Pocket knives are becoming a very popular item to have. They are small and compact but are very useful and pack a punch. They can be conveniently carried in your pocket or for quick access on your belt.
I think most people would agree that there are many different purposes in a pocket knife. Some people prefer to use it as an EDC item or to store one in a bug out bag. Whatever the reason, its important they you find the best pocket knife based your preference, price, size, and purpose.
We researched and ranked the best pocket knives on the market today. Some of these brands will be familiar since some made the list for our Best Survival Knives list.
1. Spyderco Paramilitary 2
The Spyderco’s Paramilitary 2 is an updated version of their already popular knife. It has a CPM S30V steel full flat-ground blade that is 3.5″ long, the full knife is 8.3″ overall and 4.8″ when folded. It has a newly designed 4 way clip, so it can be carried tip up or down, and either right or left handed.
It also has a larger lanyard hole for additional carrying options. It features a 14mm Spyderco Round Hole to make it easier to use with gloved or large hands. Of course, this blade also has Syderco’s signature compression lock, one of the strongest folding locks in the knife industry.
2. Cold Steel Recon 1 Spear Point Plain Edge
The Cold Steel Recon 1 series knives are rugged and versatile, making them a great choice for any professional or EDC use. The classic Spear Point Plain Edge is a 4″ knife made of CTS XHP alloy blade steel with a comfortable G-10 handle.
The blade also features the patented Tri-Ad lock for increased confidence and stability in whatever situation you find yourself. The Recon 1 series features a wide variety of blades 2,3,4, and 5 1/2 inch long, with clip point, tanto, and spear point options as well as serrated, plain, and 50/50 options.
3. Ontario Rat ii
The Ontario Rat ii is a great little knife if you are looking for something compact, lightweight, and budget-friendly that is still dependable and well-built. It is 7″ overall, 4.1″ closed with a 3″ plain edge full flat taper grind blade.
It is made of hardy AUS-8 steel and opens with a reversible thumb stud. It features an ambidextrous 4 way clip and a comfortable nylon 6 handle. It can also be purchased with a pink handle, and is available with a satin or black blade.
4. Spyderco Delica 4 Lightweight FRN Flat Ground Plain Edge
The Spyderco Delica 4 FRN Lightweight Plain Edge is an incredibly light and affordable blade that Spyderco has been improving since it first developed the Delica series in 1990. This knife is 7.125″ overall, 4.25″ closed and has a 2.875″ VG-10 steel flat ground blade. Amazingly, this knife only weighs 2.5 ounces and makes for a great EDC knife.
It has jimping on the spine to improve grip, along with a 0.5″ blade hole for easy one-handed opening. The Fiberglass Reinforced Nylon (FRN) handle has texturing to improve grip. It also features a 4 way clip for your choice of carrying options.
The Delica 4 series is one of Spyderco’s more popular lines, and blades are available with plain edge or partially serrated, and feature seven different handle colors.
5. Benchmade Crooked River 15080
The Benchmade Crooked River 15080 is a great option if you want solid craftsmanship in your EDC pocket knife, while still maintaining a classic look. It is available in a gray G-10 handle or stabilized wood. The stabilized wood is more durable and weather resistant than natural wood, and gives a unique look.
This folder is made of CPM-S30 stainless steel and has a 4″ blade, overall length of 9.3″ and is 5.33″ closed. It is also pretty lightweight for EDC at 5.41 ounces. It features Benchmade’s signature AXIS lock and is fully ambidextrous with a reversible clip.
Benchmade also has a lifetime warranty and LifeSharp Service which are hard to beat- they will repair or sharpen your blade ensuring that your knife is always in peak condition.
6. Kershaw Unisex Brawler
The Kershaw Brawler Knife is a rugged EDC option at an affordable price. The blade is 8Cr13MoV steel with a black oxide coating. It’s a 3″ blade, 7.1″ overall and 4.1 ” closed and weighs only 3.9 oz. The Brawler also conveniently has a 4 position clip that is easily changed with a TORX system.
