If you’re looking for the best pocket knife on the market, there are so many options that it is easy to get confused. Dozens of knife companies have built hundreds, if not thousands, of models to offer sportsman or builders like you. This creates a saturated market that offers knifes of varying qualities.
Many of these knifes are built without much care, which ends up creating low-quality blades that are dull, hard to use, or likely to fall apart with only a little handling. This isn’t true of every pocket knife on the market, thankfully, as many knife manufacturers take great pride in their work.
When you’re trying to choose the best pocket knife for your needs, it is important to take into account a variety of criteria. For example, not every knife will be ambidextrous, meaning it can only be used by either a right or a left-handed person. Other knifes will have a unique blade dispersion technique that will make it trickier to open and close.
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Best Pocket Knife Comparison
Beyond these simple considerations is the sturdiness of each knife, the material used to make its blade, and the specific use for which it is designed. The best pocket knife should have multiple uses, but some will be specific for hunting, fishing, personal defense, or even construction purposes. General purpose knifes like this are often very useful for many knife owners, but more specific-use knifes do have their advantages.
The following five knifes are among the most popular and respected on the market. Each typically receives four to five star reviews on shopping sites and are highly praised by those who have used them. Each has their own advantages and disadvantages to consider. By the time you finish reading this article, you will have a full understanding of each knife and should be able to choose one that you like without worrying about making a mistake.
Anyone looking for an easy-to-use pocket knife will do well with the Benchmade. It is one of the sharpest pocket knifes on the market, with a 3.45 inch drop-point blade made out of 154CM stainless steel. The handle is made out of a comfortable glass-filled nylon material that fits comfortably and easily in the hand. It is a highly functional knife, and one that can be used for hunting and building purposes, such as cutting rope and other building materials.
It also comes with a variety of accessories, including a lanyard hole and a standard clip that makes it easy to attach it to the belt or in a building material belt. The manual opening method is easy-to-understand and has a smooth operation. The construction is also very tightly and done, featuring none of the “looseness” that tends to be more common with less expensive knifes.
One downside is that it’s not ambidextrous, so it’s a little harder for left-handed users. However, it’s so easy to open and operate that it shouldn’t be too difficult to master. It is also a little pricier than other similar models, which may turn off some users. That said, it’s masterful construction and sharp blade (which requires very little sharpening) makes it perhaps the best pocket knife on the market.
For anyone interested in a high-quality frame lock knife, the Kershaw Leek knife is a great deal. With a blade made out of 410 stainless steel that has been bead-blasted to produced a gorgeous finish, it not only looks great, but is tough and resistant to a variety of wear types.
The three-inch blade folds up easily to create a four-inch knife, one that easily fits into your pocket and which can be used for just about any purpose. It also comes with a pocket-clip to attach it to your belt. One of the most interesting aspects of this knife is that it is ambidextrous for two-handed use.
This means that it can be deployed from either hand. Most types of knifes are suitable for only right-hand uses, making the the Kershaw Leek knife the best pocket knife for a family who may have one or more left-handed members.
Whether you’re using this knife for fishing or for regular cutting, it’s a great choice, especially for its low price. There are a few concerns that do plague this knife. For example, the deploying action has a tendency to get a little “loose,” making accidental deployment possible, a major problem if the knife is in your pocket while you’re hunting.
Lubricating and tightening the Allen screw regularly may be necessary to avoid this problem. Another problem is the knife safety, which has loosened and even broken when used improperly. However, these minor problems shouldn’t detract you from trying it out.
The phrase “buck knives” if often used as a generic term for heavy-duty pocket knives. However, the term Buck Knives is actually used for a specific brand, and it is one of the most trusted and respected of all knife manufacturers. It’s famous folding knife (Buck Knives 110) is their most recent release. It has been met with rave reviews, hitting five stars on just about every review site and impressing a wide range of its users.
