The 10 Best Pocket Knife Brands

It almost goes without saying that the thought put into selecting a pocket knife to purchase for yourself can directly affect your outdoor experiences and your day-to-day tasks. As a tool, the pocket knife is nearly as old as pockets themselves, and it continues to be a quintessential outdoor tool for casual hikers and trail enthusiasts alike. Here we compare a few of the leading pocket knife brands and weigh their pros and cons in various situations that one might encounter in the great outdoors, and we hope that by the end of this article, you will feel confident selecting the best pocket knife for your tastes and needs.

Product FAQ

1. What Is a Pocket Knife?

2. Where Can I Purchase a Pocket Knife?

3. Are There Different Types of Pocket Knives?

4. How Much Do They Cost?

5. Do The Knives Need to Be Sharpened?

How We Picked the Best Pocket Knife

To find the best knife for you, we reviewed the following brands based on their business values, pros and cons, prices, where you can buy them, and their warranties. It is important to note that we did not evaluate a particular knife, but rather a variety of brands that make pocket knives. Meanwhile, our grounds for valuation come from considerations like the quality of material used in each knife, the quality of design, and the business practices of the companies that make the knives themselves. From these considerations, we hope to help you in your search for the best pocket knife for you.

Overall Price Range of Pocket Knives

ALBATROSS HGDK007 EDC Sharp Damascus Folding Pocket Knife with Liner...

Knife costs depends o various factors. For our list we will focus on a sweet spot range from the cheap ones to the average and high price range, to highlight quality pocket knives that won’t scare you off from a price standpoint. These brands are among the gold standard of knife makers, and they have focused their skill and ability on developing products that are exceptional, durable, and reliable. Thus, we hope this guide will help you find the best pocket knife for you among.

Brands We Reviewed

  • Benchmade
  • Boker
  • Buck
  • Cold Steel
  • Case
  • CRKT
  • Emerson
  • DPX Gear
  • Gerber
  • Kershaw

Benchmade - Griptilian 551 Knife, Drop-Point Blade, Plain Edge, Coated...
  • HIGH-QUALITY: The 154CM stainless steel blade is tough, rust-resistant, and holds an edge...
  • WELL-DESIGNED: Benchmade's AXIS lock is exceptionally strong and fully ambidextrous. The...
  • COMFORTABLE: The 551's lightweight design and handle grips make it comfortable to hold and...

Features

Benchmade is an American brand dedicated to quality from the ground up. The company illustrates this by operating out of the founders’ home town of Oregon City, Oregon, even as the company expands into more and more far-reaching proportions.

They offer their exceptional knives via a three-tier system: Gold, Blue, and Black. Gold is the most common and affordable system, Blue is more expensive and Black is rarely sold at a civilian level and is more directed to law enforcement and other parties that would require a permit to carry them.

PROS

  • American brand
  • Mostly folding pocket knives
  • Durable

CONS

  • Not widely available worldwide
  • Black series not available for civilians
  • Relatively high starting price

Boker 02LG115 Persian Fixed Knife with 440 Stainless Steel Blade,...
  • 440 stainless steel blade
  • G-10 handle scales
  • Includes Kydex sheath and belt adapter

Features

Boker boasts a long history of knife making experts and enthusiasts, and every knife exudes quality. However, their somewhat uninspired design can occasionally be a turn off for people, but the pocket knives make up for their less-than-impressive design in functionality and durability.

PROS

  • Long history of quality knife making
  • First brand to work with ceramic knives
  • Reasonable asking price

CONS

  • Not American made
  • Not the most renowned brand
  • Might be a challenge working with the claims department, which is based in Germany

Buck Knives 0345BKS Vantage Select Folding Knife,Black,Large
  • RAZOR SHARP BLADE - 3-1/4" Drop Point 420HC Steel Blade delivers excellent strength, edge...
  • CONVENIENT ONE HAND OPENING - A Thumb Hole on the blade facilitates a smooth one-handed...
  • SAFE AND SECURE GRIP - The Ergonomic Grip made from Injection Molded reinforced nylon...

Features

Owning a classic Buck knife is a rite of passage for most American hunters and outdoorsman, and it has maintained its level of success and notoriety by maintaining high standards of quality for all of its knives.

PROS

  • Classic and beautiful design
  • Well-renowned blade
  • Very affordable

CONS

  • No frills type of design
  • Many store knockoffs often confuse buyers
  • Not as many tactical features as other competitors

Cold Steel 20NPFZ Finn Wolf Folding Knife OD Green
  • Satin Polished Japanese aus 8a blade
  • Easy to re-sharpen in the field
  • Compact design

Features

A little left field compared to other brands on this list, Cold Steel makes their mark by creating unique knives that never shirk on the quality. The result is polarizing among knife enthusiasts, but one thing is for sure: the blades are great.

