The Complete Buyers Guide to the Best Pocket Knives
Knives have been man’s helping hand for thousands of years. Today we use this age-old tool for numerous jobs, anything from tinkering around the house to rescue missions on the job. From the workplace to camping grounds, there is no place where a knife won’t come in handy. This is why the contemporary man likes the convenience of a pocket knife that he can easily carry along on his person.
Nowadays, there is an abundance of options for any product we wish to purchase. It can be exhausting to narrow our choices until we are finally ready to make a final decision.
If you are looking for the best pocket knives in the world, you have your research cut out for you. Instead of doing all the work yourself, read this buyer’s guide because I have done the research for you. The first step is to learn about the different variations in top rated pocket knives.
- Pocket Knife Comparison Table
- The Different Types of Pocket Knives
- Different Brands of Pocket Knives
- Overview of the Top 5 Pocket Knives
- The Next Five Top Pocket Knives
- The Pocket Knife Buying Guide
- A Final Word
Pocket Knife Comparison Table
The Different Types of Pocket Knives
If you are a mechanic, you will be looking for different criteria in the best pocket knife than a camping aficionado might. A professional in the automotive industry, for example, will require a knife that is strong enough to cut through airbags and may even include an incorporated window breaker. On the other hand, a family man’s priority may be a knife with lots of attachments to tinker around inside the house for minor repairs. So your best bet is to make a list of the features you most need. Let’s take a look at the different types of best rated pocket knives so you can see which attributes you most require.
Rescue Pocket Knives
Pocket knives used by amateurs and professionals during rescue type operations will often be named after their intended customers. There are knives specifically intended for EMTs, police officers and other rescue personnel. In general these knives have sturdy handles and longer blades. They also may feature a serrated blade for sawing action and/or a seat belt cutter. Window breakers are often incorporated into the design as well.
Multi-Tool Pocket Knives
These pocket knives tend to feature one or more smaller blades for smaller cutting jobs, as well as numerous other attached tools. These compact knives are intended for those of us who work on projects requiring many different actions. A mechanic or electrician may utilize a pocket knife with wire cutter, wire stripper, plier, and screwdriver attachments. The same version may also suit the guy who likes to fix things around the house and customize his cars. The multi-tool knife is the best pocket knife for doing repairs.
Smaller Pocket Knives
There are many smaller pocket knives with a shorter blade as well as a more compact size. These knives are usually lighter and easy to carry discreetly in just about any pocket. They are referred to as ¨Every Day Carry¨ (EDC) knives. They tend to have a straight, or plain, edge blade because they are intended for cutting items like envelopes, wires and fabrics. Oftentimes they are the smaller version of a brand’s popular larger knife variation.
Collector Pocket Knives
While a collector would be happy to add just about any knife to his growing collection, he will be on the lookout for a knife with features that set it apart from the rest. So while most contemporary pocket knives’ handles are made of aluminum, steel or titanium, a collector may enjoy a handle made of wood. Similarly, while most handles are designed for grip and functionality, a collector might seek a handle with an artistic design, a personalized engraving or a special finish. There are also different colors offered in many models, which can add some more variety.
Different Brands of Pocket Knives
Pocket knife manufacturers have some steep competition. There are many different brands each offering a plethora of different models. While some brands offer knives of different price points as well as different types, other brands are known for specializing in one particular feature. Let’s examine a few brands of the best rated pocket knives.
Kershaw knives are in the mid-price range. This brand specializes in mid-sized, single-bladed pocket knives ideal for EDC (every day carry). Their offerings include hundreds of different models, with blades varying in shape, size and color. They even offer camo versions, a vintage style, and several knives finished in rainbow titanium. Kershaw is a brand which aims for the everyday man, the one who is looking for an affordable, discreet pocket knife.
