A pocket knife is essentially a must-have tool. They pack a plethora of positive attributes to earn them the trust of law-enforcement agencies, first responders, hikers, craftspeople, campers, hunters, fishermen, and several other groups. Among other things, pocket knives utterly practical, aesthetically beautiful, lightweight and compact, high-performance, and for the most part, budget-friendly. They are also the pinnacle of versatility and ideal for taking on a wide range of projects.
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For a greenhorn and other homeowners, choosing a most suitable pocket knife can quickly prove to be an uphill task in light of their ubiquity on the market. To help with the decision, we’ve put together a list of ten of the best pocket knives currently on the market and a detailed description of the factors to keep in mind while shopping. Let’s get started, shall we?
10 Best Pocket Knives
1. Kershaw 1660
The Kershaw 1660 is the pinnacle of pocket knife industry, packing a slew of performance and convenience features. Compared to other models on the market, it features a lightweight, sleek, and high-quality construction quality that other models on the market just can't seem to emulate. Additionally, it features a minimalist design and a surprisingly budget-friendly price tag.
The first striking feature is its high-quality design. The construction of the device from industrial-grade Sandvik 14C28N knife steel makes it exceptionally rugged and sturdy to make for quick and nearly effortless ripping, cutting, and even tightening
of different materials and objects both around the house and outdoors. The construction material is similarly rust and corrosion resistant and sharpens with lots of ease. Because of the ultra-strong and durable Sandvik 14C28N, the knife retains its edge for much longer and makes for less frequent sharpening, unlike weak, flimsy variants on the market.
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Aside from its sleek and modern looks, it is also lightweight and compact and therefore highly portable. The fact that the grip is in no way textured restricts it to light- to medium-duty cutting tasks.
Still, at just 3 ounces and a total length of 7 inches, it's appropriately lightweight and won't weigh you down with unnecessary weight, as is frequently the case with cheaper, off-brand models.
There's also a textured thumb placement that prevents the thumb and by extension the hand, from inadvertently slipping off in the middle of use, making an ideal choice for cutting through slightly abrasive materials such as cardboard. And since it comes with Kershaw's innovative speedsafe feature, opening it is an effortless endeavour you can easily accomplish with one hand.
Are you looking for a cost-effective, easy-to-use, versatile, and high-performance option for everyday cutting through a wide range of materials? Look no further than the Kershaw 1660. You’ll love it the moment you hold it in the palm of your hand.
Contemporary, attractive design
2. Spyderco Tenacious Plain Edge Knife
Spyderco is a brand renowned for consistently making high-quality, top-notch options and its leading product, the Spyderco Tenacious knife, only continues the tradition. It is a rugged workhorse that works tirelessly to make every facet of your life easy and comfortable.
It is a cinch to use, and here’s why. It comes with a textured and ergonomically designed, smooth grip that perfectly fits on the vast majority of hands. Coupled with the fact that it’s laminated with a durable coating that substantially increases comfort and ease of use, it provides a firm and secure grip that minimizes the likelihood of accidental slippage, no matter how demanding or tough the project you’re undertaking is.
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A second innovative feature is the lightweight and foldable design. When folded, it assumes a compact design that’s highly portable, allowing you to carry it wherever you’re going. It fits comfortably and easily into most spaces and you can even slide it into your pants’ pockets. Unfolded, the length of the pocket knife comes to 197 mm and just 112 mm when folded down.
Like its counterparts on the market, it features heavy-duty construction using industrial-best materials. The use of commercial-grade 8Cr13Mov stainless steel for the construction of the blade, for instance, means you can confidently use it to rip through a plethora of objects and materials without worrying about it going dull any time soon. The blade is also leaf-shaped and ground flat from one end to another to increase its cutting performance, and comes with a textured spine jimping for an easy and effortless opening. Plus, you get a 4-way pocket clip for carrying it around rather hassle-free.
In addition to featuring a user-friendly design, it's powerful and sharp stainless steel knife that makes it incredibly easy to slice or cut through different materials. It’s also durable and pocket-friendly that will outlast more than a lifetime of heavy, frequent use.