It also features Kershaw’s signature SpeedSafe assisted opening system which allows you to open the knife manually with the thumb-stud or assisted when you pull back on the flipper. It is also available with a mean looking modified tanto blade.
7. CRKT Drifter 6450 K
The CRKT Drifter 6450 K is a dependable pocketknife that stays sharp after use with an affordable price. This blade is 8Cr14MoV stainless steel 2.875″ drop point blade with a gray titanium nitrade finish.
It is 6.5″ long when open and only weighs 3.2 ounces, making it a perfect EDC knife. It also features a black G-10 handle and locking liner with thumb stud opening. It is available in plain edge and triple point serration edge, along with a stainless steel handle option.
8. Sog Aegis Assisted Folding Knife AE04-CP
The Sog Aegis Assisted Folding Knife AE04-CP is a solid folder, great for EDC and made by a trusted company.
This blade is mean looking, with a partially serrated edge, 3.5″ long. It’s made of AUS-8 steel and has a tanto shape with a hardcase black TiNi finish. The knife is 8.25″ open and 4.75″ closed, weighing only 3.1 ounces it is a good sized knife without unnecessary weight.
It has a pocket clip that is reversible for ambidextrous use and allows for deeper pocket carry than other knives we have reviewed. This blade also feature the Sog Assisted opening technology (SAT) which intuitively propels the blade forward and locks it in place when you start to open it.
9. Kizer Gemini
The Kizer Gemini is a sleek high-end folder that makes a perfect EDC or gentleman’s knife. Made of S35VN stainless steel, this drop point blade is 3.125″ long, about 7.25″ open and 4.125″ closed, weighing 3.65 ounces.
This knife is designed to look good and work hard, as shown by the stone washed titanium handle with blue anodized hardware accents. It looks like it could be a custom knife, with a well-designed detent and lockbar, this knife works as good as it looks.
10. Benchmade Mini Barrage 585
The Benchmade Mini Barrage 585 is a more compact and lightweight version of the Barrage series, making it an excellent choice for an EDC knife.
The blade is 154CM stainless steel at 2.91″ long and only .1″ thick. When fully open this knife is 6.91″ and is 4″ closed, weighing only 3.4 ounces. The clip is reversible and fits comfortably on the velox handle. The Mini Barrage is easily opened one-handed with Benchmade’s trademark AXIS Assist.
The blade is available in drop point plain or serrated edge depending on your needs. Combined with Benchmade’s lifetime warranty and LifeSharp sharpening service, this is an excellent investment for a small pocket knife.
There are many uses for a pocket knife including, self defense, cutting boxes or tape, slicing fruit or food, and survival situations. Another growing trend with pocket knives is with the prepper movement. Since pocket knives are so compact, they can be easily stored in a bug out bag or 72 hour kit. Most people store a knife and a flashlight for emergencies in their car or truck.
Since there are so many different reasons for carrying a pocket knife it is no wonder why it is becoming so popular. When it comes to picking out the right pocket knife for you, there are some things to consider. Price, size, brand, material, warranty, blade length, and purpose are some of the things you should consider when purchasing a pocket knife.
Pocket knives vary in price greatly as seen in this article. Some people are fine with a budget friendly blade while others prefer something more reliable. The Brand name has a lot of pull when it comes to knives. Some have very strong reputations and should be considered heavily when buying a knife. Blade materials are important and are something to pay attention too. Typically cheaper knives will have a cheaper material which means the knife won’t last as long as a high end blade.
Most well known brands are backed by strong warranties or even sharpening services. Pocket knives are usually small since they should be able to fit in your pocket or on your belt nicely. This typically means the blade should be about 4 inches or smaller. Bigger pocket knives are used but not as frequently. The main thing when purchasing a pocket knife is identifying the main purpose of the knife and how often you will use it.