Everybody seems to be making folders intended for the tactical market nowadays, and the definition of “tactical” can be as elusive as the Fabulously Famous Floridian Fountain Of Forever.
Personally, I’d loosely attach the tactical label to any folder that’s built well, uses materials with a good track record, comes in a decently large size to handle most cutting needs (beyond opening envelopes and blister paks from the store), fits the hand well, doesn’t require both hands to open, can be utilized for defensive purposes, and doesn’t abrade or slip during use. An external pocket clip for quick access on demand is also useful, but not a necessity. A further preference is construction that allows the user to break the knife down for thorough cleaning, but if not, at least an open-body design where pocket lint and other extraneous substances can be blown or flushed out. Something else to consider is whether you’d actually be using such a folder hard enough to justify higher priced steel. If not, the extra money may not be worth it.
Speaking of money, Puma’s SGB line of 38 different knives (fixed and folding) is a collaborative effort between the plant in Solingen, Germany, and a Chinese contractor that may be something you should check out if you’re on a budget. The idea behind the SGBs is German-made blades with the quality you’d expect from such, at more affordable pricing allowed by Chinese production and assembly in the rest of the knife. Puma USA sent us one of their SGB Pounce 3310 folders for a look, and for a suggested retail of $69.99, it’s well worth consideration.