Sturdy lock-up mechanism
Has a thumb hole for effortless use
Lightweight and compact design
Firm yet smooth and comfortable grip
Bolts are prone to slippage with time
3. Benchmade - Mini Griptilian 556
Benchmade is undeniably a household name whose products are anonymous with a high-quality build and incredible ease of use, and their flagship product, the Benchmade Mini Griptilian 556 AXIS Knife, perfectly fits that description. The professional and thoughtful designing, together with its comfort, versatility, and ease of use make it endearing to the value-conscious users who want the very best out of their products.
Cutting through abrasive materials requires a sturdy, high-quality knife and luckily this option comes with this quality. The blade is made with heavy-duty 154CM stainless steel that lends its ruggedness and resistance to rust to the knife. The product also features a glass-filled nylon handle that’s similarly rugged yet aesthetically-attractive, making it an ideal option for taking on the toughest and most demanding jobs.
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The professional design also makes it exceptionally easy to use. The AXIS lock, for instance, is ultra-strong and completely ambidextrous, meaning that you can comfortably use it with either the left or right hand. And you can open it with a single hand and close it in a similar fashion. Like most high-end options on the market, it is both lightweight and compact. It weighs just 4.8 ounces and has dimensions of 7 inches by 4 inches by 4 inches meaning that it fits snugly and easily into any gear and won’t weigh you down with excess weight.
The product also features an all-around functionality and a drop-point utility blade style that makes quick and short work of cutting through a broad range of materials. To this add a generous limited lifetime warranty to cover you against deficiencies in material and workmanship.
In all, the Benchmade Mini Griptilian 556 is a handy, highly portable, durable, and high-performance option ideal for outdoor, tactical, and domestic use. It’s lightweight, hardy, and cost-effective.
Ingenious design with high-quality stainless steel
Easy to sharpen
Features a drop-point design
Substantially wide clip
Not ideal for push cutting
4. SOG Flash II
Another heavy-duty, everyday carry option that’s all-rounded and ideal for use in a variety of situations is the SOG Flash II. The feature-rich machine is a far-cry from the weak, flimsy models on the market masquerading as pocket knives.
To begin with, it is incredibly easy to use. The model features the brand’s SOG Assisted Technology (S.A.T.) that allow you to safely and quickly open it with one hand by taking over the opening procedure, thanks to the incorporation of high-tension coil springs. Further to this, the machine also incorporates a superb locking system that gives you the confidence and peace of mind to comfortably carry the device around. The system works in tandem with the SAT to ensure reliability, easy, and quick use.
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The icing on the cake is the high-end construction of the product’s blade. The unit comes with a 3.5 inch, half-serrated blade sporting a superb black, hard-cased TiNi finish, giving it the durability and strength necessary for cutting or shearing through the toughest materials and objects you come across in normal, everyday life. You’ll appreciate the fact that it comes with a sharp and reliable blade whose heat treatment means that it easily and bravely faces hard use.
The elegance and ease of use provides are partly responsible for the rave reviews it receives. The product is ergonomically designed to sit snugly in the palm of your hands, thanks to the contour design and heavy-duty construction of its handle from glass-reinforced Zytel. Similarly, the device is lightly-textured and well-balanced and weighs a paltry 3.1 pounds.
The SOG Flash has a long and sharp 3.5-inch blade and packs innovative technology that makes it easy to open with a single hand. On top of that, the product is hardy and attractive and makes for a solid EDC knife.
Has quick-release feature
Reversible pocket clip
Sturdy and durable blade with drop-point style
Comes with an open assist for one-hand use
Comfortable, high-quality handle
5. Opinel Carbon Steel
It’s easy to fall for the simplistic and deceptively humdrum physical attributes of the Opinel Carbon Steel Folding Everyday Knife. It's a no-frills alternative that comes with the conventional wood handle thumb screw opening
device and a traditional spinning lock. Where the product cedes ground in looks, it more than makes up for in performance and easily exceeds the expectations of pundits, admirers, and the sceptical alike. Now, roll up your sleeves for a comprehensive review of the workhorse that's the pocket knife.
