best pocket knives

13 Best Pocket Knives. All You Need To Know

Choosing the best pocket knives is easy, you just need to know for what reason you will use them—for everyday use like cutting a fruit, going haunting, using them as an emergency tool, or simply for outdoor adventures.

The average read time is 10 minutes

Types of pocket knives

Multitools or swiss army knives

Camper knives are versatile because you can do so many things with them. My first camper knife was when I was a boy scout and we went for a first-night camping. It was a fantastic experience staying out at night when you are 12 years old.

My father had given me the knife a couple of days before and I was so proud. It wasn’t something special but it helped me a lot that night. Suddenly I lost it after 2 months (or someone took it from my scout bag). It was something like the Victorinox manager but was unnamed and without all the 11 tools of Victorinox.

Victorinox manager
inside victorinox
Many tools in a Victorinox multitool
Victorinox Spirit X

Pros

  • Swiss-made multi-tool with 24 tools
  • The weight is only 209g
  • Includes a practical leather pouch
  • Made from stainless steel
  • If you are a technician this is your multi-tool. Will last for decades

Cons

One of the best multi-tools but at a price over the average

5 rating
editor's choice

Check it out at victorinox.com

Victorinox classic precious Alox

Pros

  • It features a woven pattern in 5 different colors
  • With 5 tools including a key ring
  • Weights only 17g
  • RedDot winner 2022 award

Cons

A nice design but not a multi-tool like the others

5 rating

Check it out at victorinox.com

Leatherman Wave+

Pros

  • 18 different tools
  • Made from 420HC Stainless steel
  • 25 !!! years warranty
  • Customize it with your name and phone number for a chance to get it back when lost.
  • Many accessories and add-ons

Cons

We can not find any disadvantage except maybe the price (around $100)

5 rating

Check it out at leatherman.com

Gerber center-drive rescue

Pros

  • Comes with a limited lifetime warranty in North America. 25 years limited warranty outside North America
  • MOLLE-compatible or Berry-compliant sheath options
  • Made from 420 HC stainless steel
  • Spring-loaded pliers
  • Comes with a sheath
  • 14 different tools

Cons

Made in USA Gerber manufactures swiss army knives but this model was the most expensive.

4.5 rating

Check it out at gerbergear.com

The trapper knives

A trapper is a traditional knife that is recognized by its two blades. A clip point and a Spey blade.

Trapper knives can be found with up to 4 blades, but the popular ones are the longer trapper knives because they can be used for skinning animals.

Schrade Imperial Small Trapper knife

Pros

  • Made of 3Cr13MoV Stainless steel
  • Small but powerful everyday carry knife
  • Very cheap
  • Compact and lightweight

Cons

It is a Chinese product that is cheap and useful. We recommend it for your first EDC knife

4.5 rating

Check it out at bladehq.com

The Congress knives

One variant of the Trapper knife is the Congress knife. It includes 4 blades, 2 on each side.

This knife was so popular because of the different kinds of blades.

Boker Congress knife

Pros

  • The blade is made from carbon steel
  • One versatile for everyday carry knife
  • 4 blades that help with your daily cutting tasks
  • A traditional pocket knife that will last for many years

Cons.

Made in China at an average price.

4.5 rating

Check it out at bladehq.com. (Currently out of stock)

Pen knives

The small folding knives are also known as pen knives. Originally they were used for thinning and pointing quills (feathers) and later for repairing the nib of a fountain pen. They were used also to sharpen pencils before the invention of the pencil sharpener.

If you like fountain pens read our complete article about the best luxury pens.

Ettrick ebony pocket knife

Pros

  • Made from C70 carbon steel
  • The handle is made from ebony
  • A general-purpose everyday carry knife with a long slim handle

Cons

Made to order. 6-8m weeks delivery time

4 rating

Check it out at Sheffield-trading.com

Sheepsfoot knives

The Sheepsfoot knives were originally used to trim the hooves of the sheep. These types of blades are good for slicing without piercing the object with the point. This makes them good survival and rescue tools. You can cut the seatbelt of a car without injuring the victim. They are also popular in sailing allowing them to cut rigging without piercing the sails.

Sheepsfoot folding knife

Pros

  • Assisted opening with a bearing ball pivot
  • Can be closed easily with one hand
  • The blade is made from 8Cr13MoV steel
  • The blade has a 3.24″ length (82.44mm)

Cons

It is lightweight but its blade is over 3″ so check your local laws when carrying it.

Check it out at crkt.com

Automatic pocket knives

Automatic pocket knives are very useful for everyday use. The blade retracts into the blade handle with a push in the knob.

It will protect the blade from lasting longer, stay sharper, and use it only when you want it without making any damage.

Keep in mind that the blade length must be below 2″ (5cm) to be legal in the United States.

Important tip.