What makes this knife so popular with thsoe who have tried it? First of all, it comes with a genuine leather sheath that is comfortable to wear and which will protect your knife from excessive damage. Each knife includes a three and three-quarter inch blade made of 420HC stainless steal.
With a total closed length of just under five inches, it is a comfortable, but imposing, knife. It is one that not only serves a variety of purposes, but which is also intimidating to anyone threatening you on the street.
It’s also a handsome knife, with a drymondwood handle and brass bolsters that give it a nice look. Made in America, it offers the kind of sturdy manufacturing strength that is so common with Buck Knives and their many quality products.
This knife also comes with a Lifetime Warranty that will cover replacement for just about any problem. For hunters and sportsman, this is not only the best pocket knife, but also the sharpest pocket knife that they can buy.
Are there any downsides? There are a few. For one thing, it’s rather heavy, at just under half of a pound. This might not seem like much, but it will really weigh you down after a few hours in the wood. It is also not appropriate for design projects.
It is more fine-tuned for hunting purposes, making this one a great choice for deer, turkey, rabbit, and moose hunters or even fishermen who need something to cut their line, remove the hook from their mouth, or even gut your fish to prepare it for cooking.
If you’re looking for a serrated knife that will cut animal hide easily, the Spyderco Tenacious is a great model to consider. Each knife is tested for quality and durability and is made with high-quality stainless steel with a four-way hourglass clip. It is also built with screw-together construction with skeletonized steel liners. This gives this knife the kind of durability you need for a variety of projects.
The Spyderco Tenacious is also great for culinary needs, including cutting meat, slicing vegetables and fruit, cutting through dough, and anything else you need when using a serrated knife. Its serrated edges are a little too uneven to make it useful as a construction or crafting knife, though. However, it can be used like a small, but tough “saw” for cutting lighter materials, including most plastics and light wood.
At its largest, the Spyderco Tenacious is just under eight inches, with an over three-inch blade. When closed, it’s just under five inches. This makes it easy to slip into your pocket or in the included leather holster. Although this sheath isn’t quite as durable as others on the market, it’s strong enough for holding the Spyderco against your belt.
Another nice thing about the Spyderco is its light weight: at just over four ounces, its easy to handle and use. However, the serrated edges of this blade does limit its uses in ways that may turn some buyers off of it.
If you want a knife that is precise and which will make clean cuts, it’s best to look elsewhere. However, if you want a tough knife that is tough enough to cut heavy meat and skin, the Spyderco Tenacious is a good choice for you.
SOG Specialty Knives & Tools TFSA98-CP Flash II Knife
Last, but not least, is the SOG TFSA98-CP Flash II knife. We’ll call it the Flash II for short for the sake of simplicity. With a three and a half-inch blade with a GRN handle and a hard-case black finish, it comes in a variety of blade fashions, including tiger stripe and satin finishes. The handle is reinforced with a glass nylon with a black finish. A limited lifetime warranty will protect it from damage, should it occur.
Another nice feature of this model is the safety lock. This holds the blade in the handle and requires pressing a release switch before it flips open. Safety features like this make the Flash II a great choice for those who have children or who plan on holding their knife in the pocket. Don’t worry about this safety device slowing down your access to the knife: SOG assisted technology lets you open the knife with one hand.
Its partially serrated blade positions this model somewhere between the straight-blade models mentioned above and the Spyderco’s heavily serrated blade. This is both a good thing and a bad thing. For example, the partial serration makes it more appropriate for dealing with hunting game and culinary items. However, it does decrease your ability to create a clean and “straight” cut.
Another minor disadvantage to this knife is the weight. Extremely light at 2.4 ounces, it’s actually almost too light. It often doesn’t have enough “oomph” to cut through tougher materials. It’s also easier to drop it or lose track of it in your pocket or in backpacks. Other than that, the Flash II is a great knife that will will work for just about anyone.
The Best High-Quality Knife
For anyone who doesn’t mind spending a little extra money on their knifes, the Benchmade Griptilian is the best bet. It is not only one of the sharpest pocket knifes on the market, but is also one of the best looking, making it a great choice for a variety of uses.