It comes with an 8-centimeter blade constructed to stand the test of time and withstand the toughest cutting and shearing conditions you can throw at it. You have the option of choosing between one with a blade made from carbon steel for durability and excellent edge retention or one featuring an all-stainless steel construction, which, conversely, is renowned for excellent rust and corrosion resistance.
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In a similar fashion, you are at liberty of choosing between a wood or a plastic handle. Irrespective of your choice, the product has an ambidextrous grip that provides unmatched comfort and ease of using the knife, providing for quick and effortless shearing and cutting of a slew of materials or objects.
Being an old-fashioned model, it’s not at all surprising that it lacks an opening assist, a feature that’s become nearly ubiquitous with modern versions. Instead, the device relies on a manual system called the Virobloc that will require the use of both hands to open and close. Occasionally, you might have to use your nail mark to pry the blade open. Aside from this very minor setback, it works like a charm. After you familiarize yourself with the design, opening and closing it will be both quick and effortless. To these innovative features add a clip point and full flat grind.
If you’re a sucker for simple, practical, and functional machines
, you’ll love the Opinel Carbon Steel Folding Everyday Carry Locking Pocket Knife immensely. It might lack the bells and whistles of its modern counterparts but the pocket knife makes it incredibly easy and quick to cut through several things. Plus, it has a budget-friendly price tag.
Sharpens with ease
Comfortable and easy to use
6. Benchmade - Crooked River 15080
In several ways, the Benchmade - Crooked River 15080 is arguably one of the best options out there, or the cream of the crop, if you will. Unlike other models on the market, this model delivers on its promise, finding the sweet spot between design and quality, and presenting the user with the best of both worlds. It's neither rough on the eyes nor expensive, as is often the case with hardy, fastidiously built models. Instead, it features a classic style and its blade is made from heavy-duty, commercial-grade CPM-S30V stainless steel to provide you with several years of flawless and smooth cutting experience.
Only a handful of options on the market are capable of exuding aesthetic beauty and superb practicality like this one so effortlessly does. It comes with a long and thin blade made from high-end S30V stainless steel. Additional features that make the blade stand out are the clip-point style and the attractive high, flat grind as well as a satin finish that make for effortless and seamless cutting, piercing, and skinning of different things. That’s right.
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It improves on the already perfect folding design by providing the user with a large handle that’s ergonomically designed to make it easy and comfortable to hold, making it perfect for tactical situations and detail-oriented projects. Additional features that stand out and worth bringing to the user’s attention include the chamfered lanyard hole for safe keeping in between uses, and the pivot collar and bolsters. And did we mention its lightweight and compact? The handle is sufficiently long to give you maximum leverage and it fits into everything.
The Crooked River 15080 Knife is not only stylish but also rugged and stays sharp
for long and is remarkably easy to use.
Long-lasting construction quality
Comes with a useful reversible pocket clip
Careful fit and finish
7. Kershaw Brawler (1990)
The three cornerstones of every Kershaw tool is reliability, durability, and ease of use, and the Kershaw Brawler 1990 Feffortlessly continues this tradition. It’s a high-quality option that’s lightweight and compact and hence very portable, and using it is a snap, thanks to the brand’s intensive craftsmanship. The use of high-end, rugged and durable materials aims to provide the user with more than a lifetime of flawless, smooth and effective performance.
If you need an option for punching through a wide range of abrasive materials before proceeding to quickly tear through with remarkable ease, this option is your best bet. Like all other Kershaw pocket knives, the model’s blade is also crafted from long-lasting and ultra-strong 8Cr13Mov steel, enabling it to hold its sharp cutting edge for quite some time, while the black-oxide finish provides exceptional resistance to rust and corrosion. The tanto shape and the grinding of the top of the blade, commonly known as a swedge, gives the blade a narrow shape that’s perfect for piercing through several tough materials.
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The innovative design allows for a quick and easy one-handed opening. The SpeedSafe feature promptly takes over after you’ve slightly pulled back on the flipper, opening it to its entire length, ready for action. Also, like other high-end models out there, the device comes with a heavy-duty liner lock for keeping it tightly locked while in use, which would otherwise expose the user to severe harm while shearing through various items. There is a convenient 4-position pocket clip for storing the pocket in between uses in a position you find most convenient. You can choose between tip-up, tip-down, left- or right-handed carry.