Benchmade has been designing with the serious knife aficionado in mind for over two decades. They cater to those of us who enjoy spending a lot more in exchange for top quality. If you are the type of man who rather part with a Benjamin or two so that you can rest assured that you are receiving high quality, then Benchmade knives may be perfect for you. These knives are usually made in the U.S.A. of superior materials to withstand time as well as physical demands. While the handles come in several classic colors, often finished in a special coating, they are designed for a safe grip. Their assisted opening feature ensures an easy, smooth extraction of the blade, while their AXIS locking mechanism guarantees that the blade will remain steady in the open position no matter what amount of force is applied.
The Victorinox brand specializes in the multi-tool pocket knife variety. They have been bringing us the famous Swiss Army Knives since 1897 directly from Switzerland. Their models tend to include one or more blades along with several other attachments. This brand’s offerings cover the spectrum of the median range prices. The more tools included, the higher the cost will be for a Victorinox pocket knife. The assortment of tools featured with their models include wire cutters, different screw drivers, bottle and cap openers, and even tweezers and scissors. If you are looking for many solutions in one compact-sized pocket knife, you will surely benefit from taking a look at all Victorinox has to offer. Their faithful and wide customer base is attained by their immense variety of models to suit anyone´s particular needs, not to mention their trusted quality backed by their lifetime warranty.
Overview of the Top 5 Pocket Knives
One of the most well-known pocket knives around the world is the Swiss Army knife. Made in Switzerland, this classic model comes in many different colors, including a U.S. flag design, to suit the taste of each of its many customers.
The reasons for its popularity are the compact yet reliable build, the topnotch quality identified with the brand, as well as the affordable price accompanied by a lifetime warranty.
This particular model showcases seven tools within the mere 2.3 inch long, 0.77 ounce pocket knife. The small blade is sturdy enough for use within the home and even in the wilderness, while the mini scissors and screwdriver tip can help with many small repairs. Additionally, there are a nail file, tweezers and a toothpick to resolve small irritants no matter where you are.
While the small dimensions are ideal for you to carry this knife in your pocket, you can even attach it to your key thanks to its key ring attachment.
Kershaw´s Leek series of pocket knives offers several colors to please their wide customer base. This model measures in at 4 inches closed length and 3.1 ounces.
The brand´s Speed Safe ambidextrous assisted opening feature allows its users to easily deploy the 3 inch blade with just one hand.
While the most popular version comes with a bead-blasted stainless steel handle, giving it durability and a polished look, there are many reasons to choose one of the other types offered. If you prefer a non-reflective knife that is easy to keep looking clean, you may choose the black Tungsten DLC coated knife. In case you are looking for a lightweight Leek, the double-anodized aluminum finish offered in two different colors would be perfect for you. There are also a scratch resistant Rainbow Leek version finished with a titanium oxide coating and a ceramic wave designed Leek, both ideal additions to any pocket knife collection. Finally, as an exceptional addition to any collection, the Leek covered in 24k yellow gold is available as well, albeit for a higher cost.
No matter your taste, you are sure to find a Leek model to suit your personal style.
The Ontario Knife Company is a worldwide cutlery supplier. Although they cater to a wide range of customers, they also produce knives for the U.S. government and military. This Ontario RAT knife is meant to fill the EDC knife slot for the average Joe. Made in China, it is a great value at a very affordable price.
The open post construction allows for simple daily cleanings. The ergonomic nylon handle assures that you will have a secure grip. The thumbstud opening feature enables the user to deploy the blade with one hand, while the liner locking system ensures that the open knife remains secure. The 3.5 inch satin-finished, flat ground blade provides a hardness of 55-56 HCR so there are no worries about breakage. Closed, the 3.5 inch, 5 ounce knife will slip into any pocket without disturbing daily living. There is even a four-position pocket clip for comfortable wear.
This pocket knife certainly is a smart choice for those of us who desire an affordable EDC knife without skimping on quality.
Available in both gray and black, this 3.75 inch, 4.1-ounce knife is another ideal EDC knife offering quality for a low price.
The titanium carbo-nitride coated blade and handle of the gray Cryo provides a sleek, metallic look, while the black version´s stainless steel blade and black-oxide BlackWash finish offers a matte, robust appearance.