As mentioned before, it has a glass-filed nylon handle with stainless steel liners. While not a truly decorative knife, it is handsome enough while also offering sturdy quality that matches its extra price. This is the kind of knife that can get dropped in a swamp multiple times without suffering severe damage.
It also comes in a wide range of shapes and sizes, making it a stylish option for anyone looking for a specific knife shape. It is also incredibly light, consider its length. At just over four and a half inches long, it weights just under four ounces. This gives it a major advantage over heavier and bulkier knifes which can be annoying to haul around for hours every time you go out with them.
Perhaps the best part about this knife is its adaptability. It can be used for hunting, crafting, fishing, for building projects, and even cutting meat and skin off of game animals. While it is the most expensive knife by far on this list, the extra price actually translates to excellent quality. Even though more expensive knifes aren’t automatically better than cheaper ones, that’s definitely the case here.
The extra cost of this knife makes it a good choice for your own personal use or for an expensive gift for a loved one. If you have a husband or a wife that loves hunting, it is a particularly useful gift. If you both like to hunt, it can serve as a dual-gift i.e. one that you both can bond over. Its utilitarian nature and ease of use also makes it a great option.
The Best Inexpensive Model
If the Benchmade Griptilian is outside of your budget or if you plan on purchasing multiple pocket knifes, your best low-price choice is the Kershaw Leek knife. As mentioned before, it is built from some of the finest-grade stainless steel on the market, especially considering its low price.
It’s rare to get such high-quality steel for next to nothing. That alone makes the Kershaw Leek a great option, including the fact that it’s among the sharpest pocket knife models on the market.
Its benefits don’t stop there. As mentioned before, it has been bead-blasted to create a finish you can’t get with many other knifes. Its selection of accessories is also excellent, especially for a hunter of fishermen who is just getting interested in their hobby. Without having to search excessively for knife holders and sharpeners, you can get started right away with a sharp knife that is easy to use and understand almost immediately.
It is also one of the few knifes on our list that is ambidextrous, making it useful for a wider range of people. If you have a left-handed loved one who is frustrated with their lack of knife options, the Kershaw Leek is a great choice. Instead of struggling to awkwardly flip open a right-hand only knife, they can just pop open their left-hand knife and get started working with it right away. Quick use is a big deal with Kershaw, which is why they focus so heavily on ambidextrous knifes.
While by no means a perfect knife, it’s hard to find a knife at its price range that offers so many benefits. Just make sure that you regularly lubricate the opening joint (once a month is more than enough) and to use the safety with care. If you do have problems with the opening joint, use a screwdriver to tighten the Allen joint. Make sure to tighten it enough to allow some movement, but not too much to stop it from swinging easily.
As you can see, there are plenty of incredible pocket knifes on the market. When you’re looking for the best pocket knife or the sharpest pocket knife, you need to take time to investigate each knife carefully. Are you interested in a sharp knife that has a variety of benefits? Then the Benchmade Griptillian is the best pocket knife for you. However, if you’re looking for something a little less expensive, the Kershaw is perfect.
In many ways, it all comes down to how much you are willing to spend. The knifes on this list are all within a reasonable price range. Some are a little more expensive than others, but none are excessively expensive. Does price necessarily dictate the quality of a knife?
Not always. While it’s generally safe to say that higher prices are often reflected with higher workmanship and sturdier construction, some knifes are pricier simply because of a brand name. Think of it like generic food brands versus brand name foods. Their may be a slight dip in quality between a “big name” knife and a more “generic” model, but the quality difference isn’t excessive.
The best way to gauge a pocket knife is to go to a sporting goods shops, ask to see display models of any knife you want to buy, and check it out. Open up the blade to see how easy it is for you to operate, as some knifes may be a little tougher for you to open than others. Choosing any of the knives mentioned above will ensure you get a high-quality knife.