Emerson Mini CQC-15 Review

We recently took a look at the Emerson Mini CQC-15 as a part of our guide on How To Choose The Best EDC Knife. We were so impressed by it that we ended up recommending it as the Best Overall EDC Knife.

Here we will take a closer look at its  features and qualities with our in-depth Emerson Mini CQC-15 Review.

Emerson Mini CQC-15 Review

First Impressions

Right out of the box we could tell that the Emerson Mini CQC-15 is a high quality knife.  It feels solid in the hand and the 154CM stainless steel blade comes from the knifemaker very sharp.  The overall build quality is outstanding.

One thing that catches the eye right away is the patented “Emerson Wave” feature.  This is a cleverly designed lever on the back of the blade that catches your pants pocket as you draw the knife out to automatically open the blade.  If you have seen a video of this working (below) you may think this is a spring-assisted open knife.  In fact, it is not.  It is a normal, manual open folder but the Emerson Wave feature makes the blade pop open in a flash as the knife is drawn out of the pocket.  It is a very cool, useful feature that separates the Emerson Mini CQC-15 from its competitors in the tactical folder field.


The blade on the Emerson Mini CQC-15 is made of premium quality 154CM stainless steel that provides a great balance of edge retention and ease of sharpening.  The model we tested had a partial serration with a tanto tip and a recurve to the belly of the blade.  The back of the blade is a consistent thickness from base to tip and has robust jimping on the back of the Emerson Wave feature that provides for a confident grip.  In a brilliant nod to every day use the blade is beveled on only one side to make field sharpening a breeze.  You could grind the Emerson Mini CQC-15 against a flat rock and have it back to usable sharpness in no time without worrying about keeping the perfect angle to your grind.

Emerson Mini CQC-15 Review


The model of Emerson Mini CQC-15 we tested had a nicely textured G10 handle with titanium liners to save weight.  The grip is well designed with a curved choil exactly where your fingers would grip the handle.  We were able to maintain a confident grip both barehanded and with a pair of work gloves on.  The jimping on the back of the Mini CQC-15 and Emerson Wave feature add to this sense of security providing highly effective control under even adverse conditions.

Open Mechanism

As mentioned above the instantaneous opening out of the pocket really pushes the Emerson Mini CQC-15 ahead of its competitors.  After using it for the first time we were left asking why EVERY knife doesn’t have this feature.  The Emerson Mini CQC-15 also sports a left and right hand thumb stud perpendicular to the blade for ambidextrous opening.  Using the thumb stud with a quick flick of the wrist engaged the blade with a satisfying click.

Emerson Mini CQC-15 Review
The Emerson Mini CQC-15 is a great addition to any kit

Clip Attachment

The Emerson Mini CQC-15 has a firm pocket clip for securing the blade to a pants pocket, belt, or webbing.  It is worth noting that the knife must be oriented in a specific way in order for the Emerson Wave feature to be able to engage the pants pocket.  Because of this the pocket clip is not able to be switched to carry on the left hand side or in blade point-down orientation.  Modification is available from the manufacturer for you lefties out there to enable the Emerson Wave to be engaged in a left-pocket deployment.  The Emerson Mini CQC-15 also features a large lanyard hole at the base of the grip for securing it to your gear or person.  This is highly useful if you are planning on using this knife at heights or as a secondary blade attached to a pack with some paracord.


The Emerson Mini CQC-15 utilizes a titanium linerlock that automatically engages upon opening the knife.  This provides a very tight lock with no wiggle to the blade when deployed.  There has been some talk among users of the Emerson Mini CQC-15 that the titanium linerlock against the steel blade can actually be too tight making it harder than other knives to close.  This is a bonus of you want a reliable locking mechanism that is not going to close on your hand but can be a challenge if you want to be able to quickly close the blade.  It can be remedied by breaking in the knife through use over time and accelerated by rubbing graphite on the face of the linerlock that mates with the blade.

Emerson Mini CQC-15 Review

Emerson Mini CQC-15: The Verdict

The Emerson Mini CQC-15 is an awesome tactical folder that is well built and feels great in the hand.  The blade is made of high quality steel that will hold its edge well.  The Emerson Wave opening feature is both innovative and practical and provides for a reliable, instantaneous opening for when rapid deployment matters.  The only downsides we could find were the easily overcome tightness of the lock and cost.  However if quality and practicality are paramount to you, look no further than the Emerson Mini CQC-15.  It is a great addition to any EDC list, bug out bag, or camping kit.

Emerson Mini CQC-15 Review

Your Thoughts On Our Emerson Mini CQC-15 Review?

Have you ever used an Emerson Mini CQC-15?  Is there anything that you think we should mention in our Emerson Mini CQC-15 Review?  Please let us know what you think in the Comments Section below, thanks!


Chris Ruiz

My name is Chris and I created this site to help ordinary people prepare for the uncertainties of the modern day world. I believe that a well-prepared society is the best safeguard against any natural or manmade disaster.

2 comments on “Emerson Mini CQC-15 Review

  1. USUALLY I don’t like the “Tanto” tip. But on the CQC15 I feel as if it works VERY well. And as for sharpening, IF you start to loose the angled tanto tip, just take it to a flat stone and reprofile the angle to the original one and you are good to go. NO, it won’t cut exactly like what most of us consider a conventional “V” grind, but it isn’t chisel flat on the off side so it will cut in a more normal manner. For me it brings all to the EDC plate I could ask for. I personally am a fan of the Karambit, but the “15” is VERY fast taking over as my preferred EDC carry blade. Buy it, use it, be happy!

  2. If you could only have 1 folding pocket knife and of all the brands there are and this would be the best 1 you could pick. It’s that good…

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