There is no questioning the relevance of a good pocket knife. And you don’t need to be an outdoor enthusiast to acknowledge its importance. The best pocket knives can do a wide range of tasks from opening a can to cutting tags from clothes among other life-saving purposes.
Given the varieties of pockets knives available in stores today, it can be challenging for anyone to land a good piece on which they can count, leave alone newbies. The good news? Our experts took the time to research what makes one tick. What to look for when buying a pocket knife and reviewed some blades based on users’ experiences.
What To Look for When Buying the Best Pocket Knife
From the name, the best pocket knife should be small enough to fit inside any pocket. But this doesn’t mean it should be too tiny not to stand up to the occasion when needed to. This means you need to strike a balance between portability and functionality. A big blade can be effective but cumbersome to carry around. As such, we recommend a blade length of about three to four inches with a one-inch allowance when closed.
Stainless steel blades dominated the markets in the past, but thanks to advances in craftsmanship, carbon and powder coatings are becoming popular. The idea is to have a strong enough blade that won’t break when you desperately need it. Advances in the manufacture of knife blades are designed to make them stronger, more resistant to rust and retain sharpness longer.
While this may be the last consideration for many, ergonomics can define the functionality and reliability of a pocket knife. Among the things to look out for are how easily they open, how they fit in the pocket and the overall handling. You want a sturdy handle shaped to fit in the palm of your hand. The best pocket knives also feature other ergonomic designs such as the ability to open with one hand.
You will find other pocket knives with extra tools to make your life easier. It is imperative that you only pick such knives if the extras are a necessity for you. They can make the knife bulkier.
How you plan to use your knife can be used to guide your purchase. Survival pocket knives tend to be sturdier than those you’d use at a picnic to open food. If you spend a lot of time outdoors, the best pocket knife for you would be one with extra features and unquestionable sharpness. Most pocket knives are reliable as they are, anyway.
Read Next: Top 5 Picks for The Best Survival Knives
Reviews of the Best Pocket Knives
Now that you know what to look for when buying the ideal pocket knife for everyday carry, let’s look at some of the top pocket knives on Amazon.
Besides being good on paper, the best pocket knife is functional and nails the little details as well. The Benchmade Mini Griptilian did all these for us. Compared to the rest on our list of recommended blades, this one stood out. It comes with a better and stronger steel blade that retains its sharpness for a long. For ergonomics, the Mini Griptilian has a comfortable handle for different hand sizes. The textures on the handles also provide better grip even when dump. Another impressive feature is its lock and a reversible pocket clip. Everything you need your pocket knife to have.
While most modern knives come with advances that make them better, most are cumbersome. The Case Knives company dates back more than 200 years. One impressive thing is how the manufacturer has continuously reflected its heritage in the knives. A good example of this is the Mini Trapper. It has two blades – a 2.1-inch clip and 2.8-inch spey and an overall length of 6.3 inches. From the many positive reviews; you can be sure that this is a decent and reliable pocket knife you can carry around every day.
With the blade measuring 3 inches and the ability to open with one hand, the CRTK Drifter couldn’t miss from our recommendation list. Better yet, this knife comes with features for which you’d pay more than double its price. The contours on the handle of this knife make it easy for most hand sizes to handle comfortably. Texturing on the handle also improves the grip.
If you want a simple pocket knife that does the job, the Opinel has a piece for you. The blade measures 3.25 inches with a collar on the handle that locks it open or closed. The handle is made of wood; shaped to fit in the palm for a better grip. The available varieties include premium wood handles or a carbon steel blade. It is not the pocket knife with over-the-top features but will deliver like most.
If you are a newbie knife collector looking for the best pocket knife on a budget, the Sanrenmu outdoor knife is your best bet. It comes with all the impressive features. Its blade measures about 3 inches which is the ideal length for carry-around knives. We didn’t like the handle much. The metal used on the handle can get slippery when damp. However, at under $20, this pocket knife offers more than its price tag.
This Blue Ridge pocket knife has impressive features that you’d want in a survival knife. A broad handle means more control over your chops and cuts. A stronger blade lock removes the wiggle for a stable operation of the knife. It also features a large piece of metal in the body for added durability and allows for aggressive cutting. The downside is how heavy the knife can be, but you can count on this knife for tough jobs.