If you’re a professional in search of a multi-functional pocket knife for opening packages, piercing holes, cutting cords, opening cans, and things like that, the Kershaw Brawler (1990) comes highly recommended. It’s very functional, stealthy, lightweight and highly portable option that’s similarly cost-effective.
Perfect for everyday cutting and shearing
Features tanto design
Opens easily with one hand
Not as durable as other knives
8. Gerber Covert Knife, Serrated Edge
The Gerber Covert Knife 22-01966 has immensely impressive performance and convenience feature for easy and quick piercing and tearing. Like our previous pick, the machine comes with a spring-assist operated for quick opening. With proper use and maintenance, the knife should provide you with several years of exceptional performance seeing as it sports a heavy-duty 7Cr17MoV titanium-coating.
The aesthetic beauty and effortless performance is the result of several years of experience and expertise. Still, the brand endeavours to improve performance, pulling all the stops to seamlessly combine a classic design with its patented F.A.S.T. technology that ensures you blade springs into action quickly and with minimal effort. Because the technology takes over after you put in a little effort into the endeavour, you won't have to use your nail mark to spring it open all the way, as is the case with some cheap, off-brand models.
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The one-handed opening design and the titanium coating of the commercial-grade steel blade mean the knife is always ready to jump into action within a short notice.
As you would expect, it also has a user-friendly G-10 handle that provides a firm and secure grip irrespective of the conditions under which you’re working. Even with extreme weather changes, you can still undertake a wide range of specialty tasks, which is further facilitated by the product’s one-handed operation and ease of opening the blade. The tactical design further explains why the machine is an all-time favourite of first responders and other professionals.
It’s aesthetically appealing that also features a commensurately sturdy construction capable of withstanding the demands of outdoor adventures like camping. It’s easy to use, reliable, and lightweight. It’s definitely one of the best the market has to offer.
Professional balancing and solid design
Opens quickly and efficiently
Rust - and corrosion-resistant coating
Robust and long-lasting
Aluminium handle feels cold against the hand
9. Spyderco Inc. 9000685
Spyderco has two high-quality pocket knives on our list, and they're both deserving of these positions on the strength of the innovative design and flawless performance. This model, for instance, while relatively new on the market, is already gaining considerable traction among professionals and outdoor enthusiasts alike. In the next paragraphs, we'll be deconstructing the machine to reveal the signature features that make it stand out in a fiercely competitive field.
It has a litany of outstanding features, one being the ergonomic and user-friendly design of the handle. The handle is bi-directionally textured to provide the user’s hand with adequate traction so it remains slip-resistant for when you’re working in different environmental conditions like rain, extreme temperatures, and even snow. The game-changing design also makes it easy to quickly and rather effortlessly open and close with a single hand, which is a far cry from the patience and frustration that’s typical when using cheap, humdrum models.
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It is not only refined, dependable, and a cinch to use; it's similarly built to provide the user with the best shearing, piercing, and cutting experience. The blade is both tough and rugged, crafted to cut quickly through various tough materials and objects with the kind of remarkable ease that will definitely leave the other models green with envy.
The handle is also long enough to give the user adequate leverage for handling the toughest jobs without straining or fatiguing their hands, as is often the case with weaker, flimsier models out there. The user also gets a four-way clip that comes in handy in most outdoor situations.
Taking the Spyderco Inc. 9000685 apart and giving it a thorough cleaning is a breeze. You can also choose from a variety of colours and there is a generous warranty to give you cover against deficiencies in material and craftsmanship. The machine has a commanding presence in the hand is properly balanced to enhance ease of use. You'll love it the second you hold it.