PROS

  • Innovative blades
  • Sturdy design
  • Tri-Ad lock technology

CONS

  • Not the most beautiful design
  • Somewhat confusing store
  • There is a learning curve for handling these

CASE XX WR Pocket Knife Yellow Synthetic Trapper Cv Item #161 - (3254...
  • Blades: Chrome Vanadium Steel Clip And Spey Blades
  • Length Closed: 4 1/8 Inches
  • Great everyday pocket knife for projects around the house, the outdoors, and hunting

Feat​ures

Knives by Case are known for their elegant and classy design coupled with an outstanding heritage of quality. Case knives pack a portable and user-friendly punch that users continue to boast about to this today.

PROS

  • Beautiful materials like bone and oak
  • Classic craftsmanship
  • American made

CONS

  • Not as many options as other retailers
  • They are harder to repair
  • Design is not ergonomic

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Features

CRKT (Columbia River Knife & Tool Company) is a major innovator in the knife game that continues to elevate itself to new and innovative technological achievements with every knife it releases. The knives are a gorgeous marvel of innovation and pristine engineering.

PROS

  • Innovators of things like field strip technology
  • Highly-regarded foldable knife makers
  • Large selection

CONS

  • Design is simplistic and may be less than thrilling
  • Knives may not be user friendly
  • Somewhat high starting price

Emerson Knives - Folding Karambits - Super & Combat SF & BT (Super...
  • Super karambits = Overall Length 8.375 in - Blade Length 3.0 in.
  • Combat Karambits = Overall Length 6.80 in.- Blade Length 2.60 in.
  • G10 Grips & Titanium liners & Lock

Features

A brand built from the essence of pure enthusiasm for knives Emerson is quality knife making at its finest. This is one of the best pocket knife companies out there, but is it the best pocket knife company for you?

PROS

  • Durable and renowned design
  • Original and exciting knives
  • Made in the USA

CONS

  • High asking price
  • Style is specific
  • Style more suited to urban rather than outdoor

DPX Gear Heat Hiker Sandblasted
  • Crafted from the highest quality materials
  • Built for performance and durability
  • Made in United States

Features

DPX is quickly becoming a contender on the knife making scene, and for good reason. DPX makes extremely durable knives designed to thrive in tough conditions.

PROS

  • Durable
  • Unique design
  • Wide variety of knives

CONS

  • Expensive asking price
  • New brand, so not as time-tested as other models
  • Style might not be for everyone

Gerber Paraframe Mini Knife, Fine Edge, Stainless Steel [22-48485]
  • Lightweight open frame perfect for everyday carry
  • Easy to clean, carry, and open
  • Frame lock holds blade open and safely closes

Features

Gerber is a household name among knife and outdoor enthusiasts because of their dedication to creating high-quality blades, particularly heritage knives, which are meant to last through generations and nearly any use.

PROS

  • Innovative, forward facing technology
  • Designed to last for years to come
  • Versatile knife designs

CONS

  • Lack of focus in any one area of knife making
  • Expensive
  • No longer a solely American-made product

Kershaw Natrix-Carbon Fiber Pocket Knife (7007CF); 3.25 In. 8Cr13MoV...
  • Titanium carbo-nitride coating adds distinct appeal and blade protection to the durable,...
  • Awesome, stylish, classy, exciting, flashy, blue-gray handles with a carbon fiber overlay...
  • Opened with a built-in flipper, the KVT ball-bearing opening makes opening the knife...

Features

Offering stylized and user-friendly knives, Kershaw is the everyman’s knife maker intent on bringing quality folding knives to the masses.

PROS

  • Very affordable prices
  • Many styles to choose from
  • Works with many unique designers

CONS

  • Lower price means lesser quality
  • Designs often focus on aesthetics over utility
  • Shape is not ergonomic

The Verdict

Finding the best pocket knife for you means you must consider your budget, your needs, and your own personal style. If you can afford it, we highly recommend the Emmerson blade series for their exceptional quality and stunning design. If this is unreasonable for you, then consider a buck knife; they are affordable and downright amazing to own.

As with any purchase, sometimes the best way to make a choice is to be able to personally handle the item. For that we recommend you visit your local outdoor store or knife shop and check out the different models we talked about here for yourself. Whatever you choose, we know that among these brands, you won’t struggle at all in finding the best pocket knife for your needs.

Janice Friedman
 

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