Both styles feature a 2.75-inch blade which is deployed using Kershaw´s patented SpeedSafe assisted opening mechanism by either pulling the flipper or pressing the thumb stud. To hold the blade steady, Cryo is designed with a frame lock as well as lock bar stabilization.
For this EDC favorite to fit securely, it includes a four-position pocket clip so that you can carry it tip up or down, on either the right or left side.
Just by taking a look at the pocket knife reviews, it will become apparent that Buck Knives offer great quality knives of many sizes made in the U.S.A. They also offer Buck Forever Warranty, proving that they trust in the knives they produce. This particular model is a mid-sized pocket knife, coming in at 4.25 inches closed length and 5.6 ounces, which makes it a smaller version of the Buck 110 Hunter Knife.
The 3-inch steel clip blade provides great strength as well as edge retention, both necessities in any hunting knife. The blade is held tightly within the lock, giving it further stability.
The traditional wood grain handle with brass accents provides the perfect western look to go along with the black leather holster accompanying this hunting knife.
Yet this is not only a hunter’s knife, as it easily can be carried in your pocket and used for daily tasks such as cutting food, opening envelopes, and even stripping wires.
If you are in search of a hunting knife that can do double duty as your EDC pocket knife as well, look no further.
The Next Five Top Pocket Knives
In case you want to look at more top rated pocket knives in order to widen your options, here are the next 5 pocket knives:
- Spyderco Endura 4 Wave Plain Edge Pocket Knife
- Gerber LST Ultralight Fine Edge Pocket Knife
- Tac Force TF-705 Series Assisted Opening Tactical Pocket Knife
- Case Cutlery 7049 Stockman Stainless Steel Pocket Knife
- Gerber Paraframe Mini Pocket Knife
The Pocket Knife Buying Guide
Considering the tens of thousands of pocket knives available for purchase, you might feel that finding the right pocket knife is like finding a needle in a haystack. However, if you take into account the following criteria, you will quickly whittle down your options until you are left with just the ideal pocket knife for your specific needs:
- Function- Ask yourself exactly what functions you need your knife to perform. Remember, for tinkering around the house to mend all kinds of little issues, you might need a multi-tasking multi-tool like Victorinox offers. Conversely, if you just need one strong, firm blade for hardcore cutting action, choose a single blade knife. If you need to saw through tough materials, go for a serrated-blade knife.
- Size- In general, the bigger the knife is, the sturdier its build will be. You definitely want to get the sturdiest knife without sabotaging your comfort. So the idea is to find the biggest size that you can comfortably accommodate in your pocket throughout the day. That is the ideal size pocket knife for your personal comfort.
- Value- Pocket knives are available at all price points, so you do not have to spend more than you are comfortable with. What you do want to do is make sure that the knife you pick is a good value for its price. The best way to ascertain that you are getting a good value is look at the pocket knife reviews from customers. If the average customer rating is high, then the consensus is that the quality surpasses what is expected for the price. In other words, high customer ratings indicate a good value.
- Safety- Finally, you want to make sure that the knife has all the essential safety features. First of all, the blade should not be too long as that would be a potential hazard and possibly a crime. You also want to be certain that the locking mechanism keeps the deployed blade safely in place no matter how much pressure you apply to the knife. The same idea applies to the knife once it is closed; Verify that the knife will open only when a direct, deliberate force is applied to the opening mechanism.
Watch this video for advice on choosing the perfect pocket knife for your needs:
A Final Word
Knives have been around for millennia. There is a reason they are still around today; Knives serve many purposes in our daily lives. Pocket knives are the contemporary means of carrying around this age-old tool so that it is available whenever we most need it. Now that you have taken the time to educate yourself about the criteria that you want to consider, you are finally ready to pick the best pocket knife to complement your individual lifestyle. So go ahead, make that purchase and have fun experimenting with your new ¨helping hand. ¨
Product images sourced from Amazon.com