emerson knife I ever bought back in 2006. I still have it to this day and still carry it from time to time. I love the feel/angle of the grip and the blade shape. Great every day knife!

  25. georgegould6.5

    The Commander is super comfortable in hand. I use the half serrated model. Goes through wet rope and or webbing in seconds. Very sure grip even when wet. Truly one of my favorite carry blades.

  26. Benjamin

    I think the Commander is the perfect folding knife. It is big enough to get the job done without being too big. The recurve blade slices well, and the wave feature works effectively to open the knife quickly.

  27. Scott Witner

    The Commander is an iconic Emerson blade. Originally developed as a SERE blade for the military back in the 90s. The Commander is a blade you'll want in your pocket when shit hits the fan. If you don't own one of these badass knives, you're wrong. Go get one.

  28. joelrosman86

    Purchases a Commander BTS back in 2004. Great belly on the knife which combined with the chisel ground secondary bevel cuts very well. The point is also surprisingly POINTY for a recurve. If you enjoy a recurve this is definitely a fantastic offering.

  29. Anthony Clark

    Got one at gun show been wanting one awhile have the mini its a great knife a true folding fighter think like more than my jungle cqc7 not sure but its that good.

  30. Gary

    Top of the line knife. It almost molds itself to my large hand. Big ZT fan, but this is the best there is.

  31. Eduard (verified owner)

    Excellent knife. Well designed from the blade to the handle. Offers excellent grip.

  32. Charles Schneider

    After getting my a$$ handed to me during CQC training with Ernest, the late, great Derek, and other Emerson employees, I have carried, with only a few international exceptions, my Commander every day for the last 12 years. Tuxedos to BDUs, It has never let me down, and it has engaged, educated, enticed and brought into the fold at least three (confirmed) lifetime customers. I have many, many knives (sub-100 bucks to please-don't-tell-my-wife), and many Emersons, but my Commander is always there and has, to re-hash a tired trope, become an extension of me when needed. I should investigate replacing my blade, as the years of sharpening are ruining the edge geometry, but such is the life of a well-used and well-loved blade. Thank you all for a product that will never be beat.

  33. dredator (verified owner)

    An extremely well designed knife where a lot of thought has gone into its production from the ergonomics of the handle and texture of the scales to the geometry of the blade with its slicing belly. The blackened hardware and use of Phillips head screws only add to its utility. Great service from Emerson too, a real quick and easy transaction and reached me here in the UK surprisingly quick over the course of a weekend.

    Great stuff guys, thanks!

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