Hinderer XM-18

9.3 score
[Editors rating (9.3)] = (TheGearHunt) score (9.3)/10

Editor rating: 9.3 / 10
User's rating: based on 0 user ratings
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Editor’s Conclusion
The Hinderer XM-18 range of knives is nicely proportioned and the build quality is appealingly crafted. A tough tactical knife that is good for simple cutting, up to tricky complex tasks. Often described as chunky and aesthetically overbuilt to the point of looking great. There are two choices the 3 inch which is a slicer grinder-flipper for EDC use or the 3.5 inches for more heavy-duty work.

The blade is top-quality steel. There are choices for the finish to choose from and this is one of the big attractions among fans of Hinderer knives. This knife has a thick solid titanium frame-lock for a strong core and the G-10 scales ensure excellent grip. Hinderer knives have smooth opening and safe secure locking.
Editor's Pros & Cons

Resistive to corrosion

Stays sharp

Secure blade lock

Overall durability, very good

Unique design features


Practice and master flipping for this knife

Higher price for quality and performance

Key Features


Blade Length: 3 inch
Handle Length: 4.125
Overall Length: 7 inches
Blade Thickness: .140
Handle Materials: G10
Blade Steel: Duratech-20CV - (59-60 HRC)
Weight: 3.6oz

Blade and sharpness

This has a flat ground Spanto blade allowing maximum cutting and a durable tip for those tough prying tasks. The blade thickness is consistent along the blade to the tip at .165″

The blade performs well for cutting meats, fruits, and vegetables and equally impressive for EDC tasks. This retains sharpness and when used consistently a regular stropping keeps the edge keen and ready.

The steel quality is Duratech 20CV with a stone-washed finish and high resistance against corrosion.

The blade is slightly shorter than the handle and when closed this is smaller than the popular Spyderco Delica. Lock-up is secured via a ¼ -thumb stud. This stud locks against the frame and sideways torque are absorbed by the handle which relieves pressure on the pivot.


The folder handle design is ergonomic and good for use in a range of positions. The textured patterning for the scales allows good grip without hotspots. The texturing has a design purpose that lets oils, water, sweat flow into the texturing so that a user can retain a good grip.

The lock-side of the handle has a stabilizer so that the blade can be set for tip-down or tip-up carrying. The scales are G-10 for durability and knife owners can change these for different colored scales.

Performance and design

The design appears technical, bulky, and stout, fittings such as parts and screws are exposed. This exposure does allow users to carry out adjustments/changes. The choil is smaller in comparison to many other similar-sized knives but it is functional. At first glance, the pocket clip looks big yet it does what's needed without any problems.

The stopping pin is very different from many other knives and its design purpose is very effective.

The G10 texture finish is a very good design, channeling away sweat and other liquids and preventing grip-slip even during tough tricky tasks. The blade appearance is the result of high polishing which has been finished with a stonewash design.

The thumb-ramp has jinping which can cause a little wear on the index finger but not enough to be a problem. The drop-point blade gives a very good slicer-grind performance due to its well-crafted flat-grind design.

The knife appears to only have one drawback and this is a weak detent that can make flipping a bit tricky.


Our first comparative observation is price, Hinderer knives are very well designed, and use the use of features and quality materials are reflected in the price.

Therefore, comparisons have to be for knives that have a high price tag and similar features. Here are two options from Spyderco.

Though you won't pay as much as you would for the XM-18. The Spyderco Para 3 is worthy of comparison. This features a flat grind and a 0.14" thick blade with a clip point. The blade is 3 inches and made from CPM-S30V which has good resistance to corrosion. Deployment is via a thumb-hole mechanism, a compression lock for the blade, and the overall length is 7.3 inches. The handle offers a good grip but some users suggest the clip position can create hotspot problems when used for certain prolonged tasks. The Spyderco is a good knife and in terms of performance and price, it is a good investment.

Staying with options from Spyderco, at a higher price for more performance it is worth checking out the Shaman Signature Folding Knife. It has stainless steel blade serration patterns, two small serrations, and one large for variable cutting power. The blade is slightly loner at 3.58 inches. The handle is woven glass fiber for a good grip and durability. The overall length when fully open is 8 inches.


When reaching a verdict the main point to consider has to be is this knife worth the price?

For those who are specifically looking to own a Hinderer knife, the demand suggests the price is fine. There are knives that offer a close level of performance but they fall short on craftsmanship, quality, and features and this is why they are available at a lower cost.

The XM-18 does appear to be a long-term investment, a collectors knife that can be kept as a prized possession and even sold on at a profit.

The performance, features, and durability are all contained in a design that is very uniquely impressive. It has many positives and barely any negatives, making the XM-18 a very good long-term investment.