Lightweight and compact design for portability
Cuts effortlessly and quickly
Easy to sharpen
10. Ontario 8846
If you need a heavy-duty, extremely sharp, and robust option with more than enough for heft for cutting effortlessly and quickly through the toughest materials and objects, take a serious look at the Ontario 8846 RAT. It's nearly a multi-tool seeing as it's a perfect choice for doing a wide range of cutting and shearing activities both around the house. And in spite of its first-rate construction and durability, it is surprisingly lightweight and compact and features a textured and ergonomically designed handle for a comfortable but firm grip.
It’s lightweight and compact with the weight coming in at just 5 ounces and length of 8.5 inches when unfolded. The heavy-duty blade measures 3.5 inches in length and opens and retracts with remarkable ease. In light of the dimensions, the product easily fits into most backpacks and slips comfortably into your pants’ pockets.
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It easily meets or exceeds performance expectations, thanks in part to the top-notch construction of its blade. The construction of the 3.5-inch blade from high-quality AUS-8 steel pairs nicely with the fact that the entire length of the blade is fully flat ground and a drop point design that makes it ideal for slicing and cutting.
AUS-8 steel holds its sharp cutting edge for considerably long and while its rust resistance attributes aren’t as impressive as those of its high-end models, it still an amazing job keeping rust and corrosion at bay.
As for convenience, it is one of the easiest to use the industry has to offer. Locking and unlocking it is both easy and quick and can effortlessly be accomplished the thumb of either finger, which makes the pocket ambidextrous, much to the pleasure of left-handed enthusiasts. To this add the ease of moving the pocket clip to 4 different positions. The handle is made from equally high-quality and textured glass filled nylon scales and is ergonomically designed to ensure a comfortable, secure, and firm grip.
Because it’s both comfortable and ambidextrous, it’s a lot easy to use for several hours on end. You’ll love its capabilities and quick performance.
Comfortable, ergonomic handle
Easy to use and open
Criteria for Choosing the Best Pocket Knives
For heavy-duty tasks such as digging and probing, ensure your model has a commensurately high-quality and durable blade featuring a robust point to stop it from breaking when subjected to extreme force. The design of the blade also plays a critical role in performance.
A curved blade is perfect for piercing and cutting different abrasive materials. The blade should be constructed from high-quality material to enable it to retain its cutting edge for a long time, and offer exceptional resistance to rust and corrosion. Manufacturers usually have a choice between carbon steel and stainless steel. Additionally, check to ascertain whether or not the blade features a full grind and the point.
Ease of Use
It doesn’t matter if your knife is sharp, hardy and fastidiously constructed, and packed to the brim with all the premium features the industry has to offer if it’s difficult to use. It should feature a user-friendly design that goes into the hands with ease and offers a firm and secure grip for effortless control and maneuvrability.
The product also needs to be lightweight and compact and feature a contour that fits the hands naturally. Similarly, though not necessarily, the pocket knife needs to be ambidextrous and open and close with lots of ease and quickly. A locking mechanism would also be handy to prevent inadvertent opening or closing of the blade.
You need a product that’s both lightweight and compact and can easily and comfortably fit inside the pockets of your pants, backpack, or purse without weighing you down. Neither should it be a hindrance to your mobility.
Bottom line is that the ideal pocket knife needs to be up to 4 inches in length when folded and sport a thickness of up to 2 inches.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Is it necessary that I clean it?
A: Making a point of regularly and thoroughly cleaning your pocket knife is instrumental to not only increasing its shelf life but also maintaining its optimal performance. In addition to removing debris and dust, ensure you properly lubricate the moving parts.
Q: Can I sharpen it?
A: While the procedure can be vastly different from one until to another, you absolutely can, though. Check with your brand to see if they offer guidelines before proceeding with the endeavour. Most pocket knives are pretty sharp, which also means you’ll need to wear the right protective gear, such as gloves.
The contemporary pocket knife comes with a host of intuitive features. They perfectly blend fastidious construction, impeccable engineering, ease of use, high-performance and affordability. Which inevitably means that no particular one is the best one, as it all boils down to the intended use.
Irrespective of your choice, a practical and functional pocket knife should be able to perfectly handle a variety of cutting, piercing, and ripping tasks both around the house and on the job site. And the best part is that our list features some of the most rugged, versatile, and affordable that the market has to offer.