Pocket knives are an essential tool to have on you every day, as you never know when you might need them. Whether you’re carrying around a knife for self-defence or survival purposes, or both, a pocket knife is always a useful tool to keep with you. But the real question is, which one do you get? Or better yet, how do you choose the right one?
So if you’re in the market looking for the best pocket knife, this guide will be very handy. We will go over the best pocket knives that you should choose, as well as everything that you should consider before choosing one.
The Best Pocket knives
- Zero Tolerance 0609
- Spyderco Paramilitary 2
- SOG Twitch 2
- Opinel No.8
- CRKT Squid Folding Knife
- Victorinox Swiss Army Knife
- Gerber Gear Sumo
- CRKT Provoke First Responder
- Buck Knives 501 Squire
- Kershaw Dividend
Zero Tolerance 0609
The Zero Tolerance 0609 is an exceptionally sharp knife made of CPM 20CV steel. Not only is this one of the most premium steels that you can find, but it is also able to retain an edge better than any other material. The ergonomic grip is fairly good, as it comes with grooves for your fingers and a fairly deep finger guard. It also comes with safety features like a dedicated bar lock, which protects you from the blade closing on you while you’re working. It is also waterproof, while extremely corrosion-resistant, almost to the point where it can’t rust.
Spyderco Paramilitary 2
The Paramilitary 2 by Spyderco is a premier knife among many collectors, specifically for its steel and compression lock. The drop point straight edge blade can get very sharp, and it can resist corrosion and rust very well. The total length of the blade is a little over eight inches, with the closed length being close the five inches. Overall, it is a very comfortable blade to grip and use while being versatile enough to support stabbing and slashing motions. The handle is much heftier, with a clip at the back for easier carry.
SOG Twitch 2
The SOG Twitch 2 is another standard pocket knife with a minimalist design. No curves, no cuts, and just a straightforward design, this knife is minimalistic to its core. But what it lacks in very fancy details, it makes up in its compact size and very sharp blade. With a total length of just over five inches, this is a real pocket knife. The blade is just 2.65 inches but is very sharp. It can be good for slashing and piercing, especially thanks to its drop point blade design.
The Opinel No.8 takes a very utilitarian approach to its design, as they put all the focus on the blade and the ergonomics. The thin tanto-like blade is a very nice addition to any tool belt, especially seeing how the knife started for farmers and railroad workers at the time. It also has a very old school look that many will enjoy. The grip is a little strange, seeing how it’s round instead of flat, which can take you some time to get used to.
CRKT Squid Folding Knife
The CRKT Squid Folding Knife is a very small and comfortable folding knife that might be too small for bigger hands. The excellent stainless steel, the carbon-coated blade is something you would see on a marines knife, but it also has it. This is very much a backup knife, which you would usually use when your main knife isn’t working. It does have a finger guard, but it doesn’t help much when it is almost too small to hold for most people.
Victorinox Swiss Army Knife
The Victorinox Swiss Army Knife is less of a knife and more of a tool you will want to carry around. It comes with many small knives, scissors, and pliers in some cases. And even though the knife is fairly sharp, it is not very quick on the draw, as you have to pull it out from a single groove. So while it is useful for everyday use, this isn’t the knife you would want in self-defence situations.
Gerber Gear Sumo
Gerber has been making knives for a long time, and the mastery of their Sumo knife shines through. The weight-forward design is very good at improving balance and control for the user. It is also much easier to operate with both hands thanks to its ambidextrous design. The drop point blade looks very good and has a thick neck that is very good at cutting, slashing, and even piecing. But the shorter length of the blade does not make it very good for puncturing.
CRKT Provoke First Responder
The CRKT Provoke First Responder is possibly the coolest knife on this list, with its unique, foldable karambit design. The karambit has a short bade at 2.41 inches but has an outstanding grip with ergonomic considerations. You will not have to worry about this blade slipping from your hands during tactical situations. Nonetheless, the blade’s design makes it more akin to tactical situations. And as it is uncomfortable to use in any other than a reverse grip. Furthermore, the blade, while sharp, cannot retain its edge as well and is too short, leaving you too close to the assailant.
Buck Knives 501 Squire
Made of 420HC steel, the Buck Knives 501 Squire is a great knife for most uses. Since it is heat-treated, the knife is much tougher than the steel originally allows, making it easier to sharpen. Of course, the steel also means that it has very good edge retention along with a very sharp edge. But other than the blade, this knife is not very special, as it does not feature an ergonomic grip. This is the type of knife that only veterans should use, as you don’t want it slipping out of your hands.
The D2 steel used to make the Kershaw Dividend makes the blade strong and durable. Not only is it dangerously sharp, but it is also able to retain its edge very well. It is just the right balance of toughness and hardness without worrying about corrosion and rust. Of course, the thing that stands out about this knife is its grip, which is wide enough to cater to most people’s hands. The notch on the blade is also a touch, making it fairly quick on the draw. And surprisingly, it only weighs 2.8 ounces, making it a great knife to carry around and is less likely to slip from your hands. All in all, this is an exceptional knife to carry around for most everyday use.
Types of Blades to Consider
There are different types of blades for you to choose from for your preferred pocket knife, each of which comes with its collection of benefits.
The Clip point is the traditional knife point you have seen growing up, which is especially good for detailed work. It is very much the jack-of-all-trades, as it is good at slashing, cutting, and piercing. However, it is a master of none, as knives do individual things better than the clip point.
The dagger point gets “points” for style, as it is easily the coolest point to have on a knife. But with the thinner neck, it is not as good at slashing but is very good at puncturing and piercing. It is not very versatile but is generally very effective in the only thing it does.
The Hawkbill point is the best knife for slashing or cutting, but its shape doesn’t give it much piercing power. These are good for self-defence, hunting, and general use, especially thanks to their thick neck.
Possibly the most versatile points to have on a pocket knife, it is very good at stabbing and slashing alike. You can use it for odd jobs around the house or even in survival situations, as it can easily handle all these situations.
Fixed vs Folding knives
The next thing that you might want to consider is a folding or a fixed blade knife. The real difference between these types of knives is sturdiness and your ability to carry them. All fixed blades come in a sheath, so they are generally a little harder to carry than most other types of blades. They are also much larger than pocket knives but do not benefit from being collapsible.
While you might be carrying a much larger blade, it also comes with the benefit of being much sturdier and is less likely to break. It is especially good for hunting or in states where you can carry a fixed blade knife.
On the other hand, folding knives are better suited for urban use. Not only does it come with the advantage of collapsing, but it is also very versatile. Most EDC pocket knives, if not all, are folding knives because they can retain an edge just like a fixed blade while being easier to carry. They can also extend to a total length of nine or ten inches, despite being only five or six inches when folded. But they do come with the risk of breaking from the hinge, which is why many have sworn off it.
Serrated or Straight Blades
Another important thing worth considering is whether you get a serrated or straight blade. Not only do each of them look very different, but they also bring a multitude of benefits to the eh table for each type of user.
A serrated blade has seen like teeth, which gives it an “edge” over the straight blade, allowing it to cut more efficiently. Its saw-like teeth are very effective at cutting branches, flesh, tendons, and cartilage, among other things. It does come with its fair share of difficulties, however, as these blades are more difficult to maintain. You must have expert knowledge in sharpening blades with them, and you need to take very good care of them to stay sharp generally.
The straight blade is simple and very basic. It can be sharp enough to cut through just about anything and can even retain its edge for a fairly long time, depending on the material of the blade. It is not as sharp as serrated steel, even if it is generally easier to maintain. Sharpening is simple as you don’t have to worry about teeth, and it is much simpler to use these blades as well.