Always check with your local area laws if an automatic pocket knife is legal or not.

stiletto automatic pocket knife with keychain

Pros

  • Handmade from stainless steel
  • Automatic blade with a push button
  • Acrylic handle material
  • With a keychain
  • Good for everyday use

Cons

  • A small blade of 1.6″
  • It is a traditional Italian knife used mostly for decoration or collection
4 rating

Check it out at bladehq.com

Automatic pocket knives, switchblades, OTF knives, or Italian stilettos are the same category of pocket knives

laoutaris.com

Pros

  • Blade made from Damascus steel
  • Mother of pearl button opener
  • Blade length of 1.95″
  • The handle is made of titanium
  • Pro-Tech company is a USA brand known for quality and wide range of products

Cons

The price is around US$ 1,000 which is one of the most expensive

4.5 rating

Check it out at bladehq.com

Single-blade pocket knives

civivi elementum
Civivi Elementum back picture

Pros

  • Made from D2 steel which has high wear and abrasion resistance properties
  • An everyday carry knife (EDC). One of the best pocket knives on the market
  • A handy clip in the back from micarta material

Cons

  • The blade length is 2.96″ which makes the knife illegal in most countries
  • The price is average
4.5 rating

Check it out at knife-depot.com

SOG Twitch II black knife
SOG Twitch II black knife back

Pros

  • High-grade AUS-8 stainless steel blade
  • Opening mechanism: SOG Assisted Technology (SAT)
  • Its full metal construction is durable and sturdy
  • The clip can be used for low carry or holding bills and cards
  • With a safety lock that prevents the knife from opening or closing when using it

Cons

Our favorite (EDC) everyday carry knife.

5 rating
editor's choice

Check it out at sogknives.com

Care tips for multi-tools

General care instructions

If you have a stainless steel multi-tool, it needs regular cleaning and oiling to work properly.

First, you need to open and close the blades several times in warm water until they move easily again.
After drying, place a small drop of oil between the blades and on the parts like the springs or the tool shank.

When choosing the lubricant use one that is related to food safety and does not prevent the blades to work properly.

Never put your pocket knife in a dishwasher.

Resharpening instructions

Straight cut
Resharpen using a whetstone at an angle of 15-20 degrees.
If you are using a grinding wheel always cool it with plenty of water to avoid excessive temperatures.

Serrated cut
Use a sharpening stone by pulling it across the flat side of the serrated cut at an angle of 15-20 degrees.

Recommended oil is Victorinox 4.3302 and recommended Knife sharpener is Victorinox 7.8714

Knife safety rules

Please remember to follow these fundamental knife safety guidelines whenever you use a knife and always keep safety in mind.

  • Read all the instructions that come with your knife, paying close attention to any safety instructions, labels, or warnings that are mentioned in the documentation.
  • Before using swiss army knives, be fully aware of how they function and practice opening and shutting them carefully (as well as before replacing them in their sheath)
  • Always keep your knife sharp; not only does it perform better than a dull knife, but is also safer to use.
  • Make sure there is no one around the area where you intend to use the knife and that the blade edge and tip are always pointed in a safe direction.
  • Always keep the knife away from your body or any other person’s body when it is applied on.
  • When not in use, always keep your fixed blade/machete sheathed and your folding knife closed.
  • Never overtighten the sheath around your knife or machete. You run the danger of suffering significant physical harm if excessive force is employed to overcome resistance during the replacement operation. The blade is frequently forced back into the sheath as a result of poor replacement. As you carefully slip the blade into the sheath’s body, check the position of the blade at the sheath’s mouth.
  • The Right Tool for the Right Job, always. Just cut with your knife. Never use it to pry, ice-pick, hammer, etc.
  • Never fling a knife. Knives are not intended to be thrown, despite what movies and television often portray, and doing so puts you and others at considerable risk of serious injury.
  • Do not attempt to use your folding knife if, for any reason, the blade does not lock in the open position. Please get in touch with Consumer Services right away.
  • Never apply pressure to a folding knife’s blade in a way that could cause it to shut on your fingers.
  • Never try to disassemble your swiss army knives. This could render the knife dangerous and probably violate the warranty. Get in touch with Consumer Services if your knife needs to be fixed.
  • Give any kids in your home a full explanation of knives and knife safety. Tell children that knives are not toys, but rather tools. Making sure they are completely aware of how to use and care for a knife safely is the first step in educating them to be responsible knife users and/or future knife owners.

You can find additional information regarding knife safety from the American Knife & Tool Institute.

Conclusion

We could review more than 50 different types of knives, but we decided to address only some of them.

We wanted our article to give people some ideas about the current market.

Swiss army knives are the best solution when talking about tools that you will need every day.

Automatic pocket knives are great tools for cutting or for self-defense. When choosing the blade length ALWAYS check your local laws.

Tell us below in the comments what is your favorite type of knives.

If you want to read more about swiss army knives check the wiki at sakwiki.com

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