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.
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.
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.
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.
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: 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.
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!